The buzz in the Mac community is all about Leopard. It’s coming next week, and many users are rightfully concerned about whether their favorite apps will “just work” with the update.
I think some users are surprised to learn that many indie software developers take it for granted that “working with the next OS release” is a given, barring some extremely costly circumstance. Extremely costly circumstances include situations where, as with the debut of OS X, applications needly to be significantly redesigned or retested. For the version bumps in major OS X upgrades, developers should be happy to give free upgrades, because the updates bring so many new features to the developer’s tool kit.
OS upgrades are Apple’s greatest gift to developers. We want users to upgrade. So we should support the upgrades in our software, for free, whenever possible.
I get emails from users who have clearly been given the raw end of the deal by other companies, and I can’t decide whether I have more pity on the user or on the company that thinks it’s winning anybody’s heart by nickel-diming its customers. Just give them an update, already!
Enough Preaching – What About Red Sweater?
I’ve been running pre-release versions of Leopard as my main development OS for over 4 months, and I’ve been using and testing each of of my apps in that environment. Fortunately, the vast majority of things “just worked.” I had to make some minor tweaks to FastScripts, which I released with the last update.
Red Sweater applications are Leopard-Ready (as far as we can tell), and if any compatibility issues do come up, I expect to be able to address them quickly after Leopard is publicly released. If you’re thinking “I hope my favorite Red Sweater apps will keep working when I upgrade to Leopard,” chances are overwhelmingly good that they will.
Thanks for being my customer! Leopard is going to be awesome!
Update: It’s easy to forget, but it should go without saying that the ease with which my applications were migrated to Leopard was made possible by the hard work of hundreds of Apple employees who worked their asses off these past two years.