TweetFollow Us on Twitter

June 91 - Man About Town-News from San Jose

Man About Town-News from San Jose

Howard Katz

Another Worldwide Developer's Conference has come and gone, MacApp 3.0's moving into its next alpha phase, and a decision has been made about the official source language for MacApp 3.0. Where should I start this week? How about with the latter?

MACAPP 3.0 AND C++

The word is out on the question of the MacApp 3.0 source, and it's official: Tom Chavez reports that MacApp 3.0 is going to be maintained in C++, and that's it: a separate source will not be maintained in Object Pascal or produced at a later date through some sort of translation mechanism (one of the suggestions raised earlier).

Is that bad news for Object Pascal users and THINK Pascal types in particular? To be honest, it could have been worse. True, you won't be able to read MacApp sources in Object Pascal, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to program in Object Pascal.

Apple has been working with Symantec to make sure there's an optional switch so that the MacApp library can be produced in a ".o" linkable format that's usable from the THINK Pascal environment. You won't have MacApp source in Object Pascal; you will have an Object Pascal-compatible library.

The biggest loss: you'll no longer be able to single-step through the MacApp sources using THINK's wonderful high level debugging environment. And that's a real shame. So, the question comes to mind-is it livable? Maybe a better question at this point would be-do you have a choice? Like I said, it could have been worse.

CLIMBING THE FENCE

If you're an inveterate Pascal user like myself, what do you do? One choice is to stay with THINK, shrug your shoulders and just accept the situation. Another is to maybe shudder a little bit, then settle in for a long session with Bjarne Stroustrup's "The C++ Programming Language."

Everyone's got to make their own decision. Me? I'm making-very hesitantly and with no small degree of anxiety-a painstakingly slow move across to the C++ side of the fence, after some time spent with THINK C along the way to help fortify my nerves.

But it's tough, it's tough. It's almost embarrassing to see a grown man like myself reduced to such a trembling mass of shakes and quivers. I'll keep you informed as to whether or not I survive the transition. For motivation, I've got a fun little project in mind, that will also get me into Apple Events. I'll be reporting in periodically.

PASCAL '9X UPDATE

Here's something I wanted to talk about in my last column, but it got crowded out by other issues. Derek White from Kurt Schmucker's ATG group in Columbia, Maryland has been quietly working away on the official language specification for Pascal '9x. It's hoped that this project will provide a version of Object Pascal that's feature-compatible with the object-oriented extensions in C++.

Much of Derek's work now consists of formalizing the conclusions that were reached during the '9x session held at the MADA conference in February. He sent me a note summarizing what happened during the session, and I want to quickly run through some of the highlights.

About 45 developers sat in for the four-hour round table discussion. Derek got a hand running things from Kurt and Harvey Alcabes. There was a general consensus that it's important to ship a product as soon as possible, and that in order to do that, the language should be released in phases, with the core, essential features coming first.

MOST POPULAR REQUESTS

Harvey took a poll of what features developers wanted. The winner, far and away, was better encapsulation of data using a mechanism similar to C++'s use of public, protected, and private keywords. As Derek stated, this one's a real winner. It's not that hard for compiler writers to implement, and users find it pretty easy to understand.

What turned out to be more surprising was that everybody wanted to see value-based objects, in which an object variable is the object itself, rather than a reference to an object through either a pointer or a handle. Value-based objects are also referred to as stack-based objects; they get allocated and deallocated automatically on entry to a local stack frame.

To be sure, if you still want an object reference, you can just declare the object as a pointer to a class. But all you C++ nerds knew that already; it's just us unregenerate Pascal types that have to figure this sort of thing out for the first time. (It hurts my head!)

Finally, in the features race, abstract methods and classes placed a distant third.

Most of the session seemed to deal with the issue of constructors, a topic that confused just about everybody. Fully a third of Derek's summary was devoted to more than I ever wanted to know about the subject-be happy that I'm not passing that information on to you! Lots of suggestions were made during the session, but no final consensus on constructors was reached, except that a lot more exploration was called for.

And that's what Derek's been doing since February, with an occasional week off to join his ANSI colleagues from DEC, Microsoft, and Symantec as they work at developing a standard set of features for an object-oriented extension to Pascal. (Now I know what compiler writers do to relax in their time off!)

VOLUME VI

I came back from the Developer's Conference in San Jose with two amazing pieces of documentation: Volume 6 of Inside Macintosh and a slim, unprepossessing little volume titled the Apple Event Object Support Library. First about the new Inside Macintosh…

The scary thing about the new volume is that it's over 1,800 pages long-but the scarier thing about the latest Inside Mac is that it's all new. This volume doesn't replace the first five volumes, it appends them! The entire volume deals strictly with System 7.0-related information, and it's immense!

