Q&A with Rentzsch

The Macalope felt Jonathan “Wolf” Rentzsch’s explanation of why he was canceling the C4 conference left some unanswered questions, so he took them to the man himself.
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MACALOPE: As the guy behind ClickToFlash (thank you for that, by the way), you don’t seem to have any real love of Adobe’s great gift to the Internet (which they made purely out of the goodness of their hearts, they’ll have you know). So the Macalope is assuming this is less about Flash and more about the free market principles violated by Section 3.3.1. Is that a fair statement? Anything you’d like to add to that?

RENTZSCH: It isn’t about flash (you’ve already noticed ClickToFlash) or free market principles (though I believe Apple will eventually need to tear down the walls on their garden under competitive pressure), it’s about advancing software engineering.

Apple has a bad track record of advancing software engineering. Objective-C 2.0 catches them up to 1995. 3.3.1 means we’ll be forever behind the curve.

MacRuby is the most exciting thing in a decade to come to Apple programmers. Politically iPhone devs can’t use it thanks to 3.3.1 (whether it’s ready for iPhone technically is another discussion).

MACALOPE: The majority of developers are probably not incensed by Section 3.3.1 because they never planned to use a cross-platform IDE anyway and have experienced years of abuse at the hands of Flash. So why should they care?

RENTZSCH: It’s not about cross-platform. It’s about writing Mac and iPhone software *better*. Less code. Less crashes. Faster-than-C runtime speed. Much greater dev speed.

Look, code is UI to programmers. Apple devs have been stuck on Windows 3.11. 3.3.1 means things won’t be getting better.

MACALOPE: It doesn’t seem to the Macalope like anything’s going to change until developers start walking. Any plans on getting out of the business of developing on Apple’s platforms or focusing on other platforms?

RENTZSCH: I’ve always done both Mac and Web programming. The brain damage in both communities tends to counteract the other. I’m focusing more on the web now, specifically Cappuccino and node.js. It’s feels great. Haven’t felt this good in years.

MACALOPE: The Macalope hasn’t followed your blog or Twitter closely but he did go back over them and didn’t see a huge amount of commentary on 3.3.1. Have you opined on it elsewhere? If not, doesn’t it seem odd to expect outrage from the rest of the development community when you yourself haven’t been noticeably vocal about it until now?

RENTZSCH: I usually yell about Apple stuff.

3.3.1 broke my spirit to the extent I gave up.

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The Macalope thanks Wolf for his responses. Also, he’s got a brief follow-up posted to his blog now which clarifies his position further.