Normal Users Don’t Code On Their Mac, But Apple Keeps Trying

Most people use their computer to run pre-packaged programs: usually a web browser, games, or office applications. Whether the machine is a PC or a Mac, they don’t generally write their own software. For them, the computer is an appliance, and they do what their computer allows them to do.

It shouldn’t have to be that way, if only programming were easier. The Eclectic Light Company has a fascinating article looking at the various attempts that Apple has made to lure their users into creative programming.

Probably the most familiar of them all is AppleScript, with its origins in late 1993. Or maybe you’re thinking of Hypertalk, the scripting component of 1987’s Hypercard. That would go on to be a mainstay of mid-1990s multimedia software, but while it’s fallen by the wayside it’s AppleScript which still has support in the latest MacOS.

The biggest surprise for us lies in the forgotten products. 1989’s Prograph graphical language looks amazing. Was it simply before its time? In the modern era, Apple describes the reach of Shortcuts diplomatically: “its impact has so far been limited”.

Maybe the most forward-thinking line on programming from Apple came in 2007, even if it wasn’t recognized as such. The original iPhone didn’t have any third-party apps, and instead developers were supposed to write web apps to take advantage of the always-connected device. Would that be such a bad piece of advice to give a non-developer writing software for their Mac today?

91 thoughts on “Normal Users Don’t Code On Their Mac, But Apple Keeps Trying

    1. There is still hope that non-programmers will be able to exercise creativity through some sort of “programming.” Graphical programming was a red herring in my mind (though MaxDSP and LabView still have avid fans). The “programs” they yield invariably end up reading like a tangle. Scratch-like blocks programming environments are somewhat better, if only for keeping syntax errors from being a distraction. But it’s thinking like a programmer that’s been the continual challenge. Enter AI. By no means perfect, but ChatGPT has shown its promise, and future “conversational” programming assistants look to be just around the corner. It will still require a back and forth for humans to get the results they want, but they will get by with a little help from their bots.

  1. The article, without saying it directly, shows exactly what the problem is – A history of questionably backward compatible solutions that were introduced and *discontinued again* at will. Once you have gotten wise to that, you know to not touch Apple’s tools with a ten foot pole when it comes to what to invest your time and effort into.

    1. Except, I gotta say, that’s categorically wrong.

      As the article mentions, Apple has now tried three times to make automation for non-programmers happen, and they continue to support every one of those systems. AppleScript has been largely ignored since the nineties and they’re still actively supporting it (as are a handful of old-school Mac apps like BBEdit). They’ve completely replaced their underlying software and hardware platforms multiple times while continuing to maintain AppleScript.

  2. click bait title aimed at inflaming Apple vs others. Then the very 1st line doesn’t even support the whole focus of the title.

    MacOS, Windows, and Linux all have their coding tools even though most people don’t usually code on any of them. Though Linux probably has a higher percentage than the others due to the technical nature of many that run it.

    1. Dunno, almost all of the developers at my workplace use macs. And none of the 1000+ linux machines we run are used for writing code. Actually, given the rather widespread adoption of apple hardware by tech companies, I think a larger percentage of macs are used for writing code than any other platform.

      1. Mac overall marketshare is relatively low, so it having a higher percentage of its own users programming isn’t a particularly useful stat. Likewise, Linux and Windows are the overwhelmingly vast proportion of network (both internet and otherwise) infrastructure – for every Mac in circulation there are probably two or three Windows and/or Linux machines that no human directly works with on any kind of regular basis, meaning having a low percentage of Windows or Linux machines being used for programming is also a useless stat.

        That said, many developers do like Macs. I won’t say programmers, because that’s a much broader category covering everything from DBAs to even some sysadmins and network engineers.

  3. I code for Linux, using my Mac. Does that make me abnormal?

    (I ssh into Linux boxes spread all over the house using the lovely 27″ Retina display. But it has to be admitted that I don’t use any of the Apple programming tools)

  4. The most underappreciated programming languages are spreadsheets. The are a different paradigm than functional, imperative, object-oriented or logic programming languages we know, but they are definitely programming languages in their own right. And they probably have more programmers than all the other programming languages together.

