TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Mar 94 Dialog Box
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:Dialog Box

Dialog Box

Edited by Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief

Where’s the GUI?

I was disappointed in the articles on Bedrock in the July issue of MacTech; they imply the same old paradigm of line-after-line coding and editing. Much was made of a different factoring of the code libraries available but said nothing about the programmer’s interface.

If Bedrock is such a dramatic improvement, where is the GUI for programmers a la Prograph, AppMaker, Resorcerer, or P-G Pro for Future Basic? One article even implied that resources would still be defined by text! In this day shouldn’t programming be mostly by click and drag rather than type, type, type?

From a browser shouldn’t the programmer be able to click on an object and see its definition (as in Think’s compilers now), click on a method and see its code? From a method shouldn’t the programmer be able to click on a variable and see its definition or click on a method or procedure name and see its code?

For design, shouldn’t a programmer be able to create a window object by drawing it? Shouldn’t he or she be able to write any special behavior for the object while it is still visible on the screen? Will coding still be files? Change a definition in one file and wait to compile dozens of other files dependent on that file though not necessarily that definition? Or will Bedrock have a dictionary of objects, variables, and so on where only the objects that use the item are recompiled?

Will the programmer have to jump between files and scroll the lines of a complete file to see attributes and the code of methods? Or will the attributes of an object be in one panel of a window, the list of methods in a second panel, and currently-viewed methods of the object in separate windows which were opened by clicking in the list of methods?

Will coding still be line after line? Will Bedrock have Nassi-Shneidermann diagrams or some other visual paradigm? Will the programmer create a method graphically and be able to expand or collapse its structure to any level of detail? Will the programmer be able to cut and paste pieces of the structure with a simple hand movement or will it still be by selecting great gobs of lines?

Factoring and rich code libraries are great, but the real programming gains will be made when programmers work in the same way that users do.

- Melvyn D. Magree

Plymouth, Minnesota

In regards to
December’s editorial

Neil, from my end I agree. I have been programming on the Mac for only a year. I bought my first Mac in 1992. Since then I have heard about all kinds of new things coming out for the Mac. I want to get into it all, but it’s overwhelming.

A friend of mine just bought a new 486DX and he couldn’t get a simple mouse to function because of incompatible drivers. Every time he gets some new software he’s got loads of problems to fix along with it. Also, I’ve seen the books that come with Visual C++ - what a nightmare! Anyway I’ll stop now, but I completely agree. Yes we need the power but simplicity can be built in.

- MAtza via America Online

Your December editorial

Neil, I just read “The Editor’s Page” in the December issue of MacTech Magazine, and I just want you to know that I support you fully! I don’t know if you follow any of the Internet news groups, but the same kind of anger/frustration towards Apple are being expressed there. In my opinion it is time to really shake the foundations of “developer support” at Apple. Put Spindler up against the wall, and don’t let him go until he has given clear answers to a lot of questions!

- Per Lindgren

Frobozz AB

Agree or disagree?

I am writing this in response to your Editor’s Page in December MacTech. I am a Mac Programmer. The Mac once was a one-man machine: meaning a single programmer could learn the entire Toolbox and write wonderful applications (not huge applications) for the Mac. Those days are gone. There are so many Managers in the Toolbox that you don’t ever think of learning them all. Kind of strange - a feeling that I don’t understand my Mac anymore. It is a half-stranger to me.

Things get complicated as the Mac jumps to System 7. However, I do agree that System 7 is more mature than previous version from the user point of view. And I also agree with you that the development cycle advancement provided by Apple is lagging behind. However I don’t blame Apple. It is a difficult job to add capabilities and maintain backward compatibility at the same time. Many basic concepts in System 7 originated from the original Toolbox, kind of out-dated. System 6 to System 7 is an evolution., which undoubtedly involves patches. I guess the difficulty involved in moving from System 7 to (if there is any) System 8 is even more severe. What Apple needs is a revolution from System 7, not an evolution to System 8.

Apple is trying this I guess. Newton Technology: it opens new grounds that let Apple develop something from scratch. It also has the potential to open up a new market in real personal computing. Although I found the Newton development system is a bit hard to master at first glance from a C programmer point of view, I think its underlying software architecture is more neat than System 7.

Also there is PowerOpen or Pink or whatsoever. Although it is a bit far in the future. I think this is the revolution Apple needs.

I’m just saying what I feel. I don’t know whether I agree or disagree with you? Ha ha! :)

With Regards,

David Fung

Don’t stop!

First of all, great magazine! Don’t stop! Regarding your editorial concerning Apple’s support for developers, I couldn’t agree more!

I write Mac games, which are by far some of the hardest apps to do on a Mac, and I am constantly annoyed by Apple’s half-hearted efforts towards developer support. Every time I get a new tech note it seems that I find out about something that has changed that will cause me to have to redo a lot of things. I miss the days when you could call up DTS and talk to a person and get serious help without having to fax your question or pay a fortune e-mailing something on AppleLink.

Personally, I feel that Apple should be a little more devoted to supporting its developers. Nobody upgrades their Mac just because an upgrade is available. They upgrade so that their existing software will work harder for them, and so that they will have to power to run the apps of the future. We, the developers, are the future of Apple Computer.

If I have to change things I don’t know where I would start, but some change is in order. Developers are starting to have the same venom on their lips when they refer to Apple as they do when referring to Symantec. Although I don’t agree with every marketing move that Apple makes I still believe that the Mac is The Right Thing. I just wish they could go back to their youthful, enthusiastic days!

