Start Targeting Linux

In the spirit of A Modest Proposal, I pen this blog post in the hopes of providing not only enlightenment but also a path forward for Apple Macintosh Developers.

It's not often that I agree with Daring Fireball about an issue with Apple. I tend to be more critical of Apple than the Apple Apologia Squad. But this time John points out a major issue with Apple Macintosh development and what I think developers are (correctly) presuming: that Apple is only moments away from taking a 27% cut of all Macintosh software sales, regardless of which platform you sell it on. Apple is in the unique position to ask for this because Apple owns the entire ecosystem from the hardware it runs on to the software it'll accept. Folks in the Free/Open Source community have been crowing about this for years but apparently it takes a hit to the bottom line of developers to get their attention.

My modest proposal is this: "start targeting Linux".

I know this is not a lateral move. Things will be difficult at first. Developers will need to come to terms with the languages that Linux supports (which are most of them) and the quirks of the compilers and what-not. And they'll need to come to terms with the myriad of toolkits for Linux (My preference is GTK+ but Qt also exists). They'll also need to adapt to the current Linux marketplace. To say we have a lack of walled gardens is an understatement. In fact we have way too many gardens. We're overflowing with gardens.

I know this won't be easy but I think long-term this is the right way forward. I mean, you could target that other large-installed operating system but do you really want to?

The Linux ecosystem is calling, developers. It's time to pick up the phone. No, the other one.