This is the first time I've paid attention to System 7.0-I guess I subconsciously considered it vaporware until I finally saw the real thing in San Jose-and now I find myself torn between a heady fascination with all the new technical information, and pure, palpitating fear at the scope of what I'm going to have to learn to bring myself up to date.

I mean, we're talking major insecurity; there's a lot of stuff here. It strikes me that the stakes for Apple developers have just gone up tremendously. You know, I thought I already paid my dues!

APPLE EVENTS ARE KEY

I've been spending hours and hours reading and rereading Chapter 6 on the Apple Event Manager. It strikes me that this is the core of what's most important in System 7.0, and that it has far reaching implications.

What those are exactly, I don't have much of a clue at this point. It's more just a sense that the whole concept of cooperating applications is going to radically-and I mean radically-change the way we view the Mac. I don't think anybody can visualize all the ramifications at this point. But it's pretty clear that Apple events are key.

APPLE EVENT OSL

Which brings me back to the other piece of literature I brought back from San Jose. The Apple Event Object Support Library documentation is a lot slimmer than its Inside Macintosh cousin, by at least an order of magnitude, but I think it also has ramifications that are probably just as important in the long run.

Again, this is just a sense on my part. Because, to be honest, I don't understand half of what's in this little guide. It's not too difficult; on the contrary, it's far too easy! It just happens to present some concepts that are different enough from the way I'm used to thinking that I haven't had that "Aha!" experience yet, where everything suddenly falls into place with a bright, crystal-clear focus. But it's coming; it's coming-I can feel it!

So what does this slim little volume talk about? If I understand correctly-and again, I couldn't swear to it -Apple Events describe a protocol for specifying how data is to be transferred back and forth between applications. However, it doesn't say anything about the internal significance of the data. That's up to your applications to agree on. And this is where the Object Support Library comes in.

What the OSL does, apparently, is provide a language that applications can use to talk about their data and make meaningful requests of each other, without having to know anything about the internals of their data. It's like a protocol for data, similar to the Apple Event protocol for event messaging. And I think it's going to form the basis for some very interesting high-level scripting stuff coming down the pike. If you're interested in interesting things, the future looks promising indeed!

Does all this sound sufficiently vague and rambling? Do you think I've been smoking too many bananas? As I said, I don't fully understand all of this yet; it's just clear that it's nifty-peachy-keen, and it's going to be very important a year or two down the road, maybe less! So if I were you, I'd immediately run out and join the Apple Event Developer's Association and pick up a copy of their OSL specs. I don't have a mailing address handy-contact Apple if you need one-but their AppleLink address is (surprise!) AEDA.

THE MACAPP CONNECTION

Is there a MacApp connection to all this rambling, you might ask? Of course! There's some pretty good support built into MacApp 3.0 for Apple Events, particularly if you want to send them. There's not as much support built in for receiving them, if you want to play at being an Apple Event server, but that's coming. Remember, we're still pretty early alpha at this point.

There is no support right now for the Object Support Library, but that'll be showing up with the first beta of 3.0, according to Eric Berdahl, who's been pushing hard to have that happen. Eric has been doing some good stuff with Apple Events. He's got the C++ source for a nifty little application called "FotoMac" on the MADA conference disk. It does a nice job of showing how to do some simple Apple Event messaging in MacApp 3.0. Take a look.

That's it for this week. Back to Inside Mac, Apple Events, and perhaps some play in C++. You Pascal programmers out there, take heart; chin up-the future's rosier than you think.

 
AAPL
$119.00
Apple Inc.
+1.40
MSFT
$47.75
Microsoft Corpora
+0.28
GOOG
$540.37
Google Inc.
-0.71

