TweetFollow Us on Twitter

March 93 - MADACON '93 Report

MADACON '93 Report

Mary Elaine Califf

The primary theme of this year's conference was the future. Although there were exceptions, much of what we saw were forthcoming technologies or newly available technologies that haven't proven themselves yet. In fact, one of the two major running jokes of the week was "This is not a product announcement." A number of people came to the conference looking for a new framework and/or development system. Most left not fully satisfied, though many are planning to try Component Workshop™.

Monday-Bedrock+

The conference opened with Kurt Schmucker's on OODALs-Object-Oriented Dynamic Authoring Languages. He argued that some the content-based applications desired today require authoring tools with the power and sopistication of OODLs. Then the ATG group demonstrated SK8, one of their current projects (this was not a product announcement). It uses SK8Script which is "simpler than HyperTalk" with "All the power of MCL or Dylan in a scripting language." SK8's graphics are also impressive, using some of the techniques used in 3D graphics to improve the performance of its 2D graphics.

The headliner of the day was the Bedrock team who said more than they've ever said before and less than most people would have liked. It was made clear that we haven't seen a complete class hierarchy because the class hierarchy is still changing. As expected, this also was not a product announcement. Lonnie Millett presented Bedrock as three components, the application framework, support classes, and the resources. The application framework will be much like MacApp 3 with a number of familiar kinds of classes. It will have a view hierarchy and a command hierarchy similar to MacApp's. The Bedrock support classes come in 6 types: memory management (its own pointer-based allocation), exception handling, files (similar to TFile), string classes (ANSI, Pascal, and unicode), data structures (lists, etc.), and international facilities (including validators-date, time, numerical-and formatters-date, time, currency).

The team went on to add some detail on four pieces of Bedrock. The first of these was the data structures. Bedrock will use a subset of the Booch Components. These collection classes are template-based, use mixin inheritance, and throw exceptions. The classes with Bedrock will include collections, sorted collections, sets, queues, stacks, maps, and a binary tree. Tools provided will include sequential and binary searching and a quicksort.

The second item to be presented was exception handling, which will be ARM compliant, will handle automatic cleanup of stack objects, and will allow exceptions to be thrown from constructors. The exception types are classes, organized into a type hierarchy. Bedrock will come with 60 defined exception types. The current exception-handling scheme uses macros to duplicate the ARM functionality and once native compiler support for exception handling is available, very few changes will have to be made to take advantage of it.

The third subject was the memory allocation system which is designed to handle the small average block sizes and large request stream of the typical object-oriented program. The implementation approach chosen is a best fit algorithm with the free-list stored in a binary tree and some modification for very small blocks. The team presented a performance analysis which showed the Macintosh memory manager falling flat on its face and their algorithm doing fairly well in both space utilization and speed.

Finally, the team talked about the Bedrock resources. Bedrock resources will be defined in a platform independent resource language similar to Rez which will support inheritance and recursive resource definition. Available resource types will include views, menus, string lists, bitmaps, and icons. User-defined types will be possible. The resource compiler will use a full ANSI C preprocessor and will parse C++ header files. A resource editor is under development.

The Bedrock demo took a while, as Bernadette Jolicoeur attempted to copy source files from a Macintosh onto an MS-DOS floppy. However, once the files were transferred and compiles done on a Macintosh and a machine running Windows, the application did come up with the appropriate "look and feel" for each environment.

Bedrock was followed by an introduction to BETA, an object-oriented language which has recently entered the commercial market. See Steve Mann's article in this issue for more.

The morning ended with Doug Sleeter of Quorum Software Systems. He described Quorum Latitude which provides "virtual porting" of Macintosh applications to Unix systems by recompiling the Macintosh sources on the Unix workstation and linking with the Quorum Compatibility Engine, a portable implementation of the Macintosh API supporting System 6.0.7 and some parts of system 7.

The most heavily attended session of the afternoon was that on support for developers moving from MacApp to Bedrock. Attendees saw prototypes of two conversion tools, one for resources and one for code. The code conversion tool makes no changes, but produces a file of annotations which provide commands to highlight spots where change is needed and explain the needed changes. The primary purpose of the session, however, seems to have been to elicit feedback from the audience, and in that it was certainly successful. One complaint came from those still maintaining MacApp 2-based applications (well over half the audience) because support for that transition is not planned. The most popular statement of the session was the announcement from the back of the room that MacApp 3.0.2 will happen.

