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

NTFS 14.3.318 - $19.95
This latest version supports the new macOS 10.12 Sierra! NTFS breaks down the barriers between Windows and OS X. Paragon NTFS effectively solves the communication problems between the Mac system and... Read more
iFFmpeg 6.2.2 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a comprehensive media tool to convert movie, audio and media files between formats. The FFmpeg command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does all the hard... Read more
ForeverSave 2.1.6 - Universal auto-save...
ForeverSave auto-saves all documents you're working on while simultaneously doing backup versioning in the background. Lost data can be quickly restored at any time. Define your preferred time... Read more
BetterTouchTool 1.961 - 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
EtreCheck 3.1.4 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
Together 3.7 - 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. Features Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop... Read more
Together 3.7 - 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. Features Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop... Read more
EtreCheck 3.1.4 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
Postbox 5.0.9 - Powerful and flexible em...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more
DiskCatalogMaker 6.5.16 - Catalog your d...
DiskCatalogMaker is a simple disk management tool which catalogs disks. Simple, light-weight, and fast. Finder-like intuitive look and feel. Super-fast search algorithm. Can compress catalog data... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Silent Depth Submarine Simulation (Game...
Silent Depth Submarine Simulation 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Enneas Saga lets you lead your own demon...
Defend the land of Enneas Continent from the forces of evil in the new fantasy MMORPG from Lyto Mobi: Enneas Saga. Can’t wait? No problem. It’s available to download now on Android devices. | Read more »
Great zombie games in the spirit of Dead...
Dead Rising 4 arrives tomorrow, giving enthusiasts a fresh chance to take selfies with zombies and get up to other ridiculous end-of-the-world shenanigans. To really get into the spirit of things, we've gone and gathered the best zombie games that... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon 4 Guide: Advanced tips a...
Amateur Surgeon 4 is still tackling the competition at the top of the App Store charts, so if you haven't tried it out yet, you should probably do that right away. If you've been at it for a while, though, perhaps you're ready to start expanding... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon 4 Guide: Become the worl...
It's time to wield your trusty pizza cutter again, as Amateur Surgeon has returned with a whole fresh set of challenges (and some old, familiar ones, too). Starting anew isn't easy, especially when all you have at your disposal is a lighter, the... | Read more »
Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire (Ga...
Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Telltale Games really is working on a Gu...
Telltale Games' next episodic adventure is indeed Guardians of the Galaxy. A document tied to the voice actors strike suggested that the project was in the work, but now we have direct confirmation following an announcement at the Game Awards that... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon returns to iOS and Andro...
Amateur Surgeon and its two sequels disappeared from the App Store some time and it was sad days for all. But now, just in time for the holidays, the Adult Swim favorite makes its joyous return in the shape of Amateur Surgeon 4, a remake with... | Read more »
The best board games on mobile
Sometimes you need to ditch all of the high speed, high action games in favor of something a little more traditional. If you don't feel like parting ways from your mobile device, though, there are still plenty of ways to get that old-school fix.... | Read more »
The best Facebook Messenger Instant Game...
Facebook's new Instant Games is now here, meaning you can play games with your friends directly via Facebook. It's a fun new way to connect with friends, of course, but it's also proving to be a solid gaming experience in its own right, with a... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Slate Tablet Market Share to Fall Below 75% i...
After two years of decline, the tablet market is showing signs of new life as productivity trumps entertainment, and tablets become cost-effective computing devices for both entertainment and... Read more
Yostand Launches Indigogo campaign for iStand...
China-based startup Yostand (meaning ‘your stand’), has announced the launch of its Indigogo campaign for their newly awaited iStand7. This product is a one of a kind iPhone battery case that offers... Read more
Green App – Budget Forecasting Now Available...
Indianapolis, Indiana based CoopToons has announced the release of Green – Budget Forecasting 1.5, an update to their personal budgeting app developed exclusively for iOS devices. Green aims to be a... Read more
New 2016 13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pros in stock...
Overstock.com has the non-Touch Bar 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1349.99 $150 off MSRP - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook... Read more
15-inch 2.6GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro o...
Adorama has the new 2016 15″ 2.6GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MLW72LL/A) in stock and available for $2349 including free shipping. Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ only. Their price is $... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for up to $180 o...
Overstock.com has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $180 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MMGF2LL/A): $869.99 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (sku... 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
Monday roundup of Holiday Mac sales: Up to $3...
Take up to $300 off MSRP on the price of a new Apple Mac at B&H Photo today as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Touch Bar MacBook Pros are in... Read more
12-inch WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up t...
B&H Photo has 12″ WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up to $50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749 $50 off MSRP... Read more
9-inch Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $20-$...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $20-$50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 256GB WiFi iPad Pro: $779.95 $20 off MSRP... 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
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (...
# Lead Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 53586123 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States Posted: Nov. 28, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Lead ASC Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Plano,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Kansas...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Chicago...
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.