The Apple Programmers and Developers Association, or APDA, was started in 1980 by Don Williams in coordination with Apple, Inc. and A.P.P.L.E.  The resulting tools produced by APDA were the tools with which all Apple programs have come to be and the resulting magazine which was produced quarterly was aptly named the APDAlog.

A total of 10 issues of the APDAlog were published by A.P.P.L.E. with the first volume beginning in August 1986 and the final issue, V3N4 being published with a date of  October 1988.

In 1989, Apple Computer, Inc. bought APDA from A.P.P.L.E. for $3 Million and Apple began producing the APDA Log.  The issues shown in this section are the ones produced by A.P.P.L.E. prior to Apple’s take over of the APDA.

Once Apple took over, they choose to number their first version of the APDAlog as V1N1 rather than continuing what would have officially been Volume 4 of the newsletter.

Almost all issues are owned by the group but missing issues currently stand only at V1N2 from the first year of publishing and would be most welcome by the group in hard or scanned format (600DPI).

by Dan Cochran

Languages and Tools Mgr.
Apple Computer, Inc.

APDAlog Volume 1, #1 August 1986

Programmers and developers thrive on timely tools and information.

And Apple Computer thrives on timely programmers and developers.

Hence, the birth of the Apple Programmer’s and Developer’s Association (APDA). How would you like to have:

1) A one-stop shopping service for all of Apple’s available development tools, utilities, technical notes, manual drafts and even beta versions of Apple languages?
2) A convenient place to order third-party languages, tools, and technical books?
3) A toll-free 800 number where you can order these products, or better yet subscribe to them?
4) A quarterly catalog and newsletter plus regular bulletins to keep you up-to-date with all of the latest technical information and tools available to you as an Apple developer?
5) A professional association committed to offering new services based on the needs of its members?

That’s what APDA is all about. On to some particulars.

By their very nature, languages, development tools, technical notes and technical manuals are evolutionary and progressive (uh … at least for some computer manufacturers). The tools of your trade are complex products that can’t simply be cast in bronze, shrink-wrapped in a box, and sent off with never another thought.

As in any .complex product there will be bugs, as in any complex product there will be beneficial enhancements to make, and as hardware evolves, so must the development tools and technical information. Naturally none of this stuff is worth beans to anyone if: 1) you don’t know it exists, 2) you don’t know where to get it, and 3) you can’t get it quickly and inexpensively. There’s another important angle to this as well. As a computer manufacturer we can’t do our job properly unless we know who you are and what you need. We believe that APDA is the first step towards addressing these concerns and realities. And I’ll tell you why.

What is APDA?
APDA is a professional association whose primary charter is to provide the entire Apple programming community with a highly visible, reliable, and inexpensive source for the technical tools and information you need as an Apple programmer or developer. No more wondering, “Where do I write? Who do I call? What does it cost? Are there any updates? When will it be available?, etc.”

APDA will publish and distribute to members, the Apple tools, utilities and technical documentation which have previously been available through multiple sources at Apple. To truly realize the concept of one-stop shopping APDA will also be carrying third-party language products and technical books such as the Addison-Wesley Apple Technical Library. And APDA services will grow to best suit the needs of the membership.

Product Policies
Products will be broken down into more manageable, less expensive chunks. For example the current Macintosh Software Supplement consists of all the Lisa Cross/Development stuff, the current system software, and the Macintosh tools and utilities and interfaces. Whole Supplements have been delayed in the past because one of the pieces was late or unavailable. We hope to eliminate these delays by offering more modularity in the product lines.

In most cases, updates to products will not be included in the price of an Apple Computer APDA product. This is because we often do not know how many updates or revisions a particular product will go through during its lifetime, and as such, we can’t realistically determine the cost. In addition, bundling upgrades (that may or may not ever occur) into product prices dramatically increases product costs. We believe the right approach is to keep products small and inexpensive so that members can simply purchase upgrades to products when they become available. APDA will even let you “subscribe” to products and automatically receive updates or revisions as soon as they’re off the press.

Pricing policies on beta-versions of Apple-languages are of necessity, somewhat different than our policies for manual drafts and Supplement-type products. Most, if not all, Apple APDA language products (e.g. MPW), will ultimately be available through authorized Apple dealers, at which time they may no longer be distributed through APDA. Purchasing APDA beta-versions of MPW products will not entitle you to receive discounts or free upgrades to any final product available through Apple dealers. However, once you’ve purchased a beta-version of an Apple APDA language product, you’ll be able to purchase any additional beta-versions of that particular product through APDA at special low update prices.

Future Plans?
What will APDA offer in the future? This will be determined by the needs of APDA members. Some of APDA’s proposed future services include:

1) An APDA section in the Macintosh Developer Forum on Compuserve.
2) On-line ordering through Compuserve.
3) Regional APDA sessions and conferences.
4) The APDA ToolRoom-an on-line database of available tools, languages and technical books and manuals.

When you join APDA you’ll receive a questionnaire designed to help APDA determine exactly what services and products you’d like to see offered. APDA will be providing the results of their surveys to Apple Computer. You can bet that we’re interested in your thoughts.

Is APDA now the only place to order Apple’s technical tools and information?
It’s the only place to get hard copy and disks. On-line services like Compuserve, Delphi, and Genie will still continue to off er the latest tools and information electronically. However, APDA will carry many products that are either too large or complex for electronic distribution.

As with any new program we expect growing pains during this transitionary period. But with your support, feedback, and encouragement we can make APDA the most effective programmer and developer support mechanism ever offered by a computer manufacturer. If you have any comments, suggestions, or concerns please write me. And welcome to APDA.

Leave a Reply