A fellow computer programmer once uttered these remarkable words to me:

"The user is irrelevant."

His philosophy was: The programmer's responsibility is to create efficient algorithms. The user's responsibility is to adapt to the computer's way of doing things.

This programmer did not understand the Macintosh Way. The Macintosh philosophy says: The computer's responsibility is to adapt to the user's way of doing things. The programmer's responsibility is to make sure the computer can do that.

People who've never had the pleasure of using a Macintosh tend to take it for granted that computers are hard to use, and accept that as a fact of life. And many programmers, sadly, have little interest in changing that perception.

Macintosh users expect more. They know what their machines are capable of, and they're not fooled by programmers (nor even giant software companies) who tell them "it can't be done."

If you see computers as a way to unlock human creative potential...
If it's important to you to make your programs usable as well as functional...
If you don't think the user is irrelevant...

Then step up to the challenge. The creators of the Macintosh share that same vision, and have done a lot to make sure that we programmers are able to realize it. Learn what's inside Macintosh.


Virtually all of the information presented below can be found, in much greater detail, in Inside Macintosh, the extraordinarily readable Supreme Authority on How To Do It, whose massive volumes are now completely available on the Web. Go there when you're ready to learn more. I have concentrated on just a few topics which are popular but sometimes subtle, and have re-presented them in my own words.

These essays assume that you have at least some programming experience, but not necessarily with a Macintosh. The examples are geared toward FutureBasic (my language of choice), but the concepts apply equally well to any development language you're using.