TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Software 94
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:The Editor's Page

Software Frameworks ‘94

By Scott T Boyd, Editor

Software Frameworks ‘94

A quick trip to Atlanta to check out the Software Frameworks Conference the first week in March yielded a handful of surprises. The group, which got its start many years ago with Larry Tesler handing out fuschia polo shirts to a modest group of MacApp afficionados, has grown, as have the number of frameworks and tools. The conference drew a strong contingent of industry leaders, including Ike Nassi, VP of Apple’s Development Products Group; Larry Tesler, Apple’s Chief Scientist and VP; Greg Galanos, Metrowerks man-about-town; Mike Potel, Taligent VP of Technology; Symantec’s Director of Language Products, David Neal; Novell’s VP of Appware System Group Joe Firmage. Lots of great tools and technologies had top talent there showing their wares, and we had a great time getting up close and personal guided tours from the people who build the tools. We spent time getting to know Smalltalk Agents (a truly great session, guys! I’ve never seen so much rapt attention), Jasik’s latest PowerPC debugging tools, Metrowerks’ CodeWarrior, Prograph CPX, the Newton Tool Kit/NewtonScript, and AppMaker. Technology teasers abounded. We got teased by Taligent about their framework, by Apple about Dylan and OpenDoc, by Microsoft/Symantec and others about the Microsoft Foundation Classes framework, and by Larry Tesler and his vision of the future. The rich selection of topics and products made up for the quick cross-country trip and utter loss of sleep and resulting loss of orientation.

We arrived just in time for the OLE/OpenDoc face-off. Apple brought Kurt Piersol, OpenDoc chief architect and suspender-wearing, beard-toting man-with-the-answers. Microsoft had hoped to bring their OLE heavyweight, Mark Ryland, but had to make a last minute replacement for unavoidable reasons.

We had hoped for a real world-class bout, but weren’t going to get one. We were treated to a fine presentation on OpenDoc, but the OLEpresentation really needed better technical representation than MSwas able to muster. We learned that OpenDoc offers multiple active parts, irregular and overlapping parts, support for high-end graphics, edit-in-place, distributed editors, linking, scripting, and even multiple-drafts (a revision management system). The object model uses a carefully restricted subset of C++ which offers multiple inheritance. It uses a CORBA-compliant SOM (IBM-developed) object model. Although OpenDoc is currently using Apple’s Shared Library Manager (ASLM), Kurt spoke highly of the work IBM has done with SOM, and is looking forward to the developer seed of PoenDoc, which will use SOM.

He was careful to point out that OpenDoc isn’t a framework, but, rather, an object oriented programming interface. It offers you the opportunity to build parts which will link dynamically into a document-oriented environment. This changes a lot about the model, both in the user’s mind and in how you can do business. Rather than build a whole application, you can concentrate on the data, both in how to display it and how to interact with it. If users like your parts, they’ll use yours. Although the motto “Parts is parts” sounds simple, it looks like a potential brave new world if OpenDoc really catches on.

As for OLE, all that I can say is that it’s shipping.

CodeWarrior experiences

I’ve been doing some work with a project which has 50 .c files, 55 .h files, totalling out to about 39,000 lines of code. I was wanting to play around with CodeWarrior, was at the conference, happened to be talking to Greg Dow (who just happens to work for Metrowerks), and there we were with nothing better to do at one in the morning. Five hours later, this application was building and running with CodeWarrior. Five hours - not bad.

Now, sure, it’s true that the code was buildable under both ThinkC 5.x and MPW 3.2, so the code was already in pretty good shape from a portability standpoint. That certainly helped make the task easier. Although Convert•Projects by Rich Siegel could have saved us some work, I wanted to get a feel for how someone like Greg works in the environment. So what did we do during those five early-morning hours?

First, we launched CodeWarrior by dropping one of my source files on the application. Unlike the Think product, CodeWarrior is happy to open a text file without requiring that you have a project open. What a relief! It’s such a small point, but it makes me wonder why Symantec hasn’t done this by now. Anyway, we created a project file and added all of the source files in the directory. If you haven’t seen what it’s like to be in the CodeWarrior environment, it looks a lot like Think Project Manager.

Next we went to the Preferences dialog, and selected a few things, like how strict we wanted the compiler to be about types, prototypes, language extensions, and such. We chose mostly plain vanilla options. We also told it that we were building an application, and set things like the creator, size flags, and the default heap size.

