TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Getting Started: Circa 2002

Volume Number: 18 (2002)
Issue Number: 11
Column Tag: Getting Started

Getting Started: Circa 2002

by Dave Mark

I have to tell you, it feels great to be back. It's been a little more than five years since my last Getting Started column, but it feels like an eternity. The long and winding road from the days of Inside Macintosh, Nubus cards, black and white monitors, GetPort() and SetPort(), trap patching, 68K emulation, etc. has turned a radical new corner.

Though the vast majority of all Macs still run System 9 or earlier, the future is clear. This is a unique moment in time and you have a unique opportunity. Back in the frontier days of Macintosh development, an unusual mix of elements was taking shape. There was a wonderful new computing platform that freed you from the traditional bonds of DOS. Instead of a limited (and frequently cryptic) set of commands that governed your interaction with your computer, applications such as MacWrite and MacPaint allowed you to express yourself in revolutionary new ways.

As with any revolutionary change, opportunities blossomed. People loved the Macintosh and, as word spread, their hunger for new applications grew dramatically. Problem was, developing a Mac application was completely different than the relatively simple process of building a DOS or Unix app. Back in the day, Inside Macintosh was a single volume that came in a loose leaf binder, and deciphering its mysteries required dedication and a great deal of trial and error. But, for those "in the know", there was money to be made. Startups were everywhere. This was fertile ground. Exciting times.

I loved those early days. The excitement of learning about something so new and so beautifully crafted inspired me. And once I understood the basics, I felt compelled to share my knowledge with the Mac development community. I wrote books like the Macintosh Programming Primer series, Learn C on the Macintosh and, of course, 7 years worth of Getting Started columns for MacTech.

Over time, each new release of the Mac OS brought less dramatic changes and the process moved from revolutionary to evolutionary. As the process of building a Mac application became less mystical and more practical, money came to the table and getting a Mac application to market and competing with established brands became harder and much more expensive. What was once a fun, "programming for the beauty of it" process moved from the computer science end of the spectrum to the marketing end of the spectrum. The pioneer days were dead.

And now we've come full circle. Mac OS X is a whole new beast. New APIs to learn, a new development environment to explore, new widgets to play around with. We've got a whole new frontier to explore and there are opportunities here for all of us.

Getting Started

There are a number of paths to explore here. We'll start with the most straightforward, building an app using the Objective C programming language and Apple's Cocoa framework. Over the coming months, we'll dig into the basics of Objective C. Over time, we'll take on Cocoa and, eventually, explore some of the other paths to build our Mac OS X apps. I'd also like to spend some time under the hood, exploring the OS upon which Mac OS X is based, Apple's port of the Unix operating system.

Go get the tools

There are a number of good choices out there when it comes to development tools. There's CodeWarrior from Metrowerks, REALbasic from REAL Software, a variety of AppleScript environments, and many others. For the moment, we're going to focus our attention on the tools that Apple provides, gratis, to ensure we all start on the same footing.

    When Apple bought NeXT back in December of '96, they got Steve Jobs back and they also got Steve's OS and the development tools crafted to work alongside the OS. The OS evolved into Mac OS X, and the tools became Apple's official Mac OS X dev tools.

Many of you already have Apple's dev tools in hand. Newer Macs ship with a Developer Tools CD. You may find that your Mac came with the tools pre-installed. Nonetheless, go through the web site, download the latest and greatest, and install them on your machine.

First step: Navigate to:

http://developer.apple.com

This is the home for the Apple Developer Connection, also known as ADC. There is a ton of great material on this site. You can sign up for Apple's various developer programs, including the Premier (US$3500 per year), Select (US$500 per year), Student (US$99 per year), Mailing (US$199 per year), and Online (FREE) programs. Take some time to go through the program descriptions to see if one of them is right for you.

To get the tools, all you have to do is register for the Online program. To register, send your browser to:

http://connect.apple.com

Click the "Join" button, read the license, click "Agree", then fill out the form and select your new Apple ID. Once your account is set up, log in, then select Download Software from the nav bar on the left hand side of the ADC window. Next, click Mac OS X from the sub-nav bar (Figure 1).


