[Twisted-Python] We have Apple's ear

Glyph Lefkowitz glyph at twistedmatrix.com
Wed Jan 29 13:38:56 EST 2003

On Tue, 28 Jan 2003 15:15:00 -0800 (PST), Cory Dodt <corydodt at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Not really . . . but _I_ do, and you have my ear.

This is great.  As those who subscribe to my personal list no doubt know, I
have some frustration with apple, and some of this is due to the difficulty
I've had trying to get in contact with people "on the inside" through
traditional channels.  Hopefully your sales contact will be a bit more
forthcoming than support at apple.com! :-)

> If you could ask Apple to change stuff which would make your life easier as a
> Python developer, what would you ask?

Purely as a Python software developer, Bob Ippolito's comments are spot-on.  I
don't know why they've been missing this, since it seems the whole python/mac
community feels this way.  For emphasis, I will repeat the most salient points

On Tue, 28 Jan 2003 19:05:45 -0500, Bob Ippolito <bob at redivi.com> wrote:

> What Apple needs to do, for god's sake, is allow Jack Jansen 
> <Jack.Jansen at oratrix.com> to maintain the Python build in darwin and OS 
> X proper.  Or at least consult with him before releasing something.

> Apple er.. screwed up a lot of ./configure options when building the 
> 2.2 build that ships with OS X.  If the thing was built properly it'd 
> be ready to do full GUI applications (Modules to interface with 
> CoreFoundation, Carbon, etc), it even builds a GUI application launcher 
> *and* an IDE!

I'd like to add to this that Python support included in Apple's dist of
ProjectBuilder, even if it were something as trivial as syntax highlighting,
would really be a nice thing.

Back to your comments:

> The product is being built on a foundation of pyopenssl, cog, pybsddb,
> pycrypto, and twisted.  Are any of these less than perfect on a Mac?  Are
> there specific ways Apple can help make this situation better?

Twisted?  Less than perfect?  Of COURSE not!  Unless of course imperfection
means I can milk this opportunity for HUGE CASH PAYOFFS, in which case yes,
it's full of problems, I'll just, ahem, come up with some.

Seriously, the biggest problem with Twisted on the mac is that we're still very
much living in a Unix mindset, and we have no platform-idiomatic tools for
either development or deploying applications on OS X.  I'm upset that I haven't
had enough time to work on Twisted as a platform (porting an application to a
platform like OS X ought to be a complete no-brainer, but it clearly isn't!),
and if Apple were willing to throw some resources my way I might build the
Cocoa front-end to COIL before rewriting the web one.  I'd sure like to have an
excuse, especially a paid excuse, to write apps using IB.

This is really more on the level of making my life more fun, and *Apple's* life
"easier".  I think that an integrated, GUI-friendly Twisted dist on MacOS would
be an awesome server-side compliment to Safari, possibly a killer app, but that
opinion may not be shared by Apple's higher-ups; this is a pipe dream.

(Folks from other platforms: to be clear, I'm not really interested in
including *exclusive* functionality for the mac, but I wouldn't mind building
it *enhanced* for the mac and building TTW interfaces after the fact.)

> I'll take the best suggestions and bring them to light when I have my
> conversation.  Thanks for any help!

I hope that this is relevant :-).

> Just a list of things I plan to ask for anyway (in no particular order):

It's expensive to develop apps for the mac, because it's expensive to own and
maintain a mac.  I think that almost all the Twisted developers could use some
support in these areas.

The most deserving developers in this regard are Donovan Preston and Bob
Ippolito, both Mac users who are already developing Twisted apps on that
platform.  However, they may be among those requiring the least assistance ;-)

> * hardware

I've got a way-too-damn-expensive Power Macintosh that I haven't had the
opportunity to use for much MacOS stuff because it's running Linux most of the
time (due to aforementioned lacks in the Apple dev. env.).  Obviously, more
hardware from Apple is better!  I would especially like a 14-inch powerbook to
replace my x86 laptop.

However, even given my existing Apple hardware, I'm unlikely to spend any of my
own time volunteering to enhance Apple's operating system with Twisted if I
have to keep shelling out $129.95 every few months for the privilege.  I would
really appreciate a no-cost license to Apple's software offerings, or at least
enough of them to do GUI application development with Twisted.

> * money

Since I'm not paying rent on a credit card yet :-), either this or hardware
might convince me to spend some time on a Mac-specific project to enhance

Honestly, for your application, I doubt that this is a priority.  It is
something I've thought Apple might be interested in for a while, but I haven't
had the cognitive bandwidth to get enough accomplished to attract Apple's
attention about it.

> * engineers to fix Mac-related bugs in Twisted (or other dependencies)
> directly ... the list could provide me with a log of a run of trial to help
> here

As far as I know, we really do have relatively few of these.  As Mr. Ippolito
said, the system works fine as is and several people use their Macs to write
Twisted code.

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