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September 95 - Letters

LETTERS

FLOATING WINDOWS AGAIN
I'd like to use the library of functions for floating windows described in develop Issue 15 by Dean Yu (updated on Issue 21's CD). I'm using CodeWarrior 5.5, and when I try to compile the sample project (or any other project that includes the WindowExtensions.h file) I get a "WindowRef redeclared" error. There seems to be a conflict with the universal headers. Before I try to get rid of this error myself (and probably make everything wrong), I thought I'd ask if you could suggest a simple and clean solution.
-- Fred Klein

On this issue's CD is a new version of the floating windows library that fixes this problem, and others. The problem was that Apple finally "caught up" with Dean and defined things in the universal headers that he had defined, in his forward-looking way, back when he first wrote the article. Also on the CD you'll find an even newer version of the library that compiles with STRICT_WINDOWS defined. This necessitated a complete rewrite of some portions of the code, so consider it risky. Please try it and send me any bugs you find!
-- Dave Johnson

POWERPC ASSEMBLY NITS
Great article on PowerPCTM assembly language in develop Issue 21! It was clear, and I learned a lot reading it. But I have two nitpicks. On page 27 you show glue code for a cross-TOC call. The second instruction should be

stw	RTOC, 20(SP)
And the third instruction has a typo in it. It should be
lwz	r0, 0(r12)
-- David Shayer

Thanks for catching these. The interesting thing is that the second instruction appears that (wrong) way in the PPCAsm manual. Whoops!
-- Dave Evans

UP ON THE DOWNSIDE
I just wanted to tell you that I really liked the Veteran Neophyte column in Issue 21, about the downside of programming. It struck a nerve with me. The thing that goes through my mind whenever I sit down to write some code is "There has to be a better way!" Alas, by the time there is a better way, I will probably have moved on to some other profession.
-- Jamie Osborne

Your Veteran Neophyte column on the pains of programming really struck a nerve (and not just because I have carpal tunnel syndrome). I often spend a while putting things on paper, only to abandon the project once I become convinced that I've figured out the solution and its implementation would just be hours and hours of typing. Sort of meta-programming.
-- Tom Busey

I just finished reading the Veteran Neophyte columns in Issue 17 and Issue 21, "Why We Do It" and "The Downside." They were given to me by a friend who is an avid programmer. The type of things you described sounded just like my friend; I think he showed the columns to me to explain why every time I see him he's sitting in front of the computer, and why he stays up till all hours of the morning working on programs that end up frustrating him.

I thought I should let you know that your columns were appreciated not only by those who program, but by those who are close to programmers and wonder sometimes what unseen force has gotten hold of them and sucked them into their work.
-- Greta Meussling

The "Downside" column seems to have hit home with many people; I got a lot of comments about it. It's nice to be assured that I'm not the only reluctant programmer in the world, and that I'm not the only one who thinks there ought to be a better way.
-- Dave Johnson

ACROBAT: PRETTY DARN FINE
This probably isn't the first time you've heard this, but how about off ering develop in Acrobat (PDF format) as well? For me, Acrobat is more convenient than Apple DocViewer as an application and, most important, its files are a lot smaller. I routinely convert develop to PDF and then add PDF hyperlinks and bookmarks. For one issue I converted, for instance, the DocViewer version (without the index) is 2.9 meg, while the PDF version is only 770K. It's even smaller than the StuffIt version of the DocViewer document (1.2 meg). And the onscreen appearance is identical. I still like the HTML versions for their immediacy, but for true WYSIWYG, low conversion effort, and small file size, you can't beat PDF.
-- Shannon Spires

We agree with you. You'll notice that on this issue's CD, every issue of develop has been converted to Acrobat -- along with all the other files on the CD that used to be in Apple DocViewer format. Enjoy!
-- Caroline Rose

UP ON THE WEB
Thanks for making both develop and Apple Directions available on the World Wide Web. We're on a very tight budget and can't afford a subscription at this time. The online versions allow us to access the infor - mation and still come out with a product on budget.
-- Mattias Fornander

I'm a student who reads develop online via the Internet through UCLA's (UNIX ® ) workstations. Your putting develop on the World Wide Web is great! Even though the comfort of reading (and printing) develop online will never equal the ease of the regular version, I don't have to fight with ftp and MS-DOS floppy disks to read your magazine. So please continue to publish develop in HTML.

IMHO, your magazine is a service to the Mac developer community, and you would help Apple by letting every possible programmer access it without hassle. Thanks for this effort.
-- Eric Gouriou

We've got articles from some issues of develop on the World Wide Web now (at http://www.apple.com, in the Developer Services area) and are working on putting more up there. This kind of feedback helps make it happen -- so thanks for writing. Readers of the online version: Don't confuse printed develop with the monthly Apple Developer Mailing; a subscription to the monthly mailing (which includes a CD that has develop on it) is rather costly, but it costs only $30 for four quarterly printed issues of develop (with Bookmark CD). See the inside front cover of this issue for ordering information. (Sorry, I couldn't resist this opportunity for a plug!)
-- Caroline Rose

KEEP US ON OUR TOES! We welcome your nitpicking letters to the editors, especially regarding articles published in develop. Letters should be addressed to Caroline Rose -- or, if technical develop-related questions, to Dave Johnson -- at AppleLink CROSE or JOHNSON.DK. Or you can write to Caroline or Dave at Apple Computer, Inc., 1 Infinite Loop, M/S 303-4DP, Cupertino, CA 95014. All letters should include your name and company name as well as your address and phone number. Letters may be excerpted or edited for clarity (or to make them say what we wish they did). *

 
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