Bad news from Apple

What’s up Apple? Is writing code not as creative an endeavor as music or design?

I was a PC/Linux user for ages before I purchased my first Mac (the G4 quicksilver tower, I think was my first one). And the only reason I bought that Mac was because of OS X was really just a great UI over BSD. Were it not for the ability to fire up a command prompt and have BASH at my fingertips running along side the native Mac apps, I would probably still be running Linux.

Moreover, having a shell and scripting languages like Python installed on Mac OS by default means that when my kid wanted to learn some Python beyond what he was learning through school, it was easy to show him how to run Python scripts on his MacBook. The ease of firing off scripts felt like Apple, who likes to encourage the “making” side of technology, considered “making” scripts on par with “making” movies or graphics or any of the other creative outputs that a Mac could be used for.

Now Apple has announced (in what seems like a really bad move) they are dropping the scripting runtimes from Mac OS. Meaning, by default there won’t be any Python or Perl or Ruby. I have so many little scripts in my ~/bin directory that rely on these languages (mostly Python).

Yanking these runtimes out of Catalina gives the impression that Apple doesn’t consider making scripts on par with making drum loops in Garage Band. I’d argue they’re both pretty damn creative outputs and Apple is denying its users the creative tools they’ve come to rely on.