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++.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Skype 7.5.0.738 - Voice-over-internet ph...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
PushPal 3.0 - Mirror Android notificatio...
PushPal is a client for Pushbullet, which automatically shows you all of your phone's notifications right on your computer. This means you can see who's calling or read text messages even if your... Read more
Logic Pro X 10.1.1 - Music creation and...
Apple Logic Pro X is the most advanced version of Logic ever. Sophisticated new tools for professional songwriting, editing, and mixing are built around a modern interface that's designed to get... Read more
VLC Media Player 2.2.0 - Popular multime...
VLC Media Player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, OGG, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It... Read more
Sound Studio 4.7.8 - Robust audio record...
Sound Studio lets you easily record and professionally edit audio on your Mac. Easily rip vinyls and digitize cassette tapes, or record lectures and voice memos. Prepare for live shows with live... Read more
LibreOffice 4.4.1.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
VueScan 9.5.03 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0.3 - Drag-and-drop Web de...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With its user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
Cloud 3.3.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6.5 - FTP and SFTP browser....
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more

The first ever action 3D card battler Al...
On the other hand, you probably haven’t played an action 3D card battler – until now. Step forward, All Star Legion. All Star Legion is a 3D QTE-based action RPG card battler, but fear not – the game itself isn’t as convoluted as its description.... | Read more »
Travel Back to the 1980s With the Making...
Headup Games has released a hilarious making of video for its upcoming title, Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic. The game is a RPG/Roguelike where you control three heroes set to save the township of Pixton from an evil cult called The Sons of Dawn.... | Read more »
Heavenstrike Rivals Review
Heavenstrike Rivals Review By Campbell Bird on March 2nd, 2015 Our Rating: :: HEAVENLY STRATEGICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite a few flaws, this free-to-play strategy game is a fun mix of new and old strategy... | Read more »
Get The Whole Story – Lone Wolf Complete...
Get The Whole Story – Lone Wolf Complete is Now Available and On Sale Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Who Wore it Best? The Counting Dead vs....
Like it or not, the “clicker” genre, popularized by cute distractions like Candy Box and Cookie Clicker, seems like it’s here to stay. So Who Wore it Best? takes a look at two recent examples: The Counting Dead and AdVenture Capitalist. | Read more »
Card Crawl, the Mini Deck Building Game,...
Card Crawl, the Mini Deck Building Game, is Coming Soon Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Tinytouchtales and Mexer have announced their new game, | Read more »
Witness an all new puzzle mechanic in Bl...
Well, BlastBall MAX is not one of those games and is bucking trends such as timers, elements of randomness, and tacked-on mechanics in favor of pure puzzle gameplay. When you first boot up the game you’ll see a grid made up of squares that are each... | Read more »
This Princess Has a Dragon and She isn’t...
This Princess Has a Dragon and She isn’t Afraid to Useit. | Read more »
Mecha Showdown Review
Mecha Showdown Review By Lee Hamlet on February 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: IN A SPINUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Mecha Showdown replaces traditional buttons with a slot machine mechanic in this robot fighting game,... | Read more »
Reliance Games and Dreamworks Unveil Rea...
Reliance Games and Dreamworks Unveil Real Steel Champions Posted by Ellis Spice on February 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Reliance Games and Dreamworks have announced that a third game in | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

27-inch 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on...
 B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on sale for $2299 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for... Read more
Apple Launches Free Web-Based Pages and Other...
Apple’s new Web-only access to iWork productivity apps is a free level of iCloud service available to anyone, including people who don’t own or use Apple devices. The service includes access to Apple... Read more
Survey Reveals Solid State Disk (SSD) Technol...
In a recent SSD technology use survey, Kroll Ontrack, a firm specializing in data recovery, found that while nearly 90 percent of respondents leverage the performance and reliability benefits of SSD... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pros 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... Read more
Updated Mac Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more
Apple CEO Tim Cook to Deliver 2015 George Was...
Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the George Washington University’s Commencement address to GWU grads on May 17, at which time he will also be awarded an honorary doctorate of public service from the... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz... Read more
Save up to $50 on iPad Air 2s, NY tax only, f...
 B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for $50 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $469.99 $30 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $549 $50 off - 128GB iPad Air 2... Read more
16GB iPad Air 2 on sale for $447, save $52
Walmart has the 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi on sale for $446.99 on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for online orders only,... Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 1.4GHz iMac: $1029 $70 off - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $1199 $100 off - 21″ 2.9GHz... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Pay Automation Engineer - iOS System...
**Job Summary** At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring passion and dedication to your job Read more
Sr. Technical Services Consultant, *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple Professional Services (APS) has an opening for a senior technical position that contributes to Apple 's efforts for strategic and transactional Read more
Event Director, *Apple* Retail Marketing -...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global engagement strategy and team. Delivering an overarching brand Read more
*Apple* Pay - Site Reliability Engineer - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**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.