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
$93.94
Apple Inc.
-0.49
MSFT
$44.84
Microsoft Corpora
+0.15
GOOG
$589.47
Google Inc.
-5.61

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OS X Yosemite 10.10 DP4 - Developer Prev...
Note: This is a Developer Preview. You must be a registered Apple Mac Developer to download this update. OS X Yosemite is Apple's newest operating system for Mac. An elegant design that feels... Read more
FinderPop 2.5.6 - Classic Mac utility, n...
FinderPop is a Universal preference pane that extends OS X's contextual menus using a FinderPop Items folder much as the Apple Menu Items folder used to do for the Apple menu. It has other features... Read more
SpiderOak 5.1.7 - Secure cloud backup, s...
SpiderOak is a multi-platform secure online backup, storage, access, and sharing solution engineered for the consumer and small businesses. You must first sign up to use SpiderOak. Running natively... Read more
Espionage 3.6 - Simple, state of the art...
Espionage offers state-of-the-art encryption and plausible deniability for your confidential data. Sometimes, encrypting your data isn't enough to protect it. That's why Espionage 3 goes beyond data... Read more
calibre 1.45.0 - Complete e-library mana...
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
iFFmpeg 4.3.1 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a graphical front-end for FFmpeg, a command-line tool used to convert multimedia files between formats. The command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does... Read more
Chromium 36.0.1985.125 - 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. FreeSMUG-Free OpenSource Mac User Group build is... Read more
pwSafe 3.0 - Secure password management...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
Day One 1.9.6 - Maintain a daily journal...
Day One is the easiest and best-looking way to use a journal / diary / text-logging application for the Mac. Day One is well designed and extremely focused to encourage you to write more through... Read more
Google Chrome 36.0.1985.125 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

HELMUT Review
HELMUT Review By Andrew Fisher on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRUNDLE SIMULATOR 2014Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad HELMUT is a fun, fleeting time-sink that offers a momentary distraction and nothing else.   | Read more »
Walkr Review
Walkr Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: ORIGINAL WALKINGiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Walking is a bit more exciting thanks to this planet building/discovering sim reliant... | Read more »
Zombie Commando Review
Zombie Commando Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINDLESS SLAUGHTERUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Briefly fun but ultimately forgettable, Zombie Commando will scratch an itch then be... | Read more »
Swords & Poker Adventures Review
Swords & Poker Adventures Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SOULLESS POKER PLAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Swords & Poker Adventures is a mishmash of Poker and RPGing, but it lacks... | Read more »
Warhammer 40,000: The Horus Heresy: Drop...
Warhammer 40,000: The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault Coming Soon to iOS Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] Coming soon to iOS will be an all-new Warhammer 40,000 tactical strategy game by the name of The Horus Heresy: Drop As | Read more »
A Life Worth Dying For Review
A Life Worth Dying For Review By Jordan Minor on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: A BEAUTIFUL MINDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A Life Worth Dying For is a fascinating portrait of a serious subject.   | Read more »
Zombie Puzzle Panic Review
Zombie Puzzle Panic Review By Jordan Minor on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: THE MATCHING DEADUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Zombie Puzzle Panic puts some pretty neat undead twists on Match-3 puzzling.   | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: July 14-18, 2014
Expert App Reviewers   So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iPhone/iPad lover to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just... | Read more »
Fallen Lords Review
Fallen Lords Review By Andrew Fisher on July 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FALLS SHORTiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Fallen Lords is a decent game, but its similarity and inferiority compared to Ghost Stories makes it ultimately... | Read more »
Real Boxing’s New Combo Update is a Knoc...
Real Boxing’s New Combo Update is a Knockout Posted by Blake Grundman on July 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Twelve South HiRise For MacBook – Height-Adju...
If you use your MacBook as a workhorse desktop substitute, as many of us do, a laptop stand combined with an external keyboard and pointing device are pretty much obligatory if you want to avoid... Read more
Why The Mac Was Not Included In The Apple/IBM...
TUAW’s Yoni Heisler cites Fredrick Paul of Network World whoi blogged last week that the Mac’s conspicuous absence from Apple and IBM’s landmark partnership agreement represents a huge squandered... Read more
Save $100 on 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros, plu...
Adorama has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: - 13″ 2.4GHz/128GB MacBook Pro with Retina Display: $1199 - 13″ 2.... Read more
Blurr it 2.3 for iOS – Quickly Blurs Selected...
Hyderabad, India based TouchLabs has announced a new update of Blurr it 2.3, their photography app for iOS users. Blurr it allows you to blur part of the image to hide potentially sensitive or... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, start...
Best Buy has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices valid for online orders only... Read more
Amazon Announces Kindle Unlimited: Unlimited...
Amazon.com has introduced Kindle Unlimited — a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to... Read more
New Linksys Wireless Range Extenders Boost Wi...
Linksys has announced its new lineup of Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extenders. Consumers often experience a weak wireless signal in some parts of their house or apartment caused by blocking elements such as... Read more
MacBook Airs available starting at $719
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2013 & 2012 MacBook Airs in stock today starting at $719. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: 2013... Read more
Get the best deals on iPad minis with Apple r...
The Apple Store has Certified Refurbished 2nd generation iPad minis with Retina Displays available for up to $130 off the cost of new models, starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included... Read more
Best Buy’s College Student Deals: $100 off Ma...
Take an additional $100 off all MacBooks and iMacs, $50 off iPad Airs and iPad minis, at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through July 25th. Anyone with a valid .EDU... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Computer Technician - Fairfield Coun...
Company DescriptionWe are an Apple Authorized Sales and Service Provider. We have been selling and servicing Apple computers in the Fairfield County area for over 20 Read more
*Apple* Computer Technician - Fairfield Coun...
Company DescriptionWe are an Apple Authorized Sales and Service Provider. We have been selling and servicing Apple computers in the Fairfield County area for over 20 Read more
Mac Expert - *Apple* Online Store Mexico -...
…MUST be fluent in English and Spanish to be considered for this position At Apple , we believe that hard work, a fun environment, creativity and innovation fuel the Read more
*Apple* Computer Technician - Fairfield Coun...
Company DescriptionWe are an Apple Authorized Sales and Service Provider. We have been selling and servicing Apple computers in the Fairfield County area for over 20 Read more
Mac Expert - *Apple* Online Store - Apple (...
**Job Summary** At Apple , we believe that hard work, a fun environment, creativity and innovation fuel the ultimate customer experience. We believe each customer Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.