      1. In 1989 or 1990 perhaps, I modeled a complex manufacturing process with Lotus 1-2-3. Had plenty of recycle loops requiring constant recalcs. So I wrote macros on top of that which automatically changed the inputs and recalc’d thousands of times until the change in the outputs was below some threshold I had set. The macros also made their own spreadsheet of all the input levels tested and the resultant converged outputs. Showed it to my bosses who barely knew how to use computers and their jaws hit the desk. I ended up getting a company award for that one. :-)

    1. I used to think I was skilled in Excel because I could get it to do a lot of my homework for me, and display the steps. Then I stumbled into the user groups who were writing side scrolling games that played like a Mario or Sonic port to Excel.

      That being said, CSV files that can make database calls, manipulate that data, and post it to another tab for other applications to grab is a highly underrated feature. Around 2008 we were using spread sheets to pull GPS data from a MySql server, translate it to a format Google Earth liked, and updating our KMZ/KML files. I think we were limited to 100 entries a time because we couldn’t justify the cost of the “pro” version, but it was still a hell of a lot faster than have a room full of interns fat finger the data over line by line.

    2. Underestimating this is what probably slowed adoption of alternative office packages (anything not MS Office) and even alternative OSes down.

      There is a huge amount of actual business software hidden in excel sheets, access databases, even word documents.

      People saying “What do you need MS office for, there are alternatives, they arent 100% compatible in their macro language, but who uses this….” misunderstood the landscape quite horribly… for some Word and Excel are just “mixed mediocre word processor and mediocre DTP” and “just the tables adder upper, graph maker program”, but a few people each in many businesses treated them as programming platforms, often making the result business essential quickly (and creating problems for any user of platforms that were not 1000% MS Office compatible/friendly).

      This got amplified by the open source community rarely putting much energy into creating business oriented software. So a lot of contempt for the existing solutions, not much alternative. Even today, would I find even 10 packages that are user friendly software dedicated to running a given field of business in a given country in a whole linux distribution repo – I doubt it!.

      The dedicated business specific software of the 1970s, 1980s ran and hid in macros and spreadsheets…

      The effect in which condensing business rules into software sooner or later ends up with “use this software” becoming the business rule because the original rules were forgotten also tends to hit especially hard in these environments.

    3. True. Most programming languages failed to recognise that a major class of tasks is manipulating columns of data. Vectors of data should have been first class types, not something you had to address with for loops and construct as arrays. (I used Matlab extensively for this reason)
      Spreadsheets let you both manipulate columns of data, and see and edit that data in table.
      Also it helps that tasks that you really need to computerise, and which are economically rewarding to computerise are exactly these repetitive operations on columns of data.
      The programming world repeatedly failed to appreciate what made spreadsheets compelling, and offered us more of the same: Javascript to replace Java to replace C++ to replace C….

  5. Um.. no.

    In a time when the desktop isn’t “sexy” and everyone wants to write for mobile devices Apple is downright hostile to anyone wanting to write to the iPhone.

    The best time to start to code is as a kid. And kids don’t have money. But to run your code on an iPhone, even one that you have bought and own yourself the last I checked required a $100 membership fee. The best you can do without that is to run in a shitty emulator. And this in a time where every other platform has robust development environments available for free.

    And that’s not to mention all the hoops to getting something into their store. Which is the only way they allow to share your creation, even just with a friend. It doesn’t have to be about marketing and business.

    Maybe back in the day when Jenny’s examples were new Apple encouraged coding. Maybe?

    Today Apple is just another shitty company with too much power using it to breed it’s people to be mindless consumers, not creatives.

      1. Yah sure. And back in the day you could code in BASIC all day long on your PC but no one other than other geeks were going to take that seriously as long as you didn’t have a compiler then or the ability to package it into an installable app today.

        Now every platform but one has a full, totally usable and open development environment available for free.

        1. What made these early BASIC environments non-overwhelming to learn was the “krusty brand batteries included, but included” character … Often, there was one handbook, with not much “see manual for library/domain specific language/protocol XYZ….” .. Literally “here’s the program making program, here’s the book that says how to use it”.