Kurt Schmucker's session on Prograph and Serius and Jeff Alger and Neal Goldstein's introduction to SBM suffered during early part of the afternoon from being up against Bedrock, but they gathered a larger audience as the Bedrock session ended.

The afternoon ended with concurrent sessions on Serius, Ad Lib, and ObjectModeler™. Nick Nallick is responding to user requests; the next version of Ad Lib will include a hierarchical view like that in IcePick™.

An Apple reception, complete with Bedrock T-shirts, was followed by a MADA town meeting giving the attending membership an opportunity to express concerns directly to both old and new board members.

Tuesday-The Other Contenders

If Monday focused on Bedrock, Tuesday was devoted to its rivals. After a brief presentation on Newton technology and development tools (this was not a product announcement) including a brief demo, the competitors moved in. The first was Component Workshop which was impressive despite technical problems setting up the demo. The most impressive feature of Component Workshop is clearly its environment, compiler, and linker. Developers drooled over not having to maintain header files and build times of a few seconds for minor changes. Automatic garbage collection was popular, but some expressed concerns about performance. The major concerns were over the Extruder™ which is not yet final and the fact that CW does not use standard C++. Be that as it may, Bob Hablutzel's Component Workshop tutorial that afternoon was popular, and many developers left the conference planning to try out the system.

The other major contender was Gary Odom's OOPC. OOPC is a dynamic object system which can be used with any standard C compiler. Both OOPC and Component Workshop are going cross-platform but aren't there yet.

ParcPlace demonstrated VisualWorks, a Smalltalk-based cross-platform application development environment for GUI-based client-server applications. It looked like a good environment. Unfortunately, the Macintosh version didn't look enough like a Macintosh application to impress the audience.

Another contender suffering from its lack of adherence to the human interface guidelines was Camelot. Camelot was technically impressive, but also suffered from a large memory footprint.

The final contender of the day was QKS's SmalltalkAgents™, a completely new Smalltalk implementation with a true Macintosh interface and toolbox access. The implementation supports System 7 features and WorldScript. For those who can afford its large footprint (1.5 to 2.5 megabytes), SmalltalkAgents looks like a promising development environment.

The evening ended with the first session of Frameworks Facts, an opportunity for the audience to question representatives of various non-C based frameworks.

Wednesday-IcePick, NeoAccess, and Windows

Wednesday morning brought a long-awaited event as Sierra Software announced its developer tools. These included p2c, basically a full Object Pascal compiler that generates C++ code instead of machine code, and a database object toolkit, a domain-specific class library for MacApp 3.0 (and potentially other frameworks) which would provide an interface to relational databases. However, the final product overshadowed the others as IcePick 3.0 was demonstrated. By the way, this was a product announcement. Besides having all of the old IcePick features and working with 3.0 views, IcePick 3.0 has a behavior window for prototyping, handles strings and other empedded resources, and is projector aware. It also, as audience plant Kurt Schmucker demonstrated, has Dinker support for user views.

Bob Krause introduced NeoAccess, a set of C++ classes that provide object persistence, and previewed NeoShare, a forthcoming offering which will support multiple users. An interesting note on NeoAccess: full source code is provided.

At this point, Steve Sinofsky of Microsoft braved the crowd to present Microsoft Foundation Classes 2.0. His reception was fairly favorable, but his response to the cross-platform question-MFC will go wherever the Windows API goes-was unpopular.

The next scheduled presenter was James Plamondon, but his technical difficulties led to a rather appropriate schedule change. Steve Wilson gave the first of his talks scheduled for Thursday and discussed porting a MacApp application to Windows. He showed us how to make Borland's OWL look as much like MacApp as possible.

The afternoon offerings were varied, with tutorials on C++, developing database applications using object-oriented frameworks, Lisp/CLOS, and developing small frameworks including problem-domain frameworks. Dave Wilson demonstrated each of Emergent Behavior's offerings and amused his audience by declaring, "My application framework is smaller than your application framework." Of course, he also demonstrated compile time of under a minute using MPW.

Wednesday evening brought the second round of Frameworks Facts. The frameworks represented were OOPC, Component Workshop, MFC, and MacApp. Unfortunately, MacApp was represented by Bob Hablutzel (later joined by Dan Strnad of DTS) because efforts to get an Apple representative ahead of time had been unsuccessful. The framework most were interested in was, of course, unrepresented.

