TweetFollow Us on Twitter

January 93 - NEMADA News

NEMADA News

Dave Pomerantz

In contrast to our low September turnout, a record number of MacApp'ers struggled through the twisting streets of East Cambridge to hear John Hotchkiss of Apple's Advanced Technology Group (ATG) describe the purpose and power of Dylan, Apple's forthcoming object-oriented dynamic language (OODL). We were rewarded with a free copy of the Dylan manual and an uplifting discussion of how much easier our lives will be with instant compiles and links, free from the worries of memory management.

You have your doubts? Naturally. We all do. But let's give these guys a chance and see where they're headed.

Dylan began with the acquisition of Coral Software, which became ATG East. Coral was marketing Macintosh Common Lisp, and Apple asked them to continue to support MCL and simultaneously develop a new dynamic language with all the programmer power and convenience of Lisp and Smalltalk but with the performance required for production applications.

Even better than C++?

We all live with the need for a better development environment. We suffer with twenty-minute edit-compile cycles on even the fastest Macs, complex languages that take years to master, uncontrolled pointers that can zap any spot in memory, and wasted time searching for memory leaks. Our managers may treat software like so much clay, but we know that our hostile development environment hardens software to concrete within months. It's the purpose of Dylan to keep software soft.

John explained these significant advantages of Dylan over C++ or Object Pascal:

  • Dynamic Type Safety. Type-checking is done at compile time, where possible, like C++ and Pascal. But it can also be done dynamically when type information is only available at run-time.
  • Automatic Memory Management. Memory allocation is hidden from the programmer, occurring as needed to create new objects. Objects that are no longer referenced are disposed automatically.
  • Dynamic Linking. Only affected methods are recompiled and relinked, effectively eliminating compile-time. It may even be possible to make changes while debugging, for example, you could fix a method while stopped at a breakpoint between calls to that method.
  • Dynamic Subclassing: This is really the same as dynamic linking, but I've separated it because of its enormous implications. You can ship an extension to your application that subclasses your existing application. You can ship an integrated application in distinct pieces (priced separately) that link together at the customer site. Corporate programmers or VARs could greatly customize your application without having access to your source code. Dinker can do this too, but not as well and not as an integral part of the language.
  • Reflectivity: This is not an optics term. It means all objects can identify themselves. You can traverse memory and identify each object. Dylan uses reflectivity to guarantee type safety at run-time.
  • Meta-Objects: Classes and methods themselves will be first-class objects that can be manipulated by the language. This sounds both powerful and dangerous, but I'm too much a novice to understand the implications.
  • Libraries: A crucial part of your development environment will be the supporting class libraries that are not part of the language. There will be libraries for supporting numerics and collections.

But is it fast?

The twelve people listening had plenty of questions and concerns, many about Dylan's viability as a production language. To achieve good performance, the Dylan environment will produce a runtime executable that seems (to this observer) similar in concept to the way Component Software "extrudes" an executable, stripping away unnecessary flexibility. In Dylan you can selectively eliminate dynamic typing, reflectivity, dynamic linking, dynamic subclassing, and runtime redefinition for specified parts of later date. Unfortunately, that loss of flexibility is a necessary price for performance.

But is it fast? John believes that Dylan programs will have a 15% performance penalty over equivalent C++ programs. In my view, that's an acceptable price. I wish MacApp charged a mere 15% penalty. We have yet to see, however, if John's assertion is true.

So now I have to learn LISP?

Dylan is still being defined, and the people at ATG East are considering putting an ALGOL-like syntax on top of Dylan. The purists will scream, but it will make Dylan more acceptable to the blue-collar, beer-guzzling coders like you and me. ATG takes seriously their job of appealing to us. They will consider this project a failure if Dylan is yet another intriguing academic language that fails to gain a popular appeal.

Can I use MacApp or Bedrock?

How Dylan will connect to an application framework is still unknown. Bedrock would probably appear as a class library to Dylan even though Bedrock will be written in C++, much as you can access MacApp 3.0 from Object Pascal.