      2. When I was a kid I fiddled a bit around with basic, but already back then I found it an abomination so I saved up a lot of money (for a kid) and bought Turbo C++.
        And history proves how right I was. If I was able to find the old programs I wrote back then (35 years ago), I could still compile them an run them now.

        A few years ago I tried python, as it is a popular scripting language (Python simply lacks the performance to be called a programming language), and it would have been nice as a scripting language if it was not for that V2 versus V3 thing that kept on dragging for over 10 years (while perl for example handled it with a flag so older libraries can be used in newer programs) Python also has the horrible whitespace and indentation dependency. I once tried to make a bug report for a python script. The bug was that a few spaces were eaten, so a line that should have been part of a loop, was dropped out of the loop and executed after the loop ended.

    1. > But to run your code on an iPhone, even one that you have bought and own yourself the last I checked required a $100 membership fee.

      You apparently haven’t “checked” for quite a while. That hasn’t been the case since the release of iOS 9, eight years ago.

      1. So you are saying that you can now write your own app, put it on your own iPhone, detach the phone, carry it around and use your app all without subscribing to anything extra from Apple now?

        IF that is true then it’s improved much. Did the croaking of Steve Jobs contribute to that?

        Forgive my doubting you. I remember being told by a bunch of mac fans that the developer program was free “now” (then) a long time ago. They were very insistent that Apple’s shitting on programmers was over. But it turned out they just added a free “basement” level that allowed running on an emulator but not on an actual device.

        Although better than I remember, it’s still inferior and crappy if you can’t give the apple equivalent of an apk to your friends and let them use your app too. Sorry, I know I am shifting the goal post there. But really the goal post was always that you should be able to do for free what you can do with EVERY OTHER F’NG PLATFORM OUT THERE as a bare minimum, not just what I previously wrote.

        1. > Forgive my doubting you.

          I don’t care if you “doubt me” at all. I’m perfectly fine with you looking foolish in public.

          > Sorry, I know I am shifting the goal post there.

          And I know you’ll shift them again if needed.

          Sorry, no time to play the fan boy game today.

          1. Touchy, touchy. I am using both android and an iphone, but I’m sure you’ll call me a foolish fanboy too for one reason or another.

            I’d like to hear how you can download iphone apps from places other than the app store without jailbreaking the phone. If you’re the developer of the app, you can add your iphone as a “test device” and then keep using it even once you’re done testing. But as I understand it, since you can’t just copy a file across to install the app, then any device you want to use it on has to be added to your list of “test devices”. I am under the impression you need to have a mac physically present in order to keep plugging devices into it in order to install things, since you can’t just download apk’s from your development environment for testing. And while I believe xcode itself is free, it’s not free to either buy a mac to run xcode, or at least buy an OS license to run in a VM. Really doesn’t seem equivalent.

      2. I don’t know if you can run you’re I code on your own iPhone as I don’t have an iPhone. However, if you do want your code listed in the app store, it is indeed a yearly $99 fee.

  6. “Normal” users can’t code. They think differently than programmers and are a bad match for programming.

    There is a certain pedantic trait in programming that must match the pedantic trait of programmers. It is the eye for the global while, at the same time, having the eye for the detail. Programmers care about content and the expression of it in exact algorithmic terms. Programming is the abstract and concrete merged into a performance of action.

    Best advice, stop trying to get “normal” people to program. It is a disaster, each and every time.

    1. How wonderfully esoteric and pseudo-sophisticated justification for something anyone can do and does on a daily basis. Programmers are nothing more than “translators” of instructions and instruction sequences required by their superiors / company into 1’s and 0’s that an electronic device can use to search and gather data based on their instructions that meet their employers needs. They don’t call computer input “instructions” for no reason.

      1. Your second sentence is the problem.

        The “requirements” from non-programmers are often illogical, contradictive and self-defeating because the actual “superiors/company” do not really understand their own objectives and many lack foresight to understand the future implications of their decisions at the present.

        The programmer has to challenge those mistakes and guide the person to a logical, cohesive and successful outcome. Once those mistakes have been ironed out and outcomes understood and defined, then the programmer can engage in the task of translating to the digital space.

          1. Toothbrush with Bluetooth so not just programmers and in keeping with this threads theme “normals” shouldn’t be product designers either.*

            *Don’t worry folks we’ll find some use for them, eventually. Maybe clean our houses, or babysit our progeny.

