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The Thin Blurred Line

by Derrick Story
Mac Newsletter for 07/18/2003

Dear Mac Reader,

On the Mac platform, what's the difference between a creative pro, working developer, Unix hacker, and guru power user? These are labels constantly applied to conferences, web sites, books, mailing lists, and, well, you name it.

This question surfaced again because of my temporary residence in New York City for the Macworld CreativePro Conference. The concept for this show at the Javits Center is to create a premier meeting place for pros who use the Mac to create music, video, and graphics for print and the Web. Certainly there were lots of those people there.

The sad thing is, some people who don't consider themselves "creative pros" read the marketing and stayed away. That's a shame. They missed a good conference program and a truly friendly show floor. I had dozens of "chance encounters" that I enjoyed.

Most of those people knew about Mac DevCenter. As you know, the content on O'Reilly's Mac site spans OS X technologies from digital media to developer tools. If it weren't the Mac community, I'd say that's too wide of a span. But in our world it isn't.

Mac developers appreciate music, photography, and video. So-called creative pros rely on AppleScript, Perl, Apache, and slick little Cocoa apps to increase their productivity. Personally, this is why I prefer the Mac platform over others. It's the operating system for the modern Renaissance gear head.

To subscribe to the Mac newsletter (or any O'Reilly Network newsletters), visit and select the newsletters you wish to receive in your user profile (you'll need to log in with your existing O'Reilly Network account -- if you don't yet have an account, you'll need to create one).

My point is, in the Mac community, let's be careful about applying labels to our own kind. Yes, there are newbies, as in any technology. Generally speaking, we try not to abuse them too much. Beyond that, however, the lines of separation between us are blurred at best.

I think Macworld should be Macworld; WWDC be Apple's event; O'Reilly's Mac OS X Conference be our DevCenter gig, and let MacHack stay as it is. And if a show's content is outside our particular expertise, but inside our home town, let's support it. There's always the chance that we'll learn something new that we can apply to our endeavors.

Maybe when we're the size of the Windows universe we can start splitting off into neighborhoods. But for now, I'd prefer that we hang together and share the knowledge that each of us brings to this party we call the Macintosh.

Until next time,
Derrick Story
O'Reilly Network Managing Editor

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