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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Hopper Disassembler 4.2.5- - Binary disa...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32-bit and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.261 - Customize Multi-...
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
Sketch 44.1 - Design app for UX/UI for i...
Sketch is an innovative and fresh look at vector drawing. Its intentionally minimalist design is based upon a drawing space of unlimited size and layers, free of palettes, panels, menus, windows, and... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.260 - Customize Multi-...
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
Chromium 59.0.3071.115 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 59.0.3071.115: This update has no Flash plug... Read more
SyncTwoFolders 2.2.3 - Syncs two user-sp...
SyncTwoFolders simply synchronizes two folders. It supports synchronization across mounted network drives and it is a possibility to run a simulation showing in a log what will be done. Please visit... Read more
Myriad 4.1 - $79.00
Myriad is, simply put, one of the best audio batch processors. Totally redesigned, it looks beautiful and delivers incredible performance. Let Myriad do the heavy lifting while you get back to doing... Read more
Suitcase Fusion 7 18.2.4 - Font manageme...
Suitcase Fusion 7 is the creative professional's font manager. Every professional font manager should deliver the basics: spectacular previews, powerful search tools, and efficient font organization... Read more
SoftRAID 5.6.1 - High-quality RAID manag...
SoftRAID allows you to create and manage disk arrays to increase performance and reliability. SoftRAID allows the user to create and manage RAID 4 and 5 volumes, RAID 1+0, and RAID 1 (Mirror) and... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.25 - 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

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Ravenscroft 275 Piano (Music)
Ravenscroft 275 Piano 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $35.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Experience the splendor of a Ravenscroft Grand with the most realistic sounding piano ever created for iOS. Launch... | Read more »
This War of Mine gets a new ending and m...
This War of Mine just got a big new update, featuring free DLC that adds a new ending to the game, among other exciting changes. The update is celebrating the game's two-year release anniversary. Apart from the new ending, which will be quite... | Read more »
Summon eight new heroes in Fire Emblem H...
Nintendo keeps coming at us with Fire Emblem Heroes updates, and it doesn't look like that trend is stopping anytime soon. The folks behind the game have just announced the new War of the Clerics Voting Gauntlet, expected to start next Tuesday. [... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
iOS publishers are pulling out all the stops this week -- there's a huge number of seriously great games at discounted prices this week. Let's not waste any time and get right down to business. [Read more] | Read more »
The House of da Vinci (Games)
The House of da Vinci 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enter The House of Da Vinci, a new must-try 3D puzzle adventure game. Solve mechanical puzzles, discover hidden... | Read more »
Solve the disappearance of history’s gre...
Blue Brain Games invites you to indulge in an immersive hands-on 3D puzzle adventure in similar vein to The Room series, with its debut release The House of Da Vinci. Set during the historic period of the Italian Renaissance (when Leonardo himself... | Read more »
Age of Rivals (Games)
Age of Rivals 3.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 3.3 (iTunes) Description: Deep civilization-building strategy in a fast-paced card game! | Read more »
Panthera Frontier (Games)
Panthera Frontier 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Angry Birds Evolution beginner's gu...
Angry Birds changes things up a fair bit in its latest iteration, Angry Birds Evolution. The familiar sling-shot physics mechanics are still there, but the game now features team-based gameplay, RPG elements, and a new top-down view. With all of... | Read more »
Sega Forever is for the retro game fans
Sega is launching a new retro games service titled Sega Forever, in a move that's sure to delight games enthusiasts with a bit of nostalgia. Sega's releasing five classic games for free. The titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple Releases iOS 11 Public Beta; How To Get...
The official release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system iOS 11 is vaguely slated for the fall, but as of June 26, ordinary users can download an iOS 11 public beta. To download the iOS 11... Read more
Extend Life of MacBook Pro Retina 2.0TB With...
MacSales.com/Other World Computing has announced availability of the new OWC 2.0TB Aura Pro Solid State Drive for mid-2012 to early 2013 Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display. One of the fastest... Read more
BBEdit SummerFest 2017 Discount Ends Friday,...
You can get 20% off BBEdit for a limited time in Bare Bones Software’s http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/Specials/SummerFest.html?mc_cid=f2101ca260&mc_eid=[UNIQID]SummerFest 2017 sale and... Read more
Use Apple’s Education discount to save up to...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: - 15″ 2... Read more
Clearance 27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac available fo...
Amazon clearance 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMacs (MK482LL/A) available for $1799.90 including free shipping. Their price is $500 off original MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any... Read more
13-inch 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for...
B&H Photo has the updated 2017 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1129 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $70 off MSRP. Read more
27-inch 3.4GHz iMac on sale for $1699, save $...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 27″ 3.4GHz iMac (MNE92LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1699 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
21-inch 2.3GHz iMac on sale for $1049, save $...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 21″ 2.3GHz iMac (MMQA2LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1049 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Read more
ABBYY TextGrabber 6 for iOS Implements Instan...
ABBYY has announced the release of TextGrabber 6.0.0, an important feature update to the company’s productivity app developed for iOS and Android devices. TextGrabber 6.0 now offers Real-Time... Read more
vPhone, First Smartphone That Can’t Be Lost,...
Austin, Texas based Hypori has introduced the vPhone, a virtual smartphone that affords every business user the benefits of separate work and personal phones, conveniently delivered on a single... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* News Product Marketing Mgr., Publish...
…organizational consensus on strategy and vision for publisher tools, authoring, and Apple News Format.Carries this strategy and vision across the organization to 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
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject matter Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple I...
…integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:Quantitative* Year over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant till v%u00E5r...
…ethics, integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:QuantitativeYear over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.