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January 92 - MADA Meets at Macworld SF

MADA Meets at Macworld SF

James Plamondon

Over a hundred ardent MacAppers gathered at Moscone Center for the annual Macworld San Francisco meeting of MADA. This turnout was a major achievement, considering the wild Macworld parties we had to skip in order to be there.

Instead, we all loyally turned out to hear Tom Chavez describe the current state of MacApp 3, which is doing very well indeed. Although Tom suffered a few digs from the audience about some bugs in TBehavior, everyone basically agreed that MacApp 3 was getting quite stable, usable, and shippable. In fact, there was so much consensus on this issue, that we just moved on to the next presentation.

Gary Campbell of Tandem Computers demonstrated his MacApp 3 program, MacOffender. Gary wrote MacOffender, a network-management package, as a guerrilla project at Tandem. It was unsanctioned, and at times even actively opposed, by his management. But when it was done, they fell all over themselves praising it and making money off of it.

MacApp for Windows?

I, wearing my Microsoft Windows 3.1 T-shirt, cast myself in the lion's den with a brief presentation on why Apple should produce a version of MacApp for Windows.

Simply put, if there were a MacApp for Windows, then you could tell your boss "Look, I am writing the Windows version; I'm just doing it on a Macintosh." Just the announcement that Apple was seriously committed to producing a Windows version in a reasonable time frame would give the use of MacApp a lot more momentum.

With that as a lead-in, up came Steve Weyl, Apple's Chief Honcho of Development Tools, to discuss "MacApp's Role in Apple's Future." That role is, first of all, big. Apple will be doubling its investment in MacApp in 1992. Despite some muted grumblings that even two pennies a year was not enough, the audience greeted this announcement enthusiastically (especially the members of the MacApp Team, who suggested doubling their salaries as a good first step).

Steve went on to say that Apple's goal for its developer base was "total customer satisfaction." This satisfaction was to be achieved, in part, by improving Apple's developer technical support. That got a big round of applause! He gave no details; I assume he just plans to give out the MacDTS squad's home phone numbers.

Another means to achieving "total customer satisfaction," according to Steve, will be Apple's "commitment to an independent industry organization." "Hmm…," we all said, looking around at our fellow MADA members, "I wonder what independent industry organization he means?" After puzzling over that for a few seconds, we gave up (our heads hurt) and returned to Steve's presentation.

And a good thing, too, because then Steve dropped the bombshell: MacApp would be taken cross-platform! And he didn't mean Quadras, either! He gave no dates, no specs, no promises he could later fail to deliver, but he just darn near chanted "Windows, Windows, Windows." It was sight to see. I got all choked up. So did some other guys near me. (Actually, I found out later, the thought of programming for Windows was making them gag. Oh, well.)

IcePick and Object Master

On that note, Steve wound down his presentation, and Chris Arbogast took the podium to demonstrate IcePick. This MacApp development tool from Exis edits views, and nothing but views-but it edits them very well. Using direct manipulation throughout, one can stretch 'em, shrink 'em, re-order 'em, rearrange 'em, and generally make them sing and dance. IcePick has "gone final" and is shipping now. Call MADA at (206) 252-6946 and order a copy. It even works with Object Master!

And indeed, when Chris was done, Loïc Vandereyken of Acius fired up a demonstration of Object Master that, as usual, got more converts than a Billy Graham Crusade. Object Master is simply the very best environment in which to develop MacApp software today. Its browser/editor is unparalleled; its graphical class tree is a joy to see and use; its use of Apple Events is the best demonstration of their power I've seen (no, I'm not getting paid to say this). It integrates smoothly with Jasik's Debugger and Incremental Build System (IBS). Object Master can be ordered directly from Acius; call 408-252-4444.

MADA Conference, February BAMADA

Don't forget the upcoming MADA Conference in Orlando, from February 24th to 28th. Time's running out-don't delay if you want to get affordable advance air fares. Also, the next Bamada meeting will be held on Thursday, February 13th, from 7pm to 9pm in the Mountain View Room of Apple's City Center Four building, on the corner of De Anza and Steven's Creek Boulevards.

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