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Jul 95 Dialog Box
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:7
Column Tag:Dialog Box

Dialog Box

By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher

Symantec Top 10

Why do you run that multi-column advertisement you call “Symantec To 10”? I realize there are probably a lot of people out there unfortunate enough to still be using it, but on the other hand there are a quite a few making the switch to Metrowerks CodeWarrior. And I, for one, would like to see a similar article dealing with them. By placing an article where Symantec answers questions you are giving the illusion they actually care. They don’t! If they do care, why don’t they produce a .sym file, a Macintosh standard for many years now? Then at least we wouldn’t be tied to their buggy debugger?

Guy Nicholas
gnichola@aol.com

[We get this question from time to time. What it really comes down to is this. Both CodeWarrior and Symantec C++ are the major players in the tool market - each have very sizable pieces of the Macintosh market. While CodeWarrior has been steadily gaining share in the installed user base for some time now, it is only in recent months that Metrowerks’ installed base comes close to rivaling Symantec’s. Since day one, Metrowerks has done an amazing job of gaining “mind share” - now their user base is matching that. How do we know all this? Readers tell us what they are using and give us feedback on development environments. And even though CodeWarrior users tend to be more “vocal” (and rightfully so) than Symantec users, the numbers still don’t lie.

Having said all of that, we have in the past, and will now publicly invite Metrowerks to contribute to the magazine. If you think that this is a good idea, send me a note (publisher@xplain.com) as to what you’d like to see. If you want, you could also send a note to Greg Galanos at Metrowerks (galanos@metrowerks.com) and let him know your thoughts. With your input, we’ll be happy to oblige.

As far as Symantec is concerned, we get lots of reader response saying that folks like the Symantec Top 10. Whether you do or don’t, send us a note - we use your feedback as a gauge for the magazine. And why doesn’t Symantec use the .sym format? Beats me - I think they should have a long time ago as well. Ed. - nst]

Symantec C++ 8.0 Yawn

Yawn... I just received Symantec’s C++ 8.0 and I am not impressed again. Over the years, I have purchased update after update from Symantec in hopes that they would produce a version of C or C++ that I could stand to use. I admit that this version is better than 7.0, but they don’t have a winner yet.

We like to think that computer programming is the most modern of all industries but it sure doesn’t seem that way when you realize that THINK Pascal which was last updated in 1991 is still the best programming environment ever created for the Macintosh or any other computer. Everything else that I have tried makes me slower and less productive as a programmer.

In comparison to the four year old THINK Pascal, the new C++ is just another bad joke from Symantec. The editor in THINK Pascal formats the source code and finds most of my syntax errors before I try to compile. The editor in C++ makes a pathetic attempt at formatting the source code but it doesn’t even try to look for syntax errors. Lets face it, we spend most of our programming time using an editor. Isn’t it foolish to use an editor that doesn’t make your life as easy as possible.

Besides having the best editor, the compiler and linker in THINK Pascal are much faster than the ones in C++. I ran the “Hello World” program in C++ on a Power Mac 6100 and an equivalant program in THINK Pascal on my old Mac II. THINK Pascal on the Mac II compiled, linked and ran the program while C++ was still spinning it’s wheels. The speed of the edit/compile/debug/edit cycle, makes or breaks a development environment. C++ looses again on the speed of the development cycle. Nothing beats THINK Pascal for overall development speed. It puzzles me, why do so many programmers put up with C++?

The good news is that THINK Pascal seems to truly move at “Lightspeed” on a Power Macintosh! Now we just need to convince Symantec that there are a lot of programmers who want to buy a native code version of THINK Pascal! Symantec won’t even have to touch the original if they just add a Pascal compiler that produced PowerPC code after all the interactive development is done in the emulated mode.

- Fred Johnson, Johnson Video Service, Knoxville, IL

[This too is a comment that we’ve heard many times in the past. A lot of people, including myself, simply scratch their heads wondering why C++ has become so popular. Pascal is so much easier a language in which to produce quality code quickly. There are definite advantages to C or C++ when you want to get closer to the machine. But most folks “in the know” feel that C++ is an embarrassment to the industry when talking about object oriented languages. There are a lot of folks who have embarked on the C++ path only to find that there code runs even slower than before. There are others who claim to be using C++ but when you look at their code, you find that they are mostly using C with very little in the way of actual C++ usage.

But, your comments are mostly about the future of THINK Pascal. I’m not sure that making THINK Pascal capable of developing native Power Macintosh code is an easy task. Given the incredible integration between the editor and compiler in THINK Pascal, I believe that it may be fairly difficult. Nevertheless, if the community will support it, then Symantec may do it. The only way to help the cause is to let Symantec know about it. You can send them mail or you can send it to me (publisher@xplain.com) and I’ll forward it on. Short of that, I’m not sure what to tell you - except that I would like to see a native THINK Pascal as well. Ed. - nst]

More Debugging Articles

Hi! I’m a subscriber for more than a year and I must applause the debugging article by Jasik in the latest issue I received. I think that this kind of article has its place in MacTech and I would be more than happy to see something on this topic regularly.

Again, good decision and I’m hoping for more!

- Laurent Daudelin, Logiciels Nemesys, Anjou, Quebec

[Thanks for the feedback. As far as more debugging articles - you can count on it. As far as more from Steve well Steve? <g> Ed. - nst]

Congrats to the Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Usenet Macintosh Programming Awards run by Matthew Xavier Mora. The winners were announced at WWDC in mid-May.

Outstanding Programming for a Commercial Product:
Metrowerks Team

Outstanding Programming for a Shareware Product:
Peter Lewis

Outstanding Programming for a Freeware Product:
Marco Piovanelli

Outstanding Support of the Mac programming community:
Greg Galanos

Official SmartFriend™ award:
Jon Wätte

There were many other honorable mentions and nominees. Congratulations to them as well - they all deserve credit for contributing favorably to the Macintosh community.

 
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