If there’s any doubt that Mac OS X is heart of the Macintosh platform from this day forward, a look at the plethora of courses and sessions at next week’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference should dispel such thoughts.
WWDC runs May 6-10 in San Jose, CA. Not only does Apple promise attendees the chance to “be the first to explore the powerful new capabilities of the next major release of Mac OS X,” there will be over 100 in-depth technical sessions, special events and activities, most of which revolve around Mac OS X.
On Monday, May 6, from 2-3 pm, Apple will deliver a “Mac OS X: State of the Union” address. The session will introduce Mac OS X’s latest capabilities and highlight key features and changes in the Cocoa and Carbon frameworks. There’s no word on who is delivering the speech.
Other sessions will look at advances to Darwin, the UNIX-based core of Mac OS X. The Carbon and Cocoa development environments will, of course, receive lots of attention. At least one session promises to highlight “key features and changes in the Cocoa and Carbon frameworks.” Topics covered include enhancements to archiving, accessibility, text, localization, scripting, user interface and Carbon/Cocoa interaction.
WWDC will see over 25 sessions about Mac OS X’s Java implementation, and Apple’s Java-based application server, WebObjects. The new operating system provides, as Apple describes it, “a highly-optimized, tightly integrated implementation of Java 2 Standard Edition 1.3.1, including the client version of the HotSpot virtual machine.”
Attendees at the developer conference will be able to get up close and personal with Mac OS X development tools, such as Project Builder and Interface Builder. Apple’s tools suite includes a foundation set of the familiar UNIX gcc compilers, source code editors, perl and shell tools, along with an advanced integrated development environment, a graphical editor for building Aqua user interfaces and robust performance analysis/optimization tools. Also supplied with the package is AppleScript Studio, a professional level AppleScript application development kit featuring full debugging and source code management.
Graphics and imaging technologies will be covered, including Quartz and OpenGL. Naturally, QuickTime will be covered in depth, as well as a QT for Java overview. Hopefully, there’ll even be some updated info on how efforts to resolve the licensing issues over MPEG-4 are progressing.
Apple will also host sessions on new development opportunities presented by Mac OS X Server and security issues will also be addressed. Of course, everyone’s first exposure to Mac OS X is the Aqua interface — several sessions will cover the user interface. There will also be an opportunity to look at accessibility issues. The session will highlight the latest developments in this area, including new Accessibility APIs (application programming interfaces) coming to Mac OS X.
Still other sessions will cover AppleScript, internationalization, audio technologies, Web Development and more.
Not all WWDC topics revolve around software, however. Hardware sessions will look at FireWire, USB, AirPort, Bluetooth and more. At least one session will look at technologies and standards that allow interaction with other platforms, including wireless technologies such as 802.11 and Bluetooth. The future of FireWire, including 1394b and protocols such as FireWire Audio and IP over FireWire, will also covered.
A variety of WWDC labs and lounges will offer conference attendees an informal venue for meeting with Apple technology specialists. Labs will include the QuickTime Engineering Lab, Hardware Lab, Human Interface Lab, Mac OS X Lab and WebObjects & Java Lab. What’s more, there’ll be a presentation by Pixar, Jobs’ other company, on Thursday, May 9.