TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Software 94
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:The Editor's Page

Software Frameworks ‘94

By Scott T Boyd, Editor

Software Frameworks ‘94

A quick trip to Atlanta to check out the Software Frameworks Conference the first week in March yielded a handful of surprises. The group, which got its start many years ago with Larry Tesler handing out fuschia polo shirts to a modest group of MacApp afficionados, has grown, as have the number of frameworks and tools. The conference drew a strong contingent of industry leaders, including Ike Nassi, VP of Apple’s Development Products Group; Larry Tesler, Apple’s Chief Scientist and VP; Greg Galanos, Metrowerks man-about-town; Mike Potel, Taligent VP of Technology; Symantec’s Director of Language Products, David Neal; Novell’s VP of Appware System Group Joe Firmage. Lots of great tools and technologies had top talent there showing their wares, and we had a great time getting up close and personal guided tours from the people who build the tools. We spent time getting to know Smalltalk Agents (a truly great session, guys! I’ve never seen so much rapt attention), Jasik’s latest PowerPC debugging tools, Metrowerks’ CodeWarrior, Prograph CPX, the Newton Tool Kit/NewtonScript, and AppMaker. Technology teasers abounded. We got teased by Taligent about their framework, by Apple about Dylan and OpenDoc, by Microsoft/Symantec and others about the Microsoft Foundation Classes framework, and by Larry Tesler and his vision of the future. The rich selection of topics and products made up for the quick cross-country trip and utter loss of sleep and resulting loss of orientation.

We arrived just in time for the OLE/OpenDoc face-off. Apple brought Kurt Piersol, OpenDoc chief architect and suspender-wearing, beard-toting man-with-the-answers. Microsoft had hoped to bring their OLE heavyweight, Mark Ryland, but had to make a last minute replacement for unavoidable reasons.

We had hoped for a real world-class bout, but weren’t going to get one. We were treated to a fine presentation on OpenDoc, but the OLEpresentation really needed better technical representation than MSwas able to muster. We learned that OpenDoc offers multiple active parts, irregular and overlapping parts, support for high-end graphics, edit-in-place, distributed editors, linking, scripting, and even multiple-drafts (a revision management system). The object model uses a carefully restricted subset of C++ which offers multiple inheritance. It uses a CORBA-compliant SOM (IBM-developed) object model. Although OpenDoc is currently using Apple’s Shared Library Manager (ASLM), Kurt spoke highly of the work IBM has done with SOM, and is looking forward to the developer seed of PoenDoc, which will use SOM.

He was careful to point out that OpenDoc isn’t a framework, but, rather, an object oriented programming interface. It offers you the opportunity to build parts which will link dynamically into a document-oriented environment. This changes a lot about the model, both in the user’s mind and in how you can do business. Rather than build a whole application, you can concentrate on the data, both in how to display it and how to interact with it. If users like your parts, they’ll use yours. Although the motto “Parts is parts” sounds simple, it looks like a potential brave new world if OpenDoc really catches on.

As for OLE, all that I can say is that it’s shipping.

CodeWarrior experiences

I’ve been doing some work with a project which has 50 .c files, 55 .h files, totalling out to about 39,000 lines of code. I was wanting to play around with CodeWarrior, was at the conference, happened to be talking to Greg Dow (who just happens to work for Metrowerks), and there we were with nothing better to do at one in the morning. Five hours later, this application was building and running with CodeWarrior. Five hours - not bad.

Now, sure, it’s true that the code was buildable under both ThinkC 5.x and MPW 3.2, so the code was already in pretty good shape from a portability standpoint. That certainly helped make the task easier. Although Convert•Projects by Rich Siegel could have saved us some work, I wanted to get a feel for how someone like Greg works in the environment. So what did we do during those five early-morning hours?

First, we launched CodeWarrior by dropping one of my source files on the application. Unlike the Think product, CodeWarrior is happy to open a text file without requiring that you have a project open. What a relief! It’s such a small point, but it makes me wonder why Symantec hasn’t done this by now. Anyway, we created a project file and added all of the source files in the directory. If you haven’t seen what it’s like to be in the CodeWarrior environment, it looks a lot like Think Project Manager.