Figure 1. Click the Download Software link, then Mac OS X

There are a lot of choices on this page. As I write this, the latest releases are the July 2002 Mac OS X 10.2 Developer Tools and the August 2002 Dev Tools 10.2 Update. By the time this column gets to you, however, there may be a new release of the tools or another update. As a rule, download the most recent Developer Tools package first. Then, check to see if an Update package was released after the Developer Tools package. If so, download it as well. Install the Developer Tools package and the Update, if applicable.

Checking the Install

Once the tools are installed, you should have a directory named Developer at the top level of your hard drive. My Developer directory listing is shown in Figure 2. Take a few moments to go through the various Developer sub-directories.


Figure 2. The Developer directory after the tools install.

In the Applications directory, you'll find a number of interesting tools, including one we'll fire up in just a sec called Project Builder. For you CodeWarrior fans, Project Builder is sort of the equivalent of the CodeWarrior IDE, a command central for all your project files and the application that actually calls the compiler and other code building tools.

The Documentation folder is also filled with important goodies. Get to know what docs are available. There's a lot of good reading in there, and it's all free. One short file worth reading is the README.html file in the Documentation directory. This file will open in your web browser and lists various ways to access the documentation from within Project Builder.

If you'd like to get ahead of the game, take a look at the file:

/Developer/Documentation/Cocoa/ObjectiveC/ObjC.pdf

ObjC.pdf will give you a fairly thorough grounding in the Objective C language.

Take 'em For a Spin

Now that the tools are installed, let's take them for a spin. This month's project will be a simple C "Hello World" project, just to get a sense of the environment. Next month, we'll try our hand at some Objective C code.

Navigate into the /Developer/Applications folder and launch Project Builder. Select New Project... from the File menu. The New Project dialog appears, allowing you to specify the type of project you'd like to build. Scroll all the way to the bottom and select Standard Tool (Figure 3). Standard Tool builds an ANSI C command line program. Click the Next button.


Figure 3. Select the Standard Tool project template.

You'll be prompted for a directory in which to store all the project related files (Figure 4), including all source, object, and binaries. Name your project Hello World, then click the Choose... button to browse on your hard drive for a location for the Hello World folder. I created a Projects folder within my personal folder rather than storing the projects within the /Developer directory. I don't want to wipe out my projects when I decide to do a wipe and reinstall of the dev tools.


Figure 4. Saving your new project files.

Now click the Finish button. Project Builder will build a project for you, complete with a source code file named main.c containing a main() function any C programmer will recognize in a heartbeat.

The project window that appears contains a number of elements. We'll get into them in detail in next month's column. For now, the important elements are the "Groups & Files" pane, the code editing pane, and the toolbar (at the top of the window, the one with all the funny hammer icons).

In the "Groups & Files" pane, click on the disclosure triangle to the left of the Source folder icon. You'll reveal a single file named main.c within the Source group. Click on main.c. Notice the source code that appears in the code editing pane (Figure 5).


Figure 5. The Hello World source code listed in the project window's code editing pane.

Let's run this sucker. Click on the 3rd icon in the toolbar (the one with the hammer covered by a computer display). If you hover over the icon, a tooltip appears with the words "Build and run active executable". That's the one we want. This will compile our source, link our object code into an executable and run the executable. Do it.

Your result should be eerily similar to the one shown in Figure 6. Cool!


Figure 6. Hello World does its thing.

When you asked Project Builder to build and run your project, Project Builder did just that. If you click in the Window menu, you'll see three sub-items under the "Hello World - (Hello World)" item. The one selected in Figure 7 is the Build window. Under that is the Project window (in this case, listing the main.c source code). Under that is the Run window showing the output of the program execution.


Figure 7. Project Builder's Window menu.

You can close any of these windows at any time, though you'll likely want to keep the project window open so you can make changes to your source code and build and run your app.

Till Next Month...

Want to play some more? Good! Try making some changes to the source code. Got an old copy of Learn C on the Macintosh lying around? Try typing in some of that source code. And if you are really adventuresome, take the debugger for a spin. Hint: The tooltip for the 2nd icon from the left in the project window's toolbar says "Build and debug active executable".

