Differences in Development

Development platforms for various operating systems and communities is a “sort of” past time of mine. I like to take a look at the various communities and technologies being used around the technology industry.

As a quick aside, is the term “technology industry” even useful anymore? Technology is used in so many different areas of life that maybe trying to lump all companies using technology as part of the “technology industry” is really quite ridiculous and limiting. Maybe.

Alright, back to the main topic.

I find Apple’s development tools and community to be completely and totally fascinating. The idea that the base of iOS and OS X development today can be traced all of the way back to NeXT and NeXTSTEP in the late 80s is almost ridiculous in a time where new frameworks and languages seemingly are popping up every day.

Just this morning I was typing NSMutableArray into Xcode and, look at that, the NS stands for NeXTSTEP!

Apple is still using Objective-C and they are continuing to develop that language at an increasing pace. That’s commitment to a platform. I guess you could expect that from a company that still calls its desktop computers Macs, which harkens back to 1984.

I counter the above about Apple with my experience on the web. It seems that every week there is a new web language, or web framework, or CSS pre-parser, or … you get the idea. I understand that the web is younger than the desktop development, but the shifting sands of the web are both exhilarating and frustrating.

The rapid pace of change (even when people within the web community decry how slow things move) can mean that nothing ever has time to actually, you know, mature to the point of being useful. Or if it does, the technology (where I think Rails might be getting to at the moment) is pilloried as too old, slow, and bad to use for anything serious.

Huh?

I can understand wanting to continue to push things forward, but there is something to be said to being consistent and moving what has been done ahead through hard work and dedication. Are we really so naive as to think that we need to continually make the same mistakes in the name of progress?