WWDC: Day 1

I was at the keynote this morning.  I got pictures and video of Jobs talking through this announcement.  Very, very kewl to be there, first person, for what will undoubtedly become a historic moment, one way or the other.

I got to Moscone West at what I thought was an early hour, but it was already crowded. The line for the keynote was wrapped all the way around the floor, though lines turned out to mean very little once they allowed us up the escalators.

I am a fairly recent convert to the Mac, so am fairly ambivalent about the announcement. I have had some cause to research Altivec and read up considerably about the advanced design of the G5, so I did feel a little odd in that I do not have as favorable an impression of the elegance and sophistication of Intel’s designs. But I am actually fairly unlikely now to use much of what I learned directly, other than to use gcc 4.0’s autovectorization support on the Mac, which Apple has committed to improve for the forthcoming Intel based Macs.

I don’t think anyone can make a compelling prediction about the outcome of Apple’s decision. They have certainly not made the decision lightly. They have been cross-compiling OS X for its entire existing, which is a mind boggling startling revelation. Jobs’ quip was, “Just in case.” Whether is it based on Transitive or not, they announced Rosetta to do on-the-fly translation of binaries and libraries from PPC to x86. Xcode 2.1 seems to have considerable support features for folks undertaking the port.

I think if Apple is able to produce more powerful systems at more competitive prices, which is what I personally think the decision is really based on, then their success will grow.

Then things will get very, very interesting.

After the keynote, I attended the Mac OS X State of the Union, a very long and detailed presentation about how we developers should be making the best damned Mac applications. Not bad, even if the term Universal was a bit over-used. By universal, Apple means a single executable, some new variation of Mach-o, that will run on both architecture as is.

The last presentation I attended was the Development Tools State of the Union. A more more focused presentation with a smaller audience. I was very, very impressed with some of the material discussed.

The evening reception was pretty good. The food was on the light side, though we managed to track down the potato skins. Sadly, we found them after gorging ourselves on the other fair. They had beer and wine on offer, which was unexpected and welcome after the very dramatic announcement at the start of the day.

I chatted with some of the Apple DTS staff, as well as meeting some of the folks from the OmniGroup, including the two guys responsible for my favorite tool, OmniOutliner, and their web queen.

More tomorrow, hopefully from the show floor. (Today, I was kept off-line by congested WiFi, a fraudulent WAP, and a thunderstorm that knocked out my server.)

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