          2. Toothbrushes with Bluetooth are an extremely ironic product, given that blue tooth is exactly what you want to avoid by using it. … IIRC the bluetooth standard is actually named after a guy who had that nickname because of his dental problems!

    2. “Best advice, stop trying to get “normal” people to program. ”
      Said like a programmer; but simply not true. I spent 3 years as a training manager in a Fortune 50 company teaching a 1-week course on PC’s using Lotus 1-2-3; said course directed primarily at clerical support personnel with the occasional manager.
      As an EE with formal Fortran training and a research background using S-100 bus systems and assembly language, my experiences with non-programmers suggest that they can definitely think logically and build useful spreadsheet models after only 5 days. What is required is to approach the training as a 1::1 exercise with 20+ students in the environment. Like the old single-room schoolhouse, faster learners were allowed to assist slower-to-learn students: with my watchful eye on the interaction and communication. Programming, much to the dismay of “professional” programmers can be done by the average-Jo(Anne) provided that they are given the appropriate mental relationships to approach a problem.
      The very real concern, “Can non-programmers program efficiently?” That my friends is an economic question: with a spreadsheet, JoAnne is easily going to have a positive efficiency over pencil, paper, and a 10-key. Could a dedicated program (spreadsheet or compiled) be more efficient? Surely, but the creation will come at a cost: both in time and financially. Pro-programmers take time as business requires documented requirements, a software development period, a code review period, an acceptance period, and a maintenance cycle over the software lifespan.
      Is there a middle-ground? Yes. But businesses are reluctant to allow non-programmers to go beyond the PC tools: MS Office or Open Office/Star Office; a matter of migration from a PC to a shared mini-computer. Here in the midrange world, efficiency and more programmer knowledge regarding security and multiprocessing is demanded: such knowledge and skill is unlikely to be present in the PC-based environment.

      So, all you professional programmers: you can remain elitist, you have earned that position. But, in my belief (from experience) there is a lower level of programming that most of the masses can enjoy that provide useful benefit and economy.

      1. What you are saying is that anyone can do anything *with* training.

        But, the topic at hand is people doing programming *without* training.

        Is it elitist for a heart surgeon to claim “normies” shouldn’t perform heart surgery? If not, why do you assert the same for programmers?

          1. Elitism is never justified, but problem avoidance is.

            Encouraging non-programmers to start learning programming is great. The more people willing to learn the software development domain, the better, because then it is easier for the non-programmers to understand concerns raised by programmers, reducing arguments.

            The issue arises when these same folks implement their solutions within their business environments and then run into an easily predicted “brick wall” and want IT to come and clean up the mess. THAT I believe is underlying the responses you are seeing here.

            That is problem avoidance, not elitism.

        1. >Is it elitist for a heart surgeon to claim “normies” shouldn’t perform heart surgery?

          It requires fine motor control and coordination, and it must be performed under severe time pressure, and in a stressful situation where mistakes kill, and that requires supervised training and experience.

          Heart surgery is unlikely to require 97% of the medical training you must have to be eligible to train as a heart surgeon.
          It is almost certain that heart surgeons are selected from a pool of unsuitable candidates: wealthy, highly academic, large body size**, competitive.
          If you were specifically choosing heart surgeons, they would be selected for manual dexterity, small hands, ability to handle stress, small team cooperation, resistance to distraction, and just enough academic ability to learn the anatomy required.
          You would be looking for candidates in embroidery clubs not examinations.

          ** For the male part of the population, the competitive aspect of gaining entry to medical school, and being chosen to advance in peer controlled environments favors larger individuals – this is a fairly well established social effect. The good news for surgery is that more women means smaller fingers.

      2. So you were in a big fancy fortune-50 company, and I’m in some little 50-person company of no importance. But what I can easily see at my little company that must not have been apparent in the rarefied atmosphere up there is that when people who aren’t sufficiently tech-savvy try to make tools to make themselves more effective, they sometimes aren’t very good at it. They end up with workflows that, while they start out more effective (or sometimes just easier) than doing things manually, are so hard to support or truly automate that people are chained to maintaining the awkward workflow forever, even when requirements change and it takes 10x as much effort to adapt the method to keep working. They end up buying the same thing ten times, because each person doesn’t know how to use the same functions in a different platform. The tech-savvy people spend all their time chasing clashes between each system, while keeping up with desktop support where every machine is a special pet instead part of a herd of cattle.