Next month, we'll go through Project Builder in a bit more detail and go through the debugger as well. It's good to be back - Thanks for reading!


Dave Mark is very old. He's been hanging around with Apple since before there was electricity and has written a number of books on Macintosh development, including Learn C on the Macintosh, Learn C++ on the Macintosh, and The Macintosh Programming Primer series. Dave maintains a primitive web site at http://www.spiderworks.com

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Viber 11.9.1 - Send messages and make fr...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device, so... Read more
Vallum 3.3.2 - $15.00
Vallum is a little tool that helps you monitor and block apps connections and throttle apps bandwidth. It is able to intercept connections at the application layer, and hold them while you decide... Read more
Microsoft OneNote 16.31 - Free digital n...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Apple Pages 8.2.1 - Apple's word pr...
Apple Pages is a powerful word processor that gives you everything you need to create documents that look beautiful. And read beautifully. It lets you work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices, and... Read more
Numbers 6.2.1 - Apple's spreadsheet...
With Apple Numbers, sophisticated spreadsheets are just the start. The whole sheet is your canvas. Just add dramatic interactive charts, tables, and images that paint a revealing picture of your data... Read more
f.lux 39.9873 - Adjusts the color of you...
f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake... Read more
Deeper 2.5.0 - Enable hidden features in...
Deeper is a personalization utility for macOS which allows you to enable and disable the hidden functions of the Finder, Dock, QuickTime, Safari, iTunes, login window, Spotlight, and many of Apple's... Read more
NTFS 15.5.71 - Provides full read and wr...
NTFS breaks down the barriers between Windows and macOS. Paragon NTFS effectively solves the communication problems between the Mac system and NTFS. Write, edit, copy, move, delete files on NTFS... Read more
MTR 5.3.0.0 - The Mac's oldest and...
MTR (was MacTheRipper)--the Mac's oldest and smartest DVD-backup app. MTR - the complete toolbox, not a one-trick, point-and-click extractor. MTR is intended for making fair-use, backup copies of... Read more
Keynote 9.2.1 - Apple's presentatio...
Easily create gorgeous presentations with the all-new Keynote, featuring powerful yet easy-to-use tools and dazzling effects that will make you a very hard act to follow. The Theme Chooser lets you... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Black Desert Mobile gets an official rel...
Pearl Abyss has just announced that its highly-anticipated MMO, Black Desert Mobile, will launch globally for iOS and Android on December 11th. [Read more] | Read more »
Another Eden receives new a episode, cha...
Another Eden, WFS' popular RPG, has received another update that brings new story content to the game alongside a few new heroes to discover. [Read more] | Read more »
Overdox guide - Tips and tricks for begi...
Overdox is a clever battle royale that changes things up by adding MOBA mechanics and melee combat to the mix. This new hybrid game can be quite a bit to take in at first, so we’ve put together a list of tips to help you get a leg up on the... | Read more »
Roterra Extreme - Great Escape is a pers...
Roterra Extreme – Great Escape has been described by developers Dig-It Games as a mini-sequel to their acclaimed title Roterra: Flip the Fairytale. It continues that game's tradition of messing with which way is up, tasking you with solving... | Read more »
Hearthstone: Battlegrounds open beta lau...
Remember earlier this year when auto battlers were the latest hotness? We had Auto Chess, DOTA Underlords, Chess Rush, and more all gunning for our attention. They all had their own reasons to play, but, at least from where I'm standing, most... | Read more »
The House of Da Vinci 2 gets a new gamep...
The House of Da Vinci launched all the way back in 2017. Now, developer Blue Brain Games is gearing up to deliver a second dose of The Room-inspired puzzling. Some fresh details have now emerged, alongside the game's first official trailer. [Read... | Read more »
Shoot 'em up action awaits in Battl...
BattleBrew Productions has just introduced another entry into its award winning, barrelpunk inspired, BattleSky Brigade series. Whilst its previous title BattleSky Brigade TapTap provided fans with idle town building gameplay, this time the... | Read more »
Arcade classic R-Type Dimensions EX blas...
