TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Sep 95 Dialog Box
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:9
Column Tag:Dialog Box

Dialog Box

By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher

Symantec Responds

Dear MacTech readers,

I would like to take a moment to address some of the concerns which have been expressed lately about Symantec.

Guy Nicholas, in the July issue, asked about supporting the standard SYM format for debugging. You can use the external linker to produce SYM files now, but we acknowledge that this is an incomplete solution. We expect to support the standard SYM format by Symantec Developers Advantage 5, available January, 1996.

Fred Johnson wondered about Pascal. There is no further engineering effort planned for THINK Pascal. Symantec does not wish to abandon it’s Pascal customers, and we are working with Language Systems to provide a drop-in translator by January 1996. This strategy allows you to mix Pascal and C in the same project. Please contact me or Language Systems (703/ 478-0181) for more information.

If there are any other questions you have about Symantec, I invite you to send me email at:

<mailto: wiverson@bedford.symantec.com>.

Yours,
Will Iverson
Symantec Macintosh DevTools
Evangelist & Ombudsman

Go C & C++!

I found your July ‘Dialog Box’ particularly entertaining, in part because it so well illustrates the myth about C, which you repeated in the words, “There are definite advantages to C or C++ when you want to get closer to the machine.” Unless you are programming for the PDP-11 (for which C is the quintessential high-level assembler) or a PDP-11-like computer (the 68K comes moderately close; the PowerPC does not), this is just plain not true. But like the Mazda ads, “it feels good,” regardless of the facts.

The reason you have a Symantec Top 10 was clearly spelled out in the two letters: it’s necessary. It’s less needed for Metrowerks, and not at all for Think Pascal. Anybody reading the column without deeply tinted rose-colored glasses quickly sees that it’s mostly about recovering from language and implementation deficiencies. It also, no doubt, helps the MacTech bottom line by encouraging uneducated programmers to believe that this is the language of choice, so they must continually come back to the fountain for more help. The column may even perform a valuable public service by helping smart programmers avoid the tar-pit before getting stuck in it.

Personally, I think C and C++ are wonderful languages, and I hope all my competitors make full use of them :-)

- Tom Pittman

[Let us be absolutely clear here - this is a public service announcement - program in Pascal, not C or C++! <g> - Ed. nst]

From a Thread Initiated On Semper.fi

[name deleted] wrote:

>For most of us, *mentioning* Sys 6 in the same breath as
>”Macintosh development” is bizarre.

Again, the issue I raised wasn’t about System 6.x in particular; it was about how Apple supports developers faced with the dilemma of adopting new technologies and yet supporting their existing customers. Maybe it’s easy to ignore System 6.x guys now that we are five years into System 7, but this is a general problem, one that’s only going to get worse.

For yet another example, take System 8. Preemptive multi-threading is going to become more useful for some tasks in System 8, and yet System 8 (right now) isn’t slated to work on 68K Macs. Certainly, 68K Macs aren’t where the “decisive action” is, and they will be even less so in a year, yet I can’t imagine that most companies will be willing to abandon 7.x support. Especially since it will be ’98 or ’99 before the installed base of Power Macs equals that of 68Ks.

So the question is, how do I write an app that takes advantage of preemptive threading in System 8, and yet still works fine for most of my customers, and do this with a minimum of headaches? One partial solution is for Apple to provide System 8 for 68K Macs. Another is for Apple to establish good guidelines and sample code showing how to use preemptively multithreaded code in a non-preemptively-multithreaded OS. Maybe it’s possible, maybe it’s not. But if Apple doesn’t provide some kind of solution for us, then there is going to be a big delay in the arrival of preemptively multithreaded software, a delay Apple can’t afford.

The rate of adoption of new technology does have a great impact on the outcome of the OS war. This means Apple needs to create good APIs. This means Apple needs to develop good developer tools. And this means that Apple needs to make it easy for developers to support existing customers during the multi-year transition. And if Apple doesn’t provide System 8 support for 68K Macs, there never will be a complete transition; we’ll always have some 15 million 68K/System 7 Macs out there that most developers won’t be able to ignore.