    3. “Normal” programmers can’t do accounting systems. They think differently than accountants and are a bad match for accounting.

      There is a certain pedantic trait in accounting that must match the pedantic trait of accountants. It is the eye for the global while, at the same time, having the eye for the detail. Accountants care about value and the expression of it in exact legal terms. Accounting is the abstract and concrete merged into a performance of action.

      Best advice, stop trying to get “normal” programmers to do business software. It is a disaster, each and every time.

      Disclaimer: I am not an accountant, but SCNR writing this parody to highlight how biased our standpoints might be!

      1. To a large degree you are right – programmers specialize in various verticals and get good at them precisely because each business domain does have its own rules and methods.

        Programmers have to understand those domains so that they can communicate correctly with the business partners to ensure a proper outcome.

        So, in this case, a programmer without an accounting domain background will need to be educated on basic accounting practices in order be successful.

        If you were an experienced programmer you would understand the comments here. They are not elitist – just comments made from real experience.

        1. Oh… and don’t make assumptions about others experience if your experience isn’t at the level of “sometimes, it is exactly about what the customer wants”. “it always is” shows the inexperienced salesman, “it never is” the inexperienced engineer :)

      2. I mean… you write it as a joke, but it’s correct and shows me how relatively unbiased it is.

        Programmers and accountants are created from people, not born into the world. That’s what makes these visual programming tools so lackluster: the tool is capable, but the operator can’t help but fight themselves trying to use it. The exact same goes for accountants.

  7. I guess they are trying to avoid that old “not a real computer” bullet getting fired at them. Where the feeling of the day way back, was that anything that you could not program native code on was “not a real computer”

    1. Thank you for the great article, Jenny! Made me think about the difference between software developers (most of the HaD readership), and “other” users, and why Apple didn’t manage to cater properly for both. Please excuse some of the people commenting on this site, including those born in 1962 (just a guess 😁)

  8. AI is about to make programmers obsolete it is not very hard to write a sentence that says “I want a list of all the Cities of Greenland with pictures in alphabetical order. ” Matter of fact you can almost do that now with search engines. AI is something to used and not feared. (except if your an AI development company trying to improve your market value.) . AI can answer questions and provide potential solutions BUT it cannot make decisions. Just try and ask the same question 3 different ways, requiring a actionable decision, and see the results. Better yet know that any AI system can be put in a race condition by connecting it independently to 2 or more other AI systems with out their awareness.

    1. It’s also prone to being a well-spoken windbag that doubles down when you confront it. I asked it a test question about thermionic converters, which convert heat into electricity. They have a reasonably decent article on wikipedia and so if I asked a person to google the same question and tell me what they found out, they would easily find out what they are, even without understanding how they work.

      The AI was blinded by the overwhelmingly larger amount of data which is about vacuum tubes, and it insisted that thermionic converters work by using electricity to heat up a cathode which emits electrons, producing electricity. That’s a perpetual motion machine, and I wasn’t able to get it to accept being corrected a number of ways.

      It’s people who spend all day writing tons of corporate-speak who seem the easiest to replace with an AI, since 90% of that is about how you say it not what you say.

  9. HyperCard was incredibly successful at the time. There was barely a Mac user who didn’t have the runtime and one or two stacks on their computer. The fact that Apple never properly upgraded it for color Macs and eventually just killed it is a tragedy.

    Also, there were way more attempts than this article lists. SK8 looks pretty interesting to this day.

  10. I have been programming on my various Macs for decades, generally using Emacs to write (and occasionally doing additions in Emacs Lisp). A good bit of the code is in Snobol 4 thanks to Phil Budne’s implementation of the Snobol macros in C. The remainder ranges from various spreadsheets to C and Java. After all, a Mac is a computer and the recent ones have many times the computing power of the mainframes on which I learned the art.

