TweetFollow Us on Twitter

September 92 - WAMADA Notes

WAMADA Notes

John MacVeigh

July – Component Software

The July meeting began with a brief (by definition) discussion of what the attendees knew about Bedrock. It is said to be based, currently, on TCL, but with substantial additions (150 classes vs. 64 for TCL). Apple is now involved in making many changes and contributions to add MacApp's functionality. This makes it difficult for even Symantec to describe the form of the final framework. Based on some assumptions about the number of MacApp engineers actually assigned to MacApp, it is rumored that Apple has been helping with Bedrock since February. One can only hope. At least one attendee's company has decided to postpone use of MacApp until the fog lifts. The first public betas are said to be scheduled for release by the end of the year. I think the general feeling is that developers will feel better about building on Bedrock once they determine that there are no fault lines nearby. The ground has shifted under us enough already. By the way, Bedrock will compile with either Zortech or Borland compilers on the PC, and MPW CFront (sigh) on the Mac. And speaking of compilers…

Component Workshop

Component Software's Bill McHale (CEO), and Stonewall Ballard (Chief Technical Guy) were WAMADA's featured guests this month. Component Software (CS) is a spin-off of ON Technology, and is backed by some of the heavy hitters in the venture capital world. (The latter is assumed to be a good thing.) Their product, Component Workshop™ (CW), is, in brief, an attempt to combine the programmer productivity of SmallTalk with the application efficiency of C and C++. By all appearances, they have succeeded admirably.

Environmentally Sound

The development environment provided by CW is based on an incremental C++ compiler. You can change a function and have it compiled and running (not interpreted) almost immediately. A debugger allows you to see the currently executing source code, and to change it. A second key to the CW environment is a local object database which holds the source to all of your classes. A number of browsers assist you in creating and reviewing your work. You can navigate your classes as a graph, cross-reference calls, and examine "modules". Modules provide a location for globals, and allow CS to remove C's file level scoping rules. The result is that there are no more source files (or Make file!) to deal with.

Another key feature of the Workshop is that it provides a "genuine, high performance" garbage collector. It is available within the Workshop environment, and also to your final application. Stoney Ballard estimates that the presence of a garbage collector results in a 30% to 60% reduction in programmer time. Lastly, it should be mentioned that CW is built with itself. Compilers which are used to build themselves have, in my experience far, far fewer bugs then those written in another language.

To produce a shipping version of your application, you "extrude" your main program from the workshop environment. Extrusion extracts only those classes which are actually used by your app. It optimizes out unused functions, removes unused polymorphism, and then generates C source files for the MPW compiler, along with a Make file. This removes from CS the burden of producing world-class globally optimizing compilers for multiple platforms. Since the result is C, you could presumably have your pick of compilers for the final compilation. In the future CS intends to be compatible with Apple's upcoming "L" compiler.

The Vision Thing

I once worked with a programmer who described his job as "writing novels for computers to read". Unfortunately, we can't all be as prolific as Isaac Asimov. Part of the gestalt (where do I get these words?) of Component Workshop, according to Ballard, is to move programming away from a literary exercise and toward a model building exercise. Progressive refinement of an application benefits from short turn-around time, but also from careful creation of the classes, to limit their duties (recall the monolithic nature of the original MacApp TDocument ). Stoney described his staff's "fanatic attention to abstraction", and mentioned that CW currently contains 782 classes (many used by the compiler). Portable (cross-platform) applications are made possible by layered abstractions which decouple the programmer's model from the actual OS.

Thus CW is envisioned as a tool kit of parts (components) which you assemble with a plug-and-jack method of construction (but through full C++ syntax, not a "visual" interface). This creates a base for add-on components. Existing components include a text editor and a list manager. "Target kits", which encapsulate toolbox calls, will be provided for portability. Third party tool-shops can also produce components to allow the Workshop to keep up with continued Apple OS developments. Finally, CW does provide an event-driven application framework. [Since it's an application, and written with itself, and all source code (except the compiler) is provided, it would be hard not to come with one!] Time prevented an in-depth review of the framework, but it is based in mixin classes, rather then MacApp's behavior mechanism.

