17 Nov 04The 12 Stages of Mac Shareware Development.


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.

23 Responses to “The 12 Stages of Mac Shareware Development.”

  1. Spike says:

    Not eleventh!

  2. UhhhDude says:

    Step two!

  3. Daddy Bartholomew says:

    According to the strict standards of first posting as set forth by the 27th Congress, in order to claim First Post, one must, in fact, CLAIM First Post. Therefore, your post does not qualify as first.

    Subsequently, I say proudly, FIRST!

  4. Daddy Bartholomew says:

    Well. How Rude. Dude, you’re on my List.

  5. MacStansbury says:

    serves me right for falling asleep.

    well, back to repeatedly hitting the refresh key for the next 24+hours

  6. UhhhDude says:

    Can’t post now. I gotta go bitch to Hillman Minx that iSwipe for OS9 really bites.

    You think they really care at this point? Nah. Just following Step Two of Mac Software Development. It’s like a tradition.

    Like Thanksgiving, traditions are really big this time of year. Also pie.

    What was I saying? I lost it after I said, “pie.”

    Mmmmm…pie.

  7. MacStansbury says:

    Hey hey hey! We won’t have in discussion of the actual events in the story for at least 6 or 7 more posts.

  8. UhhhDude says:

    Who said I read past Step 2?

    Besides, there’s pie in my future.

  9. Aaron says:

    I assumed there was really an ADC document this was parodying, but if so, I couldn’t find it. Is it more or less funny because of that? I don’t know.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think Johnny boy’s just bitter because his crappy little app got listed on PerversionTracker. See John? That’s what you get for coding it in RealBasic!

    Oh, and asking people to pay $50 for something that utterly useless probably wasn’t such a smart move either…

  11. younghart says:

    I am impressed. Again. I was afraid CARS would go inactive like PvT. But after a summer break after another, here he is – back again, better than ever!

    Dude, how do you do that, getting all that stuff, including the ideas, every day? I am very thankful and I am going to click now on one of these ads.

    *click*

  12. Who watches weebl and bob?

    I saw UhhhhhDudes post and had to go and get my pie fix straight away.

    Mmmmmmm pie.

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm pie.

    pie pie pie PIE!

  13. pmsg says:

    …but what about the people who develop the pies?

  14. MacStansbury says:

    I, for one, are glad PvT has bitten the big one.

    I mean, seriously, how could you make a whole website who’s only purpose is to make fun of a company and it’s employees? Then make up lies about said company and its products? Then call Yamamoto a lesbian…oh, wait…

    again…it’s Masako Yamamoto. It’s here last name. I refer to all the staff that has last names by their last name. Moltz, MacGruder. Yamamoto. Dog. It’s out of respect.

  15. clueless says:

    and The Entity would be referred to as “entity”? sorry, that’s Entity- no e.e. cummings here….

  16. MacStansbury says:

    I was editing the post in my head, and when I wrote that, I thought that it was too much. I thought that there was only so many names I could put in there before the joke turned. And since I wanted to use Dog, Entity was the one to go.

    It really was set up by the others names and me always calling Masako by her last name Yamamoto. It’s one of the literary devices I commonly employ.

  17. Coombs says:

    Hmmmm. I wonder if this is in response to the review of shareware at Arstechnica?

    (http://arstechnica.com/reviews/apps/dock.ars)

    It’s so true that it is not that funny.

  18. caerulea says:

    looks like a way better 12-step program than the one I’m in now…

  19. Scooter says:

    >

    Finally, someone who’s funny.

  20. Bellidancer says:

    Ok, it is 7:45 PST and there is no article for today yet. How many people are out there lurking, hitting the refresh button, over and over again? Moltz, give me back my life!

  21. mr. conspiracy says:

    I have a slightly different problem: I never had a life. I blame the government. And fluoride. and those little pink umbrellas in the tropical drinks you get at Sandals.

  22. greenacres says:

    11,456th refesh…11,457th refresh…pppllleeeaaaseee….save me…

    11,458th refresh…