WWDC 2006 coming up

“John Siracusa rants a bit”:http://arstechnica.com/staff/fatbits.ars/2006/7/21/4727 about the lack of access to WWDC for non-attendees. I agree that the session DVDs, sample code, and other resources should be made available to everyone. But there is so much to the conference that can’t be bottled up for later.

I have been extremely lucky to have been able to attend WWDC for each of the last 5 years with “VitalSource”:http://www.vitalsource.com/, and a few years off and on before that. I think my first WWDC was 1996, which also makes next week my 10th anniversary of attending.

1996 was “Copland”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copland, the middle of the dark years for Apple. It was strange to be a Mac developer back then, to stay optimistic in the face of a barrage of bad press. I think it helped that I was “part of a small team”:http://www.purity.com/ that was passionate about this stuff. We couldn’t imagine building Windows software, although we did dabble in BeOS pretty extensively.

So, on to my hopes for this year. First, I have no idea what will be in Leopard. Like many people, I hope for some Finder improvements and an effort to bring the fragmented window and control types back together. I also assume that Leopard will have nice new features, and that those features will have developer APIs to go along with them.

Second, for the last couple of years I’ve believed that a Mac tablet is forthcoming. Tiger introduced two core pieces to this: handwriting recognition and portrait mode. “Patent rumors”:http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.php/archive/buzz_apples_new_accelerometer_patent_reveals_a_stunning_tablet_pc/ continue to hint at such a device. Judging by how many designers and animators have embraced the Windows-based Tablet PCs (for which the hardware mostly still sucks), I think an Apple-designed tablet could be extremely popular. This is the only piece of hardware I would literally buy on day 1.

Going to WWDC? Say “hi” if you see someone who “looks like this”:http://www.manton.org/me/293.jpg.