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Mar 97 Newsbits

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 3
Column Tag: Newsbits


By Jessica Courtney

Be Demonstrates VirtualMac For The Be Operating System

New technology from Fredlabs, Inc. will provide a bridge for customers and developers making the transition to the BeOS.

At Macworld Expo, Be Inc. demonstrated technology that allows the Be Operating System (BeOS) to run System 7.x MacOS applications directly within its multitasking, multiprocessor environment.

Developed by Fredlabs, Inc., a software company based in San Francisco, VirtualMac allows both modern BeOS applications and current System 7.x applications to be active at the same time, and for data to be exchanged between the systems.

Last August, Be announced it would enhance the BeOS to provide support for a wide variety of PowerPC based systems, including those based on Apple's PowerMacintosh designs. The company began shipping the BeOS for PowerMac development kit to software developers last month. Be has committed to delivering "dual-boot" capability - the ability to run both the BeOS and MacOS (or any other system) on a single machine - when it delivers the first public release of the BeOS in the first calendar quarter of 1997. The company has also committed to delivering the ability to access Mac formatted disks within the BeOS, as well as data file compatibility and Internet compatibility between the two systems.

However, VirtualMac capabilities go a step further - adding the ability to run System 7.x applications directly within the BeOS environment. During the Expo, Be and Fredlabs demonstrated Microsoft Word and Excel, ClarisWorks, and other applications running within the VirtualMac environment.

To provide the System 7.x capabilities, VirtualMac creates a set of processes within the BeOS which, to MacOS applications, look like a Macintosh environment. In this way, VirtualMac is simply another task within the BeOS system. The implementation makes use of the MacOS ROMs found in PowerMacintosh hardware designs, within PowerMac clones, and within future systems based on the PowerPC Platform (PPCP or CHRP) design.

The companies stated that it will take further study to determine how far the multitasking and multiprocessor capabilities inherent in the BeOS can be used within the VirtualMac environment, and the limits on compatibility with certain classes of System 7.x software. However, early results are encouraging, and one benefit is immediately apparent: If the VirtualMac environment encounters problems, it can be shut down and rebuilt without rebooting the BeOS system or the hardware.

Objective-C and Ada95 Now Available for Power Mac

MachTen CodeBuilder - An affordable software development tool for the next generation MacOS

Tenon Intersystems has extended MachTen, its highly-regarded unix system for Apple computers, to include the Objective-C and the GNAT-Ada 95 tool suite. MachTen CodeBuilder, a new offering from Tenon, includes C, C++, Objective-C, Java, Ada95 and Fortran77. CodeBuilder can be used in combination with standard Macintosh editors and compilers to develop Macintosh applications, X applications, and unix applications.

MachTen CodeBuilder extends MacOS with a family of dynamically-linked, shared libraries that, like a Java virtual machine, create a unix virtual machine-based execution environment with pre-emptive multi-tasking. Tenon's MachTen unix is based on the same Carnegie Mellon Mach and BSD unix foundation as Steve Jobs' NeXT OS, making CodeBuilder a good platform for porting and building next-generation MacOS applications.

The native PowerPC (PPC) package contains a complete unix software development environment with a source-level debugger and C, C++, Objective-C, Ada95 and Fortran77 compilers all generating native PPC code. Since CodeBuilder creates binary PowerPC Executable Format (PEF) files that can integrate directly with other Macintosh development tools, software developers can combine Macintosh debuggers and compilers with the CodeBuilder tool suite to get the best of both the Macintosh and unix worlds.

CodeBuilder is a powerful tool for porting existing unix applications or developing new, advanced applications on Power Macs and Power Mac clones. This unique toolset gives developers the ability to create an application with a single source base not only for Power Macs under a native Apple operating system, but also for Silicon Graphics, SUN, NeXT, or HP environments. CodeBuilder gives Apple developers the freedom to take advantage of time-tested unix development tools without giving up the features of their favorite Macintosh editors or compilers.

Objective-C, an object-oriented extension to the C language, is the NeXTStep development language. The GNUStep OpenStep base class library is included on the CodeBuilder CD as a source code compilation example. GNUStep is a widely-available implementation of OpenStep, the NeXT distributed application run time environment. The fact that CodeBuilder's Objective-C is able to build and execute large sections of the GNUStep library demonstrates the strength of CodeBuilder's Objective-C implementation.