Pro Business

Component intends to ship version 1 for the Macintosh on September 30th, and version 1 for Windows in the first quarter of '93. Add-on tools and components would ship in the second quarter. Version 1 of Component Workshop is intended primarily for new applications, not those ported from elsewhere (it can both import and export C++, but the import facility is not considered robust enough in version 1). The primary goal of Version 2 is to be compatible with everything, even Bedrock.

Some of Component's early users are in-house programmers at companies like Liberty Mutual, but their target market is the commercial shrink-wrap product developer. Pricing has not yet been determined. While most venture capital backers are known to want a quick return on their investment, the technologists want to get their product into the hands of as many people as possible. For a first approximation, it would be fair to calculate the cost of assembling the separate tools you would need to get "equivalent" functionality on the Mac. CS is also looking at ways to get small tool shops a reduced price in exchange for the development of add-on components.

Final Tally

The scope of the job Component Software has set for itself is quite broad. While the key technologies (compiler, database, extruder) are in place and working, a number of ancillary features will need improvements to keep up with other environments. In particular, some attendees are Object Master™ fans and were hoping to see similar functionality in CW. (Perhaps ACIUS needs an ally in the tool business?) Graphical view creation, and true multi-user access to the class database were also asked about. Currently, views are handled by translating from MacApp or TCL views. Workgroup support can be done now with multiple steps. A full solution requires a cross platform OODB, something Component might need to get from a third party. Instant turn-around time, the class database, and interactive browsing and debugging are the key value-added features which Component Workshop brings to the Mac developer (oh, ok, and Windows, too). These, and the shipment schedule, should make Component Workshop a strong competitor in the development environment arena.

Upcoming in August-TBA

Popular myths about D.C. weather in August tend to keep people away from our little sauna on the Potomac. Still, we'll convince someone to pay us a visit: stay tuned.

WAMADA meets every third Wednesday at McDonnell Douglas in Tyson's Corner, Virginia, beginning around 7:15 p.m. For a map, send a message to JEFFRIES.L on AppleLink, or call Leslie at (301) 340-5126 during business hours (EDT). The map and directions are also available in the MADA library in the Macintosh Developer's Forum on Compuserve.

 
AAPL
$97.67
Apple Inc.
+0.64
MSFT
$44.50
Microsoft Corpora
+0.10
GOOG
$589.02
Google Inc.
-4.33

