TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Sep 96 Viewpoint
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:9
Column Tag:Viewpoint

Viewpoint

By Will Iverson

This issue marks the first of my tenure as Editor-in-Chief of MacTech Magazine. Some of you may recognize me from my earlier role as Symantec’s Macintosh Developer Relations Manager. I am excited to be at the helm of the magazine, and look forward to its growth over the next year. Write me at editor-in-chief@mactech.com with your ideas.

First, a brief comment about Apple Computer (leaving to others the lengthy non-technical dissertations on “what Apple should do”). Suffice it to say that the times may be a-changing, but that just makes for more excitement. Less than a year ago, Sun had a mixed future, and Java was barely on the horizon. Some were even wondering if the Power Macintosh might spell the end of Sun! Today Sun and Java are Well, I think you get the point. The great thing about this industry is that both success and failure are fickle.

Overall, there’s reason to be bullish. The Macintosh development tools market has never been stronger. There are more tools out there than ever before, and more people are learning to program. This is where the magazine comes in - we intend to expand coverage to meet the needs of this burgeoning market. One important piece of this is to challenge the ever-increasing marketing which inevitably comes with a healthy market. Who really is fastest, provides the best results?

Another component is the expansion of our Web site to form the new MacTech NOW. A problem with traditional print is the relatively long lag between timely news and the appearance of the information in print. We’ve been online for over a year, with over 1500 pages of back issues and online documentation. Now you can look to http://www.mactech.com/ for breaking news in the Macintosh Developer Tools community as well.

Mac OS 8, OpenDoc, SOM and Java

Pop quiz - what do Mac OS 8, OpenDoc, SOM and Java have in common? Give up? The futures of all four are tied together in a fundamental, albeit confusing, way.

A fundamental problem with the current implementation of object-oriented languages is the lack of a common calling mechanism - there is no easy way to mix and match pieces of object-oriented code. The most common place you run into this is trying to mix C++ libraries from two different compiler vendors in your project. For that matter, even C++ code compiled under different versions of the same compiler usually won’t mix. This makes life for third-party library vendors very difficult, as they must maintain potentially dozens of different versions of their libraries. It also makes it very difficult for languages other than C++ (such as Smalltalk or Prograph) to make inroads into mainstream community.

There are two solutions. The easy but limited route is to develop a C++ accepted binary interface, or ABI. There are variants, but generally this model takes C++ as gospel for how object-orientation works and provides a relatively direct mapping. All compilers would then support this standard. This doesn’t work across languages, and leads to annoyances like the pascal keyword in C. This is more or less the route Microsoft has taken with Windows.

The hard but robust solution is SOM. SOM (System Object Model) was developed by IBM, and in typical IBM fashion it is very robust, very powerful, and a royal pain to use.

The Macintosh Way

The only company which can actually present and enforce such standards is Apple. Apple has decided on SOM as a standard, and we are already seeing this technology in OpenDoc. SOM will provide (among other things) the foundation on which the Mac OS 8 Appearance Manager is built. In addition, SOM libraries will finally allow us to share code between different tools.

SOM finally allows us to dispense with talking protocols, and to get on with generating content - in this case, code. There is a caveat, however. There are two ways to access SOM. The nasty way requires learning a new language and writing special .IDL header files, which are then mangled by an intermediate tool which actually generates the proper .h files. The easy way is something called Direct to SOM. (Do not confuse Direct to SOM with DSOM, which stands for Distributed SOM and is beyond the scope of this text.)

With Direct to SOM, you essentially keep working in C++ as normal, and things just work. The compiler is responsible for generating the proper code. This is also the problem with Direct to SOM - it basically involves rewriting the compiler. Metrowerks announced at MacHack that Direct To SOM was a principal component of CW10, and Apple has also announced Direct To SOM support in MrC. If your tool vendor doesn’t support Direct to SOM, write and encourage them to do so.

So what does this have to do with Java and OpenDoc? OpenDoc suffers a critical flaw: a single misbehaved part can take down an entire document. Java, on the other hand, suffers from a lack of any structured, well-designed component architecture. At WWDC, Apple demonstrated a Java-based OpenDoc part which included access to native code and other neat things, like automatic persistence. The best part: it was roughly a page of code, a fraction of what it would have been in C++.

