Native OS X Applications
Why this listing exists

This list started back in 1999, when there was an extremely small amount software available for Mac OS X Server. There were a few small archives out there, and there was the great Stepwise site, which saved everyone's butt back then.

All the different software listing sites function differently and list different kinds of things. The difference may seem a subtle one at first, but it's there. No software listing solves everyone's need. All I wanted was a list of what's out there and a link to get it. No version information, ads, widgets, special features, etc. Besides, I love to program, and was always spending time tracking down programs, so I started keeping a list of my own.

I put this list up in webpage form for others who might want an alternative software search engine. It had a small but steady amount of traffic. Then everything exploded started with the official release of (the client version of) Mac OS X.

The main critereon that I have before making any webpages are that they must be painfully easy to maintain. I have many other projects in my life to get to besides maintaining this site. At some point, if other sites do what this does, and does it better, I'll stop maintaining it, sell the code/database off, or whatever.

Mac users have been so helpful and friendly to me over the years, and I'm happy to return the favor. I love being on this platform and am happy to contribute.

Unique to these listings:
  • Largest list of OS X applications (if you'll forgive the boast). It might not have everything every site has, but it has a lot.

  • Tracks which applications have available source code, along with a direct download link. Also, I make a special point of listing frameworks, libraries and coding examples.

  • Quick searches w/ no extra page hops. Quick summaries of information, then links to the app, a download, or at least the download page. I don't make anyone stick around longer than they want to.

  • This site tries to pay strong attention to the Unix underbelly of OS X and to keep track of software that traditional Mac sites seem to be uninterested in.

  • A unique filtering system for searches has been developed, which includes the ability to bookmark any search result.

  • A more complete list of software licensing being used by developers. Something is not merely shareware, free or commercial. There are many variations. The one distinction this site does not make is between commercial wares and sharewares, since the latter term has come to mean any number of things. If price information is available, I try to list it.

  • This site also has a very low rate of dead/bad links, through the use of the custom software used to run this site.
Things this site doesn't do (or won't):
  • Version tracking. I rarely want to know about the versioning details, and the amount of work it would take to track this would be too much. It was the first decision I made before starting these listings. Nowadays, programs often track that information themselves. Also, several other sites already do a great job of this.

  • Localizations. Such things are very important, but there are too many of them to track, and they are often rolled into the main release of the software in the next few sub-versions. Their nature is therefore very temporary.

  • User reviews / ratings. Other sites do this well, and the more sites that do this on their own, the harder it is to find one place with a good selection of reviews. That and I don't want the unnecessary traffic / load on my server.

  • Long descriptions. Long, well-thought-out descriptions are already available for most applications, or at least in the readme files. It's good to visit a products's homepage anyway. They've put a lot of good work into helping you understanding what their product does.

  • List bad software. This includes pranks, harmful hacks, anonymous email programs, tasteless propaganda-ware, and the likes.

  • Ultra-temporary patches. Since I don't want to spend my whole life tracking such things down, I will often not list software whose whole point is a temporary patch on something that's going to be updated soon anyway. Other sites track these things well enough.