Unleashing Creativity like an Apple II Does

Wil Shipley first mentions the "Theo-mimicry" of the craft of programming, then opens his talk on Delicious Monster for iPhone with this phrase: iPhone is fun like an Apple II/e is.

Many people have observed that the iPhone craze is not just above the gadget itself or the money developers can make from the App Store. It's the most hacked (as in hacker culture, not in popular media coverage) device of late—people throw tons of idea and things at it, and are having fun.

Objective-C and iPhone SDK are professional tools of trade and are no way comparable to Apple BASIC or HyperCard. But still the enthusiasm aroused by iPhone—which sometimes leads to the question "hmmm, how do I make an app on that?"—is amazing.

While I don't think Apple has wanted to create a device with the goal of unleashing people's creativity in mind (it killed such goal in mind when they killed HyperCard; AppleScript is proved to be a failure now), the net result is that we're witnessing the come back of history: The birth of something that everyone (every owner of the device, that is) wants to have something to say about it, or something to do on it, or with it.

And Apple does on thing right: It makes excellent development tools, and bundles the development tools with its operating system. iPhone SDK is in turn built upon those development tools, which are well designed and very up to date with today's UI design thoughts and standards.

The PC industry, and other mobile devices, on the other hand, have collectively made development a frustrating process. Microsoft's development tools, for non-students, have a price tag that varies between half a month's rent to half a month's salary, and that's just the beginning. Other mobile device makers didn't strive as hard as Apple (not to mention as well as AAPL) to reach the software developers. And software developers en masse—not just the "professional", already-in-the-business types, but probably from every non-programmer circle, people with the budding desire to build something, to make something, to try something, that mimics the creative joy of the [C|c]reator. And here's what makes a successful creativity-arousing device: It wakes up the doodling child's nature in you.