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!

 
AAPL
$105.22
Apple Inc.
+0.39
MSFT
$46.13
Microsoft Corpora
+1.11
GOOG
$539.78
Google Inc.
-4.20

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OS X Server 4.0 - For OS X 10.10 Yosemit...
Designed for OS X and iOS devices, OS X Server makes it easy to share files, schedule meetings, synchronize contacts, develop software, host your own website, publish wikis, configure Mac, iPhone,... Read more
TotalFinder 1.6.12 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Tab-based... Read more
BusyCal 2.6.3 - Powerful calendar app wi...
BusyCal is an award-winning desktop calendar that combines personal productivity features for individuals with powerful calendar sharing capabilities for families and workgroups. BusyCal's unique... Read more
calibre 2.7 - Complete e-library managem...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
Skitch 2.7.3 - Take screenshots, annotat...
With Skitch, taking, annotating, and sharing screenshots or images is as fun as it is simple.Communicate and collaborate with images using Skitch and its intuitive, engaging drawing and annotating... Read more
Delicious Library 3.3.2 - Import, browse...
Delicious Library allows you to import, browse, and share all your books, movies, music, and video games with Delicious Library. Run your very own library from your home or office using our... Read more
Art Text 2.4.8 - Create high quality hea...
Art Text is an OS X application for creating high quality textual graphics, headings, logos, icons, Web site elements, and buttons. Thanks to multi-layer support, creating complex graphics is no... Read more
Live Interior 3D Pro 2.9.6 - Powerful an...
Live Interior 3D Pro is a powerful yet very intuitive interior designing application. View Video Tutorials It has every feature of Live Interior 3D Standard, plus some exclusive ones: Create multi... Read more
The Hit List 1.1.7 - Advanced reminder a...
The Hit List manages the daily chaos of your modern life. It's easy to learn - it's as easy as making lists. And it's powerful enough to let you plan, then forget, then act when the time is right.... Read more
jAlbum Pro 12.2.4 - Organize your digita...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code!... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Rami Ismail Opens Up distribute​() for D...
Rami Ismail Opens Up distribute​() for Developers Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Rami Ismail, Chief Executive of Business and Development at indie game studio | Read more »
Great Hitman GO Goes on Sale and Gets Ne...
Great Hitman GO Goes on Sale and Gets New Update – Say That Three Times Fast Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Rival Stars Basketball Review
Rival Stars Basketball Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RESTRICTIVE BUT FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Rival Stars Basketball is a fun mixture of basketball and card collecting but its... | Read more »
Rubicon Development Makes Over a Dozen o...
Rubicon Development Makes Over a Dozen of Their Games Free For This Weekend Only Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
I Am Dolphin Review
I Am Dolphin Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEARLY FIN-TASTICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Swim around and eat nearly everything that moves in I Am Dolphin, a fun Ecco-ish kind of game... | Read more »
nPlayer looks to be the ultimate choice...
Developed by Newin Inc, nPlayer may seem like your standard video player – but is aiming to be the best in its field by providing high quality video play performance and support for a huge number of video formats and codecs. User reviews include... | Read more »
Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Wi...
Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: CLASSY STORYTELLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch is a sterling... | Read more »
A Few Days Left (Games)
A Few Days Left 1.01 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.01 (iTunes) Description: Screenshots are in compliance to App Store's 4+ age rating! Please see App Preview for real game play! **Important: Make... | Read more »
Toca Boo (Education)
Toca Boo 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: BOO! Did I scare you!? My name is Bonnie and my family loves to spook! Do you want to scare them back? Follow me and I'll... | Read more »
Intuon (Games)
Intuon 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Join the battle with your intuition in a new hardcore game Intuon! How well do you trust your intuition? Can you find a needle in a... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Weekend sale: 13-inch 128GB MacBook Air for $...
Best Buy has the 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz 128GB MacBook Air on sale for $849.99, or $150 off MSRP, on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price valid... Read more
Nimbus Note Cross=Platform Notes Utility
Nimbus Note will make sure you never forget or lose your valuable data again. Create and edit notes, save web pages, screenshots and any other type of data – and share it all with your friends and... Read more
NewerTech’s Snuglet Makes MagSafe 2 Power Con...
NewerTech has introduced the Snuglet, a precision-manufactured ring designed to sit inside your MagSafe 2 connector port, providing a more snug fit to prevent your power cable from unintentional... Read more
Apple Planning To Sacrifice Gross Margins To...
Digitimes Research’s Jim Hsiao says its analysts believe Apple is planning to sacrifice its gross margins to save its tablet business, which has recently fallen into decline. They project that Apple’... Read more
Who’s On Now? – First Instant-Connect Search...
It’s nighttime and your car has broken down on the side of the highway. You need a tow truck right away, so you open an app on your iPhone, search for the closest tow truck and send an instant... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $949,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $949.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $150 off MSRP. Price is... Read more
Save up to $125 on Retina MacBook Pros
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available sta...
The Apple Store has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for up to $60 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $255... Read more
Textilus New Word, Notes and PDF Processor fo...
Textilus is new word-crunching, notes, and PDF processor designed exclusively for the iPad. I haven’t had time to thoroughly check it out yet, but it looks great and early reviews are positive.... Read more
WD My Passport Pro Bus-Powered Thunderbolt RA...
WD’s My Passport Pro RAID solution is powered by an integrated Thunderbolt cable for true portability and speeds as high as 233 MB/s. HighlightsOverviewSpecifications Transfer, Back Up And Edit In... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple Inc. (U...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, 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
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
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
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.