TweetFollow Us on Twitter

January 93 - NEMADA News

NEMADA News

Dave Pomerantz

In contrast to our low September turnout, a record number of MacApp'ers struggled through the twisting streets of East Cambridge to hear John Hotchkiss of Apple's Advanced Technology Group (ATG) describe the purpose and power of Dylan, Apple's forthcoming object-oriented dynamic language (OODL). We were rewarded with a free copy of the Dylan manual and an uplifting discussion of how much easier our lives will be with instant compiles and links, free from the worries of memory management.

You have your doubts? Naturally. We all do. But let's give these guys a chance and see where they're headed.

Dylan began with the acquisition of Coral Software, which became ATG East. Coral was marketing Macintosh Common Lisp, and Apple asked them to continue to support MCL and simultaneously develop a new dynamic language with all the programmer power and convenience of Lisp and Smalltalk but with the performance required for production applications.

Even better than C++?

We all live with the need for a better development environment. We suffer with twenty-minute edit-compile cycles on even the fastest Macs, complex languages that take years to master, uncontrolled pointers that can zap any spot in memory, and wasted time searching for memory leaks. Our managers may treat software like so much clay, but we know that our hostile development environment hardens software to concrete within months. It's the purpose of Dylan to keep software soft.

John explained these significant advantages of Dylan over C++ or Object Pascal:

  • Dynamic Type Safety. Type-checking is done at compile time, where possible, like C++ and Pascal. But it can also be done dynamically when type information is only available at run-time.
  • Automatic Memory Management. Memory allocation is hidden from the programmer, occurring as needed to create new objects. Objects that are no longer referenced are disposed automatically.
  • Dynamic Linking. Only affected methods are recompiled and relinked, effectively eliminating compile-time. It may even be possible to make changes while debugging, for example, you could fix a method while stopped at a breakpoint between calls to that method.
  • Dynamic Subclassing: This is really the same as dynamic linking, but I've separated it because of its enormous implications. You can ship an extension to your application that subclasses your existing application. You can ship an integrated application in distinct pieces (priced separately) that link together at the customer site. Corporate programmers or VARs could greatly customize your application without having access to your source code. Dinker can do this too, but not as well and not as an integral part of the language.
  • Reflectivity: This is not an optics term. It means all objects can identify themselves. You can traverse memory and identify each object. Dylan uses reflectivity to guarantee type safety at run-time.
  • Meta-Objects: Classes and methods themselves will be first-class objects that can be manipulated by the language. This sounds both powerful and dangerous, but I'm too much a novice to understand the implications.
  • Libraries: A crucial part of your development environment will be the supporting class libraries that are not part of the language. There will be libraries for supporting numerics and collections.

But is it fast?

The twelve people listening had plenty of questions and concerns, many about Dylan's viability as a production language. To achieve good performance, the Dylan environment will produce a runtime executable that seems (to this observer) similar in concept to the way Component Software "extrudes" an executable, stripping away unnecessary flexibility. In Dylan you can selectively eliminate dynamic typing, reflectivity, dynamic linking, dynamic subclassing, and runtime redefinition for specified parts of later date. Unfortunately, that loss of flexibility is a necessary price for performance.

But is it fast? John believes that Dylan programs will have a 15% performance penalty over equivalent C++ programs. In my view, that's an acceptable price. I wish MacApp charged a mere 15% penalty. We have yet to see, however, if John's assertion is true.

So now I have to learn LISP?

Dylan is still being defined, and the people at ATG East are considering putting an ALGOL-like syntax on top of Dylan. The purists will scream, but it will make Dylan more acceptable to the blue-collar, beer-guzzling coders like you and me. ATG takes seriously their job of appealing to us. They will consider this project a failure if Dylan is yet another intriguing academic language that fails to gain a popular appeal.

Can I use MacApp or Bedrock?

How Dylan will connect to an application framework is still unknown. Bedrock would probably appear as a class library to Dylan even though Bedrock will be written in C++, much as you can access MacApp 3.0 from Object Pascal.

John made it clear that as object-oriented programmers, MacApp'ers are their natural constituency. Dylan is not yet available and Apple is not saying when it will be available, but they're publishing a manual and for now at least, the manual is free. Send a message to "dylan-manual-request@cambridge.apple.com". Look the manual over and send your comments to "info-dylan-request@cambridge.apple.com".

Organizational Business

Bill Clinton was not the only one elected to a leadership position this fall. Russ Brenner was confirmed as Chairman of NEMADA, Heeren Pathak was elected Vice-Chairman, and I retained my duty to entertain you in this column. All candidates ran unopposed.

Our November meeting was canceled, but in December we may be hosting Jeff Alger of SBM fame. I've attended Jeff's lectures in the past and I know him to be an exciting and outspoken speaker with a tremendous knowledge of OOP issues. See you at the next meeting.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TextSoap 8.4.8 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
Air Video Server HD 2.3.0-beta1u1 - Stre...
Air Video Server HD streams videos instantly from your computer on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple TV. No need to worry about converting or transferring files. We took everything that was... Read more
MacFamilyTree 8.4.2 - Create and explore...
MacFamilyTree gives genealogy a facelift: modern, interactive, convenient and fast. Explore your family tree and your family history in a way generations of chroniclers before you would have loved.... Read more
Chromium 70.0.3538.67 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 70.0.3538.67: This update includes 23... Read more
Opera 56.0.3051.52 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Things 3 3.7.2 - Elegant personal task m...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
OmniFocus 3.1.1 - GTD task manager with...
OmniFocus helps you manage your tasks the way that you want, freeing you to focus your attention on the things that matter to you most. Capturing tasks and ideas is always a keyboard shortcut away in... Read more
QuarkXPress 14.1.0.0 - Desktop publishin...
QuarkXPress 2017 is the new version that raises the bar for design and productivity. With non-destructive graphics and image editing directly within your layout, you no longer have to choose between... Read more
Chromium 70.0.3538.67 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 70.0.3538.67: This update includes 23... Read more
Opera 56.0.3051.52 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more

