TweetFollow Us on Twitter

January 92 - In Transit to MacApp 3

In Transit to MacApp 3

Howard Katz

I've been away from FrameWorks for a few months, but I haven't been away from the Mac and MacApp. I've made a move from Pascal to C in my own programming work-initially, with a lot of trepidation-and I've also done some playing around with beta versions of MacApp 3, pursuant to jumping into C++ with both feet. First, the news…

MacApp 3 final-getting close

According to Tom Chavez, MacApp's product manager at Apple, there are about 125 MacApp 3 beta sites out there, all merrily compiling away on beta number 3, digging up bugs galore. It saddens my heart to tell you this, but yes-there are bugs, though the number is diminishing with each successive beta release.

As I write, beta number 4 will soon go out to the seed list, a few short weeks before Christmas. If schedules hold, the final release of MacApp 3 should be finished and ready to go by the end of January-theoretically, about the time you're reading this. Tom says that even if that happens, though, it's unlikely that the documentation will keep pace with the software development, so you probably won't see a version that APDA can ship on the street before MADA's Orlando conference in February.

Ditto to Jesse

Jesse Feiler wrote a nice little piece for the last FrameWorks on his experiences in moving from MacApp 2 and Object Pascal to MacApp 3 and C++. I suspect the information that Jesse provided will be helpful for other developers who are going to be making the same move. It was for me.

In getting ready to move into C++, I've just made a similar though smaller transition of my own-from Pascal to C. I can strongly echo at least one of Jesse's sentiments-if you're going to make the language jump, dive right in. Stop reading about the language, just do it.

I had a lot of trepidation before making the move, and about one anxious week of trying to figure out what things weren't working and why. But that was it; it was relatively painless.

I spent four months on a C language programming project about four years ago, so this wasn't my first exposure to the language. But it didn't "take" very well the first time around. This time, for whatever reason, it did. I'm enjoying it.

Mostly bigger, hopefully better

I finally got a copy of MacApp 3 running on my system, though I haven't done anything serious with it yet. I'm still in the MacBrowse exploring stage. As it is, MacApp 3 grunts and wheezes and barely runs on my machine. I've an old, stock standard Mac II. I had to dig into the bank account to upgrade my RAM from 5 to 8 megs to get MacApp 3 to compile at all, and it complains bitterly at that. MacApp 3 development really requires 9 megs, or 8 megs and virtual memory, and that I don't have at the moment.

This seems pretty incredible to me. I can remember-though I'm not sure I want to-compiling MacApp applications on a Plus. Such a thing is no longer within the realm of possibility, even as a thought experiment. The main villain, I'm told, is CFront, which requires-this is no typo-5 megs to run. Great Caesar's ghost!

It seems that just about everything about MacApp 3 is bigger, and that doesn't necessarily mean better. Disk space requirements provide another example. I've got an external 40 meg drive hung off my machine that I use only for occasional programming projects, and amazingly enough, it's too small. I used to do everything on a 40-meg hard drive; now it's not even large enough for MacApp, let alone anything else.

It's easy to see why when you look at the numbers. My MPW folder, little changed from the way it arrived in the mail, is well over 12 meg, and my MacApp folder is over 21. The latter number, on your system, will depend on the number of different versions you need to compile MacApp in. There used to be just two: "Debug" and "NoDebug." There are now a minimum of four, when you factor in whether or not you're supporting System 7. Just my ".NoDebug Files" folder, created by MacApp, is well over 3 megs.

New idioms galore

RAM and disk requirements are a downer, and I haven't even talked about compile times yet. But everything else is peachy-keen. There are new idioms galore. How's the following for a good example of some of the potentially baffling and interesting new things in MacApp 3? This little gem is right out of TObject:
pascal void TObject::UpdateDependents(
                ChangeID theChange,
                TObject* changedObject,
                TObject* changedBy)
CDependentIterator iter(this);
for (   TObject* dependent = iter.FirstDependent(); iter.More();
        dependent = iter.NextDependent())
        dependent->HandleUpdate( theChange, changedObject,

Coming into MacApp 3 from an MacApp 2 and Object Pascal background, I count at least five idioms here that are new to me. If you're new to C and object programming in particular, probably everything looks at least slightly bizarre. Even if you're an old and experienced C hand from way back, there are strange things happening here. The three clauses that determine the boundary-condition behavior of the "for" loop, for example, probably look somewhat, well, wrong. And yet, they do make sense-eventually.

