Let’s talk a little about Marzipan.
Naturally the last few weeks have been full of speculation about what it means for future versions of both iOS and macOS. Is this the start of a transition to ARM based Macs or touch screen “laptop” style devices? I’d say both of those are quite possible in the next few years. Is this the beginning of the end for AppKit? Maybe, eventually? Could AppKit eventually host UIKit views rather than being completely separate? Possibly! Will UIKit be extended to include more laptop and desktop exclusive controls? I’d say this is very likely.
Then, what about that rumour from the end of April of a new declarative UI framework? If Apple is putting all of this effort into UIKit on macOS is that rumour automatically false? Absolutely not. I’d say that even if there is a completely new, declarative framework in development somewhere inside Apple that it’s quite likely that the things it produces will still be made out of UIViews. If anything, Marzipan is a really good sign that macOS might be able to join in with the declarative party, if the declarative party ever actually happens.
I also think that the work that people like Steve Troughton-Smith, Guilherme Rambo and many others are doing to uncover what Marzipan is as of today is fantastic. I’m also really glad they are doing it, but just remember that everything we have right now is based on a ten minute announcement on stage and some bits that are in early beta.
I’m personally just trying to keep in mind that we are more than a year away from version 1 of what might partially resemble what we are seeing as a result of spelunking these betas. I’m excited by what’s coming, but I’m also not going to spend a huge amount of time thinking too hard about what s being dug up today. It’s just too early. ⏳