TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Aug 95 Viewpoint
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:8
Column Tag:Viewpoint

Viewpoint

By Scott T Boyd, Editor-at-Large

Under a clear night sky, high in the Colorado Rockies, far away from the usual trappings of techno-society, I sit, quietly writing C++ code while the rest of the world sleeps. Many years of conditioning make this the perfect time to work. Unfortunately, it’s right in the middle of the first vacation I’ve taken in a couple of years (and a family get-together, at that).

Object oriented programming - it’s all the rage. A few years ago, it was touted as the thing that was going to take us to the next level. While I’m quite happy to acknowledge many of the advantages, somehow I’m still stuck sitting here using up precious vacation time writing object oriented code. Given that, I have to say that OOP isn’t exactly living up to its promise.

Why? For one thing, the tools we generally choose to use are crude at best. C++ just doesn’t have the set of support tools that Smalltalk does, nor does it share Smalltalk’s dynamic, interactive nature. Yet, for some reason, we seem to prefer stone axes. To make it even more interesting, just about the time someone comes up with a tool that’ll handle things, someone else decides that the current scheme isn’t clever enough, and adds something to the mix (like SOM) that makes the currently-good-enough tools less useful. Before we even get started, we find that we need all-new frameworks, and they need all-new view editors, debuggers, and so forth.

When I first dove into my current project, I was handed several megabytes of C++/SOM source code, written over the previous year or two by a small, experienced team. “What a great time to break out Object Master and speed-learn the project,” I thought.

The project is OpenDoc-based, so it’s broken up into a bunch of projects in a sizeable Projector hierarchy, and MPW drives the build process. At the time the project was started, CodeWarrior was the way to go for PowerPC code (which was, at the time, the only way to get CFM support), so each of the pieces has a CodeWarrior project file, and MPW builds each piece into a CFM library by sending apple events to CodeWarrior. It’s a bit twisty, but makes sense, given the timing and specific technology requirements.

Object Master seemed like just the tool for speed-learning the project. Even though it didn’t have a way to add all the sources in a nested set of folders, it eventually did a nice job of displaying and navigating the object hierarchy. I found there were a few things that were difficult to do with Object Master, and I couldn’t figure out whether it even knew how to do some of the things I needed. I was surprised to find that none of the several friends and coworkers I asked had any significant experience with it.

While looking for workarounds, someone suggested MacBrowse. While it isn’t as slick as OM, it revealed some serious browsing power. Nevertheless, it, too, has its limitations. For example, while it can give you the file name of where a function is implemented (not the path, which makes the file name nearly useless in a multi-folder project), it can’t open the file, nor will it send an apple event to your editor of choice.

Both tools do certain jobs well, but I find that I still do most of my editing and browsing in MPW. Its editor is not only finely-honed, but, by working with a single editor, I avoid the unfortunate synchronization problems that crop up when I have a file open in more than one application. There just doesn’t seem to be one really good way to edit/browse when working on projects like this just yet. Maybe this is a job for OpenDoc

The real stone axes come into play when PowerPC SOM code needs debugging. It’s no longer an issue of whether it compiles and links, but we’ll get to that another time.

We’ve got a ways to go before the tools are up to doing the job so we can spend a little more time on vacation and less on building things that compilers, view editors, and linkers (as well as the rest of what ought to be in our development environments) should be able to do far better and faster. In the meantime, it’s time to start a build (just how many times can this compiler recompile these header files that haven’t changed in recent memory, anyway?), go back outside, and enjoy watching the moon come up over the mountain.

From the “Couldn’t Buy A Clue” Department

I’ve been giving Apple a hard time lately for just not getting it when it comes to the hows and whys of supporting developers. The saga continues. This e-mail travesty wins my award for Completely Missing the Point:

To: devsupport@applelink.apple.com
I have a neat WWDC Presentation CD. One problem. No Persuasion player. I’ve looked everywhere. The 
MacOS SDK has version 1.01 which will not open the documents on the Presentation CD. HELP!

From: Developer Support Center
We received your email regarding the WWDC Presentations CD and the inability of Persuasion Player 1.01 
to recognize it. I apologize for the delay in my response. I’ve been waiting for more information to give you. 
Unfortunately, you do have to use the full Persuasion application, Persuasion 3.0 in order to recognize the 
files on the WWDC CD.  Your local software dealer should carry Persuasion 3.0.
    Please feel free to contact me at DEVSUPPORT or 408/974-4897 if I can be of further assistance.

Food For Thought

It’s important for everything to not know what everything else is doing. That’s the beauty of object oriented programming.

- Rudy Baylor, Memphis, Tennessee

Evidently, large corporations figured out the beauty of object oriented programming years ago.

