Derrick Story has
posted an interview
with Watson developer Dan Wood on The O’Reilly Network’s Mac Dev Center. Part of a new “Developing for Mac OS X” series posted to the site, the interview was conducted to help give Mac developers some practical technical and business perspective.
Wood talks a bit about his own role in the continuing development of Watson — an information retrieval utility designed to work with Web sites. He also talks about his business role at Karelia Software LLC, Watson’s developer and publisher.
Among many other topics in the two-page interview, Wood is asked about Sherlock 3 — Apple’s own Web information retrieval utility. Part of Mac OS X 10.2, Sherlock 3 seems to borrow some concepts from Watson — an issue not lost on Wood, who initially thought about winding down development of Watson after Sherlock 3 was announced.
Calling the relationship between Sherlock 3 and Watson “just the tip of the iceberg,” Wood suggested that Apple and third-party Mac software developers need to better delineate what each of them will and won’t do to avoid stepping one each others toes.
“I think Apple has a long way to go in terms of developer relations. Apple has helped some companies build themselves up, but others they have harmed greatly,” said Wood.
“Apple could do so very much to build up a healthy economy of Mac developers and cross-promote their products, but they only seem to push the products from the big companies that they need in order for the Mac to survive, like Microsoft and Adobe,” he said.
Despite Karelia’s own setbacks competing against Sherlock 3 and his reservations about Apple’s support of small third party developers, Wood advised developers with good ideas to go for it. “It is possible to make a living and build a successful software company, even in today’s economy, even deploying on a ‘minority’ operating system like the Mac, even Mac OS X only,” he said.