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
$524.94
Apple Inc.
+5.93
MSFT
$40.01
Microsoft Corpora
-0.39
GOOG
$536.10
Google Inc.
-20.44

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VMware Fusion 6.0.3 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
Tweetbot 1.5.1 - Popular iOS twitter cli...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 4.1.7 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
PDFpenPro 6.2 - Advanced PDF toolkit for...
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Create... Read more
PDFpen 6.2 - Edit and annotate PDFs with...
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
Monolingual 1.5.9 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1.1.1.180...
Download the patch by launching the Starcraft II game and downloading it through the Battle.net connection within the app. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a strategy game played in real-time. You... Read more
Sibelius 7.5.0 - Music notation solution...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more
Typinator 5.9 - 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

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This Week at 148Apps: April 14-18, 2014
Spring Into Our App Reviews   | Read more »
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Bas...
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Basket Full of Goodies, Courtesy of Madfinger Games Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Dead Trigger 2 | Read more »
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sa...
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sale Right Now, and You Should Check it Out Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Playdek has released quite a few great iOS ports of board and card games over the years, and now most of them... | Read more »
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Exper...
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Experience with Farmville 2: Country Escape Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
David. Review
David. Review By Cata Modorcea on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINIMALISTIC IN A DIFFERENT WAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad David is a minimalistic game wrapped inside of a soothing atmosphere in which the hero... | Read more »
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service Th...
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service That Allows Users to Share Media Across Personal Devices Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair...
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair Review By Jennifer Allen on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY ADVENTURINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Treading a safe path, Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair is a... | Read more »
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced E...
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced Editing Features and More Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to...
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to Learn about the Human Body 1.1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.00 (iTunes) Description: Wouldn’t it be cool to look inside yourself and see what was going on... | Read more »
Trials Frontier Review
Trials Frontier Review By Carter Dotson on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A ROUGH LANDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Trials Frontier finally brings the famed stunt racing franchise to mobile, but how much does its... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Android Leads in Operating System Share Andro...
Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP) has released its latest results of its research on mobile phone operating systems for the calendar quarter that ended March 31, 2014. This analysis... Read more
Pelican Products, Inc. Introduces New Lineup...
Pelican Products, Inc., the global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance protective cases, today announced the launch of a new line of rugged phone cases for both the Apple iPhone... Read more
SaveDrives – Car Dashboard Video Camera &...
Drivers who want to help reduce potential damage to their health and finances in the event of an accident can download the innovative new no-cost app SaveDrives – Car Dashboard Video Camera &... Read more
Deal Alert! 13-inch MacBook Pro on sale for $...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $200 off MSRP. Price is valid... Read more
Free HopTo 2.2 Helps Enhance Your Productivit...
The HopTo app helps you do more on your iPad by providing more and easier adaccess to files and documents. Version 2.2 adds Egnyte and HopTo’s Mac OSX File Connector. If you already have the hopTo... Read more
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month:...
As the country recognizes National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Sprint is reminding wireless consumers to focus on driving while behind the wheel, to not text or email while driving, and to... Read more
13-inch 2.4GHz Retina MacBook Pro available f...
Abt has the 13″ 2.4GHz 128GB Retina MacBook Pro available for $1229 including free shipping. Their price is $70 off MSRP. Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP this we...
Best Buy has iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free home shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Prices are valid for online orders only, in-store... Read more
iPad Airs on sale this weekend for up to $100...
Best Buy has WiFi iPad Airs on sale for $50 off MSRP and WiFi + Cellular iPad Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time, with prices now starting at $449. Choose free... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis starting...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 2.5GHz Mac... Read more

Jobs Board

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
*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
*Apple* Inc. Research Data Specialist - Appl...
…of Worldwide Market Research & Intelligence. The team is responsible for conducting Apple branded consumer market research. It is also responsible for analyzing data Read more
*Apple* Automotive Parts Department position...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer…and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive, we 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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.