TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jun 96 Factory Floor
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:6
Column Tag:From The Factory Floor

The CodeWarrior IDE

By Dave Mark

This month, we’re going to talk to the folks responsible for the CodeWarrior IDE. By the time you read this, Metrowerks will have shipped their ninth release of CodeWarrior. In that time, the IDE has changed significantly. However, there is still a lot of growing room left. This interview focuses on some of the changes that have already taken place, and offers a glimpse into the future of the IDE.

Dave: Where do you see the IDE going from here? What kind of changes are coming?

Berardino: The IDE has come a long way in the past two years, but we feel that a lot remains to be done. The main goal for the near future is to improve the IDE’s ability to handle large projects involving multiple developers. Also, with the growth of object-oriented languages, we’ve added an object browser to the IDE which shipped with CW/8 and will go final with CW/9 - but that’s just the first release. Many more improvements are planned in that area.

Many complex projects involve the building of multiple final binaries, which is usually not easily supported in a project-based development environment. We plan to address this problem through support for intelligent nested projects, along with support for multiple output targets from the same project. The build system will also be improved in order to better support compiler chaining, where one compiler’s output is passed along to another compiler before generating a final object file (yacc is a good example of this). Source code control will be addressed by adding integrated support for our CodeManager system, which is the MacOS version of Microsoft’s SourceSafe.

Dan: We’re just finishing the first release of the source code browser. It’s really helpful for navigating and editing source code, classes in particular. You can browse the full class hierarchy, or open a separate browser on an individual class. Also, you can see all the types, globals, constants, enums, functions, structs and macros in your program, and jump instantly to their declarations.

By the way, the browser is driven by information generated by compilers. We’ve documented the format of this as part of our plug-in compiler API, so anyone who makes a drop-in compiler can support our browser.

Dave: How will nested projects work? Can you give us an example?

Berardino: Nested projects will allow users to encapsulate their files into distinct subprojects that are automatically tracked and updated, so that when the user issues a make from the topmost project, the build system will check to see if any of the subprojects need updating and will build those first, updating any new dependencies as they are created. This becomes more and more important in today’s world of component software, where an application is made up of many separate plug-ins. The CodeWarrior IDE is a good example of this. Right now we have over 50 projects that are used to generate just the Macintosh-specific tools. Currently, we use AppleScripts to automate this build. With nested projects, we could have one master project that had as its subprojects all the tool projects, which in turn could have subprojects which generate any libraries that the tools need. With a single make issued at the top level, we would build all 30 or so output files without any further user interaction.

Dave: Tell me about “multiple target” support. Will I be able to choose between 68K, PPC, or fat? Will I be able to selectively bind source files to specific targets?

Berardino: Multiple targets is a feature that many Macintosh users have been asking for. Today, building a MacOS application involves generating two distinct applications from the same source base, one for 68K users and one for PPC users, and then merging them together into a final binary. Currently the only way to support this is through the use of two distinct projects, or to switch the target from 68K to PPC, which will strip out the object code you just finished compiling. What we plan to do is to have multiple targets with persistence, where you can have many different targets, such as 68K debugging, 68K release, PPC optimized, etc. When you switch to a different target you don’t lose all your current compiled files. Switching back won’t force you to recompile all your sources again. We also plan to support binding of files to a specific target, which will allow users to have their 68K libraries ignored by the PPC target and vice versa, or have certain files only compiled for an x86 target and ignored by MacOS targets, which is useful for user interface-specific source code.

Dave: How will CodeManager be integrated into the IDE?

Berardino: We already support CKID resources in the editor. A future release will have the CKID state visible from the project window, and will provide all tools which are necessary for managing SourceSafe databases. These tools will allow users to track different versions of their source code without having to leave the IDE. We will also be providing a file/folder compare tool in the IDE, which will help users to determine what changed between releases.

Dave: Do you plan to support having multiple projects open at once? What about supporting threads in the IDE?

Berardino: Having multiple projects open at once is very useful with an IDE that supports subprojects, because it allows users to work in two projects at once. Full support for threads will allow users to be compiling in one project while simultaneously editing a file in another project. With the coming of Copland and its preemptive threads, users will see less of a performance impact from using threads than exists with today’s cooperative threads. We are very excited by the performance that Copland can bring to MacOS with its microkernel architecture and fully native file system. Development tools are typically I/O-bound. A typical compile/link cycle can spend 40-60% of its time doing file I/O, so any improvements to the file system will translate directly into increased compiler/linker speed. Having a fully preemptive microkernel will allow us to add features that are impossible with the current MacOS architecture.

Dave: How will the browser change? Will the level of integration between the browser and the rest of the environment change?

Dan: Over time, we’re planning to extend the browser in a number of ways. The goals are to simplify the task of programming and to create more powerful tools for analyzing large, complex programs.

One important area is to automate some of the routine aspects of object-oriented programming. So, you’ll be able to create new classes and members and be spared the hassle of creating new header and source files and filling in all the boilerplate code. And the browser will handle keeping member function declarations and bodies in sync.

Many users have asked for a graphical view of the class hierarchy, so that’s something we plan to address. Another area is to allow browsing of dynamic as well as static relationships in programs. We took a browser-oriented approach with the user interface of the Metrowerks debugger. For example, you can browse through lists of local variables, global variables, types and processes. We’ll extend this by adding support for browsing object instances and by supporting object-oriented breakpoints. The latter allows you to stop a program when any method of a particular object instance is entered, or when any method of a particular class is entered. When you are debugging an object-oriented program you’re often thinking in terms of classes and instances, so the environment should let you work that way.

Dave: What kind of plug-ins will be supported? Why would someone want to write their own plug-in?

