Dec 96 Viewpoint
By Eric Gundrum
By the time you read this, you probably are just about to or already have stuffed yourself with turkey (or a reasonable vegetarian alternative) and are preparing for the holiday season. The new year is just around the corner and with it, the opportunity for change.
MacTech has recently undergone some changes, and one of the results is my beginning as Editor-in-Chief. In the last several months, many people at MacTech have made a number of beneficial changes in how we build the magazine, making my job a whole lot easier. We now have Jessica Courtney as our Managing Editor, and Nick DeMello for online support. In addition, weve broadened our Editorial Board to include Carl de Cordova for Internet Technologies, and Will Iverson (formerly of MacTech and Symantec, and now at Apple) for Java. Today, MacTech editorial is created by more people than ever before in the magazines almost 13-year history.
My name has been on the MacTech masthead for some time now. Ive been working in the background, helping where I could. Some of you may also know me from my work at MacHack. Others may recognize me from my SmartFriends affiliations, and others might remember me from my days working on MicroPhone at the now defunct Software Ventures. I am a professional programmer. Ive been working in the Macintosh industry for seven years now; wow, has it changed.
For as long as there have been personal computers I have enjoyed programming them. I still have a bookshelf full of MacTutor (the old name for MacTech), complete with the Table of Contents on the cover. Since that time the magazine has served Mac OS programmers, professional and hobbyist alike. Nonetheless, our industry has grown up a bit, and MacTech with it. (Now we put the Table of Contents inside like other magazines.)
Since taking this position, Ive spoken with many colleagues about what changes they want to see in the magazine. Their responses were just as varied as the people I asked. Some want more in-depth, technical articles, and some want more about getting started with programming. Many people asked for more articles in the middle - articles that provide a bridge from starting out as a programmer, to the more sophisticated problems of deciphering the runtime model of a fat SCSI driver used for disk compression. I plan to satisfy all of these requests in the coming months, but most of all, I want to increase the quality of the articles.
We have many exciting issues planned for the next year. From a look at the BeOS to new views of programming Macintosh without C++. Weve got goodies coming your way - for example, the DR8 release of the BeOS for Power Macintosh will be included on CD in the January issue. For the C++ geeks, we will offer a number of ideas for getting more from the beast before it gets you. You can expect to see more reviews of programming tools to let you know what gets the job done. There will also be some code showing you how to get the job done. We will continue to bring you articles demonstrating tricks of the trade, and of course, we will bring you some more code. As the Mac moves forward with new technologies, we will show you the code that lets you use those technologies now. If we can find other interesting things to do with code, we will show you that too.
As you can see, we are planning to show you the code. Nothing documents a program as well as well written code. You can rest assured that there will be plenty of articles to inform and entertain you. There may not be any more pages of code than before, but we will give you the snippets that count; the ones you will continue to refer back to. You can expect more cool programming projects, and more cool technologies, and, of course, more cool code.
We want to show you interesting things people are programming the Mac to do, and give you ideas about what you can do. Do you have an idea you want to share? Drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to get up on your soapbox, write us at email@example.com. And, if you want share a tidbit, send a tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this issue you will want to check out our comprehensive review of the CodeWarrior and Symantec development environments. Both tools have their strengths and their weaknesses. Read the article to choose which is best for you.
Ed Ringel offers a low cost approach to meeting the information management needs of your latest project. If you want a quick and easy way to store a lot of data, be sure to read A Tightwads Guide to Flat File Databases.
In another feature article, Andy Dent shows how to modify AppMaker 2.0 to generate code for custom objects in Customizing AppMaker 2.0. This is a must-read for everyone looking for faster ways to build graphical interfaces. Best of all, AppMaker writes the C++ so you dont have to.
Furthermore, the magazine would not be complete without the interesting items from our regular contributors. Flip through the pages to find all that is there.