Today was a very interesting keynote. There wasn’t a lot of hardware, but I’m much more interested in the software anyway. It’s great to see someone finally making Web calendaring a possibility. I really think we’ll start seeing iCal versions on conferences and other events now that there’s a client app like this. I think Smart Playlists (aka vFolders) are a great idea, although it’s a little strange they should first be debuted in iTunes. The Robin Williams / John Lassetter interview you can get for free is pretty cool too.
More generally, I think that it would be great to have some general base and APIs for the stuff in the iApps. They all are doing some attribute-based storage with fast indexing. I can imagine a lot of apps that could benefit from APIs to do this. (I wonder if hiring the BeFS guy will make this happen, since attribute-based storage is exactly what BeFS did.) It’d also be cool to have folders and Smart Folders (vFolders) available to all these applications as a component with little custom code. This kind of general data store repository is exactly what I want to do with Memesh, providing specialized views with good interfaces like the iApps provide. But what’s needed is something to hook them together and make linking easy.
Jaguar is incredibly awesome, if expensive. My machine is still under warranty, I should get it free! Oh well, I’m sure we’ll buy it any way. It’s interesting how much Apple is stealing, like great artists do. Sherlock 3 is Watson, the junk mail filter is SpamAssassin, Address Book and iCal look like Entourage cousins (not to mention SBook), Fast Finder was in SNAX or whatever it’s called, the Windows network viewer is DAVE, iChat is Adium, Backup is somewhat like Retrospect. I feel bad for the developers they’re stealing from (couldn’t they send them some cash with $4.2B in the bank?), but it’s clear that they will swallow any decent OS X apps. I wonder if I can get a job there. Working on a team like that would really be something. It’d be interesting to see if Apple does anything to sponsor innovative OS X app development, because there’s obviously a lot of good complementary ideas. Unfortunately I get the feeling that they’ll just encourage it vaguely and then steal the ideas. :-(
I admit that I shelled out the $49 for .mac while I was still under the RDF. I wanted the Backup software and Anti-Virus but they turned out to be badly-done Cocoa shims over some UNIX tools (tar, gzip and cp in the case of Backup). iCal and screen saver sharing have some appeal to me, but I already have an AIM account. I guess having some WebDAV space is good, since I haven’t found anything I can install on my Debian GNU/Linux server (let me know if you have suggestions).
Anyway, I applaude Apple on their beautiful user interfaces, clever implementations of ideas, and innovations in products. I just wish they’d do something to help out the rest of us.