You’ve almost certainly seen the rumour this week about a potential cross-platform AppKit replacement code named Marzipan. It all started with this article by Mark Gurman and while he’s had great success with predictions the past, let’s just keep in mind that everything that is being written on this subject this week is based on one article which is nothing more than a rumour.
That said, the rumour does fit well with my thoughts on the future of macOS. I’ve talked several times here about how I believe we’ll eventually see iOS in some form on a device with a form factor more like a traditional laptop/desktop, and if true, this is a step towards that potential future.
If the default development environment for tomorrow’s macOS uses iOS compatible frameworks, then it opens the doors to an eventual retiring of macOS without having to abandon all of the amazing software on the platform. What happens to AppKit if we get to that point? It’s probably going to go the same way as Carbon, but don’t worry too much about that because if that happens (and it’s still a huge if) it’ll be many, many years away. Will any transition be a lot of work for macOS developers? Absolutely. Will it be worth it? I’m not sure that can be answered yet but I think there’s a very bright future for Mac software that becomes possible in a future where this happens.
My main disappointment this week though has been the hugely negative reaction to this on Twitter. Most complaints focus on sustainability of macOS software with fears of customers being conditioned by universal iPhone/iPad apps to then have an expectation of getting the macOS app bundled in with their $0.99 purchase. Sustainability for small software businesses is a huge issue, but when we have been bemoaning the lack of attention that the Mac has been getting for so long, to immediately treat something like this (which, if true, shows an unbelievable commitment to macOS software) so negatively seems crazy. Are we ever happy?
I’m personally excited about the possibility of this rumour being true and for the future of the Mac if it is.
As usual, iOS Dev Weekly will be taking its annual break next week for the holidays. I hope you all also manage to take some time away from your computers to spend some time with friends and family and I’d like to thank you all for continuing to read what we publish here every week! Happy Holidays and here’s to a great 2018! ?