Copyright 2004 by M. Uli Kusterer Fri, 29 Nov -1901 11:00:00 GMT Comments on article blog-wrong-sense-of-entitlement at blog-wrong-sense-of-entitlement Comments witness_dot_of_dot_teachtext_at_gmx_dot_net (M. Uli Kusterer) witness_dot_of_dot_teachtext_at_gmx_dot_net (M. Uli Kusterer) en-us Comment 6 by Dan Gelder Not as nice as that picture of my girlfriend :-)
Comment 5 by Uli Kusterer Uli Kusterer writes:
@Dan: You didn't see the DVD. It has some really nice holo-effects going on :-)
Comment 4 by Dan Gelder Fairness is a funny thing when it comes to copying things. Apple gave a DVD to thousands of people, in an age where it would have been simpler to just put it on the net in the first place! Maybe next year they can sell it to you only on Blu-Ray, and accept only two-dollar bills, and REALLY make a stand against the universe.
Comment 3 by Uli Kusterer Uli Kusterer writes:
<< First, the sex analogy does more to confuse and debase than enlighten the debate. Equating [reproductive activities with a girlfriend] as analogous to [Apple spreading their developer seed] is just wrong. >>

Urk. Actually, I didn't even think of this analogy :-S In German, the translation for "seed" in the WWDC sense has no second sexual meaning, so it never occurred to me one could read it that way. That really wasn't my intention.

Also, I don't see anything bad in charging for compilers and documentation. When I started out in programming, CodeWarrior was the only game in town, and each Inside Macintosh volume cost in the ballpark of 70 bucks. I eventually bought the two most important books (Imaging with Quickdraw and Toolbox Essentials) and later the Inside Mac CD, which was more expensive than those two, but contained all the books in DocViewer format (essentially the then-Apple-equivalent of PDF).

Similarly, compilers need to be programmed, too, and these programmers need to be paid. Would I prefer it if Xcode and the docs stayed free and available for free? Sure. But I'd fully understand if Apple charged for that (though I'd hope they'd do educational rebates etc.).
Comment 2 by Will I posted another comment about imperfections I see in your argument (rather than the argument itself) but just in case you thought I might be trying to inject my own opinion in and undermine something in yours, I thought I'd better add my perception of the WWDC seed release debate.

Personally, I've always seen WWDC as a unique issue. It costs a heck of a lot for Apple to stage, not only in fees but in lost development time of their staffers who are teaching instead of coding. There's no way they make back anywhere close to what it costs.

But opening the door to every developer and fan of Apple who can afford a trip to the West Coast would both increase their expense and reduce the benefit to the attendees. There is limited space, time, and teachers, so limiting the attendees is an unfortunate but necessary step. WWDC shouldn't be an event like going to a theme park or a circus, and the money is a good way to separate those who truly need the information versus those who are just enthusiastic fans.

Who really should come? Those who can pony up the price of a computer is a pretty good yardstick among professional and dedicated fans. Among students, any price will be significant when every penny counts but it's also necessary.

All the elitist talk and exclusives about WWDC attendance is to justify the high cost to the beancounters who have to pay for the attendees trips. Exclusive seeds, keynote tickets, first access to new information, and so on are nice hooks that can justify things in real terms, but once you attend you will find talking, sharing, learning, and networking to be benefits that are much more valuable. (Assuming you use your time well). Those things are intangible and unquantifiable so Apple has to play these kinds of "exclusive" games for WWDC.

If WWDC were only about the exclusives (in the mind of Apple and the attendees) then we should see attendance drop to nothing next year since Leopard will be out and there will be nothing to "sell" the conference. We may see a drop in attendance, but it won't be cancelled due to lack of interest.

I didn't get to go to WWDC this year due to personal conflicts in time, but both the money and interest on my part were there. That's really frustrating to know what I'm missing (and it's not the Leopard seed). But my wounds will heal in October and I'll do my best to get back to WWDC next time (whether there is a seed given out or not).
Comment 1 by William Moss I'm not taking sides in this debate. (Really, I understand both sides). But I do think it's worth pointing out a few oddities which may lessen lessen your point.

First, the sex analogy does more to confuse and debase than enlighten the debate. Equating [reproductive activities with a girlfriend] as analogous to [Apple spreading their developer seed] is just wrong. Even developers at WWDC have no expectation that their access is exclusive (high class tart instead of girlfriend?). STDs devalues sex for future "users" when talking of humans but not of software. Sorry, see about 5 other problems with the analogy but I'm going to have to interrupt myself and say that this is too demeaning and crass for me to continue. Please understand that the analogy will create more heat than light on this subject.

Second, as I understand it, the seed delay is the latest volley in a bigger debate about what the ADC is becoming. Some people see that Apple is returning to the days where they charged huge sums of money for developer documentation. Their fear is that Apple will start treating developers as a "profit center" rather than the beneficial co-partner relationship it has used for the last decade and a half or so. Microsoft (being the "standard") has turned their development platform into a profit center by stratifying access levels to certain documentation, tools, and even features in the IDE. There may be a few people angry over the Leopard seed release (it IS frustrating) but the bigger fear is if Apple chooses to price you out of the development community one day. That day isn't today, but is it coming?

You may be more adamant about justifying Apple's need to delay the release of the seeds, but I would advise you to maybe tweak your argument style to head off what's probably going to be a coming flame war.