How about the declaration "CDependentIterator iter(this)" in the above sample? That's worth at least a few minutes of silent contemplation the first time it's encountered in code. I know what a "T…" class is; what's a "C…" class? Can we all say "stack-based object" in unison? In other words, an object declaration where we really have the object itself, and not an indirect reference to one through either a pointer or a handle.

And what about the parameter the function takes-"this" in the above example? We've all been hearing about constructors; here's one in the flesh.

What else? What's a "CDependentIterator" anyway? Iterators are one thing; dependencies are something else again. The combination of the two is only slightly more potent than the nuclear-powered salsa that took my mouth out of action for two hours yesterday at lunch.

TObject, by the way, is quite a bit more beefed up than what I'm used to from earlier incarnations of MacApp. It's hard to believe this class once had a grand total of four-that's 4-methods, and that they were all we needed. By my count, TObject now has at least 36 methods. MacApp 3's new dependency-notification mechanism accounts for a good number of them.

References to the rescue

I had a few books open next to my machine as I MacBrowsed my way through the MacApp 3 source code. Occasionally I'd venture over to Harbison and Steele, the "official" C language reference manual. I'm told there's a C++ version out as well, but I haven't seen it yet.

Kernighan and Ritchie's "The C Programming Language" is also highly recommended. It's from Prentice Hall. Make sure you pick up the second edition when you go shopping.

I'll put in a plug for one other C++ language reference that I find myself dipping into and out of when I have a few moments to spare, and that's Dan Weston's Elements of C++ Macintosh Programming. Dan's discussion of C++ language features is based around a class library that he develops in the book. In many respects it looks like MacApp-two of the main classes are called "TApp" and "TDoc," respectively. Dan's a MacApp programmer from way back and makes the odd appearance at MacApp conferences. I've been enjoying the book and finding it useful.

I'll be picking up some of the other "great" C++ references over the next few weeks and will try and do some quick reviews in columns to come. In the meantime, I hope you had a good Christmas season and are looking forward to a sunny vacation in Orlando. Florida, watch out!


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Apple macOS Sierra 10.12.1 - The latest...
With Apple macOS Sierra, Siri makes its debut on Mac, with new features designed just for the desktop. Your Mac works with iCloud and your Apple devices in smart new ways, and intelligent... Read more
Backblaze - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Apple Safari 10.0.1 - Apple's Web b...
Note: The direct download link is currently unavailable. It is available in the OS X 10.11.6 release, as well as in the Apple Security Updates. Apple Safari is Apple's web browser that comes with OS... Read more
Postbox 5.0.5 - Powerful and flexible em...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more
Opera 40.0.2308.90 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Hazel 4.0.7 - Create rules for organizin...
Hazel is your personal housekeeper, organizing and cleaning folders based on rules you define. Hazel can also manage your trash and uninstall your applications. Organize your files using a familiar... Read more
Apple iOS 10.1 - The latest version of A...
iOS 10 is the biggest release of iOS ever. A massive update to Messages brings the power of the App Store to your conversations and makes messaging more personal than ever. Find your route with... Read more
BetterTouchTool 1.93 - Customize Multi-T...
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
Toast Titanium 15.1 - $99.99
Roxio Toast 15 Titanium, the leading DVD burner for Mac, makes burning even better, adding Roxio Secure Burn to protect your files on disc and USB in Mac- or Windows-compatible formats. Get more... Read more
Coda 2.5.19 - One-window Web development...
Coda is a powerful Web editor that puts everything in one place. An editor. Terminal. CSS. Files. With Coda 2, we went beyond expectations. With loads of new, much-requested features, a few surprises... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