Next we went to the Preferences dialog, and selected a few things, like how strict we wanted the compiler to be about types, prototypes, language extensions, and such. We chose mostly plain vanilla options. We also told it that we were building an application, and set things like the creator, size flags, and the default heap size.

A few things caught my attention. First, CodeWarrior can generate .SYM files. This opens it up for your favorite debugging tools, like Jasik’s The Debugger, as well as Metrowerks’ own debugger. This stands in stark contrast to Symantec’s decision to not generate .SYM files, although the Power Mac cross compiler shipping this month does generate .SYM files.

Second, they have a popup menu with a healthy selection of standard code models. This makes it easy to specify something like Apple’s MPW C conventions without needing to remember all of the details which make it unique. We started out with very relaxed constraints, then tightened them up later in the effort.

“Third, although the similarities between Think and Metrowerks help a newbie navigate, I had to wonder whether a series of dialogs (looking like a modal throwback to the old Control Panel) is the best way to deal with preferences.”

Once we had all of that set up, we tried compiling the first file. Right away we discovered that we needed to think a little bit. Since the sources were set up to compile under either MPW or Think (an historical artifact which reminded us that people like Symantec’s quick turnaround tools and MPW’s code generation), each source file used an #ifdef to decide whether to use precompiled headers for THINKC, or to #include an all-inclusive .h file. At first we tried not defining the THINKC symbol, but the includes were so extensive that build time, even as fast as CodeWarrior is, was too long. So we went and built a precompiled header file (a simple, one step menu command), and added a #define for THINKC.

This is where we spent too much time. It was early in the morning, we were tired, and we got confused. At first, we built the precompiled headers without THINKC defined. Then we figured that out, and built them correctly. Then we forgot that we still had to have the symbol defined when we built the rest of the files. I don’t know how much time we wasted on that one, but the bottom line was, because of the way the files had originally been set up for building in either environment, we had to define the symbol both when building the headers and when compiling the sources.

Universal Procedure Pointers (UPPs) - It’s only fitting that I had to deal with UPPs and the universal headers, given that I spent so much time at Apple working on them. What goes around does seem to come around. Fortunately, we somehow managed to keep the impact to a minimum, and I only had to make a handful of changes, and it was no big deal to guess the UPP name for a specific procPtr (although I did have to open a couple of header files for names I guessed wrong).

All in all, we had a lot of fun, and it only took a little while to get up and going, and most of that was simply updating my code for the universal headers, a job I had to do anyway. I’m now enjoying fast build times and a smooth debugging environment, and am looking forward the forthcoming CodeWarrior improvements.

Software Developers conference

The third week in March found us in San Jose for the Software Developers Conference. Strangely enough, it started on the day of the Power Macintosh rollout. That wouldn’t really be noteworthy, but one particular sponsor of the conference saw fit to hang banners in the entryway, proudly sporting the following text: “The Power of Pentium, Available Today”. You don’t say?

That should have been enough of a tip-off, but we checked out the rest of the conference anyway. Evidently, software developer generally means “person who programs a box running a Microsoft operating system”. Sure, there were exceptions. Apple, Metrowerks, Symantec, and others did their part, but it was still clearly a conference mostly for little-endians. It was also clear that they have a rich selection of tools, many of which offer much more advanced visual features.

Symantec likes the number 7.0

Speaking of visual tools, Symantec announced their new C++, which includes a graphical interface builder. I saw a version of this a few months back, and complained about too much modality, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they put some effort into making it dynamic and modeless. They’ve made a lot of improvements, and it’s worth checking out. We’ll try to bring you a review soon.

I suppose I’ve seen cornier things, but the Symantec gala party/product announcement at the conference made me wonder. At least it had Windows developers asking, “Is that for Macintosh?” and looking a bit downcast when I said “Yes”.

For more info:

OpenDoc and Component Integration Laboratories (CIL), send a note to info@cil.org.

Microsoft, MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes), and the Developer Services Team (not a technical support group), call 1-800-227-4679x11771

Smalltalk Agents and their smalltalk discussion group, drop a note to buell@qks.com and ask to be added to the reflector.

CodeWarrior by Metrowerks, see the Mail Order Store at the back of the magazine, or call us at 310/575-4343. Metrowerks people have an active presence on the Internet, CompuServe, and other online services.

