December 1, 2006

Quel Horreur!

Today I got called out by Coding Horror for my Windows-hatin' ways. And it's true -- I do hate me some Windows like McAdams loves Gosling -- so regular readers would be forgiven if they expect me to work myself into a fine lather and then rinse Mr. Atwood with bile. (I wish I could work "repeat" into this strained metaphor, but it's early for me.)

Instead, I think I'll apologize. Yes, truly. I don't mean to demonize Windows users, or seem like an elitist. There are lots of people who use Windows who believe in the same things I do: clean code, beautiful and simple programs, and designing fun into every action. I'm even an occasional reader of Coding Horror, even though it's a... Windows blog.

I have a friend who is quite a bit richer and smarter than me (and who many of you have seen on YouTube); he works for Microsoft doing advanced research. He argues as passionately as I do for the same kinds of changes in our industry. He just thinks they are more likely to happen if he engages Bill Gates than if he engages Steve Jobs. Well, ok, I disagree, but I certainly acknowledge there's an opposing argument to be made.

Sure, I'm a zealot, but I'm not such a zealot that I don't know who's on my side. If you want to accomplish the same goals as me, and we merely disagree on the best method, you aren't "the enemy." I'm still going to argue with you loudly and vehemently, but, you know, in a nicer way.

--

I yell about the Mac and state things strongly, with plenty of hyperbole, because I am trying to start a revolution. Let me be clear: I believe in what I'm saying, and I don't stake out bizarre positions just to create controversy. I say things strongly to make the point that I believe in them strongly. It's very hard to convince anyone of your passion by whispering, unless you're the Godfather.

I know it looks like I have the world's biggest ego, with the Lotus and the app and the bragging and the FLAVEN, but that's not the intent. I simply want to say, "Here is what I have achieved. Here are all my cards. This level of success is available to you, and I will help you every step of the way if you embrace this revolution." I'm like those guys on late-night TV with the big smiles and the real estate and the "Would you like to make $10,000, $15,000, even $20,000 a MONTH from your OWN HOME with NO MONEY DOWN and NO EFFORT except SITTING ON YOUR COUCH and EATING CHEEZ-ITS and occasionally ROLLING YOURSELF OVER to prevent BEDSORES?"

There are still people who contact me and say, "I'm kind of thinking about maybe writing a program for the Mac... is it possible to make a living that way?" Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. I'm going to keep yelling it until everyone hears me. But please don't take offense if you don't want to join in the fun.

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29 Comments:

Anonymous Thomas said...

The title of this post should be "Quelle horreur !".

December 01, 2006 9:39 AM

 
Blogger Kevin Hoctor said...

Wil, your stories about your success with Delicious Monster inspired me to dump my day job programming for Windows and take a chance on writing for the Mac again (my previous Mac app shipped in 1986). I just couldn't take one more day wasted coding around the bugs in the Redmond code swamp.

I launched No Thirst Software on November 1, 2006 and this past month has been the most fun I've had in the past 25 years. Thanks for reinforcing my belief that I could make a living making software exclusively for the Mac!

December 01, 2006 10:31 AM

 
Anonymous Daniel Brauer said...

Mac zealotry is a combination of vices, but I think the one that really bothers me is when otherwise level-headed Mac-users revel in Windows' failures. Mac OS might be better, but it's far from perfect, and Apple needs decent competition in order to have any incentive to improve. Repeat after me: "Everything that Microsoft does badly is something that Apple doesn't have to do well."

December 01, 2006 12:38 PM

 
Anonymous Matt Tavares said...

I do hate me some Windows like McAdams loves Gosling

I love it when you use Andy Sandburg references.

December 01, 2006 1:09 PM

 
Anonymous Brian Amerige said...

I'm only 16, but Wil's advice has already had a big impact (without him even knowing it).

For the most part, I want to be where you are, and I don't think 16 is too early to start.

Keep up the great advice, controversial topics, and all out awesomeness. (It's what make's life fun, after all.)

~Brian Amerige.

December 01, 2006 2:06 PM

 
Anonymous Mark Stultz said...

I think this is the first Wil Shipley apology I've heard of.

December 01, 2006 2:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daniel Brauer said...

"Everything that Microsoft does badly is something that Apple doesn't have to do well."

If that is true why does Apple do so much well, you assume that Apple just wants to make money and not a good product, with that attitude, my guess is you must work MS :-)

December 02, 2006 3:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's "Quelle horreur!" to ya, Fishmeal.

-Yer friendly phrench spelling pedant

December 02, 2006 4:04 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are so funny :)
nice articles.

if i had to learn 1 programming language, which would you recommend?

December 02, 2006 12:28 PM

 
Anonymous alex said...

Another thing is that in the Coding Horrors article, they quote your PowerPoint presentation. You were talking in generalizations, which brings to mind a conundrum:
To every generalization, there is an exception, but that in itself is a generalization so there must be an exception to it.

December 02, 2006 9:00 PM

 
Blogger Abhi Beckert said...

Looking over his post, apart from "I'm out to prove Wil Shipley wrong" and "Them's fightin' words", he doesn't actually write anything that disagrees with anything you say.

A few of the comments do, but mostly it's just a good list of free/cheap windows apps.

Apart from the fact that you were generalizing, I doubt there's anything you said that isn't absolutely true for the vast majority of windows users.

December 04, 2006 3:07 AM

 
Blogger Chicken Blood said...

I can't remember your exact words, but in that podcast Will, you suggested that developing software on Windows was a horrible nightmare. Of course you also made it clear that your experience of developing software on Windows was with Win32 API/MFC.

...and they are horrible.

