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Posted by tightbeam
Feb 25, 2015 at 10:48 PM

 

I don’t wish to start a religious war, and I mean this question in all sincerity: why are so many top-flight outliners and other types of writing software written exclusively for Mac, and never (with the notable exception of Scrivener) re-coded for Windows? Given that there are so many more Windows users than Mac users, I’d think it would make economic sense to code for Windows, or at least code first for Windows and then deal with Mac later. Admittedly, I don’t know whether coding for Mac is easier than coding for Windows. I’d love to get some insight!

 


Posted by jaslar
Feb 25, 2015 at 11:07 PM

 

I can’t speak to the relative difficulty of coding on each platform, but I do remember reading that Mac users have some distinct differences from Windows users. First, they buy, and use, more software. (Windows users tended to settle on Microsoft Office, and just a handful of others.) Second, because the platform is smaller than Windows, Apple (Mac and iOS) developers felt they were more likely to be noticed. Third, it used to be (although I hear this is not so much true now), they felt that that Apple worked well with them on the App Store.

But yeah, I’d like some of the Mac apps on Windows (and Linux), too.

 


Posted by Dominik Holenstein
Feb 26, 2015 at 09:01 AM

 

A very good question and a great response from Jaslar!

I suppose that most software developed for OSX is based on system specific technology (Cocooa for example). This means that a migration of the code to other platforms like Windows or Linux is not possible or related to a huge and expensive workload one can’t afford. Further, many specific apps are being developed by one person. So they don’t have the resources to develop for different systems.
An example of an app that is available for OSX only and I have been waiting for a Windows version for ages is Tinderbox. There is a hint on their website that they are working on the Windows version for Tinderbox but I personally don’t believe that we will see it soon. Tinderbox is designed and developed by one single person: Mark Bernstein. I have a MacBook Air in the meantime and the first app I purchased was Tinderbox.
I understand all OSX developers who don’t develop for other systems just because I know how difficult and complex software development can be. Apps like Tinderbox are very, very complex and developing it for different platforms with the same features increases the complexity manyfold.

If the developer uses a framework like Java or Qt then then he or she can create an app which runs on OSX and Windows. But even then you can’t just write one version, each system still needs some specific configuration.
A good example for an app that runs on Windwos and OSX including ALL functionality on both platforms is TheBrain. The initial development was on Windows with C++. Then they decided to re-code it with Java which was a very wise decision. The Java foundation makes it possible not even to develop for different systems but also to create a secure web-based app including file sync.

Dominik

 


Posted by Paul Korm
Feb 26, 2015 at 10:21 AM

 

It is interesting that Windows users often ask why such-and-such app on OS X hasn’t been ported to Windows.  I don’t recall often coming across the opposite question, why this-or-that Windows app hasn’t been ported to OS X.  ConnectedText?  Would it ever get a Mac port?

I think the motivation for Mac-centric developers changed with the iPhone and then the iPad.  To develop for iOS one needs to work on OS X with Apple’s developer framework.  So that’s a starting point for a lot of development today.  After a successful iOS app is launched, then a subset of the iOS developers begin looking at porting their work to OS X—iThoughts, Notebooks, etc.  Those stages of a developing business solidify the Mac-directed focus.  A subset of the subset then moves on to Windows.  Notebooks, again. 

But the portion of App Store products that have an iOS/OS X/Windows product offering is probably vanishingly small.  As mentioned above, it’s very expensive to have a new product team and support team for all three OS platforms.  For non-Java work, the return on investment diminishes rapidly each time a new OS is supported.

Over here, I run Windows 8 on my MacBook Air.  That’s the best way to get one’s feet wet in all the oceans of software.  Too bad it’s so dauntingly more difficult to run OS X in a VM on Windows.

 


Posted by Hugh
Feb 26, 2015 at 12:28 PM

 

jaslar wrote:
I can’t speak to the relative difficulty of coding on each platform, but
>I do remember reading that Mac users have some distinct differences from
>Windows users. First, they buy, and use, more software. (Windows users
>tended to settle on Microsoft Office, and just a handful of others.)
>Second, because the platform is smaller than Windows, Apple (Mac and
>iOS) developers felt they were more likely to be noticed. Third, it used
>to be (although I hear this is not so much true now), they felt that
>that Apple worked well with them on the App Store.
>


It also used to be said that Apple encouraged independent Mac developers in other ways. For example, Scrivener on the Mac is partly built from kits of “components” originally provided, I believe, by Apple; in addition, I remember on at least one occasion in the past, Scrivener’s developer Keith Blount was able to raise technical issues he’d encountered directly with software engineers at Apple. At the time this seemed to be in contrast with procedures at Microsoft, though whether it was I can’t say. And I also don’t know whether these distinctions between Apple and MS still prevail.
>But yeah, I’d like some of the Mac apps on Windows (and Linux), too.

 


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