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Apple Worldwide Dev Conference 2017 announced (apple.com)
144 points by ropiku on Feb 16, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 77 comments

I think it's great that they're moving to San Jose. Probably just a drop in the bucket, but it'd be great for the Bay Area if San Jose were to increase in desirability relative to San Francisco.

I've spent a few evenings in San Jose after Sharks games, and shows or conferences at the HP Pavilion. It always seemed to be punching below its weight. Off-hand though I don't see why San Jose can't become more attractive, considering Detroit and Pittsburgh seem to be pulling it off.

Given the fact that, as others have noted, it's not like San Jose is a depressed area, the downtown--such as it is--is just sort of boring and run down in spots. I was at an open compute platform conference there for the first time in ages a couple of years back. (Many moons ago I used to attend Intel Developers Forums there regularly). On the one hand, the environment (restaurants, etc.) had improved somewhat but I was surprised that the overall downtown hadn't become more vibrant and interesting than it was.

Last time I went to downtown SJ it certainly did seem depressed. I just wanted to see what was going on so I took an Uber down there. At St. James Park I saw some drunks fighting, and cops trying to separate them. Nearby was an encampment of several tents. South of there on 2nd I thought I might find a cafe or deli or something, but all I found were vacant lots and empty storefronts, and more derelicts staggering around. Keep in mind this was at noon on a weekday, not the middle of the night.

South of Santa Clara on 2nd I saw more empty buildings, a Chinese mini mart, more drunks, a large surface parking lot (mostly empty) adjoining a rail line.

I thought I could get back to Mountain View on VTA, since I was walking along that streetcar line anyway, but it was going to take 80 minutes so I had to call a car to escape.

San Jose appeared to be a prosperous American city without any prosperity to speak of.

San Jose is mostly just suburban sprawl. There needs to be more investment in the downtown area, and transit — hopefully BART coming to San Jose in the 2020s will help.

I was just in SF and had to take a meeting in San Jose. The fact that I couldn't take a train all the way down completely blew my mind. What's the point of a commuter rail if it involves an hour bus ride to the other major population center in the region?

Cal Train goes SF -> San Jose, though it can be a bit inconvenient at either end.

Caltrain goes from SF to SJ

I think the main reason they're in San Jose is that Moscone is being renovated at the moment? (Which isn't to say that it won't stick).

WWDC has always taken place at Moscone West, which is not involved in the renovation/construction

I don't see it working without a substantial increase in (more affordable) housing stock. Last I looked, San Jose had the highest median home price in the country.

Usually that refers to SJ metro which includes Cupertino, Los Gatos, Mountain View, probably even Palo Alto.

I don't know what drives others, but San Jose doesn't have any of the history, architecture, or institutions that made me fall in love with Pittsburgh and Detroit. And it certainly doesn't have any of the grit.

San Francisco has those things in abundance.

What exactly is "the grit"? The homeless people and crackheads?

Abandoned warehouses that are being renovated into office space, people who have struggled to get where they are today, success stories, personal loss and tragedy, you know, the human factor. A lot of people like places with "character", where character is defined as "not perfect".

I've never been to San Jose so I can't comment on it, but I've been to Pittsburgh and Detroit. They have character. Those cites are more human than many actual humans I've met.

San Jose has everything you describe. Literally next door to the train station is a block of almond factories converted into modern apartments. I wouldn't describe a place I've never been to...

Edit: you aren't the GP, sorry.

I totally agree. My partner just came back from a trip to SF and a lot of her colleagues (neurosci grad students) were really disdainful of her being from Pittsburgh, but we both really love it here. There's so much culture here that was hard to find in Boston for me or SF for her.

>Abandoned warehouses...renovated into office space

I can't read this and not get sad about Ghost Ship

It's like pornography. You know it when you see it.

I'd argue it's the reverse, you know when it's lacking.

San Jose is boring, cookie-cutter suburbia.

Right. Nice place to live, but you wouldn't want to visit there. Unless it's for WWDC, of course!

I agree, San Jose is a nice city to visit. When I consulted at Google we lived in Mountain View and my wife and I went to San Jose to have fun about as often as SF. I am now doing my first serious iOS dev project and I might go to my first AWWDC.

fun fact: San Jose is the largest American city never to have a feature film set in it.

> Technology alone is not enough. Technology must intersect with the liberal arts and the humanities, to create new ideas and experiences that push society forward.