A few things caught my attention. First, CodeWarrior can generate .SYM files. This opens it up for your favorite debugging tools, like Jasik’s The Debugger, as well as Metrowerks’ own debugger. This stands in stark contrast to Symantec’s decision to not generate .SYM files, although the Power Mac cross compiler shipping this month does generate .SYM files.

Second, they have a popup menu with a healthy selection of standard code models. This makes it easy to specify something like Apple’s MPW C conventions without needing to remember all of the details which make it unique. We started out with very relaxed constraints, then tightened them up later in the effort.

“Third, although the similarities between Think and Metrowerks help a newbie navigate, I had to wonder whether a series of dialogs (looking like a modal throwback to the old Control Panel) is the best way to deal with preferences.”

Once we had all of that set up, we tried compiling the first file. Right away we discovered that we needed to think a little bit. Since the sources were set up to compile under either MPW or Think (an historical artifact which reminded us that people like Symantec’s quick turnaround tools and MPW’s code generation), each source file used an #ifdef to decide whether to use precompiled headers for THINKC, or to #include an all-inclusive .h file. At first we tried not defining the THINKC symbol, but the includes were so extensive that build time, even as fast as CodeWarrior is, was too long. So we went and built a precompiled header file (a simple, one step menu command), and added a #define for THINKC.

This is where we spent too much time. It was early in the morning, we were tired, and we got confused. At first, we built the precompiled headers without THINKC defined. Then we figured that out, and built them correctly. Then we forgot that we still had to have the symbol defined when we built the rest of the files. I don’t know how much time we wasted on that one, but the bottom line was, because of the way the files had originally been set up for building in either environment, we had to define the symbol both when building the headers and when compiling the sources.

Universal Procedure Pointers (UPPs) - It’s only fitting that I had to deal with UPPs and the universal headers, given that I spent so much time at Apple working on them. What goes around does seem to come around. Fortunately, we somehow managed to keep the impact to a minimum, and I only had to make a handful of changes, and it was no big deal to guess the UPP name for a specific procPtr (although I did have to open a couple of header files for names I guessed wrong).

All in all, we had a lot of fun, and it only took a little while to get up and going, and most of that was simply updating my code for the universal headers, a job I had to do anyway. I’m now enjoying fast build times and a smooth debugging environment, and am looking forward the forthcoming CodeWarrior improvements.

Software Developers conference

The third week in March found us in San Jose for the Software Developers Conference. Strangely enough, it started on the day of the Power Macintosh rollout. That wouldn’t really be noteworthy, but one particular sponsor of the conference saw fit to hang banners in the entryway, proudly sporting the following text: “The Power of Pentium, Available Today”. You don’t say?

That should have been enough of a tip-off, but we checked out the rest of the conference anyway. Evidently, software developer generally means “person who programs a box running a Microsoft operating system”. Sure, there were exceptions. Apple, Metrowerks, Symantec, and others did their part, but it was still clearly a conference mostly for little-endians. It was also clear that they have a rich selection of tools, many of which offer much more advanced visual features.

Symantec likes the number 7.0

Speaking of visual tools, Symantec announced their new C++, which includes a graphical interface builder. I saw a version of this a few months back, and complained about too much modality, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they put some effort into making it dynamic and modeless. They’ve made a lot of improvements, and it’s worth checking out. We’ll try to bring you a review soon.

I suppose I’ve seen cornier things, but the Symantec gala party/product announcement at the conference made me wonder. At least it had Windows developers asking, “Is that for Macintosh?” and looking a bit downcast when I said “Yes”.

For more info:

OpenDoc and Component Integration Laboratories (CIL), send a note to info@cil.org.

Microsoft, MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes), and the Developer Services Team (not a technical support group), call 1-800-227-4679x11771

Smalltalk Agents and their smalltalk discussion group, drop a note to buell@qks.com and ask to be added to the reflector.

CodeWarrior by Metrowerks, see the Mail Order Store at the back of the magazine, or call us at 310/575-4343. Metrowerks people have an active presence on the Internet, CompuServe, and other online services.

Food for thought

Seen in the San Jose Mercury News: “Pentium PCI System, Ultra High Performance System $2699. Intel 60MHz Pentium, PCI IDE HD, Intel PCI Mercury Chip Set, 512K cache, 16MB, MAXTOR 540MB 8.5ms IDE” Right next to it, on the same page, “Apple Power Macintosh 6100/60 8MB/160HD $1595, 7100/66 8MB/250HD $2699”.