Berardino: Almost any type of plug-in can be written, but the one major limitation in today’s CodeWarrior make system is that we can’t easily support one plug-in’s output being fed to another plug-in. The new build system we’re planning will allow arbitrary chaining of plug-ins, so users can more easily support compilers (such as yacc) which generate C source files from their input files, which could then be chained to the C/C++ compiler, which would generate the final output file. A post-link phase is also planned, which would allow users to write custom plug-ins that could take the final application and do post-link processing on this. Good examples of possible post-linkers are: a tool that would merge PEF containers; a tool which would create a fat application from two input applications; or perhaps a tool that performed optimizations on the final generated binary.


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Snowboard Party 2 (Games)
Snowboard Party 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crowned the best snowboarding game available on the market, Snowboard Party is back to fulfill all your adrenaline needs in... | Read more »
The best games like Animal Crossing on m...
Animal Crossing amiibo Festival is out right now for the Wii U, reminding us of just how much fun that world can be. Or at least to go back and check in on our villages once in a while. [Read more] | Read more »
Between 2 Taps - Tap for Tap interview M...
Hello, and welcome back to Between 2 Taps, Tap for Tap’s Indie Dev interview series. [Read more] | Read more »
Facility 47 (Games)
Facility 47 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: You wake up alone and freezing in an icy cell. You try the cell door but it’s locked, it seems that you are stuck with no... | Read more »
The best Photoshop alternative on iPad
Instagram and Lightroom are great and all, but sometimes people need to get extra creative with their image editing.Like, Photoshop creative. If you're one of these people, take a look at our pick for the best mobile Photoshop experience on iPad... | Read more »
The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land guide -...
A new update for The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land was released last week, making it the perfect time for you to head back to your base and take out some walkers. Here’s the lowdown on what’s new to the game, and how to take advantage. [Read more] | Read more »
Goat Rider guide - Tips and tricks to st...
We've all been there. One second, we're riding high on a crazed goat, and the next, we've been tossed off it like someone who's no good at goat ridin'. [Read more] | Read more »
Real Boxing 2 CREED: How to become a gre...
Just in time for Rocky fans who can’t wait to see CREED, the latest movie, we have the official tie-in game,Real Boxing 2 CREED. It builds on the success of its predecessor and there’s lots to take in so we at 148apps thought we’d run you through... | Read more »
CoinOp Heroes 2 guide - How to build an...
CoinOp Heroes 2 justlaunched and, like all clickers, it's dangerously addictive stuff. You have to furiously tap your screen to defeat wave after wave of foes and earn an insane amount of cash to spend on character upgrades and an army of minions... | Read more »
Dr. Panda Firefighters (Education)
Dr. Panda Firefighters 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: FIGHT FIRES AND SAVE THE DAY!Work together with Dr. Panda and his firefighting team to rescue his trapped... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Save $30-$40 on new Apple TVs after rebate
Adorama has new Apple TVs on sale for up to $40 off MSRP after mail-in rebate, good through December 15th. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 32GB Apple TV: $119.99... Read more
13-Inch Haswell MacBook Air At Two Years – Th...
The 13-inch mid-2013 “Haswell” MacBook Air I ordered in Apple’s November 2013 Black Friday sale was my first new Mac in four and a half years — the longest interval I’ve gone between system upgrades... Read more
Target Black Friday Early Access deals: $100...
Target is offering early access to their Black Friday deals on Apple products on their online store for today, the 25th, only. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - Apple... Read more
BlackBerry Q3 Mobility Index Report Finds iOS...
BlackBerry has announced results of its thirteenth Good Mobility Index Report, showing that organizations are increasingly building custom secure apps. Among Good Powered by BlackBerry (formerly Good... Read more
Wednesday roundup of early Black Friday Mac s...
Save up to $500 on a new Mac with these early Black Friday deals from Apple resellers, currently the lowest prices available for these models: (1) B&H Photo has all new Macs on sale for up to $... Read more
iPod nano on sale for $119, $30 off MSRP
Walmart has the 16GB iPod nano (various colors) on sale for $119.20 on their online store for a limited time. That’s $30 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale... Read more
Adorama Black Friday deals: Up to $400 off Ma...
Adorama has released their Black Friday deals for 2015. Save up to $400 on MacBook Pros, $200 on MacBooks and MacBook Airs, and $270 on iMacs. Use code RYBFDEAL during checkout to see these prices.... Read more
B&H Photo Deals: $200 off 12-inch 1.2GHz...
In addition to the B&H Photo Black Friday week sales we posted yesterday, B&H has lowered their price on two products to $200 off MSRP: - 12″ 1.2GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $1399 save $200 - 13... Read more
Best Buy Early Access: Today only, Up to $125...
Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $125 off MSRP and Apple Watch models on sale on their online store for up to $100 off MSRP with special codes through midnight CT tonight. Choose free... Read more
UPPERCASE DESIGNS Premium Ultra Thin Keyboard...
UPPERCASE Designs today announced its new Premium Ultra Thin Keyboard Protector and its Palm Rest Protector Set for the 12-inch MacBook. The accessories provide durable protection for the 12-inch... Read more

Jobs Board

Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - *App...
# Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - Apple Watch Job Number: 39380139 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Apr. 23, 2015 Weekly Hours: **Job Read more
Sr. Technical/Project Manager, *Apple* Educ...
# Sr. Technical/Project Manager, Apple Education Job Number: 36588557 New York City, New York, United States Posted: Jul. 30, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** 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
Merchant Operations Manager: *Apple* Pay -...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more than Read more
*Apple* Pay QA Manager - Apple Inc. (United...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more than Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.