I hope it's not just a single conference theme.

"Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind.[0] We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost."

– Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator (1940)

[0]: http://blog.case.edu/think/2012/10/30/empathy_represses_anal...

They've been repeating this mantra for years. It's definitely not just a single conference theme.

This is based what Steve Jobs said on stage 6 years ago, and has been repeated and expanded on a bit many times since then.


Still makes me wonder if there's some new focused effort to make it more important for developers outside of the company. Because I missed it and I'm developing for Apple devices for the last 6 years. Probably they need to repeat it many times more often.

"Technology alone is not enough. Technology must intersect with the liberal arts ..."

This was a quote by Steve Jobs if I remember correctly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlI1MR-qNt8

Yah. Came off as a poorly worded retread of Jobs. Sad.

Why "sad," and not homage?

In case people aren't familiar, while San Jose is indeed quiet compared to SF, it is actually the 10th largest city in the country (SF is #12). Of course, it's really sprawling so not as high density as other major cities, but not quite the sleepy "town" it's being described as in many places either.

I briefly worked in downtown San Jose a few years back and it was hella sleepy... there were maybe two bars to get drinks at and really limited restaurant options (the burrito place with orange sauce in tubes was pretty good though)...

La Vic's (or La Victoria)! Love that place.

The design is very similar to a 2010 design of a Spanish designer. https://twitter.com/vladsavov/status/832238720250179585

> The design is a copycat from a 2010 design of a Spanish designer

The same artist did the work: https://twitter.com/panzer/status/832254299862216704

The 2010 poster was Rocio Ballesteros work http://www.rocioballesteros.com/home/13-festival-de-cine-de-...

UPDATE: Apparently she did it inspired by Geoff Mcfetridge's work, SO we have a circular reference lol

It's not a circular reference, you just didn't know the original work and started accusing Apple's design of being a rip-off. That's simply 'getting it wrong' not 'circular reference'.

Apologies for that. I knew the 2010 piece was done by a Spanish designer and they looked extremely similar. What I did not know was that the 2010 designer was inspired in previous Geoff's work.

The circular reference I was pointing out:

Geoff's Work ->(inspired) Rocio's work -> (looks extremely similar to)-> Geoff's work

Apologies for that.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the 'after-hours' portion of the conference. I've been to large conferences that alternate between more accessible city centers (e.g. Vancouver) and more out of the way environs (e.g. Anaheim). I tend to get way more out of the more city-centered venues, due to the increased ease of attending events, parties, etc.

San Jose definitely decreases the appeal for me as someone that would have to fly in, pay for a hotel, etc. (would be good to also get a trip to a first-class metropolitan city) but I suppose they're not exactly short on demand... and the SF one didn't really appeal to me either given the cost (could go to Europe for vacation instead...).

While I understand why that might be, it seems like a relevant place to remind everyone that this event used to sell out in minutes (seconds?). Now there is a lottery system just to get in. The location of the venue will have no impact on their ability to fill every seat. Even if the venue was 10x larger and in leaky mineshaft… they would fill every seat.

Yep. Apple needs a convention center of an appropriate size and they doubtless prefer, for their own convenience and reduced costs, to be in the Bay Area. The walkability, access to quality bars and restaurants, and general interestingness of the downtown is doubtless pretty far down their list of priorities.

San Jose, not San Francisco. That's quite a change.

Part of Moscone will be under construction. During the convention. I'm sure i'll be back there next year.

Moscone North and South will be closed April-Auguest 2017. Moscone West will remain open and is fully booked. http://www.mosconeexpansion.com/faq

I'm guessing it might be bigger as a result.

It will be the thinnest, lightest, most powerful WWDC ever made.

There shall also not be a keynote. Courage.

The venue itself is larger in square footage, roughly 550,000 compared to Moscone's 300,000. It also has a larger capacity for people and seating. That said, actual attendee count is likely to remain at around 5,000 people (per Gruber and iMore). The extra space does allow for more Apple engineers to attend and be present for labs, etc.

Also keep in mind that last year they held the keynote in the Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco in order to support the extra amount of press, etc. that attends just the keynote. The San Jose center will be able to accommodate that extra amount of people who then disappear after the first 3 hours.

So conclusion, yes, bigger venue, but they aren't using it to increase attendee count.

