A newly posted document to the Apple Developer Connection web site details the 12 stages of developing shareware for the Mac platform in startling clarity. It should be considered required reading for anyone considering developing for the Mac.
1 – Identify a need
Many developers will omit this step in favor of one of two alternatives:
- Code whatever you already know. That’s just easier.
- Just begin coding randomly and hope that you’ll come up with something useful. That’s how Cocktail was created!
2 – Offer your application as shareware
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the step where you’ll get paid (or not!) a modest amount of money to listen to endless whining about how lousy your application is! The people complaining are called “users.”
Don’t quit your day job!
3 – Upgrade your application
There! Now they’ll shut up, right?! You built in every feature they asked for – including a few that are scientifically impossible – so they can’t complain now!
Oh, you are so naive…
4 – Pull your revision
…when it’s discovered that some users will attempt to install it by scratching the name of their favorite heavy metal rock band onto the surface of their hard drive with a shard of glass. “Why… why would they do that?!” you ask. Because you did not explicitly tell them not to!
This is all part of a valuable learning process.
5 – Re-submit with deliberately-worded instructions that a schnauzer could follow
Now, if you could only sell it to just schnauzers…
6 – Field user complaints about pricing
Any user who’s ever paid for your application (or not!) will feel that they have the right to free upgrades in perpetuity. Your name will be dragged through the mud by people you don’t know because you dared to charge them for your work! Enjoy!
7 – Randomly shift your pricing scheme
…until people become too tired or confused to complain anymore. This is where you get to exercise your power as a developer. Remember, they use your application about 15 minutes out of the day – eventually it just won’t be worth their while to spend four hours a day bitching about it.
8 – Apple builds the key functionality in your application into the next OS X update.
Hey! You’ve hit the big time!
Oh, and you’re out of business. Sorry!
9 – Bitterly denounce Steve Jobs
Bastardo! Multo, multo bastardo!
And you don’t even speak Italian.
10 – Recode on Windows XP
Mmm. Now who’s the multo bastardo?
11 – Go bankrupt
You idiot! No one will ever even notice your application in the Windows world! All that work for nothing! You deserve everything you get!
12 – Return to stage 1
Unlike the women in your life, the Mac is a girlfriend who will always take you back. Certainly there will be repercussions. You’ll have to sleep on the couch for a while, but eventually you’ll be back picking at the scraps of the table that is the Mac platform.
We hope this document will provide valuable insight into what it’s like to be a Mac programmer!
It’s a living hell, if we didn’t already make that clear.