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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Tinderbox 7.0.0 - Store and organize you...
Tinderbox is a personal content management assistant. It stores your notes, ideas, and plans. It can help you organize and understand them. And Tinderbox helps you share ideas through Web journals... Read more
1Password 6.5.5 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Apple Remote Desktop Client 3.9 - Client...
Apple Remote Desktop Client is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports... Read more
Art Text 3.2.2 - $49.99
Art Text is graphic design software specifically tuned for lettering, typography, text mockups and various artistic text effects. Supplied with a great variety of ready to use styles and materials,... Read more
WhatRoute 2.0.15 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router... Read more
Sparkle 2.1.1 - $79.99
Sparkle will change your mind if you thought building websites wasn't for you. Sparkle is the intuitive site builder that lets you create sites for your online portfolio, team or band pages, or... Read more
Dash 4.0.1 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
TextSoap 8.3.2 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
Apple Remote Desktop 3.9 - Remotely cont...
Apple Remote Desktop is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports, and... Read more
Paragraphs 1.1.4 - Writing tool just for...
Paragraphs is an app just for writers. It was built for one thing and one thing only: writing. It gives you everything you need to create brilliant prose and does away with the rest. Features... Read more

MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL (Games)
MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ENDLESS UPGRADES. CONSTANT DANGER. ANCIENT WISDOM. BOUNCY BALLS. Launch Sale, 40% OFF for a very limited time!!! MUL.... | Read more »
Dungeon Rushers (Games)
Dungeon Rushers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dungeon Rushers is a 2D tactical RPG combining dungeon crawler’s gameplay and turn based fights. Manage your team, loot dusty... | Read more »
Blasty Bubs is a colorful Pinball and Br...
QuickByte Games has another arcade treat in the works -- this time it's a mishmash of brick breaking and Pinball mechanics. It's called Blasty Bubs, and it's a top down brickbreaker that has you slinging balls around a board. [Read more] | Read more »
Corsola and Heracross are the new region...
Generation 2 finally launched in Pokémon GO, unleashing a brand new batch of Pokémon into the wild. Even before the update went live people were speculating on how to catch elusive Pokémon like the legendary "dogs", Unknown, and whether or not... | Read more »
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Games)
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: An epic adventure through a mysterious mountain filled with monsters, magic and mayhem! “...it looks downright... | Read more »
Fantasy MMORPG MU Origin’s receives a hu...
Developer Webzen are looking to take their highly popular fantasy battler MU Origin to the next level this month, with its most ambitious overhaul yet. The latest update introduces the long sought after Server Arena, new treasure dungeons, and much... | Read more »
RPG Djinn Caster (Games)
RPG Djinn Caster 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: SPECIAL PRICE 38% OFF(USD 7.99 -> USD 4.99)!!!A Fantasy Action RPG of far foreign lands! Summon the Djinns and rise to... | Read more »
Alto's Odyssey gets its first trail...
There's finally video evidence of Alto's Odyssey, the follow up to the 2015 App Store hit, Alto's Adventure. It looks just as soothing and atmospheric as Alto's last outing, but this time players will be journeying to the desert. Whereas Alto's... | Read more »
Last week on Pocket Gamer
What’s going on in the wider world of portable gaming? Each week we ask that question of our sister website Pocket Gamer. The PG team covers iOS gaming, just like 148Apps, but it also strays into the world of Android games and handheld consoles... | Read more »
Pokémon GO Generation 2 evolution guide
At long last, Niantic Labs finally unleashed the Generation 2 Pokémon into the wild. Pokémon GO trainers are scrambling to grab up this new set of 80 Pokémon. There are some special new tricks required to catch all of these new beasties, though.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple’s New iPad Ads Don’t Address Pro Users’...
Apple launched a new tranche of iPad Pro TV ads last week addressing actual queries and challenges from the Twitterverse, albeit using actors for the visuals. That’s great. As an iPad fan and heavy... Read more
Free Verbum Catholic Bible Study App For iOS
The Verbum mobile app runs on Logos’ powerful Bible software and is an advanced resource for mobile Catholic study. The Verbum app surrounds the Bible with the Tradition. Verbum comes with 15 free... Read more
27-inch Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 of...
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099.99 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon has 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) available for $1849.99 including free shipping. Apple charges $1999 for this model, so Amazon’s price is represents a $150 savings. Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 WiFis available for starting at $319 including free shipping. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $319 $60 off original... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Pros available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9″ and 12″ Apple iPad Pros available for up to $160 off the cost of new iPads. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 32GB 9″... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 2015 and 2016 13-i...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 and 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $759. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 2016 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Apple refurbished...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (MD101LL/A) available for $829, or $270 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook... Read more
QuickerTek Announces 5TB Apple AC AirPort Tim...
QuickerTek Inc. has announced their new 5TB hard drive upgrade for Apple’s AC AirPort Time Capsule. By customer request, this upgrade also features six external antennas and offers the highest... Read more
Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available f...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
*Apple* Technician - nfrastructure (United S...
Let’s Work Together Apple Technician This position is based in Portland, ME Life at nfrastructure At nfrastructure, we understand that our success results from our Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.