If you're a long time fan of shmups and have been looking for something to play lately, Tozai Games may have just released an ideal game for you on iOS. R-Type Dimensions EX brings the first R-Type and its sequel to iOS devices. [Read more] | Read more »
Intense VR first-person shooter Colonicl...
Our latest VR obsession is Colonicle, an intense VR FPS, recently released on Oculus and Google Play, courtesy of From Fake Eyes and Goboogie Games. It's a pulse-pounding multiplayer shooter which should appeal to genre fanatics and newcomers alike... | Read more »
PUBG Mobile's incoming update bring...
PUGB Mobile's newest Royale Pass season they're calling Fury of the Wasteland arrives tomorrow and with it comes a fair chunk of new content to the game. We'll be seeing a new map, weapon and even a companion system. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Weekend Sale: Apple AirPods Pro for $234.98 a...
Abt Electronics has Apple’s new AirPods Pro in stock and on sale today for $234.98 including free shipping and free returns. Their price is $15 off Apple’s MSRP for these AirPods and tie Amazon... Read more
New 2019 16″ MacBook Pros on sale for $100 of...
Apple Authorized Reseller Adorama has new 2019 16″ MacBook Pros on sale today for $100 off Apple’s MSRP, each including free shipping. In addition, Adorama charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents... Read more
Apple Watch Series 3 GPS models on sale for l...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 3 GPS models on sale starting at only $179. There prices are the lowest we’ve ever seen for these models from any Apple reseller. Choose Amazon as the seller rather than... Read more
iOS Bug In Facebook News Feed Lets Device Ca...
NEWS: 11.15.19- Users of the Facebook social media platform’s mobile app running on iOS devices won’t, like, this piece of news one bit in where a bug in the News Feed gave access to the camera... Read more
16″ MacBook Pros on sale! Preorder at Amazon...
Apple’s new 16″ MacBook Pros were only introduced yesterday, but Amazon is already offering a $100 discount on preorders. Prices for the base 6-Core 16″ MacBook Pros start at $2299: – 2019 16″ 2.6GHz... Read more
Use our exclusive MacBook Price Trackers to f...
Our Apple award-winning MacBook price trackers are the best place to look for the best sales & lowest prices on new and clearance MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros–including Apple’s new 16″ MacBook... Read more
New November Verizon iPhone deal: Get an iPho...
Verizon has the 64GB iPhone Xr on sale for 50% off for a limited time, plus they will include a free $200 prepaid MasterCard and a free Amazon Echo Dot. That reduces their price for the 64GB iPhone... Read more
Apple cuts prices on clearance, refurbished 2...
Apple has clearance 2018 15″ 6-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros, Certified Refurbished, now available starting at only $1829. Each model features a new outer case, shipping is free, and an Apple 1-year... Read more
Up to $450 price drop on clearance 15″ MacBoo...
B&H Photo has dropped prices Apple’s 2019 15″ 6-Core and 8-Core MacBook Pros by $400-$450 off original MSRP, starting at $1999, with free overnight shipping available to many addresses in the US... Read more
Here’s how to save $200 on Apple’s new 16″ Ma...
Apple has released details of their Education discount associated with the new 2019 16″ 6-Core and 8-Core MacBook Pros. Take $200 off the price of the new 8-Core model (now $2599) and $200 off the 16... Read more

Jobs Board

Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**746887BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Store NUmber or Department:** 001512-Ankeny-Store **Job Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**746836BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Store NUmber or Department:** 000341-Scranton-Store **Job Description:** **What Read more
QA Manager, *Apple* - CBS Corporation (Unit...
# QA Manager, Apple **REF#:** 35331 **CBS BUSINESS UNIT:** CBS Interactive **JOB TYPE:** Full-Time Staff **JOB SCHEDULE:** **JOB LOCATION:** Burbank, CA **ABOUT Read more
*Apple* Mobility Pro - Best Buy (United Stat...
**744315BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobility Pro **Job Category:** Store Associates **Store NUmber or Department:** 000662-Auburn AL-Store **Job Description:** At Best Read more
Nurse Practitioner - Field Based (San Bernard...
Nurse Practitioner - Field Based (San Bernardino, CA, Apple Valley, Hesperia) **Location:** **United States** **New** **Requisition #:** PS30312 **Post Date:** 4 Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.