On the Developers Side
What of the software developers Wentworth, Gray and others are waiting on?
According to Peter McClard, CEO and president of Gluon Inc., a Maplewood, N.J.-based developer of plug-ins for QuarkXPress and other applications, revising their products for the move to Mac OS X will not be a major problem. "Weve had a couple of our XTensions that provide a bridge to Adobe Photoshop break" when the version of Adobes image-editing application is running native on Mac OS X at the same time XPress is running in Classic. "Other than that, its been flawless," he said.
The process, so far, he said, has consisted mainly of recompiling their products to Apples Carbon set of APIs. Compared to this, he said, the move from XPress 3 to 4 was "a big headache."
However, McClard said he realizes that it may not be so easy for all XTensions, especially those that work with old file formats, database connectivity and the like. In addition, he said, hes sure that the forced march to using Classic instead of Mac OS 9 booting will have repercussions for complex workflows.
These sentiments were echoed by Dennis McGuire, CEO of Managing Editor Inc., which makes XPress and Adobe InDesign XTensions and plug-ins designed for high-end publishing use. McGuire also said that other problems might slow the Carbonization of ancillary but critical software, which would in turn slow the "every piece in place" requirements of people like Wentworth.
"No one wants to be the first to update an XTension," said Bob Baldwin, the Jenkintown, Pa., companys vice president of technology. "Then theres a fix for QuarkXPress, the XTension breaks ..." he said, noting that developers face the same challenges creating plug-ins for Adobe software.
"This is part of the game," McGuire interjected. "Were not complaining."
This "after you" dance, McGuire said, is just one reason high-end publishers havent embraced Mac OS X. Because of the "deadline-critical" nature of their work, he said, "publishers are never the first to adopt Apple of Quark technology."
As if to prove the point, Wentworth said that if Apple does indeed eliminate the Mac OS 9 boot option, his company will purchase only one or two machines as test beds; it could be a year, he said, "until were satisfied."
Daniel Drew Turner, a frequent contributor to eWEEK, can be reached at email@example.com.
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