Related link: http://www.apple.com/webobjects/specs.html
Ok, this is NOT going to be another “Mac-tel” post, I promise. This week has been tough (and it’s only Tuesday as I write this!); us Mac developers have had ups, we’ve had downs, we’ve probably had nausea with the constant “do we care, should we care” concerning Apple and Intel’s now-formal relationship - it’s been an interesting ride so far.
But I’ve probably had a bit more fun than most. I chose this week to begin to learn about WebObjects. I know, any Mac Enterprise developer worth his salt has already hit on WebObjects being the amazing tool that it undoubtedly is. Even in my short time playing with it, it’s knocked me sideways with how intuitively easy it is to get a nice web-based application up and running. WebObjects is full of all those “wow, that’s how it should be done” features - but this posting is not about those.
So I’ll get to my point. I looked at WebObjects before today, at version 5.2.x and saw:
- Standards Compliance
- Platform Independence - you can develop and run on Windows and Mac, you can even deploy to Solaris officially
- Killer Tools for everything from a vanilla Web Application through to a Java Client Application using Java Webstart
but now I see for WebObjects 5.3:
- “Mac OS X” Standards Compliance - ok, we can still play with web services
- “Mac OS X” development tools only It “might” deploy to other platforms …. but we’re not going to make a big song and dance about it
What happened to “development on Mac and Windows”. Worse still, there is uncertainty that you can even deploy on any other platform than OS X. Seriously, I’ve got help with me on my project but I’m lucky enough to be one of the few who have a Mac; now I can’t recommend WebObjects to my Windows buddies (yep, Mac people do have those), I have to shrug and say things like “yeah, WebObjects is great - but you’d all have to use macs …”. Believe me, I’d love them all to be using Macs, but that just isn’t going to happen.
If the XCode only WebObjects is now the only WebObjects development environment then I am going to severely struggle to justify its adoption, especially with the uncertainty as to whether even the deployment of WebObjects-based application will be ok on other platforms.
So what now? Is this “just a glitch” and are Apple just moving slower with the Windows development support, or is this it for real. As an optimistic WebObjects new adopter I’d like to think there was still hope, but the realist in me is saying no. My hope, although waning, is that the helpful tools people out there in the open source community will be able to fill the WebObjects on Windows gap. For that, time will tell.
It’s a shame, it really is, if there is no longer support for WebObjects development (or potentially deployment) on other platforms. Before I stop my moaning I’d just like to say one more thing: Apple, I’ve been a Mac developer for going on 10 years and, even though I was a newbie to WebObjects, just 3 days ago looked like a killer tool for my web-based development needs. I know I was late to the party but I’m now truly sad to say that it’s looking like I’ll have to go somewhere else.
Anyone else upset by the apparent path that WebObjects is now taking? Anyone know something I don’t about Apple’s strategy for WebObjects?