 
AAPL
$99.38
Apple Inc.
-1.37
MSFT
$46.00
Microsoft Corpora
-0.36
GOOG
$569.60
Google Inc.
-7.76

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cocktail 8.0 Beta 2 - General maintenanc...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
QuickBooks 2015 16.0.0.1352 R1 - Financi...
QuickBooks 2015 helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save.... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0.1 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
Apple OS X bash Update 1.0 - Fix for sec...
The OS X bash Update fixes a security flaw in the bash UNIX shell on OS X 10.9.5 (also on OS X 10.8 and 10.7 [see Related Links below]). OS X 10.9.5 or later Downloads for OS X 10.8 and OS X 10.7 in... Read more
SyncTwoFolders 2.0.5 - Syncs two user-sp...
SyncTwoFolders simply synchronizes two folders. It supports synchronization across mounted network drives and it is a possibility to run a simulation showing in a log what will be done. Please visit... Read more
FinderPop 2.5.7 - 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
VueScan 9.4.45 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.2.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
calibre 2.4 - Complete e-library managem...
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
Default Folder X 4.6.9b1 - Enhances Open...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Manage Your Cloud – Wunderlist Now Suppo...
Manage Your Cloud – Wunderlist Now Supports Dropbox Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Nexticy Review
Nexticy Review By Jennifer Allen on October 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: IDEAL FORM CREATIONiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Nexticy allows you to make your own forms for research purposes or to organize your business better. It’s... | Read more »
Tiny Troopers: Alliance Marches onto the...
Tiny Troopers: Alliance Marches onto the App Store Tomorrow Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] Tiny Troopers: Alliance, by Kukouri, is a | Read more »
HeroCraft Introduces Unlimited Sequel to...
HeroCraft Introduces Unlimited Sequel to WW2: Sandbox. Strategy & Tactics Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
RGB Express Review
RGB Express Review By Jennifer Allen on October 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: DELIGHTFUL PUZZLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Guide trucks along their delivery routes in RGB Express, a testing but charming puzzle game... | Read more »
The Sagas of Fire*Wolf (Games)
The Sagas of Fire*Wolf 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
BuggyFun Review
BuggyFun Review By Amy Solomon on October 1st, 2014 Our Rating: iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad BuggyFun allows children to create their own tracks for bugs to interact with for a unique open-ended experience.   | Read more »
Fold the Adventure Review
Fold the Adventure Review By Jennifer Allen on October 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: AWKWARD FOLDSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fold pieces of paper to create platforms for a princely rabbit in this puzzle game; something... | Read more »
WW2: Sandbox. Strategy & Tactics (G...
WW2: Sandbox. Strategy & Tactics 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: ***NOTE: Compatible with iPhone 4s and up, iPad 2 and up - may not work properly on earlier devices... | Read more »
apeFilter (Music)
apeFilter 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Amazon offers 13-inch MacBook Air for $899, $...
Amazon.com has the 13″ 1.4GHz 128GB MacBook Air on sale for $100 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 1.4GHz 128GB MacBook Air: $899.99 Read more
Apple resting On Its iPhone Laurels? – The ‘B...
Apple calls its new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus “The Biggest Advancements in iPhone History,” but does reality live up to the hype? “Seldom have so many waited so breathlessly for so little,” tweeted veteran... Read more
Roundup of Apple Mac and iPad Education disco...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
Apple Boycotts German Magazine Computer Bild...
Apple has revoked its PR accreditation of Germany’s Computer Bild, Europe’s best-selling PC magazine, in reaction to Bild’s posting of a “#Bentgate” YouTube video. Axel Telzerow, editor in chief of... Read more
iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Available in Chi...
Apple has announced that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in China beginning Friday, October 17 from the Apple Online Store (http://www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and an expansive... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, start...
Best Buy has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices valid for online orders only, in-... Read more
Apple Releases OS X Mavericks bash Update 1.0...
Apple has released a patch update for OS X Mavericks users to address the recently-detected “Shellshock” security bug in BSD UNIX’s bash shell. Apple says only a few Mac users who had manually... Read more
Pivotal Payments Ready for Apple Pay – FlexPo...
Pivotal Payments, a provider of merchant services and global payment processing solutions, has announced its proprietary FlexPoint platform will support credit and debit transactions through Apple’s... Read more
iStabilizer Announces Tabarm — First Friction...
iStabilizer, a specialist in universal lightweight compact tripods, steady cams, dollies, mounts, and remotes for smartphones, tablets, and cameras, announced today the iStabilizer tabArm, the first... Read more
IStabilizer Flex Smartphone Tripod Wins Usa T...
iStabilizer, a specialist in universal lightweight compact tripods, steady cams, and other products for smartphones, tablets, and cameras, has announced today that its iStabilizer Flex smartphone... 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...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.