As readers of this blog probably know, in 2005 I embarked on an ill-fated voyage to create a native Mac version of my Bible software. I was unable to complete my quest and disappointed several of my users who had already switched to Mac and were hoping I would be able to give them SwordSearcher on their own platform.
Well, nothing has changed with regard to development — I won’t be resuming work on the Mac version of SwordSearcher in the foreseeable future as all of the reasons I suspended work on that project still stand — but I received an email from a long-time SwordSearcher user who wanted to share his success at using SwordSearcher on his Mac with Crossover. Here’s an excerpt:
“And I’m pleased to announce it WORKS! And it actually integrates so well, I wouldn’t even know I was using a mixed setup of Windows and Apple, they BOTH seem native mode in operation, and I use them at the same time.”
Complete details have been posted on the SwordSearcher Mac website.
Additional thought: do software compatibility layers like Crossover for Mac and WINE for Linux make native development irrelevant?
Well, certainly not irrelevant in every case. But in my case, it certainly reduces the need to expend development energy targeting multiple platforms when Linux and Mac already have excellent “emulation” alternatives. (And yes, I know WINE is not an emulator!) A single developer like myself, on a project as complex as SwordSearcher, is better off focusing on doing the best on Windows — where almost all the customers are — rather than trying to spend time writing multiple versions of the software, or worse, using cross-platform development tools that invariably result in a “lowest common denominator” feel for the application. And with WINE and Crossover Mac, a viable solution already exists that allows me to continue to focus my efforts on one platform.
Paul Thurrott has some interesting comments on Apple’s preoccupation with Windows Vista:
“…But by the same token, I have to admit to being a bit shocked by how childish Apple is about Vista. Say what you will about Microsoft (heck, I do), but the company is at least deferential to its customers in public, about as far from smug as is humanly possible, and it very rarely takes pointed shots at the competition. From the opening PC guy video (“Widgets, gadgets… completely different. They are their own thing. Just like Aqua. I mean, uh, Aero.”) to the last moments of the keynote, Jobs and company unleashed a never-ending, tireless diatribe against Microsoft and its upcoming Windows Vista release.”
Steve Jobs, as Apple’s “Chief Evangelist,” is really quite the snob when it comes to Mac OS. In his view, only Apple develops innovative things, and Apple does it right. And the rest of the world simply needs to get with it. (And even when Apple gets its ideas from someone else, “Apple invented it!”)
On the other hand, my own experience is that Microsoft “Evangelists” tend to be very conciliatory with regards to Windows. They know it’s not perfect and they are more than willing to engage developers and try to be better. They’re not concerned with who came up with what first, though I guess if you have over 90% of the market, it’s a moot point.
Neither company is perfect, but it’s just interesting to me that Apple is doing exactly the opposite of what their position in the Desktop OS industry actually affords them.
And speaking of their position, Thurrott writes:
“…Apple’s explosion growth in 2005 did nothing to help the Mac’s market share, which is still mired at 2 percent worldwide. In other words, Steve’s claim is baloney: Apple hasn’t really gained any appreciable market share at all–indeed, Apple has lost market share every year since Jobs took the CEO helm…”
It’s been two months since I’ve blogged. I’ve been busy — busy working on Bible software for Mac. As many of you who frequent my blog (and watch development of SwordSearcher) know, I’ve been working on getting my Bible software ported to Mac OS X.
First, let me say that Mac OS X is great from a user standpoint. It looks good, is stable, and for the most part is easy to use (though whether or not it is any “easier” than Windows is debatable).
However, there are reasons why the Mac has only 2% of the computer market. And spending lots of money and time on Mac software development has made many of these reasons even more clear to me.
Bottom line: What takes me minutes to code in Windows can sometimes take hours on a Mac. A big company with lots of cash can afford to fund development on Mac and Windows concurrently. And if I were designing a trivial application, I could too. But SwordSearcher is not by any means trivial, and I’ve finally accepted the reality that I need to focus on one platform. So Windows it is.
I am quite sorry to have to make this report as I know many people have been awaiting SwordSearcher Mac. And I really, really wanted to make it. But with limited time and money (that’s me), one needs to set priorities, and as long as Apple can’t get even 5% of the computer market and until they come up with better development tools, my priority will be Windows software.
I want to send a heart-felt thank-you to the many people who have emailed me on this issue, especially the Mac users who have extended me their encouragement. I truly am sorry to not be able to complete this project. But hey, sometimes you have to know when to cut your losses and move on!
Here’s an interesting short blog about the problems Apple faces in capturing more of the market: What will it take for the Mac to grab 5 percent of the PC industry?