It's up to you to decide the winner...
Thursday is the day when most of the new releases come out on the App Store. It's also the day when we pick what we think are the best five games that have come out over the last seven days. Then we pose you, our readers, a simple question - which... | Read more »
Grimvalor is last week's 148Apps iP...
What a week it has been here at 148Apps towers. We've been swamped, which means we're a bit late letting you know what last week's game of the week was. Don't worry though, we're here now, and we can reveal that Grimvalor takes away the prize. It... | Read more »
My scariest mobile game - Final Fantasy...
This is going to be a bit of a weird one, but bear with me. The game that has scared me the most isn't a horror experience (don't get me wrong, I won't go outside if it's foggy thanks to Silent Hill 2), it's actually Final Fantasy 7. Sounds... | Read more »
My scariest mobile game - Final Fantasy...
This is going to be a bit of a weird one, but bear with me. The game that has scared me the most isn't a horror experience (don't get me wrong, I won't go outside if it's foggy thanks to Silent Hill 2), it's actually Final Fantasy 7. Sounds... | Read more »
Dragalia Lost Daily Tasks Guide
Part of what makes gacha games compelling (and sometimes annoying) is their grind. You’re always supposed to be advancing something in these games, meaning you need to be checking in on your progress once or multiple times a day to make sure you’re... | Read more »
Why I'm looking forward to Stardew...
Last week I read the words I'd been hoping for and got so excited I almost cried: Stardew Valley is coming to mobile on October 24th. While, my colleagues know of my love for the game I think my reasons behind it have always been a bit of a... | Read more »
The best games for iPhone - The definiti...
Hi there, and welcome to our ever-increasing list of the very best games for iPhone. We're going to be updating this regularly with new content, so make sure you check back often, because you're not going to want to miss out on even one of the... | Read more »
Mad Rocket: Fog of War is the next big b...
Mad Rocket: Fog of War is the latest title from pblisher Four Thirty Three, and it’s a game that will have you rethinking your approach to strategic war games. In this new base-building card battler, you’ll be invading bases enshrouded in thick fog... | Read more »
These are the 5 best iPhone games like N...
There's a Mario game on the App Store nowadays, but if it hasn't quite sated your desires to fiddle with an Italian plumber while you're out and about, we've got some suggestions that might help. That's right, it's a list of games like Mario for... | Read more »
Everything You Need to Know About Dragal...
As of this writing, you’re no longer able to take on Phraeganoth or any of the other content in Loyalty’s Requiem. Dragalia Lost will just go back to its original state at launch… or will it? | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple drops prices on Series 3 GPS Apple Watc...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished Series 3 Apple Watch GPS models starting at only $239. Apple’s standard 1-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Numerous bands are available: –... Read more
Apple now offering Certified Refurbished 2018...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2018 13″ 2.3GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $270-$300 off the cost of new models, with prices starting at $1529. Apple’s refurbished prices are the lowest... Read more
21″ and 27″ iMacs available starting at only...
Apple has a full line of Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $350 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: – 27... Read more
Apple offers a wide range of refurbished iPad...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 10.5″ iPad Pros available for $100-$170 off MSRP, depending on the model. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: – 64GB 10... Read more
Get a new 2018 13″ 2.3GHz Touch Bar MacBook P...
B&H Photo has new 2018 13″ 2.3GHz/256GB Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free at B&H, and they charge sales tax for residents of NY & NJ only: – 13″ 2.3GHz/... Read more
Order a new 2018 15″ MacBook Pro from Adorama...
Adorama is offering new 2018 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros for up to $300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and they charge sales tax for residents of NY & NJ only: – 15″ 2.2GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pros (... Read more
2017 15″ 2.9GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro availab...
Adorama has clearance 2017 high-end 15″ 2.9GHz Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pros available for $2099 or $700 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NJ and NY only: – 15... Read more
Apple restocks factory refurbished 13″ MacBoo...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ MacBook Airs available again starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: – 13″ 1.8GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook... Read more
Apple May Have ‘One More Thing…’ To Announce...
NEWS: 10.15.18- Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, Inc. and its former CEO, was famous for ending his keynote addresses that unveiled the tech giant’s newest products with “one more thing…”... Read more
How to use Apple’s Education discount to save...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $400 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution with a .edu email address qualify for the discount... Read more

Jobs Board

LPN/CMA - St. Paul and *Apple* Valley Urgen...
LPN/CMA - St. Paul and Apple Valley Urgent Care + Job ID: 50254 + Department: SP Urgent Care + City: St Paul, MN + Location: HP - St Paul Wabasha St Clinic + Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**647233BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000532-Framingham-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**651117BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000504-Gwinnett-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
Geek Squad *Apple* Master Consultation Agen...
**651575BR** **Job Title:** Geek Squad Apple Master Consultation Agent **Job Category:** Services/Installation/Repair **Location Number:** 001128-Vallejo-Store **Job Read more
Sephora Product Consultant - *Apple* Blosso...
Sephora Product Consultant - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States- Apple Blossom Mall 1850 Apple Blossom Dr Job ID:1056553 Date:October Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.