Food for thought

Seen in the San Jose Mercury News: “Pentium PCI System, Ultra High Performance System $2699. Intel 60MHz Pentium, PCI IDE HD, Intel PCI Mercury Chip Set, 512K cache, 16MB, MAXTOR 540MB 8.5ms IDE” Right next to it, on the same page, “Apple Power Macintosh 6100/60 8MB/160HD $1595, 7100/66 8MB/250HD $2699”.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Daylite 6.7.3 - Dynamic business organiz...
Daylite helps businesses organize themselves with tools such as shared calendars, contacts, tasks, projects, notes, and more. Enable easy collaboration with features such as task and project... Read more
VirtualBox 6.0.10 - x86 virtualization s...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
BetterTouchTool 3.149 - Customize multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom)... Read more
Dropbox 77.4.131 - Cloud backup and sync...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keeps them up-to-date between systems... Read more
MainStage 3 3.4.3 - Live performance too...
Apple MainStage makes it easy to bring to the stage all the same instruments and effects that you love in your recording. Everything from the Sound Library and Smart Controls you're familiar with... Read more
Paperless 3.0.6 - $69.95
Paperless is a digital documents manager. Remember when everyone talked about how we would soon be a paperless society? Now it seems like we use paper more than ever. Let's face it - we need and we... Read more
TextMate 2.0.rc.29 - Code/markup editor...
TextMate is a versatile plain text editor with a unique and innovative feature set which caused it to win an Apple Design Award for Best Mac OS X Developer Tool in August 2006 A rapidly growing... Read more
Notability 4.0.4 - Note-taking and annot...
Notability is a powerful note-taker to annotate documents, sketch ideas, record lectures, take notes and more. It combines, typing, handwriting, audio recording, and photos so you can create notes... Read more
CleanMyMac X 4.4.4 - Delete files that w...
CleanMyMac makes space for the things you love. Sporting a range of ingenious new features, CleanMyMac lets you safely and intelligently scan and clean your entire system, delete large, unused files... Read more
Geekbench 4.4.0 - Measure processor and...
Geekbench provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand,... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