Moscone West is about 300,000. North + South (which are connected) are about 500,000 total.

Yeah: when GDC got too big for San Jose, they moved to Moscone, but they use all of West, North, and South.

Supposedly the venue holds roughly the same number of people. The benefit for Apple is that their engineers don't need a full day away to come to the conference so they'll be able to send more engineers.

but if they send more engineers then they would need a larger venue, wouldn't they?

The number of engineers is dwarfed by the number of attendees so not really. And they can rotate more engineers e.g. have people there for half a day, it's not wasted when it's a 5mn trip from HQ versus an hour drive to SF.

Sadly looks like not. Both John Gruber and iMore spoke to Apple and it's not a bigger venue:

> I asked whether the move to San Jose changed the number of people who’d be able to attend. Schiller said it did not — attendance will be about the same.

I guess their conclusion is that this is the maximum size for the goal they want to achieve. Can it be bigger without having an impact on the quality of the event?

The GTA (I) style website looks pretty cool! I had to say it...

What would be the benefit for an indie iOS developer to attend this event? Since all the tech talks from the conference are available online anyway, what would I gain from being there in person?

Labs. If you are getting deep into a framework you can usually go talk with the engineers that work on it.

Imo it's all about networking and meeting new people. All the knowledge is always in front of your computer screen.

When I attended in 2011 it was Steve Jobs last WWDC and nice to get a chance to hear him in person, the last chance to check off an almost canonical requirement for people on the tech/startup path.

As there was 100% sell out that year yet again in a matter of minutes I've wondered how closely WWDC speed of seats sold correlates to Apple's mind share. I guess we'll see over time as fortunes change hands.

About 40% of the people on this poster are black. Why? That doesn't represent the population of the US, attendants at WWDC, or worldwide developers. What's the motivation?

$1599 for a ticket? Has it always been that inaccessible?

It's cost that since 2010 and always sells out. The events are streamed live and available archived for free.

Ok, good point on the streaming.

That's a pretty standard range for a largish tech conference.

It has always been that price, yes. Inaccessible is a different metric - there are many who find that price reasonable for the knowledge and experiences you get at WWDC, like talking to Apple engineers directly about the products they're making.

Inaccessible, relative to the fact that tickets sell to people who only want to be there for the keynote and see what iOS $NEXT will be, then only recently.

I like the feel of San Jose for a dev conference. I've been to a conference there, and it was a pleasant environment.

For anyone selected to go, or is planning to be there and is looking for hotels: https://www.stay22.com/events/wwdc17

It's a small startup I'm working on to curate the best deals around the event to save you time from KAYAK and gMaps

This is bummer news for me. My whole team is based out of SF so we have to dral with Caltrain or drive. :( Plus, there is just not much to do in downtown SJ.

There's only one part of Moscone that's being renovated and Apple never used that bldg anyway.

This year will definitely not have the same after conference vibe as years before.

"Technology alone is not enough. Technology must intersect with the liberal arts ..."

That leads dry, and not in a good developer dry way. Is this what Think Different looks like today?

I liked last year's rainbow colored hello world https://web.archive.org/web/20170208203426/https://developer...

2014 also looked to be a dry spell with an overly marketed message https://web.archive.org/web/20150302042653/https://developer...

EDIT: removed bombed joke.

> I'd also like to think that "liberal" there is to Bretix and Trump supporters know this event might not be for them. Bad Joke.

"Liberal arts" is a term, it's not trying to say "art created by liberal people"


It was a bad joke, though reality is often worse like how French sounding brands like French's Mustard declined in the US during the US Iraq war https://news.virginia.edu/content/study-tracks-us-boycott-fr...

> That leads dry, and not in a good developer dry way. Is this what Think Different looks like today?

This is a quote from Steve Jobs.


It could be a sign that apple is aware that it needs to return to their origins

That could be a bad sign. People are looking around the company and seeing rigidity in thought. It is becoming aspirational.

"Technology alone is not enough. Technology must intersect with the liberal arts and the humanities, to create new ideas and experiences that push society forward."

sigh What a load of horse shit. Hopefully this doesn't mean there will be less tickets for developers available. If Apple wants to make event for designers then sure, just do it but don't fuck up Apple Worldwide DEVELOPERS conference.

Apple has been saying this for years and years. If this surprises or scares you, you haven't been paying attention.

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