[C4 release];

I want to write the best possible software.

There are two directions from which I approach this goal: the top-down and the bottom-up.

From the bottom-up, I crave better tools.

Software engineering is advancing, albeit at a glacial pace. I spend most of my days writing in languages and using tools that were obsolete over a decade ago.

From the top-down, I want my software to be exceptionally easy to use.

I discovered a group of like-minded people in the Apple programming community. This community has a maniacal focus on user experience unlike anything else I’ve seen. I love it.

An unfortunate side-effect of this focus seems to be far less attention towards making software better from the bottom-up.

C4 was billed as a Mac indie conference, but at its core C4 was a computer science conference.

I believed the best way to move software forward was to inform Apple programmers about better ways to build software — to infect the best top-downer minds with fertile discontent.

My hope was that developers would care primarily about user experience yet also be passionate about utilizing lingual and tooling advances.

C4 was my attempt to push on the Apple community from the bottom-up.

With that background in place, I hope you can understand how Section 3.3.1 has broken my spirit.

Apple is crazy-innovative in terms of hardware and software design, but I can count the total number of software engineering advances they’ve made on one hand.

Section 3.3.1 makes developers wholly reliant on Apple for software engineering innovation.

By itself Section 3.3.1 wasn’t enough to cause me to quit C4. I’ve weathered Apple lying to me and their never-ending series of autocratic App Store shenanigans.

But unlike previous issues such as the senseless iPhone SDK NDA, the majority of the community isn’t riled by 3.3.1. On this issue, Apple apologists have the loudest voice. They offer soothing, distracting yet fundamentally irrelevant counterpoints to Apple’s naked power-grab.

With resistance to Section 3.3.1 so scattershot and meek, it’s become clear that I haven’t made the impact I wanted with C4. It’s also clear my interests and the Apple programming community’s interests are farther apart than I had hoped.

I give my heartfelt gratitude to the C4 volunteers, speakers and attendees. The best thing I can say about C4 is that I know it changed many lives for the better, including mine.

c4 May 12 2010