- Jim Shorts, College Station, Texas

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

DaisyDisk 4.4 - $9.99
DaisyDisk allows you to visualize your disk usage and free up disk space by quickly finding and deleting big unused files. The program scans your disk and displays its content as a sector diagram... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.07 - Customize Multi-T...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.07 - Customize Multi-T...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
PDFpen 8.3.2 - $74.95
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
DiskCatalogMaker 6.5.20 - Catalog your d...
DiskCatalogMaker is a simple disk management tool which catalogs disks. Simple, light-weight, and fast Finder-like intuitive look and feel Super-fast search algorithm Can compress catalog data for... Read more
Things 2.8.9 - Elegant personal task man...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
PDFpenPro 8.3.2 - $124.95
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Create fillable forms and tables of content... Read more
Things 2.8.9 - Elegant personal task man...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
DiskCatalogMaker 6.5.20 - Catalog your d...
DiskCatalogMaker is a simple disk management tool which catalogs disks. Simple, light-weight, and fast Finder-like intuitive look and feel Super-fast search algorithm Can compress catalog data for... Read more
PDFpenPro 8.3.2 - $124.95
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Create fillable forms and tables of content... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Pokémon GO Generation 2 evolution guide
At long last, Niantic Labs finally unleashed the Generation 2 Pokémon into the wild. Pokémon GO trainers are scrambling to grab up this new set of 80 Pokémon. There are some special new tricks required to catch all of these new beasties, though.... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
It feels as though the New Year got off to a creaking start as far as mobile games go, but that's changed over the past few weeks. The last few days alone have seen the debut of a number of wonderful games, so we thought we'd take the time to... | Read more »
Recruit more scallywags and discover new...
Get ready to show off your sea legs all over again in Oceans & Empires’ new grand update, which aims to make the act of rising to the role of seven seas ruler even more fresh and appealing, thanks to a richness of new content on both iOS and... | Read more »
Mage the Ascension: Refuge (Games)
Mage the Ascension: Refuge 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The groundbreaking roleplaying game Mage: The Ascension manifests in our turbulent present with Refuge, an... | Read more »
Vampire: Prelude (Games)
Vampire: Prelude 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The classic roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade returns to digital games with a Prelude of things to come. Experience a... | Read more »
Digby Forever Guide: How to dig to the d...
Digby Forever is a sparkling homage to arcade classics, and while you may be tiring of the number of arcade games being thrown at you, this endless digger finds many ways to stand out from the rest of the pack. The game manages to be challenging... | Read more »
The best sales on the App Store this wee...
It's been quite the week in mobile games, but if the latest releases(there were some pretty darn good ones, in case you missed out) aren't really doing the trick, perhaps some of these discounted games will. Many of these premium games had their... | Read more »
Why the new Fire Emblem Heroes update sh...
It’s exciting to see Nintendo delving into the mobile sphere, regardless of whether it’s to give fans another platform to enjoy their fans or simply a sound business venture. Two of the company's announced mobile games have finally come to... | Read more »
New Fire Emblem Heroes update adds new h...
Fire Emblem Heroes received a sizeable update first thing this morning. The update features a batch of fresh content along with a few updates to the game's systems. [Read more] | Read more »
The Deep Paths (Games)
The Deep Paths 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 25% off launch sale!!! The Deep Paths: Labyrinth Of Andokost is a first-person, dungeon crawling RPG, with traditional grid-based... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

12-inch 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $1...
B&H has 12″ 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1149 $150 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz... Read more
InTouch Health Expands iOS And Windows Produc...
Specialty telehealth enterprise provider InTouch Health has announced an expanded range of FDA Class I listed medical devices and software solutions for ambulatory, non-acute and non-emergent... Read more
iMobie Airs World’s 1st iCloud Manager with M...
iMobie Inc., an Apple-related software company, announced their newly-updated iPhone manager AnyTrans with exclusive feature to sync and manage contents across multiple iCloud accounts. With it,... Read more
New Proactive Apple Support Professional Cert...
Watchman Monitoring has announced Proactive Support Professional Certification at MacTech Pro. Watchman Monitoring is a premier Proactive Support Software as a Service (SaaS) tool for IT... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina Apple MacBook Pro on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A): $... Read more
Back in stock: Apple refurbished 13-inch Reti...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $360 off original MSRP, starting at $1099. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
2.6GHz Mac mini on sale for $559, $140 off MS...
Guitar Center has the 2.6GHz Mac mini (MGEN2LL/A) on sale for $559.99 including free shipping. Their price is $140 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
21-inch Apple iMacs on sale for $100-$150 off...
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1349 $150 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1189 $110 off MSRP - 21... Read more
Type Nine Keyboard 2.0 for iOS – World’s Firs...
Copenhagen, Denmark based indie developer Rasmus Porsager has released Type Nine Keyboard 2.0, an update to his keyboard utility for iOS devices. Type Nine Keyboard combines a t9 keypad layout with... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* macOS Systems Integration Administra...
…most exceptional support available in the industry. SCI is seeking an Junior Apple macOS systems integration administrator that will be responsible for providing Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Lead Senior *Apple* (Mac) Administrator - S...
…but also to protect them. Position Summary: SC3 is actively seeking a Senior Apple (Mac) Administrator that will be responsible for providing Apple Mac Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
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.