I'm sure you don't care to Wil, but if you take a look again, you'll find that Microsoft have learnt a lot of hard lessons from the old days. C# (designed by the designer of Delphi) with .NET is much more of a pleasure to code in and yes, even Objective-C/Cocoa could learn some things here. (The reverse is also true of course).

Nevertheless, your "single-minded zealotry" notwithstanding, it's a great blog.

December 04, 2006 9:53 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Checken Blood, if you're an ADC member, download the Objective-C 2.0 overview session from WWDC2006 and you'll find that Apple is definitely improving the language. Check out this article for some nice things to think about.

December 06, 2006 7:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started a shareware business. Not my day 2 day work yet. I do listen to everyone, and a lot of what Wil says is the truth. One thing I did not do as Wil said, I actually put effort in making both a windows and Mac OS X version.

So far I have sold 2 windows versions, and quite a lot of Mac OS X. Guess which version might get dropped ?

www.studlar.net

December 06, 2006 8:33 AM

 
Blogger Chicken Blood said...

download the Objective-C 2.0 overview session from WWDC2006 and you'll find that Apple is definitely improving the language.

Thanks, I have already read these resources. There will be some interesting improvements, no doubt. I'm not so sure about the usefulness of "Optional/required protocol methods", unless they are designed to replace delegates completely, which may not be a bad thing.

I'm also not convinced about either the implementation or adoption of GC code unless the whole of Cocoa goes GC and Apple throw their weight behind it. Maybe you could blog some more on that Wil?

December 06, 2006 11:09 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Maybe you could blog some more on that Wil?
I cannot, actually. Time will tell, but I won't.

December 06, 2006 2:18 PM

 
Anonymous Stephen W. Carson said...

I've been looking for opportunities to develop something small but useful for the Mac, primarily as a way to get me back into Mac programming, and I ran across what seems a surprising gap in the Mac dev tools world. I wanted to do a compare between two directories (I had iTunes copy my huge iTunes Library folder and wanted to make sure nothing was lost). I tried FileMerge, it failed. (The whole app didn't crash but the operation simply silently failed.) I figured I could just pull down some great app and looked and looked. I ended up using a cross-platform app that did the job but was thoroughly un-Mac. Is there a great app that Mac developers use for this? Is FileMerge usually good enough? I'm wondering if there is an opportunity to do a Mac-style re-think of this essential dev tool. (I like the functionality of Beyond Compare on Windows but think it could be done in a much more pleasing style.)

December 06, 2006 9:58 PM

 
Blogger Michael Babin said...

To every generalization, there is an exception, but that in itself is a generalization so there must be an exception to it.

Put more succinctly:

Every generalization has at least one exception, including this one.

December 07, 2006 9:10 AM

 
Blogger Chicken Blood said...

Maybe you could blog some more on that Wil?
I cannot, actually. Time will tell, but I won't.


A-ha. Meaning..?

December 07, 2006 10:48 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A-ha. Meaning..?
Meaning Wil signed an NDA, so he isn't allowed to talk about any information not already released by Apple.

December 07, 2006 1:01 PM

 
Blogger Daniel Gobera said...

It's funny how the post at Coding Horror helps make the point of how Mac developers do realize that aesthetics and enjoyability are really important.

Just look at the websites of the "small windows apps" he links to. I don't know about the actual apps, maybe they're great, I haven't tried them. But an app's website is the first impression you get, and these have the purest old-style windows look. You know, rounded borders take more effort.

Mac developers put a lot of effort in the details, both in the app and in the website. Even one-guy companies won't stop working until everything looks awesome and all the details have been polished. Just to mention some examples, among of my favorite are: Panic, Quicksilver, Adium, Omni, and that.. what was the name? delicious something...

I wonder up to what level this is due to the example from the respective parent company.

December 08, 2006 1:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on now .. join me .. let's all worship the big Shipley ;-)

Really, Wil, what you've achieved is interesting. Yet, it would be even more convincing if you'd stop the boring self-promotion. Because self-promotion is something for people who don't really have substance in their ideas and concepts .. and you sure would say you have some, right?

December 09, 2006 6:04 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[i]self-promotion is something for people who don't really have substance in their ideas and concepts[/i]

I think everybody on earth who's ever taken a marketing or communications class would have a few things to say about that idea.

December 09, 2006 1:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops. Call Al Gore, he needs a lesson in science versus politics.

December 11, 2006 10:36 AM

 
Anonymous Jed said...

Off topic: Would love to hear your perpsective on Macheist sometime. It's all getting a little heated out there and a little extra warmth on these long winter nights would be such fun. ;-)

BTW, does you participation mean V2 is nearly ready?

December 13, 2006 10:43 AM

 
Anonymous Mark Stultz said...

jed:

http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2006/12/13/6275

December 13, 2006 1:49 PM

 
Anonymous Mark Stultz said...

Guess I should have linked it.

December 13, 2006 1:50 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Oops. Call Al Gore, he needs a lesson in science versus politics.

I'm not sure I follow your point. You link to an article where a bunch of politicians have said that they think we are slightly less screwed than they thought we were last year. Then a scientist refutes that.

You didn't read this, did you? I'm betting you saw a headline saying "Global warming may not be as bad as all that," and just jumped at the chance to cling to your current beliefs.

Well, keep that head in the sand, pal. Hopefully you can keep it up for fifty or so years.

December 14, 2006 3:40 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ anonymous

"Because self-promotion is something for people who don't really have substance in their ideas and concepts..."

Where did you learn this idiotic drivel...

Not comparing Wil to the following company but Einstein, Mark Twain, Plato, Jesus, Ghandi were huge self-promoters. Anyone who argues for their thoughts to be heard and considered is self-promoting.

You think ideas and dreams just fly out of your bedroom and find the world on their own... moron.

December 16, 2006 1:22 PM

 

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