 
AAPL
$102.60
Apple Inc.
+1.54
MSFT
$46.72
Microsoft Corpora
-0.34
GOOG
$582.15
Google Inc.
-5.22

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

GarageSale 6.8 - Create outstanding eBay...
GarageSale is a slick, full-featured client application for the eBay online auction system. Create and manage your auctions with ease. With GarageSale, you can create, edit, track, and manage... Read more
ScreenFlow 4.5.3 - Create screen recordi...
Save 5% with the MacUpdate coupon code: 68031AE15F -- Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your entire... Read more
NeoOffice 2014.3 - Mac-tailored, OpenOff...
NeoOffice is a complete office suite for OS X. With NeoOffice, users can view, edit, and save OpenOffice documents, PDF files, and most Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. NeoOffice 3.x... Read more
Typinator 6.2 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
PopChar X 6.7 - Floating window shows av...
PopChar X helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar X provides a frustration-free way to access any font's special characters. Expanded... Read more
Evernote 5.6.0 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
Monosnap 2.2.2 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap allows you to save screenshots easily, conveniently, and quickly, sharing them with friends and colleagues at once. It's the ideal choice for anyone who is looking for a smart and fast... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.4beta36 - GUI for OpenVPN...
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
SoftRAID 5.0.4 - High-quality RAID manag...
SoftRAID allows you to create and manage disk arrays to increase performance and reliability. SoftRAID's intuitive interface and powerful feature set makes this utility a must have for any Mac OS X... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.3 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Sword King Review
Sword King Review By Jennifer Allen on September 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: :: WEAK, SO WEAKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Ever wanted to tap on a screen and assume you’ve killed a monster or two? Probably not, but just... | Read more »
Pangea Software Unveil Bundles and iOS 8...
Pangea Software Unveil Bundles and iOS 8 Updates Posted by Ellis Spice on September 23rd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Race Team Manager Review
Race Team Manager Review By Jennifer Allen on September 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: :: LIGHT RACINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Want to be in charge of a racing team but not be overwhelmed by tactics and options? Race... | Read more »
Kobojo Works with Creative Minds from Fi...
Kobojo has announced details for their newest game, Zodiac – a 2D persistent online RPG. Kobojo has put together a crack team of developers including composer Hitoshi Sakimoto and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima, whose work includes many of the... | Read more »
PlayHaus Review
PlayHaus Review By Amy Solomon on September 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad PlayHaus is a interesting, stylish app for young children, full of cause-and-effect interactions.   | Read more »
Astropolo Review
Astropolo Review By Amy Solomon on September 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Astropolo is a space-themed children’s app with a great sense of style.   | Read more »
New E*TRADE Update Includes Touch ID and...
New E*TRADE Update Includes Touch ID and Home Screen Widget for iOS 8 Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 23rd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Cupcake Carnival Review
Cupcake Carnival Review By Jennifer Allen on September 23rd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SAME OLDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Cupcake Carnival does all the right match-3 things but it’s a format we’ve seen a little too... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: September 15-19, 2...
Expert App Reviewers   So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iPhone/iPad lover to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just... | Read more »
Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker – Tips, Tricks,...
Hey There, Kittens: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Razer DeathAdder Chroma Gaming Mouse Upgraded...
Razer has announced the launch of their new Razer DeathAdder Chroma gaming mouse. Even if you’re not a gamer, the DeathAdder bears considering. I’m a fan of the hard-wired tracking accuracy,... Read more
Check Apple prices on your device with iTracx
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
Refurbished 2013 MacBook Pros available for u...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros available starting at $929. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (4GB RAM/... Read more
New iPhones Score Big in SquareTrade Breakabi...
SquareTrade has announced the iPhone 6 and its larger sibling, iPhone 6 Plus, performed impressively in Breakability testing, and each carries the top Breakability Score in their respective category... Read more
10 Million + First Weekend Sales Set New iPho...
Apple has announced it sold over 10 million new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, a new record, just three days after the launch on September 19. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are now available in the... Read more
Betty Crocker Launches New Cookbook for iOS
Betty Crocker, a General Mills brand, an established food industry leader, has announced its free digital cookbook app has been refreshed to make cooking with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch even easier... Read more
Apple restocks some refurbished 2014 MacBook...
The Apple Store has restocked some Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs, with prices starting at $769. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free. These... Read more
13-inch 128GB MacBook Air on sale for $949, s...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $949.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of... Read more
Apple offering free $25 iTunes Gift Card with...
The Apple Store is offering a free $25 iTunes Gift Card with the purchase of a $99 Apple TV for a limited time. Shipping is free. Read more
Apple refurbished iPod touch available for up...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Most colors are... Read more

Jobs Board

Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…customers purchase our products, you're the one who helps them get more out of their new Apple technology. Your day in the Apple Store is filled with a range of Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.