  11. I know Hackaday is vehemently anti-Apple, but I thought it was also a proponent of encouraging coding literacy and introducing normal people to what real hackers do. It’s disappointing to see Apple’s efforts in this space be presented so negatively simply because it’s Apple.

  12. Curiously absent from the discussion: Apple has recently been about reducing the number of interpreted languages included with the base distribution… Not good given that the way such languages teach a “you ship source by default” mindset, which has probably normalized open source ideals in people quite a lot, and has probably gotten us some distance away from the old DOS-era attitude of “not a real language if it can’t make teh .EXEz” .

  13. Jenny, I fully agree. And I think that 99% of the comments above show why it failed: if a random non-programmer got into AppleScript or one of the other technologies and then found they needed help they would be met with comments like these and give up.

  14. Normal people don’t program on any platform.

    Programming involves languages, and to use language you have to learn core concepts. General programming has concepts like creating and calling functions, branching and looping, etc. Programming in a specific environment has an API language with concepts like files, filesystems, processes, getting information to and from the part that executes the code, etc.

    People who don’t know those concepts and their linguistic hooks can’t program the way people who don’t speak Welsh can’t write a grocery list in Welsh.

    Learning the core concepts takes time and energy, and most people aren’t interested in using their time and energy that way. It has nothing to do with the OS they use. But the fact remains that those people shouldn’t write code any more than people who don’t read Chinese should choose Chinese tattoos (unless you really want to walk around labeled ‘toilet monster’ or ‘foreign idiot’).

    Most people also don’t write their own HTML and CSS, for the same reasons.

  15. Yes OSX is awful, filled full of old useless code, worst UI of any OS, worst search, file browser and endless advertising/bloatware. ‘programmers’ use them because they are awful of have been forced. OSX is an advertising company with a small hardware and software division and has been actively and intensely trying to rob people and ruin their lives for over a decade.
    If you still use one then please get it off Amazon and go and live on an island with no taxes or public services or government.

  16. This is common with all technologies, they start out being complex, requiring a certain level of capability on the user. The technology becomes simpler making it accessible to less technical users. Most computer users have no need to do any programming to achieve what they want, this is not exclusive to Macs.

    I am someone that does software development on a Mac, but I don’t use any of Apple’s tools. VSCode is my editor of choice and Go and Python. Apple’s tools are of no interest to me at all.

  17. I “code on my Mac” almost every day! I just don’t “code FOR the Mac”.

    I write a lot of simple bash scripts, excel macro’s, SQL, and dabble with the Android IDE. MacOS is a stable platform for vmWare for spinning up other environments as needed and is painless. Unlike my former Windows systems, I don’t fret about keeping the computer working, clean, and fast, I just use it. I find that Safari is stable and fast enough to use for a web interface, and find that dashboard apps that run on Safari run on other browsers. I used to bring up a Windows 7 VM to program with various Microsoft Studio products. I now bring up Windows 10 to continue testing some of those old apps.

    As a late comer to the use of any Apple product, I have used an Intel i7 Mac mini as my main driver for the last 5 years. I picked it because (at the time) I wanted fast usb C, SSD, and enough memory — without caring about the platform. Although Apple has a reputation for being expensive, No PC compatible could lie purchased for the same price. After 5 years, it still benchmarks as fast as new. Not a Mac fanatic at all, but have come to like not having to fiddle. I have some *nix VMs for that.

    As for the content of the article and most of the comments, I do find writing actual-real software for macOS a bit foreign, although Apple has good documentation.
    To be fair, as a Fortran 77 programmer, I find any of the new stuff a bit hard to comprehend. :-)
    It’s all what you are used to.

  18. Personally, I never did see the ‘draw’ to even buy a more expensive Apple computer, let alone program on one. I like the idea they are competition to M$ true (that is healthy for the market), but Apple being a expensive closed system, it just never made any sense to me (Hardware and Software). Maybe for the elite, or wanna-be elite? Ie. Status symbol user? Maybe… Maybe thats why programming on the Apple is not encouraged? The demographic Apple is targeting? Hmmmm. Could be? Or even as expensive as it is, it simple just does the job they want it to do (not programming). Who really knows what is in the mind of a normal mac user :) .

