TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jan 96 Dialog Box
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:1
Column Tag:Dialog Box

Dialog Box

By Matt Neuburg, Managing Editor

Bring Back the Good Old Days

I am an entirely self-taught, by now intermediate level Mac programmer (unabashedly Pascal - CW, though I still utilize Think Pascal 4.0.2) who enjoys MacTech very much. I have been reviewing and learning a great deal from your back issues from the “distant” past! Nevertheless, I do have certain beefs. I am somewhat disturbed by the trend to feature to such a great extent the more technically advanced aspects of programming understood by the few, from which the rest of us can learn very little, I’m afraid. In the past there was a certain gleeful joy about programming, a certain spirit and amazement and perhaps naiveté about it all that seems to be missing now. The magazine seems too severely oriented to the well-equipped professional, with an insufficient amount of time devoted to us weekend, sparetime adventurers.

Additionally, far too much space is given over to Symantec and not enough to Metrowerks. And there is just too %^&* much C++. As a “Pascallian”, I read a lot of C and adapt it to my needs. C++ is impossible, and I find it very hard even to follow the basic ideas being presented. I know that you cannot force people to write articles in any one language (and I know that C++ and C for that matter aren’t going to disappear), but it would be great if you encouraged authors whose articles are in C/C++ to make some effort to put the Pascal/OP counterpart in a parenthetical or a footnote. At least some effort ought to be made to explain the less obvious portions of the C/C++ program code by pointing out various things that Pascal programmers should be aware of and by offering possible Pascal/OP solutions where that is possible. After all, as was noted in the November issue somewhere, MacTech is the only programming magazine for the Mac! Efforts should be made to include more of us in the challenge that is Mac programming. I, for one, don’t like feeling left out for no good reason. Thanks.

- Jeff Niederhoffer

[Jeff, I sympathize strongly with your plea. At MacTech, we’re looking to extend our scope to include once more those “weekend, sparetime adventurers” - without, of course, losing our edge as a forum for the professional developer community. Of course, sending us the articles is up to you, the readers! - Ed. man]

[As for your comments on Symantec vs. Metrowerks, please take note (in this issue) of the introduction of “From the Factory Floor” - our new column to give Metrowerks a presence in the magazine. You should expect to see this as a regular feature and you should take pride in knowing that you, the readers, made it happen. - Ed. nst]

Apple Missing its Chance to Rewrite the OS

Scott Boyd hit the nail on the head with his comments, in the November issue of MacTech, about overcoming limitations. Apple has made a tragic mistake in the way it is handling compatibility with Copland. The legacy code of Apple continues to grow, with all its limitations. It is very sad that developers are constantly faced with constraints that could have been built out of the system years ago.

Apple needs to look at the OS and see that when a machine has 8-16 meg as standard, 32K worth of text (or less if it’s a big font) is ridiculously small. Apple has also recommended that we avoid creating too many resources (I can’t recall the exact figure, but I believe it is in the 2K range). In Apple’s words, “The Resource Manager is not a Database”. My question is: Why not? Why can’t we have a 10,000 entry file that contains 60K of text that can be written in a few lines of code? Why do we need to do linear searches to find a resource?

How could Apple have fixed these problems? One obvious way might be to create new Managers with new APIs. I’m sure developers would flock to such managers. While this would work, I think Apple could have done something more radical to rid itself of all this legacy code.

Apple could have created Gershwin from the start, a real multi-tasking OS. For compatibility, it could create a virtual System 7 machine, much like MS Windows creates a virtual machine for DOS programs. This could have been a single thread in Gershwin that emulated a System 7 environment, with 68k emulation and all. Gershwin programs would be 100% native, running on a pre-emptive native OS. If you need to run System 7 software, you have that too. The toolbox APIs could be completely rewritten, no constraints required. Likewise, Apple could have written a new file system that fixes many of the limitations of HFS. The File System Translation Manager would support old “inferior” file systems, much in the same way as we can read and write DOS disks.

Of course, we know none of this will happen. And unfortunately, it also means that we won’t see a truly pre-emptive MacOS for at least 4 to 5 years. Boy, that Mac will be great in the year 2000; I can’t wait. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Mac. It is just disappointing that Apple has stumbled so much for so long.

- Mark Munz, Puppy Dog Software

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

How to evolve Eevee in Pokemon GO
By now, almost everyone should be hip to how to evolve Pokemon in Pokemon GO (and if not, there's a guide for that). Just gather enough candy of the appropriate type, feed them all to the Pokemon, and evolution happens. It's a miracle that would... | Read more »
CSR Racing 2: Guide to all game modes
It might not seem like there are all that many ways to go fast in a straight line, but CSR Racing 2 begs to differ. [Read more] | Read more »
Bulb Boy (Games)
Bulb Boy 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Multi-award winning 2D point & click horror adventure about a boy with a glowing head. | Read more »
5 top free emoji keyboard apps
If we're not at peak emoji yet as a society, it feels like we definitely should be. The emoji concept has gone far beyond what anyone in Japan could have envisioned when the people there unleashed it on an unsuspecting world, but the West has... | Read more »
How to unlock more characters in Disney...
One of the big charms of Disney Emoji Blitz is seeing a wide variety of beloved Disney and Pixar characters transformed into smiling emojis. Even someone like the sneaky Randall from Monsters Inc., who probably never cracked a smile on film, is... | Read more »
Cubway (Games)
Cubway 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubway is a journey with an abstract story of lifecycle of rebirth, called Samsara. Guide the cube through the long way full of dangers... | Read more »
Colorcube (Games)
Colorcube 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Turn pieces and blend colours in this minimal yet visually stunning puzzler.Over 200 handcrafted and challenging levels. Features... | Read more »
Doodle God Griddlers (Games)
Doodle God Griddlers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Crusader Kings: Chronicles (Games)
Crusader Kings: Chronicles 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crusader Kings: Chronicles is an interactive text based game that puts you in the shoes of Guy de Rose as you make... | Read more »
Roads of Rome: New Generation (Games)
Roads of Rome: New Generation 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

27-inch iMacs on sale for $200 off MSRP
Amazon has 27″ iMacs on sale for $200 off MSRP including free shipping: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1799.99 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB HD iMac 5K... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3799, $200... 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
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... 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
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1379 $120 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP - 21″ 1... Read more
Charitybuzz Set to Auction Unique Apple-1 Com...
Offering an opportunity to own the computer that sparked a revolution, on Monday, July 25, leading online charity auction platform Charitybuzz will auction what is claimed to be the world’s most... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP
Amazon has 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $899.99 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Willow...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Evangelist - JAMF Software (United S...
The Apple Evangelist is responsible for building and cultivating strategic relationships with Apple 's small and mid-market business development field teams. This Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
Job Summary The Apple Professional Learning Specialist is a full-time position for one year with Apple in the Phoenix, AZ area. This position requires a high Read more
*Apple* Picker - Apple Hill Orchard (United...
Apple Hill Orchard, Co. Rte. 21,Whitehall, NY 9/7/16-10/228/16. Pick fresh market or processing apples Productivity of 60 boxes and 80 boxes processing fruit per Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.