Definition of Terms

It used to be so easy.

There were Apple developers. And there were Mac developers.

The former worked for Apple itself. The latter did not.

Then, a second platform showed up. Instead of just Mac developers, now, we were Mac and iPhone developers. Little bit more of a mouthful, but still short enough for everyday use.

But once the third platform showed up—well, it was too much. Mac and iPhone and iPad developers? More than a mouthful.

I’ve seen some bloggers start referring to such third-party developers as “Apple developers.” But…see above. There are Apple developers, and there are Apple developers? It doesn’t work.

I read someone somewhere (can’t find it anymore, sorry) who suggested iDeveloper. It’s catchy, but despite what seems like some effort in that regard, Apple does not know the i prefix. Which means the term isn’t completely intuitive, and would need to be explained before each use. (For example, http://www.ideveloper.com has nothing to do with Apple.)

My recommended solution?

There are Apple developers, and there are Apple platforms developers.

Still a bit awkward, I’ll admit. It requires the audience to know what a platform is, that we’re not talking about a stage or a dais. But among developers, I think, that won’t be a problem.

Some might parse it “Apple” “platforms developers”, i.e. Apple developers writing platforms. That’s unfortunate. Is it a deal breaker?

And the silly: the shortened form of this could be “Applats”, which I’m imagining quacked by a duck at oblivious developers.