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Mac DevCenter

An Invitation From Tim O'Reilly and Rael Dornfest

Tim O'Reilly.

Rael Dornfest

We make our living at O'Reilly watching the "alpha geeks" and documenting what they do, since the early adopters tell us a lot about the shape of the future. Well, one thing that's been overwhelmingly clear this year is that the alpha geeks are choosing Mac OS X. Why?

Unix developers are excited by Mac OS X because they finally have a platform that gives them the best of both worlds -- a fully-functional Unix environment plus full support for office applications -- no more need to dual-boot, and no more need to feel like a fish out of water on the wrong side of that dual boot! Almost all of the Perl 6 core team has switched to Mac OS X, as have many of the top Java and XML developers. Developers in new fields like bioinformatics and peer-to-peer networking are also climbing on board.

Mac developers and power users are drawn by the vision that Apple has laid out. Just as in the early days of desktop publishing, Apple has made a bold move to build the future into the platform. The iApps -- iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes, iDvd -- are not only the key to expansive new markets, they are extensible by hackers and power users.

And of course, the machines are sleek, sexy, and reasonably priced. The iApps and other features like built-in support for 802.11b (so-called wi-fi networking) are making the Mac the must-have choice for anyone who is buying a new machine, and making a lot of people invent reasons why they NEED a new machine NOW. In short, Apple has put some excitement back into the industry.

Of course, Apple has put a steep learning curve in as well. The upgrade from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X is a major shift. Old Mac hands have as much to learn as Unix users. As a result, the demand for information about using and developing on Mac OS X is intense. David Pogue's Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, is O'Reilly's bestselling book out of the gate since the 1992 introduction of The Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog -- and we all know what a feeding frenzy that portended.

In short, Mac OS X is one of the most exciting things happening in the industry today, and we've tried to put together a conference that features the many traditions and technologies that come together in this new crossroads. We've got tracks for both developers and power users. One of the most exciting things about conferences is the opportunity for people to meet and share ideas and knowledge face to face. The Mac OS X Conference is designed to let Unix people and Mac people learn from each other, and to let both learn from the people who're pushing the envelope, using the new Mac as a platform for building the future.

Tim O'Reilly
Founder & President
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

Rael Dornfest
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc,
Mac OS X Conference Program Chair


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