Time for an Apple moan, I'm afraid. It's probably not good for business, moaning about Apple when you are a Mac-only shop, but I do like to air my grievances, as many of you well know (and hey, I've written to Apple saying the same).
Many of you will have watched the WWDC keynote last week and aww-ed and ahh-ed at the new Leopard beta (or yuck-ed at the translucent menu, depending on your tastes).
And that royally, um, vexes me, to tell the truth. It vexes me because the Leopard beta has been advertised for weeks as being "available first" at WWDC. And here we are, one week later, and that beta has still not been seeded to developers who did not attend WWDC. And by "developers", I specifically mean developers who have paid hundreds of dollars for Select or Premier ADC (Apple Developer Connection) memberships, which includes the Leopard Early Start Kit. And what does this Leopard Early Start Kit buy you? Well, the advertisement enticing developers to cough up their cash for membership makes this very clear:
Fast track your Mac OS X Leopard development by downloading the latest pre-release versions of Mac OS X Leopard and Xcode 3.0.
Note that "latest pre-releases" mentions nothing about also having to shell out for a WWDC ticket. If you go to the Leopard dev center log in page, this is made even clearer:
The Leopard Dev Center provides developers with the technical resources to explore the newest features available in Mac OS X Leopard.
And yet, for those of us who could not attend WWDC this year, we are left with a seed of Leopard that is over two months old, with a copy of Xcode that crashes regularly.
Now, I know it's only Friday that WWDC ended. And maybe they will upload the new beta tonight. We can hope. But even this is a little late, in my opinion. Why stratify at all? With 5,000 members, WWDC was supposed to be the biggest ever this year. But ADC apparently has 950,000 members! So even if only 10% of those are paying members (and it is probably nearer 25%), that is 90,000 developers who have been left out in the cold to the 5,000 who could attend and get the beta.
What is worse, though, and inexcusable, as far as I am concerned, is that when I bought my membership, with the Leopard Early Start Kit included, the advertising made it very clear that I would have access to "the latest pre-release versions of Mac OS X Leopard". This is what I paid for, so that I could ensure Scrivener was always up to date with new versions of the OS. It was only a couple of months later that Apple started advertising the Leopard beta as being available first at WWDC (despite keeping the "latest pre-release versions" text on the advertising for the Early Start Kit).
To me, this is - dare I say it? - false advertising. I don't even understand why Apple would need to dangle this "beta" carrot in front of developers to tempt them into attending WWDC - surely the notion of having Apple engineers to hand to help you with your issues is enough of an incentive? Beta or no, I would have gone for access to Apple developers alone if I could possibly have managed it. But what I understand far less, is why Apple would withhold a working, updated beta from those who need it most - developers providing applications for the Mac platform. It's bad enough that Apple are shooting themselves in the foot by keeping the beta back (even by a week - surely you would want your developers using it ASAP). It's even worse, though, that the people from whom it is being withheld have paid for it.
But, like all things, I daresay I forgot to read the small print somewhere.
Moan over. Normal services may now continue (though only when I get the beta! ).