My 2¢ worth. Thanx for listening.

- Christopher De Salvo

December Editor’s Page

I must say that I was surprised to read this December’s Editor’s Page, in which you criticize (to some degree) the “programmer edition” of the Macintosh interface.

Yes, there are far more ROM routines than there were one system software version ago (double that, really). But see it this way: that’s code you won’t have to write. As for new technologies - such as QuickDraw GX or AOCE, among many others - you can be sure that without them, Apple would have a very small chance in staying afloat for much more (one can’t dream of Apple surviving on the Apple ][ or Newton). And since most applications require a partial (sometimes complete) re-write of it’s code, changing some of it to accommodate new such technologies is to me nothing but a routine exercise everyone should expect to do at some point. Stagnation is the beginning of the end.

Then there are development tools. Yes, we are fortunate to have tools like Marksman or AppMaker, but I disagree about further “Macintoshing” MPW. Although Symantec development environments can be useful to some, it fails to do a single percent of the things we can in MPW. And that is simply because MPW is the most flexible development platform around. Granted, the price is that MPW is more complicated. But the reward is much greater - easier integration of different elements (languages, for one), endless customizability, greater control over everything, and the list goes on.

- Martin-Gilles Lavoie

Groupimage, Inc.

Bad tip?

Brett Bibby’s tip on getting menus to look right in Japanese was well-intentioned but wrong. The problem has nothing to do with single-byte characters being read as double-byte ones (interesting theory though). This much is clear from the fact that “close” has an odd number of letters but looks fine in his screen shot, while “open” has an even number, and is followed by the stroke (actually the Japanese character “no”).

The problem is actually one of using high-ASCII characters, like the ellipsis or curly quotes (which caused the Japanese characters “me” and “mo” surrounding the resource names in ResEdit). KanjiTalk can correctly handle low-ASCII characters. High-ASCII are read as what is called “han-kaku ji katakana” (katakana is a 50-character syllabery, hankaku ji just means half-width characters). In fact, KanjiTalk is reading the font correctly as single-byte, it is just mapping the characters differently.

What Brett recommends would fix the problem in Japanese, but at the expense of violating Apple’s interface guidelines in English, which suggest that menu items that lead to dialog boxes should be followed by the ellipsis. Another possibility for the concerned developer would be to use three periods, and avoid high-ASCII characters in general.

- Adam Rice

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

How to evolve Eevee in Pokemon GO
By now, almost everyone should be hip to how to evolve Pokemon in Pokemon GO (and if not, there's a guide for that). Just gather enough candy of the appropriate type, feed them all to the Pokemon, and evolution happens. It's a miracle that would... | Read more »
CSR Racing 2: Guide to all game modes
It might not seem like there are all that many ways to go fast in a straight line, but CSR Racing 2 begs to differ. [Read more] | Read more »
Bulb Boy (Games)
Bulb Boy 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Multi-award winning 2D point & click horror adventure about a boy with a glowing head. | Read more »
5 top free emoji keyboard apps
If we're not at peak emoji yet as a society, it feels like we definitely should be. The emoji concept has gone far beyond what anyone in Japan could have envisioned when the people there unleashed it on an unsuspecting world, but the West has... | Read more »
How to unlock more characters in Disney...
One of the big charms of Disney Emoji Blitz is seeing a wide variety of beloved Disney and Pixar characters transformed into smiling emojis. Even someone like the sneaky Randall from Monsters Inc., who probably never cracked a smile on film, is... | Read more »
Cubway (Games)
Cubway 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubway is a journey with an abstract story of lifecycle of rebirth, called Samsara. Guide the cube through the long way full of dangers... | Read more »
Colorcube (Games)
Colorcube 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Turn pieces and blend colours in this minimal yet visually stunning puzzler.Over 200 handcrafted and challenging levels. Features... | Read more »
Doodle God Griddlers (Games)
Doodle God Griddlers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Crusader Kings: Chronicles (Games)
Crusader Kings: Chronicles 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crusader Kings: Chronicles is an interactive text based game that puts you in the shoes of Guy de Rose as you make... | Read more »
Roads of Rome: New Generation (Games)
Roads of Rome: New Generation 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Apple refurbished...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1379 $120 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP - 21″ 1... Read more
Charitybuzz Set to Auction Unique Apple-1 Com...
Offering an opportunity to own the computer that sparked a revolution, on Monday, July 25, leading online charity auction platform Charitybuzz will auction what is claimed to be the world’s most... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP
Amazon has 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $899.99 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Apple iPad Pro Sales Far Outpacing Microsoft...
A report on Appleinsider notes that despite Microsoft Surface tablet PC sales growing by 9 percent year over year, revenues remained below $1 billion, and are down sequentially from the $1.1 billion... Read more
DEVONthink 2.9 Features Ultra-fast, Robust, A...
DEVONthink 2.9 allows users to keep databases synchronized using many means of transport. It transmits them between Macs on the local network or stores them in a syncable form on removable hard... Read more
12-inch WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up t...
B&H Photo has 12″ WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $100 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 - 12″... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
Job Summary The Apple Professional Learning Specialist is a full-time position for one year with Apple in the Phoenix, AZ area. This position requires a high Read more
*Apple* Picker - Apple Hill Orchard (United...
Apple Hill Orchard, Co. Rte. 21,Whitehall, NY 9/7/16-10/228/16. Pick fresh market or processing apples Productivity of 60 boxes and 80 boxes processing fruit per Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.