Security, being different key Mac draws

Security ranks as a key, if pragmatic, reason for being a Macintosh developer but so does the idealistic one of "being different".

Security ranks as a key, if pragmatic, reason for being a Macintosh developer but so does the idealistic one of “being different”.

About 20 “Macaphiles” gathered for the South Pacific Mac Developers Conference in Auckland last week. They included those who develop for niche markets such as the music industry, those who are e-commerce solutions providers, and some who do Mac development for sheer pleasure.

Detlef Hebbel, the director of Auckland-based Internet eCommerce, says security is a major advantage of the Macintosh platform.

Internet eCommerce is an e-business and web development company which uses Apple Macintosh tools to develop applications such as online shopping carts and hosted databases. Customers run a variety of platforms including Windows and Unix.

Hebbel acts as an application service provider running four servers on which reside customer databases Despite constant assaults by viruses, none get through, he says.

He also finds the Apple environment easy to work in. As someone with a background in marketing, he subcontracts work to a Macintosh developer but does some programming himself.

Andrew Lindesay mainly works on PCs in his development job, but enjoys developing freeware and shareware on the Mac. He adds that he’d like to get back into product development.

He’s at the cutting edge, having used the latest development tools and methodologies such as Mac OS X with Unix, WebObjects and Cocoa when working overseas.

“They’re extremely compelling for development of business applications and business web applications. There’s about a 10-fold increase in productivity over previous tools.”

Lindesay is also looking at Objective C, a language that Cocoa works with. “It has a very different object model to Java and is a lot more flexible and powerful to work with. You can express things a lot better than with Java or C++.”

Overall he says he likes developing on the Mac. “At the end of the day the products you produce are good-looking, easy to use and rich in features. I’ve done Windows development before and the contrast is quite dramatic.”

Phil Smith, a Mac equipment and services supplier, chooses to develop on the Mac because it’s “an exciting and great environment to develop on. It has some great tools such as AppleScript and some exciting things are happening on OS X but part of it is just being different.”

Bruce Ralph, who runs Metro Mac Apple Centre, says PC developers should take a look what’s possible with the Mac.

He says he has also had queries from business users considering using Apple servers to combat viruses.

A register of Australasian Mac professionals has been published at Australasian Resources for Macintosh Professionals to help them stay in touch.

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