As you point out, good Mac people are scarce. We all have limited resources. That is exactly why Apple should be the one to put engineers on this problem. It is far better that Apple deal with the issue of finding ways for developers to support new technologies and old users, than to have hundreds or thousands of us have to deal with it individually. That’s a huge waste of Macintosh talent, and will be enough of a pain that a lot of companies just won’t adopt the new technologies.

One more point. While we’re fighting the OS war with new technologies and new ideas, let’s not be outflanked. One of the traditional benefits of the Macintosh is that they are long-lived computers. Whereas PCs might have an effective lifetime of a few years, a lot of eight- and nine-year-old Mac Pluses and SEs are still in use. And, perhaps until recently, those old computers could still run a lot of modern software.

As President of a User Group, I’ve heard a lot of users mark this as a benefit of owning a Mac. I’d hate to see us lose that benefit. I don’t think Apple and developers need to bend over backward to support System 6.x, but I also know that a lot of software out there can be written to support System 6.x with relative ease. Likewise, I guarantee a lot of people who bought (or are still buying 68K Macs) are discouraged to hear that Apple won’t be bringing System 8, with all its great features, to their brand-new computer.

A one-year-old computer and already unsupported? In my opinion, that is not the Macintosh way.

Nathan Tennies
Bootstrap Enterprises Inc

P.S. No, my company isn’t trying to corner the market on System 6.x users. However, I consider supporting these users, as much as possible, a mark of good programming just like fast execution speed and small code size. The dark side of the force is Microsoft, which often doesn’t seem to care about fast execution speed, small code size, or supporting users with older computers/operating systems (like those ancient, obsolete 68030 users).

Don’t give in to it.

Dylan Doesn’t Stand a Chance

I’ve just read the MacTech August issue’s Dylan article and have an observation to make: Apple’s Dylan has zero chance of success in the commercial programming marketplace. The reasons why this is true have absolutely nothing to do with the nature of dynamic programming or of Dylan itself.

First off, please understand that I am a fervent supporter of dynamic languages, and support the Dylan team in much of their design goals. Dynamic languages solve many problems and offer new solutions not allowed by the static languages in common use today. The leading language in object oriented programming, C++, not only suffers from its static nature but also from poor syntax design. C++ code and class hierarchies are as a result obtuse and brittle over the life of an application. Dylan solves many of these problems.

The difficulties stem not so much from the nature of Dylan, but rather from the nature of Apple. It is unrealistic for Apple to propose and expect success from a proprietary programming language of their own design. Apple’s track record in development environments and languages is very poor. Developers such as myself who’ve been with the Macintosh since the early days, have been rewarded by Apple with the destruction of their source code base.

Early Macintosh code was developed almost exclusively in Pascal, but with the advent of the PowerPC Macintoshes Pascal was abandoned by Apple with no viable migration path provided. This lack of support of a company’s software development environment is outrageous and unheard of amongst major hardware and software OS companies. Those of us with the will and desire to migrate to PowerPC are forced into converting our source code into C, a process that consumes much of a company’s development resources and results in a source code base that looks like it was written by Martians.

Now Apple trots out Dylan and asks the developer community to use it. I, for one, will not. Even if I have to jump through arcane hoops, I will use C++. At least I’ll be sure of the availability in ten years of development environments to build my code.

Jim Gagnon
Co-founder
Abacus Concepts, Inc.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Macs Fan Control 1.3.1.0 - Monitor and c...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
NetShade 6.3.1 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN servers spanning seven countries. NetShade masks your IP address as you... Read more
Dragon Dictate 4.0.7 - Premium voice-rec...
With Dragon Dictate speech recognition software, you can use your voice to create and edit text or interact with your favorite Mac applications. Far more than just speech-to-text, Dragon Dictate lets... Read more
Persecond 1.0.2 - Timelapse video made e...
Persecond is the easy, fun way to create a beautiful timelapse video. Import an image sequence from any camera, trim the length of your video, adjust the speed and playback direction, and you’re done... Read more
GIMP 2.8.14p2 - Powerful, free image edi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more
Sandvox 2.10.2 - Easily build eye-catchi...
Sandvox is for Mac users who want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily. With Sandvox, you don't need to be a Web genius to build a stylish, feature-rich, standards-compliant... Read more
LibreOffice 5.0.1.2 - Free, open-source...
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
f.lux 36.1 - Adjusts the color of your d...
f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake... Read more
VirtualBox 5.0.2 - x86 virtualization so...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
File Juicer 4.43 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. In computer... Read more

ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard (Utilit...
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do everything within the keyboard without switching apps! If you are in WhatsApp, how do you schedule a... | Read more »
Tiny Empire (Games)
Tiny Empire 1.1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.3 (iTunes) Description: Launch cannonballs and blow tiny orcs into thousands of pieces in this intuitive fantasy-themed puzzle shooter! Embark on an... | Read more »
Astropad Mini (Productivity)
Astropad Mini 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off introductory price! ​*** Get the high-end experience of a Wacom tablet at a fraction of the price with Astropad... | Read more »
Emo Chorus (Music)
Emo Chorus 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Realistic Choir simulator ranging from simple Chorus emulation to full ensemble Choir with 128 members. ### introductory offer... | Read more »
Forest Spirit (Games)
Forest Spirit 1.0.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.5 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ski Safari 2 (Games)
Ski Safari 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The world's most fantastical, fun, family-friendly skiing game is back and better than ever! Play as Sven's sister Evana, share... | Read more »
Lara Croft GO (Games)
Lara Croft GO 1.0.47768 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.47768 (iTunes) Description: Lara Croft GO is a turn based puzzle-adventure set in a long-forgotten world. Explore the ruins of an ancient... | Read more »
Whispering Willows (Games)
Whispering Willows 1.23 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.23 (iTunes) Description: **LAUNCH SALE 50% OFF** - Whispering Willows is on sale for 50% off ($4.99) until September 9th. | Read more »
Calvino Noir (Games)
Calvino Noir 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: The film noir stealth game. Calvino Noir is the exploratory, sneaking adventure through the 1930s European criminal underworld.... | Read more »
Angel Sword (Games)
Angel Sword 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Prepare to adventure in the most epic full scale multiplayer 3D RPG for mobile! Experience amazing detailed graphics in full HD.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Big Grips Lift Handle For iPad Air and iPad A...
KEM Ventures, Inc. which pioneered the extra-large, super-protective iPad case market with the introduction of Big Grips Frame and Stand in 2011, is launching Big Grips Lift featuring a new super-... Read more
Samsung Launches Galaxy Tab S2, Its Most Powe...
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. has announced the U.S. release of the Galaxy Tab S2, its thinnest, lightest, ultra-fast tablet. Blending form and function, elegant design and multitasking power,... Read more
Tablet Screen Sizes Expanding as iPad Pro App...
Larger screen sizes are gaining favor as the tablet transforms into a productivity device, with shipments growing 185 percent year-over-year in 2015. According to a new Strategy Analytics’ Tablet... Read more
Today Only: Save US$50 on Adobe Elements 13;...
Keep the memories. lose the distractions. Summer’s winding down and it’s time to turn almost perfect shots into picture perfect memories with Elements 13. And get the power to edit both photos and... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $50
Best Buy has the 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price for online orders only, in-store price may vary... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gold MacBook on sale for $1149...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gold Retina MacBook on sale for $1149.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849, sav...
Best Buy has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849.99. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Shipments Expected to Declin...
Does Apple badly need a touchscreen convertible/hybrid laptop MacBook? Yes, judging from a new market forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, which... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Music, Business Operations - Apple (...
**Job Summary** This role in Apple Music and in iTunes is working with…the songs that we all enjoy listening to in Apple Music. Your job will be to work wit Read more
Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - *App...
**Job Summary** We are seeking an enthusiastic electrical engineer for the Apple Watch team. This is a design engineering position that entails working with Read more
Engineering Project Manager - *Apple* TV -...
**Job Summary** The iTunes Apps project management team oversees iTunes, Apple TV, DRM and iOS Applications. We are looking for a project manager to help manage and Read more
*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 Online Store: Customer Insigh...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail (Online Store) is seeking an experienced e-commerce analytics professional to join the Customer Insights Team. The Web e-Commerce Analyst Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.