TEPPEN guide - Tips and tricks for new p...
TEPPEN is a wild game that nobody asked for, but I’m sure glad it exists. Who would’ve thought that a CCG featuring Capcom characters could be so cool and weird? In case you’re not completely sure what TEPPEN is, make sure to check out our review... | Read more »
Dr. Mario World guide - Other games that...
We now live in a post-Dr. Mario World world, and I gotta say, things don’t feel too different. Nintendo continues to squirt out bad games on phones, causing all but the most stalwart fans of mobile games to question why they even bother... | Read more »
Strategy RPG Brown Dust introduces its b...
Epic turn-based RPG Brown Dust is set to turn 500 days old next week, and to celebrate, Neowiz has just unveiled its biggest and most exciting update yet, offering a host of new rewards, increased gacha rates, and a brand new feature that will... | Read more »
Dr. Mario World is yet another disappoin...
As soon as I booted up Dr. Mario World, I knew I wasn’t going to have fun with it. Nintendo’s record on phones thus far has been pretty spotty, with things trending downward as of late. [Read more] | Read more »
Retro Space Shooter P.3 is now available...
Shoot-em-ups tend to be a dime a dozen on the App Store, but every so often you come across one gem that aims to shake up the genre in a unique way. Developer Devjgame’s P.3 is the latest game seeking to do so this, working as a love letter to the... | Read more »
Void Tyrant guide - Guildins guide
I’ve still been putting a lot of time into Void Tyrant since it officially released last week, and it’s surprising how much stuff there is to uncover in such a simple-looking game. Just toray, I finished spending my Guildins on all available... | Read more »
Tactical RPG Brown Dust celebrates the s...
Neowiz is set to celebrate the summer by launching a 2-month long festival in its smash-hit RPG Brown Dust. The event kicks off today, and it’s divided into 4 parts, each of which will last two weeks. Brown Dust is all about collecting, upgrading,... | Read more »
Flappy Royale is an incredibly clever ta...
I spent the better part of my weekend playing Flappy Royale. I didn’t necessarily want to. I just felt like I had to. It’s a hypnotic experience that’s way too easy to just keep playing. | Read more »
Void Tyrant guide - General tips and tri...
Void Tyrant is a card-based dungeon-crawler that doesn’t fit in the mold of other games in the genre. Between the Blackjack-style combat and strange gear system alone, you’re left to your own devices to figure out how best to use everything to your... | Read more »
Webzen’s latest RPG First Hero is offici...
You might be busy sending your hulking Dark Knight into the midst of battle in Webzen’s other recent release: the long-anticipated MU Origin 2. But for something a little different, the South Korean publisher has launched First Hero. Released today... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Amazon drops prices, now offers clearance 13″...
Amazon has new dropped prices on clearance 13″ 2.3GHz Dual-Core non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros by $200 off Apple’s original MSRP, with prices now available starting at $1099. Shipping is free. Be sure to... Read more
2018 15″ MacBook Pros now on sale for $500 of...
Amazon has dropped prices on select clearance 2018 15″ 6-Core MacBook Pros to $500 off Apple’s original MSRP. Prices now start at $1899 shipped: – 2018 15″ 2.2GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Silver: $1899.... Read more
Price drop! Clearance 12″ 1.2GHz Silver MacBo...
Amazon has dropped their price on the recently-discontinued 12″ 1.2GHz Silver MacBook to $849.99 shipped. That’s $450 off Apple’s original MSRP for this model, and it’s the cheapest price available... Read more
Apple’s 21″ 3.0GHz 4K iMac drops to only $936...
Abt Electronics has dropped their price on clearance, previous-generation 21″ 3.0GHz 4K iMacs to only $936 shipped. That’s $363 off Apple’s original MSRP, and it’s the cheapest price we’ve seen so... Read more
Amazon’s Prime Day savings on Apple 11″ iPad...
Amazon has new 2018 Apple 11″ iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $250 off Apple’s MSRP as part of their Prime Day sale (but Prime membership is NOT required for these savings). These are... Read more
Prime Day Apple iPhone deal: $100 off all iPh...
Boost Mobile is offering Apple’s new 2018 iPhone Xr, iPhone Xs, and Xs Max for $100 off MSRP. Their discount reduces the cost of an Xs to $899 for the 64GB models and $999 for the 64GB Xs Max. Price... Read more
Clearance 13″ 2.3GHz Dual-Core MacBook Pros a...
Focus Camera has clearance 2017 13″ 2.3GHz/128GB non-Touch Bar Dual-Core MacBook Pros on sale for $169 off Apple’s original MSRP. Shipping is free. Focus charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents... Read more
Amazon Prime Day deal: 9.7″ Apple iPads for $...
Amazon is offering new 9.7″ WiFi iPads with Apple Pencil support for $80-$100 off MSRP as part of their Prime Day sale, starting at only $249. These are the same iPads found in Apple’s retail and... Read more
Amazon Prime Day deal: 10% (up to $20) off Ap...
Amazon is offering discounts on new 2019 Apple AirPods ranging up to $20 (10%) off MSRP as part of their Prime Day sales. Shipping is free: – AirPods with Charging Case: $144.99 $15 off MSRP –... Read more
Amazon Prime Day deal: $50-$80 off Apple Watc...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 3 models on sale for $50-$80 off Apple’s MSRP as part of their Prime Day deals with prices starting at only $199. Choose Amazon as the seller rather than a... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Systems Architect/Engineer, Vice Pre...
…its vision to be the world's most trusted financial group. **Summary:** Apple Systems Architect/Engineer with strong knowledge of products and services related to Read more
*Apple* Graders/Inspectors (Seasonal/Hourly/...
…requirements. #COVAentryleveljobs ## Minimum Qualifications Some knowledge of agricultural and/or the apple industry is helpful as well as the ability to comprehend, Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**710003BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000171-Winchester Road-Store **Job Description:** Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**709786BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000430-Orange Park-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
Geek Squad *Apple* Master Consultation Agen...
**709918BR** **Job Title:** Geek Squad Apple Master Consultation Agent **Job Category:** Services/Installation/Repair **Location Number:** 000106-Palmdale-Store Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.