Apple‘s annual developers conference in San Francisco, WWDC, is the company’s biggest show of the year.
WWDC has been the site of a lot of major Apple product announcements. This year, Apple is expected to introduce iOS 7, its newest mobile operating system, as well as the newest version of its desktop operating system, OS X.
But tickets to this year’s conference in June sold out in a record two minutes. Last year, tickets sold out in two hours. In 2008, it took about two months.
Apple recently acknowledged the sellout and came up with a couple of solutions. It will post videos of all its sessions during the event, instead of waiting days or sometimes weeks to post the content. This fall, it also plans to host “Tech Talks,” which are essentially mini WWDCs, in various cities.
WWDC is limited to about 5,000 attendees, but there are more than 275,000 developers in Apple’s ecosystem. People have suggested that Apple should increase the event’s capacity by utilizing all three of Moscone Center’s buildings instead of just one, host more throughout the year, or create a variety of access-based ticket types.
But some of Apple’s biggest fans are saying the conference is broken. In fact, long-time WWDC attendee Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater Software says Apple should just stop having WWDC all together.
That’s because, Jalkut says, Apple is no longer achieving the goals of the conference, which is to educate developers and encourage them to contribute to Apple’s platforms. Instead of WWDC, Jalkut thinks Apple should expand its number of developer resources and documentation online.
Instapaper creator Marco Arment says Jalkut’s proposal sounds plausible, but thinks it would ultimately crush the spirit of the developer community.
“WWDC has an energy,” Arment writes on his blog. “It’s a huge rally to juice developers’ confidence and enthusiasm for the platform. Every year, I’ve been filled with an insatiable desire to just make something the whole time, and that energy gives me a boost for months afterward.”
But others have suggested a less drastic approach.
“One thing Apple could do differently this year: announce WWDC on Wednesday, but not sell tickets until the next day,” well-known Apple blogger John Gruber recently proposed on App.net. “Sounds like a good way to DOS developer.apple.com, but this would make it more like a lottery, with less advantage to certain time zones.” (DOS means “denial of service,” which is what happens when a site gets too much traffic at once.)
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