Thursday-Taligent

Thursday morning opened with Adele Goldberg, President of ParcPlace Systems, discussing reuse and visual programming. She discussed some of the difficulties involved in code reuse and the difference between inheritance and delegation. Her post-presentation hallway Q and A was very popular. We almost had to herd the crowd out of the conference center.

She was followed by an introduction to Camelot, which would probably have been more effective before the exposure to it earlier in Frameworks Facts and an afternoon session on Tuesday.

Dirk Bartels of BKS Software introduced their cross-platform OODBMS POET.

The morning ended with James Plamondon's session originally scheduled for the previous day. He introduced Object Linking and Embedding 2.0 and demonstrated a prerelease version running on the Macintosh. OLE allows objects from other applications to be placed in a document using either linking (which means that it will be updated if the original changes) or embedding. The objects can be edited in place (in the case of embedded objects) or by bringing up the original document. The editing is done by either the original application or another application capable of handling that type. The new Windows version will be available soon, but the Macintosh version is still in the future.

There were two more sessions after lunch before everyone headed out to SeaWorld. First, Steve Wilson discussed writing application generators and demonstrated two provided by Emergent Behavior with their frameworks. The concept proved popular, and someone in the audience suggested that an application generator would be an appropriate replacement for Skeleton.

Lee Harris of Pillar corporation then discussed monagement of a large OOP project, using Pillar corporation's 400,000 line financial planning application as an example.

Sea++World was little disappointing since the rain we avoided Monday through Wednesday showed up on Thursday. However, the banquet itself was enjoyable, and the keynote address actually had some substance. Now don't get me wrong, Taligent still isn't talking. However, Mike Potel did give us a few facts that we hadn't heard before. First, he emphasized small frameworks and described the components of system as frameworks. Second, Pink is being developed in C++, and that will be the initial development language though others will become available. Third, Taligent will be providing "good" developer tools. Potel went on to discuss the better features of various development environments, but he made no promises regarding the specific features of the tools Taligent will provide. For now, the advice is to learn C++ and to gain experience using frameworks and then to jump on the Taligent bandwagon when the time seems right for you and your business. One encouraging feature of Mike Potel's talk was its firm grounding in the economics of software development. Following the banquet, Taligent held a reception back at the hotel at which Taligent employees were available for questioning.

Reactions to the evening were mixed. Many people felt that they had heard some new things and obviously felt more confident that Taligent is a real part of their future and is interested in them as developers. On the other hand, some felt that they had heard nothing more than they had heard before.

Friday-Crystal Balls

If the theme of the week was the future, Friday's sessions made an appropriate end. The morning began with Steve Goldband's discussion of Apple's frameworks futures, emphasizing a move away from monolithic applications to smaller applications using objects to interact with each other both within a computer and over a network.

The LISP/CLOS overview that followed was not strictly futuristic, but was encouraging developers to move in new directions.

An introduction to Dylan followed. As many of you know, Dylan is Apple's attempted answer to the drawbacks of OODLs. For an introduction to the language, see Mikel Evins' article in this issue.

G. Gordon Apple continued the morning's focus, presenting a Direct Broadcast Satellite system currently under development which will make extensive use of object-oriented programming. For a description of the system, see his article in this issue.

The final session featured Jeff Alger's thoughts on the current state of OOP and its future. As always, his ideas are thought-provoking. They will be presented in full in the May issue of FrameWorks.

So, what was MADACON '93? It was primarily an opportunity to examine new application frameworks and other developer tools and a chance to glimpse the future. There were no clear winners (other than MacApp 3.0.2), but we saw several promising candidates.

 
AAPL
$99.80
Apple Inc.
-1.83
MSFT
$46.49
Microsoft Corpora
+0.25
GOOG
$576.89
Google Inc.
+3.79