WitchSpring2 (Games)
WitchSpring2 1.27 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.27 (iTunes) Description: This is the story of Luna, the Moonlight Witch as she sets out into the world. This is a sequel to Witch Spring. Witch Spring 2... | Read more »
4 popular apps getting a Halloween makeo...
'Tis the season for all things spooky. So much, so, in fact, that even apps are getting into the spirt of things, dressing up in costume and spreading jack o' lanterns all about the place. These updates bring frightening new character skins, scary... | Read more »
Pokémon GO celebrates Halloween with can...
The folks behind Pokémon GO have some exciting things planned for their Halloween celebration, the first in-game event since it launched back in July. Starting October 26 and ending on November 1, trainers will be running into large numbers of... | Read more »
Best Fiends Forever Guide: How to collec...
The fiendship in Seriously's hit Best Fiends has been upgraded this time around in Best Fiends Forever. It’s a fast-paced clicker with lots of color and style--kind of reminiscent of a ‘90s animal mascot game like Crash Bandicoot. The game... | Read more »
5 apps for the budding mixologist
Creating your own cocktails is something of an art form, requiring a knack for unique tastes and devising interesting combinations. It's easy to get started right in your own kitchen, though, even if you're a complete beginner. Try using one of... | Read more »
5 mobile strategy games to try when you...
Strategy enthusiasts everywhere are celebrating the release of Civilization VI this week, and so far everyone seems pretty satisfied with the first full release in the series since 2010. The series has always been about ultra-addictive gameplay... | Read more »
Popclaire talk to us about why The Virus...
Humanity has succumbed to a virus that’s spread throughout the world. Now the dead have risen with a hunger for human flesh, and all that remain are a few survivors. One of those survivors has just called you for help. That’s the plot in POPCLAIRE’... | Read more »
Oceans & Empires preview build sets...
Hugely ambitious sea battler Oceans & Empires is available to play in preview form now on Google Play - but download it quickly, as it’s setting sail away in just a few days. [Read more] | Read more »
Rusty Lake: Roots (Games)
Rusty Lake: Roots 1.1.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.4 (iTunes) Description: James Vanderboom's life drastically changes when he plants a special seed in the garden of the house he has inherited.... | Read more »
Flippy Bottle Extreme! and 3 other physi...
Flippy Bottle Extreme! takes on the bottle flipping craze with a bunch of increasingly tricky physics platforming puzzles. It's difficult and highly frustrating, but also addictive. When you begin to master the game, the sense of achievement is... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Apple’s Thursday “Hello Again” Event A Largel...
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a strong record of Apple hardware prediction accuracy, forecasts in a new note to investors released late last week that a long-overdue redo of the... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off...
Amazon has 2016 12″ Apple Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free: - 12″ 1.1GHz Silver Retina MacBook: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz Gold Retina MacBook: $1199.99 $100 off... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
PixelStyle Inexpensive Photo Editor For Mac W...
PixelStyle is an all-in-one Mac Photo Editor with a huge range of high-end filters including lighting, blurs, distortions, tilt-shift, shadows, glows and so forth. PixelStyle Photo Editor for Mac... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100-$140 of...
B&H has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100-$140 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $899 $100 off... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini available for $988, includes...
Adorama has the 2.8GHz Mac mini available for $988, $11 off MSRP, including a free copy of Apple’s 3-Year AppleCare Protection Plan. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ... Read more
21-inch 3.1GHz 4K on sale for $1379, $120 off...
Adorama has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1379.99. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. To purchase an iMac at this price, you must first... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
Apple, Samsung, Lead J.D. Power Smartphone Sa...
Customer satisfaction is much higher among smartphone owners currently subscribing to full-service wireless carriers, compared with those purchasing service through a non-contract carrier, according... Read more
Select 9-inch Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale fo...
B&H Photo has select 9.7″ Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 256GB WiFi iPad Pro: $799 $0 off... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Towson,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Software Engineering Intern: Integration / QA...
Job Summary Apple is currently seeking enthusiastic interns who can work full-time for a minimum of 12-weeks between Fall 2015 and Summer 2016. Our software Read more
Software Engineering Intern: Frameworks at *...
Job Summary Apple is currently seeking enthusiastic interns who can work full-time for a minimum of 12-weeks between Fall 2015 and Summer 2016. Our software Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Nashua,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Napervi...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.