TweetFollow Us on Twitter

January 93 - Postcard from Windowsland

Postcard from Windowsland

James Plamondon

I love my new job at Microsoft. It's like they created it just for me. "Look, buddy, we need a guy who can code sample applications, write magazine articles, organize developers' groups, and make presentations to software companies. Do you think you can do that?" Do it? Of course I can do it-that's what I've been doing, on the side, for FUN, for years now. And they're going to PAY me, too? What a deal!

But, boy, is it keeping me busy! My primary task right now is organizing a big conference that I hope you heard about, and maybe (by the time this goes to press) even attended-the Microsoft Windows Programming Conference for Macintosh Developers. You probably saw the full-page ad on the inside of the back cover of last month's Frameworks. If not, well, you probably got at least one direct mail piece about the conference-you know, the one that said "Thinking About Windows?" on the envelope.

By the time you read this, though, the conference will be over. It was held right after MacWorld/SF, on the 11th and 12th of January, in the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose.

Microsoft organized this conference as a response to developer demand. At the August MacWorld Expo, I conducted a very informal survey of Macintosh software exhibitors, and found that more than half of them wanted to send people to such a conference; they'd send about three people each, in fact. So, it was clear that there was a lot of demand.

We designed the conference to address the needs of experienced Macintosh developers who wanted to leverage their existing knowledge of the Mac when learning Windows. Most books, magazine articles, and courses on Windows programming assume that their audience is composed of DOS programmers. For this audience, a lot of the concepts in Windows are new: mice, windows, menus, event-driven programming, user-centered design, etc.. But for those of us who have mastered the Macintosh, these issues are old news; wading through all that chaff makes learning Windows harder than it should be.

Furthermore, we found that a lot of Macintosh developers wanted to port their Mac applications to Windows as quickly as possible. They had invested a lot of time and money in Macintosh code, and they wanted to keep as much of it as possible.

So we focused the conference on two objectives: explaining Windows programming from a Macintosh perspective, and exploring case studies of how some well-known Macintosh applications were ported to Windows.

The first objective was addressed on the conference's first day. Sessions like "Windows System Architecture" and "Programming Windows (I, II, and III)" explained how Windows worked and how to program with it, using constant analogy to the Macintosh. These sessions were followed that afternoon with breakout sessions on networking and databases, multimedia, and Windows NT.

The second objective-porting-was addressed on the second day. Starting off with a session on "Writing Portable Code," we moved directly into case studies of three award-winning Macintosh applications that have been ported to Windows: Fractal Design's Painter, Aldus' PageMaker, and Software Ventures' Microphone. Each took a different approach to porting.

Fractal Design ported Painter to Windows using Altura Software's Mac-To- Windows technology toolkit, which (in effect) implements the Macintosh Toolbox on Windows. This technology allowed Fractal Design to port Painter to Windows with only minimal changes to their original Macintosh source code. This is clearly the quickest and easiest porting solution, if your application's code falls within the subset of the Macintosh Toolbox implemented in Altura's toolkit. (For more information, Altura can be reached at AppleLink address "ALTURA".)

Aldus wrote PageMaker (specifically, their story editor) using VAMP, a cross-platform object-oriented application framework. Similar in concept to Bedrock, the framework being developed jointly by Apple and Symantec, VAMP abstracts much of the underlying operating system and user interface. The target platforms are implemented differently, but abstracted uniformly, within VAMP. This allows applications written to VAMP to work on both Mac and Windows. This approach to porting requires that the application be written to a non-native API, but if you were planning on rewriting your application anyway, this approach is worth considering. (Unfortunately, it also requires a high-quality, cross- platform, object-oriented application framework, of which none are now commercially available; VAMP is proprietary.)

Software Ventures ported Microphone to Windows by rewriting it directly to the Windows API. This resulted in two versions of their code, one for Mac and one for Windows, with only a small amount of code shared between them. While this might appear to be wasteful, it has actually allowed Microphone to respond quickly to user demands, maintaining their award-winning standards of quality on both platforms. This approach is most appropriate for those application which expect to have the Windows version drive their sales (and thus development) in the future.

Finally, the conference considered the portability of the Windows API itself, both via the hardware portability of Windows NT (currently planned for Intel, MIPS, DEC Alpha, Intergraph's Clipper, and who knows what else in future), and the portability of the API across operating systems (including Windows 3.1 and Windows NT, as well as Unix and, maybe someday, the Macintosh). The message: "write to the Windows API, and it will take you everywhere."

If we get enough interest, we may be able to hold this conference again later. So if you were not able to attend, but wish you had gone, just wait, and maybe you'll be hearing from us again.

In the meantime, if you'd like to hear about the latest and greatest tools and techniques in object-oriented programming, from Microsoft as well as Apple, Symantec, Electron Mining, and others, register today for the Fourth Annual MADA Conference in San Diego (MADACON '93). I'll be there-heck, it's part of my job to attend fun events like MADACON. (and they're paying me for this?)

I hope to see you in San Diego. Be there or be tetrahedral!