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

HoudahSpot 3.9.6 - Advanced file search...
HoudahSpot is a powerful file search tool built upon MacOS X Spotlight. Spotlight unleashed Create detailed queries to locate the exact file you need Narrow down searches. Zero in on files Save... Read more
RapidWeaver 6.0.3 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
iPhoto Library Manager 4.1.10 - Manage m...
iPhoto Library Manager lets you organize your photos into multiple iPhoto libraries. Separate your high school and college photos from your latest summer vacation pictures. Or keep some photo... Read more
iExplorer 3.5.1.9 - View and transfer al...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.0.3 - Discover and i...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on macupdate.... Read more
SteerMouse 4.2.2 - Powerful third-party...
SteerMouse is an advanced driver for USB and Bluetooth mice. It also supports Apple Mighty Mouse very well. SteerMouse can assign various functions to buttons that Apple's software does not allow,... Read more
iMazing 1.1 - Complete iOS device manage...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
PopChar X 7.0 - Floating window shows av...
PopChar X helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar X provides a frustration-free way to access any font's special characters. Expanded... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.0.3 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
ForeverSave 2.1.3 - Universal auto-save...
ForeverSave auto-saves all documents you're working on while simultaneously doing backup versioning in the background. Lost data can be quickly restored at any time. Losing data, caused by... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Make Way for Fat Chicken, from the Maker...
Make Way for Fat Chicken, from the Makers of Scrap Squad Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Relevant Games has announced they will be releasing their reverse tower defense game, | Read more »
Tripnary Review
Tripnary Review By Jennifer Allen on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRAVEL BUCKET LISTiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Want to create a travel bucket list? Tripnary is a fun way to do exactly that... | Read more »
Ossian Studios’ RPG, The Shadow Sun, is...
Ossian Studios’ RPG, The Shadow Sun, is Now Available for $4.99 Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Mmmm, Tasty – Having the Angry Birds for...
The very first Angry Birds debuted on iOS back in 2009. When you sit back and tally up the number of Angry Birds games out there and the impact they’ve had on pop culture as a whole, you just need to ask yourself: “How would the birds taste... | Read more »
Rescue Quest Review
Rescue Quest Review By Jennifer Allen on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: PATH BASED MATCH-3Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Guide a wizard to safety by matching gems. Rescue Quest might not be an entirely original... | Read more »
You Can Play the Final Chapter of Lone W...
You Can Play the Final Chapter of Lone Wolf: Dawn Over V’taag Right Now Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Swords of Anima (Games)
Swords of Anima 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A new tactical turn-based RPG experience. Command the Savior Rex Squad in an epic journey of courage and deception. Can you... | Read more »
Audio Defence: Zombie Arena
Audio Defence: Zombie Arena By Lee Hamlet on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DRAGS ITS FEETUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad From the makers of Papa Sangre comes a defense game that forces players to listen carefully... | Read more »
Tales from the Borderland​s Will be Comi...
Tales from the Borderland​s Will be Coming to iOS by the End of the Year Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Telltale Games has announced | Read more »
Sunburn! Review
Sunburn! Review By Campbell Bird on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DON'T DIE ALONEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Platform through the depths of space to make sure your entire crew dies together in this satisfying... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

2014 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $...
 B&H Photo has the new 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new model. Adorama... Read more
Early Black Friday pricing on 27-inch 5K iMac...
 B&H Photo continues to offer Black Friday sale prices on the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac, in stock today and on sale for $2299 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP... Read more
Early Black Friday sale prices on iPad Air 2,...
 MacMall is discounting iPad Air 2s by up to $75 off MSRP as part of their Black Friday sale. Shipping is free: - 16GB iPad Air WiFi: $459 $40 off - 64GB iPad Air WiFi: $559 $40 off - 128GB iPad Air... Read more
Early Black Friday MacBook Air sale prices, $...
 MacMall has posted early Black Friday MacBook Air sale prices. Save $101 on all models for a limited time: - 11″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $798 - 11″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $998 - 13″ 1.4GHz/... Read more
Why iPhone 6 Tablet/Laptop Cannibalization Is...
247wallst.com blogger Douglas A. McIntyre noted last week that according to research posted on the Applovin blog site the iPhone 6 is outselling the iPhone 6 Plus by a wide margin . Hardly a surprise... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Growth Expected to Slow to 7...
The global tablet market is expected to record massive deceleration in 2014 with year-over-year growth slowing to 7.2%, down from 52.5% in 2013, according to a new forecast from International Data... Read more
Touchscreen Glove Company Announces New Produ...
Surrey, United Kingdom based TouchAbility specializes in design and manufacture of a wide variety of products compatible with touchscreen devices including smartphones, tablets and computers. Their... Read more
OtterBox Alpha Glass Screen Protectors for iP...
To complement the bigger, sharper displays on the latest Apple devices, OtterBox has introduced Alpha Glass screen protectors to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The fortified glass screen protectors... Read more
Early Black Friday Mac Pro sale, 6-Core 3.5GH...
 B&H Photo has the 6-Core 3.5GHz Mac Pro on sale today for $3499 including free shipping plus NY sales tax. Their price is $500 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from... Read more
Early Black Friday sale price: 15-inch 2.2GHz...
 B&H Photo has the 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale today for $1699.99. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $300 off MSRP, equalling Best Buy’s price... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.