TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacApp Pascal
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:11
Column Tag:Pascal Activists

MacApp Pascal Rides Again

Volunteers convert MacApp Pascal to generate native PowerPC code

By Brian Arnold and Guy McCarthy

In 1992, Apple stunned Macintosh developers by announcing that it was dropping MPW Pascal support from its compiler suite and from MacApp, their premier application framework. This was a shock, given that Apple had been advising developers for years to program in Object Pascal with MacApp for maximum compatibility with future technology.

MacApp developers split into two camps: those able to make the arduous transition to C++, and those who could not justify the expense or were unwilling to abandon Object Pascal. The latter group faced an uncertain future, and hopes of porting existing MacApp applications to run native on the new platform were slim.

Before the fateful announcement, Apple and Language Systems had been collaborating on the next generation of Pascal compilers for the RISC-based Macintosh. That project, however, was ultimately scrapped when Apple decided to drop multi-language support from its RISC compiler architecture. In December of 1993, development of LS Object Pascal began again, this time using source code from Apple’s MPW Pascal compiler as the base. It was a long and difficult task to merge the aging MPW Pascal source code with Language System’s FORTRAN technology and update it for the PowerMacintosh.

In May of 1994, the first native Pascal sample program was shown to an enthusiastic crowd of Pascal supporters at the World Wide Developers’ Conference. Shortly after, a grass-roots cooperative of Pascal MacApp developers was formed to investigate the possibility of porting MacApp native with the Language Systems compiler. The MacApp2PPC co-op (as it has come to be known) was organized by Brian Arnold of Lumina Decision Systems. This group of volunteers proceeded to accomplish what the corporations could not.

Over the next several months, contributors on three continents began the lengthy process of converting the entire body of MacApp 2.0.1 source code. In October, an FTP site and Web page were operational with a preliminary version of the scripts and documentation (see below). In November, key changes to the compiler’s runtime architecture were implemented to satisfy requirements of the group. By December 1994, all of the converted source code was compiling successfully with Language Systems’ beta LS Object Pascal compiler. Only runtime issues remained.

In February, the target release date of May 1995 was set to coincide with the Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose, California. Final technical issues were addressed during a 48 hour “Hack Session” on March 17-19 in nearby Menlo Park. Language Systems sent two compiler engineers with Power Macintosh CPUs to aid the effort.

The Hack Session was a success. Participants (some of them operating remotely) included: Masahiro Abe, Brian Arnold, Colleen Barton, Per Bergland, Greg Branche, Larry Hamel, Steven Hopkins, Eric Jackson, David Johnston, Steve Lavagnino, Cheryl Lins, Kurt Schmucker, and Larry Tesler. Although the first native execution of a complete MacApp application was still weeks away, important technical issues, such as exception handling, were resolved. In addition, new technology such as floating palettes and other enhancements were merged into the Pascal framework.

In the weeks following the Hack Session, the co-op mounted an incredible effort to get PowerPC native MacApp 2.0.1 up to beta quality in time for the Developer Conference. Support for the Metrowerks Pascal compiler was added. Several key managers at Apple joined in and arranged a distribution license so that Language Systems and Metrowerks could include the PowerPC native MacApp 2.0.1 on their CDs. (Special thanks to Kurt Schmucker for rallying this effort!) The first developer release of MacApp2PPC shipped on CodeWarrior DR6 in May. An improved version shipped on DR7, but owing to a CD pressing glitch, the project files and documentation are wrong; the correct material is available online (see below).

About a dozen developers have already partially or completely ported their applications to PowerPC, and a few of them have already started shipping their native applications. Brian Arnold ported his own application, Analytica™, in under two weeks, and expects to ship by the end of the year.

It is hoped that by January 1996, two versions will be ready: the final, stable MacApp2PPC, and a developer release of an improved version. MacTech hopes to report further details in upcoming issues. In the mean time, developers who have LS Pascal can use the netborne release of MacApp2PPC. For more information see the MacApp2PPC web pages at:

http://www.lumina.com/arnold/MacApp2PPC.html

Or, for anonymous ftp:

ftp://ftp.rahul.net/ftp/pub/arnold/macapp2ppc.

To get on the mailing list, write to:

arnold@lumina.com

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Players can take a peek into the design...
It doesn’t matter how much effort developers put into their classes, or how many special little mechanics there are; if there is one that wields two blades, I’m ignoring everything else. Diablo Immortal recently announced such a class in the shape... | Read more »
Android users have a new option in the c...
When you are in the thick of a firefight or trying to pull off a mid-combat parkour flip through a squad of foes, sometimes touchscreen control just won’t do it for you. For those intense sessions, you could benefit from a good mobile controller,... | Read more »
Jagex releases the first of three origin...
At this point, I am sure everyone has heard of Runescape, and or Runescape Classic. It has been going strong for 23 years, with constant content and story coming out. Luckily for fans of the game, or fantasy in general, Jagex has announced an... | Read more »
Watcher of Realms unveils new story and...
Watcher of Realms players are in for quite the feast this month, as Moonton release two powerful new heroes, including one that will burst down even the most mighty of foes. Recruit your new friends, and then burn through the Main Quest expansion... | Read more »
Reverse: 1999 continues its trip down un...
The field trip to Australia continues in Reverse: 1999 as Phase 2 of Revival! The Uluru Games kicks off. You will be able to collect new characters, engage with new events, get hordes of free gifts, and follow the story of a mushroom-based... | Read more »
Ride into the zombie apocalypse in style...
Back in the good old days of Flash games, there were a few staples; Happy Wheels, Stick RPG, and of course the apocalyptic driver Earn to Die. Fans of the running over zombies simulator can rejoice, as the sequel to the legendary game, Earn to Die... | Read more »
Top Mobile Game Discounts
Every day, we pick out a curated list of the best mobile discounts on the App Store and post them here. This list won't be comprehensive, but it every game on it is recommended. Feel free to check out the coverage we did on them in the links below... | Read more »
Netflix Games expands its catalogue with...
It is a good time to be a Netflix subscriber this month. I presume there's a good show or two, but we are, of course, talking about their gaming service that seems to be picking up steam lately. May is adding five new titles, and there are some... | Read more »
Pokemon Go takes a step closer to real P...
When Pokemon Go was first announced, one of the best concepts of the whole thing was having your favourite Pokemon follow you in the real world and be able to interact with them. To be frank, the AR Snapshot tool could have done a lot more to help... | Read more »
Seven Knights Idle Adventure drafts in a...
Seven Knights Idle Adventure is opening up more stages, passing the 15k mark, and players may find themselves in need of more help to clear these higher stages. Well, the cavalry has arrived with the introduction of the Legendary Hero Iris, as... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Weekend Deal! Best Buy has Apple Watch Series...
Best Buy has Apple Watch Series 9 models on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store this weekend. Sale prices available for online orders only, in-store prices may vary. Order online, and choose... Read more
Apple Watch SE on sale starting at $199 this...
Best Buy has all Apple Watch SE models on sale this weekend for $50 off MSRP on their online store. Sale prices available for online orders only, in-store prices may vary. Order online, and choose... Read more
Mac Pro with M2 Ultra CPU on sale for $6699,...
In the market for one of Apple’s Mac Pro towers? B&H Photo has the base Mac Pro with an Apple M2 Ultra CPU, 64GB RAM, and 1TB SSD on sale for $6699 including free 1-2 day shipping to most... Read more
New May Verizon promotion: Switch and get a f...
Red Hot Deal Days at Verizon: Switch to Verizon this month, and get the 256GB iPhone 15 Pro for free, with trade-in, when you add a new line of service. Verizon is also offering a free cellular iPad... Read more
Updated Apple MacBook Price Trackers
Our Apple award-winning MacBook Price Trackers are continually updated with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability for 16″ and 14″ MacBook Pros along with 13″ and 15″ MacBook... Read more
13-inch M2 MacBook Airs on sale for only $849...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs with M2 CPUs and 256GB of storage in stock and on sale for $150 off Apple’s new MSRP, only $849. Free 1-2 day delivery is available to most US addresses. Their... Read more
13-inch M3 MacBook Airs on sale starting at $...
Amazon has every configuration and color of Apple’s 13″ M3 MacBook Air on sale for $150 off MSRP, now starting at $949 shipped. Their prices are the lowest available for these Airs among Apple’s... Read more
14-inch M3 Pro/Max MacBook Pro available toda...
Apple has 14″ M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pros in stock today and available, Certified Refurbished, starting at $1699 and ranging up to $480 off MSRP. Each model features a new outer case, shipping is... Read more
Apple has the Apple Watch Ultra available for...
Apple has several Certified Refurbished Apple Watch Ultra models available in their online store for $589, or $210 off original MSRP. Each Watch includes Apple’s standard one-year warranty, a new... Read more
M2 Mac minis on sale starting at only $449
B&H Photo has M2-powered Mac minis in stock and on sale today for $100 off Apple’s MSRP. Free 1-2 day shipping is available for most US addresses: – Mac mini M2/256GB SSD: $499, save $100 – Mac... Read more

Jobs Board

Sublease Associate Optometrist- *Apple* Val...
Sublease Associate Optometrist- Apple Valley, CA- Target Optical Date: Apr 20, 2024 Brand: Target Optical Location: Apple Valley, CA, US, 92307 **Requisition Read more
Remote Secret *Apple* MacOS Workspace ONE A...
Job Description The Apple MacOS Workspace ONE AirWatch Engineer role is primarily responsible for managing a fleet of 400-500 MacBook computers. The ideal candidate Read more
Senior Software Engineer - *Apple* Fundamen...
…center of Microsoft's efforts to empower our users to do more. The Apple Fundamentals team focused on defining and improving the end-to-end developer experience in Read more
*Apple* Software Engineer - HP Inc. (United...
…Mobile, Windows and Mac applications. We are seeking a high energy Senior Apple mobile engineer who can lead and drive application development while also enabling Read more
Pharmacy Technician (Community) - *Apple* H...
Pharmacy Technician (Community) - Apple Hill Pharmacy - Day Location: WellSpan Health, York, PA Schedule: Full Time Sign-On Bonus Eligible Remote/Hybrid Regular Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.