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

Lyn 1.7.2 - Lightweight image browser an...
Lyn is a fast, lightweight image browser and viewer designed for photographers, graphic artists, and Web designers. Featuring an extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing interface, it delivers... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.6.7beta02 - GUI for OpenVP...
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
jAlbum Pro 13.4 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more
calibre 2.65.1 - Complete e-book library...
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 librarian... Read more
jAlbum 13.4 - Create custom photo galler...
With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly, with pro results - Simply drag and drop photos into groups, choose a design... Read more
Backblaze 4.2.0.966 - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Backblaze 4.2.0.966 - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.6.7beta02 - GUI for OpenVP...
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
calibre 2.65.1 - Complete e-book library...
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 librarian... Read more
jAlbum Pro 13.4 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more

Clean Text (Productivity)
Clean Text 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Productivity Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Gemini - A Journey of Two Stars (Games)
Gemini - A Journey of Two Stars 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: *** SPECIAL LAUNCH SALE: $2.99 (25% off) *** "A mesmerizing and unexpectedly emotional journey." -- Los... | Read more »
How to get four NFL superstars for your...
Even though you're probably well on your way to building a top notch squad for the new season in Madden NFL Mobile, let's say you could beef it up by adding Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Von Miller, and Todd Gurley to your roster. That's... | Read more »
Cartoon Network Superstar Soccer: Goal!!...
Cartoon Network Superstar Soccer: Goal!!! – Multiplayer Sports Game Starring Your Favorite Characters 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Become a soccer superstar with your... | Read more »
NFL Huddle: What's new in Topps NFL...
Can you smell that? It's the scent of pigskin in the air, which either means that cliches be damned, pigs are flying in your neck of the woods, or the new NFL season is right around the corner. [Read more] | Read more »
FarmVille: Tropic Escape tips, tricks, a...
Maybe farming is passé in mobile games now. Ah, but farming -- and doing a lot of a other things too -- in an island paradise might be a little different. At least you can work on your tan and sip some pina coladas while tending to your crops. [... | Read more »
Become the King of Avalon in FunPlus’ la...
King Arthur is dead. Considering the legend dates back to the 5th century, it would be surprising if he wasn’t. But in the context of real-time MMO game King of Avalon: Dragon Warfare, Arthur’s death plunges the kingdom into chaos. Evil sorceress... | Read more »
Nightgate (Games)
Nightgate 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** Launch Sale: 25% OFF for a limited time! *** In the year 2398, after a great war, a network of intelligent computers known as... | Read more »
3 best fantasy football apps to get you...
Last season didn't go the way you wanted it to in fantasy football. You were super happy following your drafts or auctions, convinced you had outsmarted everyone. You were all set to hustle on the waiver wire, work out some sweet trades, and make... | Read more »
Pokemon GO update: Take me to your leade...
The Team Leaders in Pokemon GO have had it pretty easy up until now. They show up when players reach level 5, make their cases for joining their respective teams, and that's pretty much it. Light work, as Floyd Mayweather might say. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Global Tablet Shipments Projected to Increase...
Digitimes’ Jim Hsiao reports that global tablet shipments will increase by 16.3 percent sequentially to reach nearly 47 million units in 2016′s third quarter, but that volume will still be down over... Read more
Apple’s 2016 Back to School promotion: Free B...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $961...
Overstock has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $961.63 including free shipping. Their price is $138 off MSRP. Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks available starting at $929. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
BookBook Releases SurfacePad, BookBook &...
BookBook has released three new covers just for iPad Pro: SurfacePad, BookBook and BookBook Rutledge Edition. BookBook for iPad Pro is a gorgeous leather case reminiscent of a vintage sketchbook.... Read more
Clean Text 1.0 for iOS Reduces Text Cleanup a...
Apimac today announced availability of Clean Text for iOS, a tool for webmasters, graphic designers, developers and magazine editors to reduce text cleanup and editing time, and also for any iPhone... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for up to $220 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1899 $100... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 and 2015 13″ MacBook Airs now available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 2016 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad mini 2s available for...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad mini 2s for up to $80 off the cost of new minis. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 16GB iPad mini 2 WiFi: $... Read more

Jobs Board

Hardware Design Validation Engineer - *Apple...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more Read more
*Apple* /Mac Support Engineer - GFI Digital,...
FI Digital, Inc. is currently seeking candidates for a full time Apple Support Engineer to add to our Maryland Heights, Missouri IT team. Candidates must be dynamic Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
Apple Solutions ConsultantJob Number: 51218534Pleasant Hill, California, United StatesPosted: Aug. 18, 2016Weekly Hours: 40.00Job SummaryAs an Apple Solutions Read more
SW Engineer *Apple* TV - Apple Inc. (United...
The Apple TV team is looking for excellent software engineers with experience in hardware, media management, media playback, content delivery and a passion for 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.