TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Nov 95 Crabbs Apple
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:11
Column Tag:Crabb’s Apple

Visually Speaking

By Don Crabb

It’s November, 1995. Do you know where your Mac development efforts are heading? Will they be linked, arm-in-arm, with Metrowerks, Symantec, and Apple, or will you set-off in the direction of one of the Mac’s third party niche tools companies, like Main Event, Pictorius, MainStay, QKS, or Digitool? Maybe you’re even making the move to client/server development and are hunkering down with Oracle, 4th Dimension, Sybase, or even Filemaker Pro 3.0 (relational) and the FM Pro Server. And how much of your efforts are to develop software for both the Mac and Windows 95?

Visual Basic 4.0 for the Mac?

No matter what direction your Mac development efforts will take you, however, they won’t take you to Microsoft’s Visual Basic 4.0. MS has said “no way” to porting VB to the Mac, thus adding yet another brick to the wall isolating you from potential customers.

Customers who might buy your Mac products for their Mac ghettos if they could somehow interoperate your Mac apps effectively with their huge installed base of Windows products, most of which are driven by OLE.

Customers you might have reached a little faster if only you’d had the aid of VB 4.0 for the Mac to prototype and develop your Mac apps to live and work in a Windows world.

But Microsoft says “no way.” They don’t want Mac developers porting their apps to Windows. They want Mac developers to dump the Mac and develop directly for the 32 bit API of Win95 and NT.

The Importance of OLE and VB

No matter how little you think of OLE 2.0, it’s not going to go away just because OpenDoc is a better SOM implementation. And Visual Basic 4.0 is the raison d’tre of OLE 2.0. VB 4.0 lives and breathes OLE. It can create every kind of OLE server and container, including in-process servers.

With VB 4.0, the OCX standard has arrived with a flourish. VBX controls are automatically converted to OCX controls. The OCX language dialect is now VB and the runtime engine is shared by all MS Office 95 applications that use VB. And every third party addon module to Office 95.

You cannot, however, create OCX controls in VB, but you’d buy Borland’s Delphi 95 for that (yet another top Windows development tool that will not make it to the Mac).

VB 4.0 is also the defacto scripting language for Windows 95, even if MS has not pushed it as such (nor bundled it with the Win95 package as they should). As much as I love AppleScript and scripting on the Mac, VB 4.0 can do things that you can’t do nearly as well with AppleScript (even with 3rd party aids like Scripter and FaceSpan), like creating commercial applications or OLE objects. Visual Basic 4.0, in short, is a big deal. And it’s a bad deal for Mac developers (and customers) not to have it available for Macintosh.

What’s Hot About VB 4.0?

VB 4.0 is what I call a bridge language. It can be used by customers used to write application or system macros and scripts. It can be used by managers to create quickie apps. And it can be used by hard core application developers for everything from simple programs to advanced, enterprise-wide client/server applications thanks to its, different editions.

Professional Edition

The VB Professional Edition revolves around building Windows solutions quickly, making it a good fit for corporate IS departments. Coupled with the Visual Basic for Applications language engine (common across many MS apps), you get core developers able to communicate easily, leveraging their skills.

Enterprise Edition

For large programming teams building big applications, Microsoft provides Visual Basic, Enterprise Edition. It enables teams to develop with Visual Basic via the integrated Microsoft Visual SourceSafe(TM) project-oriented version control system. The Enterprise Edition also features fast, direct access to remote client/server databases with the Remote Data Control.

The list of what the Enterprise Edition of VB can do is long and impressive. Assuming you have at least half a brain, Microsoft expects that you can develop and debug a fully distributed application on a single workstation, then dynamically deploy it to network servers without much special help.

You can partition your application into MS-standard reusable OLE business rule components, which makes it easy to reuse these components, across your net, with different development tools. You can also use the Remote Data control for high-speed access to ODBC data sources such as Microsoft SQL Server and ORACLE. You can also keep team projects on track by using the Visual SourceSafe version control system which works through MS’s Solutions Frameworks

Network for Distributed Services.

