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

Galaxy of Trian (Games)
Galaxy of Trian 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: Galaxy of Trian is an exciting, fast paced digital board game based on the highly acclaimed tabletop title. | Read more »
Dead In Bermuda (Games)
Dead In Bermuda 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
The Little Fox (Games)
The Little Fox 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: The Little Fox is an alternative perspective on the world-renowned ‘fairy tale for adults', The Little Prince by Antoine de... | Read more »
5 popular free fertility apps
There was a good article this week in The Independent about how more women are using fertility appsas a de facto form of contraception. It's apparently not working too well, leading to numerous unwanted pregnancies. [Read more] | Read more »
How to get more cars in CSR Racing 2
NaturalMotion and Zynga brought a lot of real life cars to the table for CSR Racing 2. From souped up everyday rides made by Nissan and Hyundai to supercars produced by the likes of McLaren and Pagani, there really is something for everyone. [... | Read more »
Crypt of the NecroDancer Pocket Edition...
Crypt of the NecroDancer Pocket Edition 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crypt of the NecroDancer is an award winning hardcore roguelike rhythm game. Move to the music and... | Read more »
Gear-grinding puzzle title Inner Circle...
If you saw our post earlier this month announcing the imminent release of ZPlay’s new creation, Inner Circle, you’ll be happy to know that it’s now available on the App Store. Established in 2010, developer and publisher ZPlay have taken the... | Read more »
CSR Racing 2: Your guide to what's...
CSR Racing 2, or CSR2, as it likes to call itself, has finally arrived. The follow-up to the immensely popular drag racing game CSR Racing is the first release from NaturalMotion since the studio's acquisition by Zynga in early 2014. [Read more] | Read more »
Nanuleu (Games)
Nanuleu 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Nanuleu is a strategy game where you take control of ancient magical trees that protect the land from an invading dark force. A... | Read more »
The Slaughter: Act One (Games)
The Slaughter: Act One 1.0.323 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.323 (iTunes) Description: “The game mixes realism and surrealism to create a story that can cause just as much laughter as fear. A-” -... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

New App Reminds Us to Put Down Our Phones and...
Mode, a new smartphone app that makes us more mindful of how we use our devices, debuts in the app stores today. The Mode app tracks time spent in different modes of day-to-day life without... Read more
ZuumSpeed Personalized Speedometer + HUD For...
RMKapps has announced the release and immediate availability of ZuumSpeed 1.0, its personalized speedometer plus heads up display for iOS devices. ZuumSpeed gives users over 18 custom fonts available... Read more
Apple refurbished clearance 15-inch Retina Ma...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1609, $390 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. They have refurbished 15... Read more
9-inch 128GB Silver iPad Pro on sale for $50...
B&H Photo has the 9.7″ 128GB Silver Apple iPad Pro on sale for $699 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Read more
Why Use Indie Opera And Vivaldi Instead Of Sa...
For many years my web browser workhorses were various permutations and spinoffs of the Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox Open Source platform, and the Norwegian indie browser Opera, which I took a shine to... Read more
Western Digital Launches Worlds Fastest 256GB...
At the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai Western Digital Corporation this week introduced a new suite of 256 gigabyte (GB) microSD cards, which includes the new 256GB SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I... Read more
KeyCue 8.1 Integrates With Typinator To Displ...
Ergonis Software has released KeyCue 8.1, a new version of the company’s keyboard shortcut cheat sheet. KeyCue 8 introduced a new way to define a wide variety of triggers, which can be used to... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
21-inch 2.8GHz iMac on sale for $1199, save $...
Amazon has the 21″ 2.8GHz iMac (model #MK442LL/A) on sale for $1199.99 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Apple refurbished...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Fort Wo...
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 - 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
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.