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TinkerTool 5.3 - Expanded preference set...
TinkerTool is an application that gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into Mac OS X. This allows to activate hidden features in the operating system and in some of the... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.0 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Intermission 1.1.1 - Pause and rewind li...
Intermission allows you to pause and rewind live audio from any application on your Mac. Intermission will buffer up to 3 hours of audio, allowing users to skip through any assortment of audio... Read more
Autopano Giga 3.6 - Stitch multiple imag...
Autopano Giga allows you to stitch 2, 20, or 2,000 images. Version 3.0 integrates impressive new features that will definitely make you adopt Autopano Pro or Autopano Giga: Choose between 9... Read more
Airfoil 4.8.7 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.8 - Connect...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more
xACT 2.30 - Audio compression toolkit. (...
xACT stands for X Aaudio Compression Toolkit, an application that encodes and decodes FLAC, SHN, Monkey’s Audio, TTA, Wavpack, and Apple Lossless files. It also can encode these formats to MP3, AAC... Read more
Firefox 31.0 - Fast, safe Web browser. (...
Firefox for Mac offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals... Read more
Little Snitch 3.3.3 - Alerts you to outg...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activityAs soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
Thunderbird 31.0 - Email client from Moz...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery : Ep...
Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery : Episode 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Jacob Jones is back in Episode 2 of one of Apples 'Best of 2013' games and an App Store... | Read more »
New Trailer For Outcast Odyssey, A New K...
New Trailer For Outcast Odyssey, A New Kind of Card Battler Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] Out this Fall is a new kind of card battle game: Outcast Odyssey. | Read more »
Garfield: Survival of the Fattest Coming...
Garfield: Survival of the Fattest Coming to iOS this Fall Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] Who loves lasagna? Me. Also everyone’s favorite grumpy fat cat, Garfield. | Read more »
Happy Flock Review
Happy Flock Review By Andrew Fisher on July 25th, 2014 Our Rating: :: HERD IT ALL BEFOREUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Underneath the gloss of Happy Flock’s visuals is a game of very little substance. It’s cute, but... | Read more »
Square Register Updates Adds Offline Pay...
Square Register Updates Adds Offline Payments Posted by Ellis Spice on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Looking For Group – Hearthstone’s Curse...
For the first time since its release (which has thankfully been a much shorter window for iPad players than their PC counterparts), Blizzard’s wildly successful Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft CCG is sporting some brand new content: the single... | Read more »
Poptile Review
Poptile Review By Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLY FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Simple yet a little bit glorious, Poptile is a satisfying entertaining puzzle game with oodles of the ‘one... | Read more »
Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review
Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review By Brittany Vincent on July 25th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LESS QQ, MORE PEW PEWUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The fifth entry into the blockbuster Modern Combat series is what mobile... | Read more »
Watch and Share Mobile Gameplay Videos W...
Watch and Share Mobile Gameplay Videos With Kamcord Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
THE KING OF FIGHTERS '98 (Games)
THE KING OF FIGHTERS '98 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Series’ masterpiece “KOF ’98” finally joins the battle on iPhone! FEATURES:■ The best game balance in the “KOF”... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iMacs on sale for $150 off MSRP, $250 off for...
Best Buy has iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free home shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Prices are valid for online orders only, in-store... Read more
Mac minis on sale for $100 off MSRP, starting...
Best Buy has Mac minis on sale for $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup. Prices are for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: 2.5GHz Mac mini: $499.99 2.3GHz... Read more
Global Tablet Market Grows 11% in Q2/14 Notwi...
Worldwide tablet sales grew 11.0 percent year over year in the second quarter of 2014, with shipments reaching 49.3 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation... Read more
New iPhone 6 Models to Have Staggered Release...
Digitimes’ Cage Chao and Steve Shen report that according to unnamed sources in Apple’s upstream iPhone supply chain, the new 5.5-inch iPhone will be released several months later than the new 4.7-... Read more
New iOS App Helps People Feel Good About thei...
Mobile shoppers looking for big savings at their favorite stores can turn to the Goodshop app, a new iOS app with the latest coupons and deals at more than 5,000 online stores. In addition to being a... Read more
Save on 5th generation refurbished iPod touch...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
What Should Apple’s Next MacBook Priority Be;...
Stabley Times’ Phil Moore says that after expanding its iMac lineup with a new low end model, Apple’s next Mac hardware decision will be how it wants to approach expanding its MacBook lineup as well... Read more
ArtRage For iPhone Painting App Free During C...
ArtRage for iPhone is currently being offered for free (regularly $1.99) during Comic-Con San Diego #SDCC, July 24-27, in celebration of the upcoming ArtRage 4.5 and other 64-bit versions of the... Read more
With The Apple/IBM Alliance, Is The iPad Now...
Almost since the iPad was rolled out in 2010, and especially after Apple made a 128 GB storage configuration available in 2012, there’s been debate over whether the iPad is a serious tool for... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale starting at $799, free s...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels... 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
*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
Sr. Project Manager for *Apple* Campus 2 -...
…the design and construction of one building or building components of the New Apple Campus located in Cupertino, CA. They will provide project management oversight for Read more
WW Sales Program Manager, *Apple* Online St...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring 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.