In addition, and in no small measure, VB was designed to work with future Windows OS architectures (including NT), making it a very forgiving environment when MS pushes all of its Win95 customers over to WinNT (Cairo) in 1997-98. The Enterprise Edition of VB touts itself as the first second generation client/server tool that encourages developers to build scalable, maintainable, and widely reusable applications in a RAD environment. While that may be an exaggeration, the Enterprise Edition of VB is an important tool that will be widely used by our Windows chums.

And we have nothing like it for the Macintosh.

Numbers Don’t Lie

And that, like everything else in the VB scenario is bad for us. More than two million copies of VB have been put into developers hands, making it one of the most popular platform-specific tools you can buy for Windows. Name one Mac development tool that has sold two million copies.

The Microsoft Way

Bottom line, Microsoft is not about to expand VB’s reach to help us. Instead, they’re contented with keeping “the Mac in its place,” as a senior MS official told me recently. He went on to say that there was “no chance at all,” of VB being ported to the Mac, because MS was “not interested long term in helping the Mac work with Windows.” In fact, since “we’d rather that you guys just go away, why should we port our best devtools to you,” he concluded.

Why, indeed?

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Firetask Pro 4.2.2 - Innovative task man...
Firetask Pro uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask Pro's "Today" view shows all... Read more
Bookends 13.4.3 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
LibreOffice 6.4.5.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
Thunderbird 68.10.0 - Email client from...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
Firefox 78.0.1 - Fast, safe Web browser.
Firefox offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals and casual... Read more
BetterTouchTool 3.389 - 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
Slack 4.7.0 - Collaborative communicatio...
Slack brings team communication and collaboration into one place so you can get more work done, whether you belong to a large enterprise or a small business. Check off your to-do list and move your... Read more
OsiriX Lite 11.0.3 - 3D medical image pr...
OsiriX Lite is an image processing software dedicated to DICOM images (".dcm" / ".DCM" extension) produced by medical equipment (MRI, CT, PET, PET-CT, ...) and confocal microscopy (LSM and BioRAD-PIC... Read more
Wireshark 3.2.5 - Network protocol analy...
Wireshark is one of the world's foremost network protocol analyzers, and is the standard in many parts of the industry. It is the continuation of a project that started in 1998. Hundreds of... Read more
Dabble 1.6.1 - Organize your manuscript,...
Dabble organizes your manuscript, story notes, and plot. Dabble simplifies the story, leaving more room in your brain to create, which is what being a writer is really about. Organize your story.... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Pokemon Go's July Community Day wil...
Pokemon Go developers have announced the details concerning the upcoming Gastly Community Day. This particular event was selected by the players of the game after the Gas Pokemon came in second place after a poll that decided which Pokemon would... | Read more »
Clash Royale: The Road to Legendary Aren...
Supercell recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and their best title, Clash Royale, is as good as it's ever been. Even for lapsed players, returning to the game is as easy as can be. If you want to join us in picking the game back up, we've put... | Read more »
Detective Di is a point-and-click murder...
Detective Di is a point-and-click murder mystery set in Tang Dynasty-era China. You'll take on the role of China's best-known investigator, Di Renjie, as he solves a series of grisly murders that will ultimately lead him on a collision course with... | Read more »
Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is se...
Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, one of Square Enix's many popular mobile RPGs, has announced a plethora of in-game events that are set to take place over the summer. This will include several rewards, Free Multi Draws and more. [Read more] | Read more »
Sphaze is a neat-looking puzzler where y...
Sphaze is a neat-looking puzzler where you'll work to guide robots through increasingly elaborate mazes. It's set in a visually distinct world that's equal parts fantasy and sci-fi, and it's finally launched today for iOS and Android devices. [... | Read more »
Apple Arcade is in trouble
Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Apple is disappointed in the performance of Apple Arcade and will be shifting their approach to the service by focusing on games that can retain subscribers and canceling other upcoming releases that don't fit... | Read more »
Pixel Petz, an inventive platform for de...
Pixel Petz has built up a sizeable player base thanks to its layered, easy-to-understand creative tools and friendly social experience. It revolves around designing, trading, and playing with a unique collection of pixel art pets, and it's out now... | Read more »
The King of Fighters Allstar's late...
The King of Fighters ALLSTAR, Netmarble's popular action RPG, has once again been updated with a plethora of new content. This includes battle cards, events and 21 new fighters, which increases the already sizeable roster even more. [Read more] | Read more »
Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe, the mobile s...
Square Enix latest mobile spin-off Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe is available now globally for both iOS and Android. It initially launched in Japan back in 2018 where it's proven to be incredibly popular, so now folks in the West can finally see what... | Read more »
Away: Journey to the Unexpected is a sto...
Away: Journey to the Unexpected looks really quite lovely. Stylish, cute, and clearly heavily inspired by Japanese animation, it's amongst the best-looking mobile games on the horizon. Developed by a two-person team, this story-driven rogue-lite... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