    Anyway, there was a time when our company was thinking about maybe designing an app for I-phones, but then ran into the must buy development licenses and that idea went away. Started looking at Android at that point.

    As for me, and all my current coworkers and immediate family, nobody uses Apple computers, other than the occasional cell phone (most use Android). Most all run Windows. I am the only one that runs Linux. Did get my dad to move to Linux and he likes it.

    As a programmer by trade, I find all my needs met with Linux. Have all the programming tools I’ll ever need from Cobol, Fortran, C, C++, Python, Java, Rust, Pascal, Assembly, debuggers, make, cmake, etc.. … you name it, it’s there. Bonus all the high level ‘apps’ we generally use is there also like LibreOffice, VLC, Thunderbird, Gimp, FreeCad, KiCad, … the list goes on and on. Get to pick what GUI I want to use. What is not to like? And I can ‘build’ my own computer from the ground up too. Pick all the parts ‘I’ want to have in ‘my’ system. Freedom at the bare metal right on up to the software you run on it. What is not to like? Even the laptops I can at least upgrade the memory and change out the disks, or the wi-fi card, or …. (Although I see that it changing a bit with some of the higher end laptops).

  19. Interesting. I thought Apple was trying to make it harder, because they think so little of their users?

    Linux, I can apt-get whatever I need (or package manager of your choice)
    Windows, I can download and run the python installer or anaconda
    MacOS wants me to install xcode and makes me (and my users) chmod their pyinstaller executables because it doesn’t trust me to not doof up the system.

    1. cause Apple (and MS for that matter) stopped caring for developers a long time ago. Their anti-comsumer/anti-developer practices are getting out of hands! “Oh you wanna develop an app for our platform? Moneeeeey pleaaaas!” Yeah right… How about a fat f***ck you sandwich instead Apple?

  20. I used to be a full-time software engineer and used a ton of different languages. Then I changed fields entirely and now code only for DIY/hobby interests (in a whole set of different languages). I’ve play-coded a few apps using Xcode over the years for my own use. With the majority of comments vehemently anti-Apple, what are different folks using to professionally develop programs for Apple/iPhones if not Apple software? Has everyone moved away from Xcode/Swift? The Apple-centric forums obviously have their own opinions.

  21. Bring AppleSoft BASIC back, 100% compatible with old programs, and also updated to run on modern machines, like the Apple Macintosh. It would not be hard for Apple software engineers to do that. Nostalgia and hooking an entire new generation of young people that want to get into the nuts and bolts of their computers.

    1. Why not Python3 instead? I think we all have moved beyond Basic as a learning language even for young people. Python is much more useful from beginner to professional programming and will not go out of date so to speak.

  22. > Whether the machine is a PC or a Mac, they don’t generally write their own software

    Oh boy, oh boy, it’s rant time!)

    Is it just me or this is really sad… computers nowadays became very restricted “application launching platforms” instead of playgrounds opened for creativity. less and less people can use computers like they originally were intended. nobody write scripts or meaningless programs just out of spite and morbid curiosity. everything became so sterile and corporate that it almost makes me gag. DIY means nothing today.

    But I do get it. You don’t sell DIY, you sell products! But at least leave some room for nerds) Why the f**k I should get Xcode and Visual Studio to have such a basic thing as a compiler? No wonder that IT market is flooded with uninspired and underqualified people. It’s just a big circle j**ck of big cops.

    Rant ended… Thanks!

  23. LMAO. Apple has made no secret that it’s making macOS turn into the iOS walled garden where users have no control over their devices and taking the keyboard away from users. Case in point: removing the ESC key on macbooks. macOS is now more like Windows Vista with all it’s nannying and user code execution prevention. Apple wants you to keep it’s malware (aka advertising and tracking engines) installed on your mac devices. Heck, I just discovered iOS 17.0.1 no longer wants to connect to proxied networks that blockads and malware.

    Apple doesn’t want users programming. They want touchpad users and consumers of advertising.

  24. I worked at Apple in the early 90s and HyperCard was wonderful. We wrote a dealer ordering system using HyperCard as a framework for various custom XCmd modules and made a very effective system.

    And AppleScript was ever so cool to automating Finder processes.

    Too bad the good die young.

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