John made it clear that as object-oriented programmers, MacApp'ers are their natural constituency. Dylan is not yet available and Apple is not saying when it will be available, but they're publishing a manual and for now at least, the manual is free. Send a message to "dylan-manual-request@cambridge.apple.com". Look the manual over and send your comments to "info-dylan-request@cambridge.apple.com".

Organizational Business

Bill Clinton was not the only one elected to a leadership position this fall. Russ Brenner was confirmed as Chairman of NEMADA, Heeren Pathak was elected Vice-Chairman, and I retained my duty to entertain you in this column. All candidates ran unopposed.

Our November meeting was canceled, but in December we may be hosting Jeff Alger of SBM fame. I've attended Jeff's lectures in the past and I know him to be an exciting and outspoken speaker with a tremendous knowledge of OOP issues. See you at the next meeting.

 
AAPL
$97.03
Apple Inc.
-0.16
MSFT
$44.40
Microsoft Corpora
-0.47
GOOG
$593.35
Google Inc.
-2.63

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

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
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
Together 3.2 - Store and organize all of...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop functionality,... Read more
Cyberduck 4.5 - FTP and SFTP browser. (F...
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

LEX Goes Free For One Day In Honor of Ne...
LEX Goes Free For One Day In Honor of New Update Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes...
Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes Price to $3.99 Posted by Ellis Spice on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Meerkatz Challenge Review
Meerkatz Challenge Review By Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FONDLY PUZZLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Cute and challenging, Meerkatz Challenge is a fun puzzle game, particularly for fans of... | Read more »
Book Your Appointment with F.E.A.R. this...
Book Your Appointment with F.E.A.R. | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Epic Skater
For all the hate that it gets for being a pastime for slackers, skateboarding really does require a lot of skill. All those flips and spins take real athleticism, and there’s all the jargon to memorize. Fortunately for us less extreme individuals,... | Read more »
Cultures Review
Cultures Review By Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SLOW-PACED EMPIRE BUILDINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Cute it might seem, but Cultures is a bit too slow paced when it comes to those pesky timers to... | Read more »
More Paintings Have Been Added to Paint...
More Paintings Have Been Added to Paint it Back! Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
The Order of Souls Review
The Order of Souls Review By Campbell Bird on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STORY GRINDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Order of Souls is a free-to-play, turn-based RPG with a genre-mixing art style, interesting... | Read more »
Revolution 60 Review
Revolution 60 Review By Jordan Minor on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LASS EFFECTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Revolution 60 is a bold, cinematic action game with ambition to spare.   | Read more »
Matter (Photography)
Matter 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Add stunning 3D effects to your photos with real-time shadows and reflections. Export your creations as photos or video loops... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

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
Apple 27″ Thunderbolt Display (refurbished) a...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 27″ Thunderbolt Displays available for $799 including free shipping. That’s $200 off the cost of new models. Read more
WaterField Designs Unveils Cycling Ride Pouch...
High end computer case and bag maker WaterField Designs of San Francisco now enters the cycling market with the introduction of the Cycling Ride Pouch – an upscale toolkit with a scratch-free iPhone... Read more
Kingston Digital Ships Large Capacity Near 1T...
Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc.,has announced its latest addition to the SSDNow V300 series, the V310. The Kingston SSDNow V310 solid-state... Read more
Apple’s Fiscal Third Quarter Results; Record...
Apple has announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 third quarter ended June 28, 2014, racking up quarterly revenue of $37.4 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per... Read more
15-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Retina on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1829 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $170 off MSRP. B&H will 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
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
Sr. Manager, *Apple* Deployment Programs fo...
**Job Summary** Apple is seeking candidates for a new position on the Education Content and Technology team. iPad and Mac is in the hands of millions of teachers and Read more
Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
Senior Interaction Designer, *Apple* Online...
**Job Summary** Apple is looking for a hands on Senior…will be a key player in designing for the Apple Online Store. The ideal designer will have a Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.