July 4th Sale: Woot offers wide range of Macs...
Amazon-owned Woot is blowing out a wide range of Apple Macs and iPads for July 4th staring at $279 and ranging up to just over $1000. Models vary from older iPads and 11″ MacBook Airs to some newer... Read more
Apple Pro Display XDR with Nano-Texture Glass...
Abt Electronics has Apple’s new 32″ Pro Display XDR model with the nano-texture glass in stock and on sale today for up to $144 off MSRP. Shipping is free: – Pro Display XDR (nano-texture glass): $... Read more
New 2020 Mac mini on sale for up to $100 off...
Amazon has Apple’s new 2020 Mac minis on sale today for $40-$100 off MSRP with prices starting at $759. Shipping is free: – 2020 4-Core Mac mini: $759 $40 off MSRP – 2020 6-Core Mac mini: $998.99 $... Read more
July 4th Sale: $100 off every 2020 13″ MacBoo...
Apple resellers have new 2020 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off Apple’s MSRP as part of their July 4th sales. Starting at $899, these are the cheapest new 2020 MacBooks for sale anywhere: (1) B... Read more
This hidden deal on Apple’s site can save you...
Are you a local, state, or federal government employee? If so, Apple offers special government pricing on their products, including AirPods, for you as well as immediate family members. Here’s how... Read more
Apple Watch Series 3 models on sale for new l...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 3 GPS models on sale for $30 off MSRP, starting at only $169. Their prices are the lowest available for these models from any Apple reseller. Choose Amazon as the seller... Read more
Deal Alert! Get these refurbished 2018 13″ Ma...
Apple has restocked and lowered prices on select Certified Refurbished 2018 13″ MacBook Airs, starting at only $679. Each MacBook features a new outer case, comes with a standard Apple one-year... Read more
July 4th Sale: 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros for $2...
B&H Photo has new 2020 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros on sale for $200 off Apple’s MSRP as part of their July 4th sale. Prices start at $1599. These are the same MacBook Pros sold by Apple in their... Read more
July 1 only: $100 off Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro...
Boost Mobile is offering Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max models for $100 off MSRP with service. Their discount reduces the cost of an iPhone 11/64GB to $599, iPhone 11 Pro to $899 for... Read more
Apple offers $50-$100 Education discount on i...
Purchase a new 12.9″ or 11″ iPad Pro at Apple using your Education discount, and Apple will take $50-$100 off their MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution with a .edu... Read more

Jobs Board

Operating Room Assistant, *Apple* Hill Surg...
Operating Room Assistant, Apple Hill Surgical Center - Full Time, Day Shift, Monday - Saturday availability required Tracking Code 62363 Job Description Operating Read more
Perioperative RN - ( *Apple* Hill Surgical C...
Perioperative RN - ( Apple Hill Surgical Center) Tracking Code 60593 Job Description Monday - Friday - Full Time Days Possible Saturdays General Summary: Under the Read more
Product Manager, *Apple* Commercial Sales -...
Product Manager, Apple Commercial Sales Austin, TX, US Requisition Number:77652 As an Apple Product Manager for the Commercial Sales team at Insight, you Read more
*Apple* Mac Product Engineer - Barclays (Uni...
Apple Mac EngineerWhippany, NJ Support the development and delivery of solutions, products, and capabilities into the Barclays environment working across technical Read more
Blue *Apple* Cafe Student Worker - Pennsylv...
…enhance your work experience. Student positions are available at the Blue Apple Cafe. Employee meal discount during working hours. Duties include food preparation, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.