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Adobe Acrobat Pro 11.0.09 - Powerful PDF...
Adobe Acrobat allows users to communicate and collaborate more effectively and securely. Unify a wide range of content in a single organized PDF Portfolio. Collaborate through electronic document... Read more
Adobe Reader 11.0.09 - View PDF document...
Adobe Reader allows users to view PDF documents. You may not know what a PDF file is, but you've probably come across one at some point. PDF files are used by companies and even the IRS to... Read more
iFFmpeg 4.6.1 - 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
NTFS 11.3.62 - Provides full read and wr...
Paragon NTFS breaks down the barriers between Windows and OS X. Paragon NTFS effectively solves the communication problems between the Mac system and NTFS, providing full read and write access to... Read more
OS X Yosemite 10.10 DP8 - Developer Prev...
Note: This is a Developer Preview. You must be a registered Apple Mac Developer to download this update. You can also sign up for the free OS X Beta Program to download and preview public beta... Read more
FotoMagico 4.5 - Powerful slideshow crea...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
Screenshot Path 1.2.1 - Change the defau...
Screenshot Path lets you change the folder where OS X saves screenshots. Screenshots are saved by default to the user’s desktop. This is handy for the occasional screenshot but those looking to take... Read more
Fantastical 1.3.16 - Create calendar eve...
Fantastical is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event details... Read more
GIMP 2.8.14 - Powerful, free image editi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more
HoudahSpot 3.9.3 - Advanced front-end fo...
HoudahSpot is an advanced file search tool built upon MacOS X Spotlight. Spotlight unleashed Create detailed queries to locate the exact file you need Narrow down searches. Zero in on files Save... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Hyper Trip Review
Hyper Trip Review By Jennifer Allen on September 16th, 2014 Our Rating: :: HYPER TWITCHYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tough and unforgiving, Hyper Trip is a bit like Snake – if Snake was really harsh.   | Read more »
Collectible Card Game Earthcore: Shatter...
Collectible Card Game Earthcore: Shattered Elements is Set to Arrive on iOS in 2015 Posted by Ellis Spice on September 16th, 2014 [ permalink ] Polish developers | Read more »
Boogey Boy Review
Boogey Boy Review By Jennifer Allen on September 16th, 2014 Our Rating: :: PRETTY BUT BASICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It looks delightful but lack of Game Center support and more variety really affects the fun... | Read more »
Vizzywig 4K (Photography)
Vizzywig 4K 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $999.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: REQUIRES: iOS 7 on iPhone 5S with 32GB or 64GB. (Do not use iOS 8)The world's FIRST mobile 4K video capture, editing and... | Read more »
The Sleeping Prince Review
The Sleeping Prince Review By Jennifer Allen on September 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RESTRICTIVE KINGDOM SAVINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Sleeping Prince looks and feels great to play, but its lack of peril and... | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Terra Battle
In some way or another, most Japanese RPGs owe something to Final Fantasy. But with Terra Battle, the now-common mix of Western medieval fantasy with Eastern anime aesthetic feels earned. After all, its developer, Mistwalker, was founded by the... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddy’s Review
Five Nights at Freddy’s Review By Rob Thomas on September 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FIVE FRIGHTS AT FREDDY'SUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Can you survive five nights as the new night watchman of Freddy Fazbear’s... | Read more »
Phantom Rift Review
Phantom Rift Review By Nadia Oxford on September 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FRIENDLY PHANTOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite a snag here and there, Phantom Rift is a well-crafted and imaginative adventure RPG.   | Read more »
Phantom Rift – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Hello, Wanderers: | Read more »
Meet the Newest Character for Temple Run...
Meet the Newest Character for Temple Run 2, from National Geographic Kids’ Action-Adventure Book Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 15th, 2014 [ | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Free GIMP Professional Grade Graphics App Ver...
The latest 2.8.14 version of the oddly-named GIMP (acronym for: GNU Image Manipulation Program) open source, high-end image editing and creation alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop and refuge from... Read more
10% off iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Otterbox cases
Get 10% off on popular Otterbox iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases at MacMall through September 19th. Use code OTTERBOX10 to see the discount. Read more
15-inch MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 o...
Amazon has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP including free shipping: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1899.99 save $100 - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $2374... Read more
27-inch 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1698, $101 o...
Abt has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1698 including free shipping. Their price is $101 off MSRP. Read more
More To Making A Larger iPad Than Expanded Sc...
CNET’s Ross Rubin has posted a thoughtful analysis of prospects for a larger display iPad Pro, noting that Microsoft and Samsung currently have the large-display touchscreen tablet category to... Read more
SwiftKey Keyboard Finally Coming To iPhone An...
At the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco, Swiftkey unveiled the first details about SwiftKey Keyboard for iPhone, iPad & iPod touch. SwiftKey’s philosophy is that you should be able to... Read more
Save $75 on the 16GB iPad mini with Retina Di...
Best Buy has the 16GB iPad mini with Retina Display on sale for $324.99 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $75 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this mini.... Read more
21-inch 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $979, $120 of...
B&H Photo has the new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $979.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz iMa...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
13-inch 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sa...
Adorama has the 13″ 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1379 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.