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

BetterTouchTool 2.332 - 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
Capture One 11.0.1.40 - RAW workflow sof...
Capture One is a professional RAW converter offering you ultimate image quality with accurate colors and incredible detail from more than 400 high-end cameras -- straight out of the box. It offers... Read more
Capture One 11.0.1.40 - RAW workflow sof...
Capture One is a professional RAW converter offering you ultimate image quality with accurate colors and incredible detail from more than 400 high-end cameras -- straight out of the box. It offers... Read more
GraphicConverter 10.5.4 - $39.95
GraphicConverter is an all-purpose image-editing program that can import 200 different graphic-based formats, edit the image, and export it to any of 80 available file formats. The high-end editing... Read more
Dash 4.1.3 - 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
Microsoft OneNote 16.9 - Free digital no...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
DEVONthink Pro 2.9.17 - Knowledge base,...
Save 10% with our exclusive coupon code: MACUPDATE10 DEVONthink Pro is your essential assistant for today's world, where almost everything is digital. From shopping receipts to important research... Read more
OmniGraffle 7.6 - Create diagrams, flow...
OmniGraffle helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use Graffle to... Read more
iFinance 4.3.7 - Comprehensively manage...
iFinance allows you to keep track of your income and spending -- from your lunchbreak coffee to your new car -- in the most convenient and fastest way. Clearly arranged transaction lists of all your... Read more
Opera 50.0.2762.58 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Around the Empire: What have you missed...
Around this time every week we're going to have a look at the comings and goings on the other sites in Steel Media's pocket-gaming empire. We'll round up the very best content you might have missed, so you're always going to be up to date with the... | Read more »
Everything about Hero Academy 2: Part 4...
In this part of our Hero Academy 2 guide, we're going to have a look at some of the tactics you're going to need to learn if you want to rise up the ranks. We're going to start off slow, then get more advanced in the next section. [Read more] | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
Another week has flown by. Sometimes it feels like the only truly unstoppable thing is time. Time will make dust of us all. But before it does, we should probably play as many awesome mobile videogames as we can. Am I right, or am I right? [Read... | Read more »
The 7 best games that came out for iPhon...
Well, it's that time of the week. You know what I mean. You know exactly what I mean. It's the time of the week when we take a look at the best games that have landed on the App Store over the past seven days. And there are some real doozies here... | Read more »
Popular MMO Strategy game Lords Mobile i...
Delve into the crowded halls of the Play Store and you’ll find mobile fantasy strategy MMOs-a-plenty. One that’s kicking off the new year in style however is IGG’s Lords Mobile, which has beaten out the fierce competition to receive Google Play’s... | Read more »
Blocky Racing is a funky and fresh new k...
Blocky Racing has zoomed onto the App Store and Google Play this week, bringing with it plenty of classic kart racing shenanigans that will take you straight back to your childhood. If you’ve found yourself hooked on games like Mario Kart or Crash... | Read more »
Cytus II (Games)
Cytus II 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: "Cytus II" is a music rhythm game created by Rayark Games. It's our fourth rhythm game title, following the footsteps of three... | Read more »
JYDGE (Games)
JYDGE 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Build your JYDGE. Enter Edenbyrg. Get out alive. JYDGE is a lawful but awful roguehate top-down shooter where you get to build your... | Read more »
Tako Bubble guide - Tips and Tricks to S...
Tako Bubble is a pretty simple and fun puzzler, but the game can get downright devious with its puzzle design. If you insist on not paying for the game and want to manage your lives appropriately, check out these tips so you can avoid getting... | Read more »
Everything about Hero Academy 2 - The co...
It's fair to say we've spent a good deal of time on Hero Academy 2. So much so, that we think we're probably in a really good place to give you some advice about how to get the most out of the game. And in this guide, that's exactly what you're... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Deals on clearance 15″ Apple MacBook Pros wit...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 15″ MacBook Pros available for up to $800 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro... Read more
Apple restocked Certified Refurbished 13″ Mac...
Apple has restocked a full line of Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ MacBook Airs starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: – 13″ 1.8GHz/8GB/128GB... Read more
How to find the lowest prices on 2017 Apple M...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ 2017 MacBook Pros available for $200 to $420 off the cost of new models. Apple’s refurbished prices are the lowest available for each model from any... Read more
The lowest prices anywhere on Apple 12″ MacBo...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Apple now offering a full line of Certified R...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2017 10″ and 12″ iPad Pros for $100-$190 off MSRP, depending on the model. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: –... Read more
27″ iMacs on sale for $100-$130 off MSRP, pay...
B&H Photo has 27″ iMacs on sale for $100-$130 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2199 $100 off MSRP – 27″ 3.... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $899, $100 off MS...
B&H Photo has the 2.8GHz Mac mini (model number MGEQ2LL/A) on sale for $899 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished iPad minis...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 128GB iPad minis available today for $339 including free shipping. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included. Their price is $60 off MSRP. Read more
Amazon offers 13″ 256GB MacBook Air for $1049...
Amazon has the 13″ 1.8GHz/256B #Apple #MacBook Air on sale today for $150 off MSRP including free shipping: – 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A): $1049.99, $150 off MSRP Read more
9.7-inch 2017 WiFi iPads on sale starting at...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ 2017 WiFi #Apple #iPads on sale for $30 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and pay sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 32GB iPad WiFi: $299, $30 off – 128GB iPad WiFi... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Data Center Site Selection and Strat...
# Apple Data Center Site Selection and Strategy Research Analyst Job Number: 83708609 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 18-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: Read more
Security Engineering Coordinator, *Apple* R...
# Security Engineering Coordinator, Apple Retail Job Number: 113237456 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 18-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
Firmware Engineer - *Apple* Accessories - A...
# Firmware Engineer - Apple Accessories Job Number: 113422485 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 18-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** 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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.