Metrowerks & Apple Computer Sign Development Agreement For Porting Codewarrior Tools To Rhapsody, Apple's Next Generation OS

Metrowerks Inc. and Apple Computer, Inc. entered into a development agreement to accelerate support for Apple's next generation operating system ("Rhapsody") in Metrowerks CodeWarrior integrated programming environment ("IDE"), development tools and compilers. Upon completion, Metrowerks will provide MacOS developers a full CodeWarrior solution comprising compilers, programming tools and debuggers for the development of applications for both MacOS and Rhapsody.

CodeWarrior compilers will build Rhapsody applications in the current CodeWarrior IDE hosted on MacOS. Metrowerks expects to have CodeWarrior Objective C compilers and Objective C runtime support in its CodeWarrior C++ compilers running in the CodeWarrior IDE hosted on MacOS System by May 1997 for the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Metrowerks will include these new CodeWarrior programming tools and compilers supporting Rhapsody as part of its regular CodeWarrior for MacOS subscription at no additional charge to CodeWarrior for MacOS subscribers.

The CodeWarrior IDE, programming tools and compilers will be ported to Rhapsody. Metrowerks' CodeWarrior IDE will be hosted on both the MacOS, as currently available, and on Rhapsody. The first developer release of the CodeWarrior IDE hosted on Rhapsody is scheduled for release in January 1998 at MacWorld San Francisco. Upon completion of porting the CodeWarrior IDE to Rhapsody, both the CodeWarrior IDE hosted on MacOS and the CodeWarrior IDE hosted on Rhapsody will build MacOS applications running on 68K and PowerPC, Apple's New OS applications running on PowerPC, and Windows95/NT applications running on x86.

Metrowerks intends to add cross-platform support so that the CodeWarrior IDE hosted on the MacOS will allow developers to build Rhapsody applications, while the CodeWarrior IDE hosted on Rhapsody will allow developers to build MacOS applications.

Metrowerks PowerPlant application framework will be transitioned to Rhapsody. Metrowerks and Apple Computer intend to outline and implement a transition strategy that will allow developers using Metrowerks' PowerPlant application framework to move their applications to Rhapsody as rapidly as possible.

Akimbo Systems Ships Globetrotter Update

Akimbo Systems announced that it has shipped version 1.1 of its Globetrotter Web Publisher package for MacOS computers. This update is free to all owners of Globetrotter. Users may get complete information about the product and purchase it on the company's web site at <>. A new fully-functioning Demo version of Globetrotter 1.1 is also available.

Users across the internet are raving about Globetrotter's power and ease-of-use. Users who have don't even know what an HTML tag looks like are putting up web sites with Globetrotter.

The 1.1 upgrade adds more than 40 new features. Like existing Globetrotter features, most of the new features go far beyond basic HTML. Examples include the ability to make any link into a picture link, with a picture automatically created for user-specified text, the ability to view table borders for tables published without borders, direct access to paragraph spacing, and arbitrary intermixing of automatically numbered and unnumbered outline formats. The update also fixes a number of problems reported by users. Complete details on the update are available on the web site.

Users may purchase and download the product directly through Akimbo's web site, which was created completely with Globetrotter.

Quasar Knowledge Systems

Quasar Knowledge Systems, (QKS) Inc., the leading Smalltalk vendor in the Macintosh market with a PowerMac version available, announced that it will release Windows 95/NT version of SmalltalkAgents in Q1 of 1997. This will make SmalltalkAgents a cross-platform development tool of choice.

SmalltalkAgents is a dynamic, integrated development environment based on QKS Smalltalk. In the process of developing a Windows version, QKS made number of enhancements in its virtual machine to improve performance and services.

SmalltalkAgents is known for providing close integration to the host OS functionality. Its Mac version makes toolbox routines a trivial task. Its Windows 95/NT version will bring the same functionality to developers. SmalltalkAgents also allows developers to integrate their resources written in any other language via a dynamic linking library mechanism.

For more information, check out their web site at <>.

ICONIX Announces Availability of ObjectModeler for NextStep/Intel

ICONIX Software Engineering, Inc. is pleased to announce the immediate availability of all 10 ICONIX PowerTools modules, including ObjectModeler, the leading Macintosh OOA/OOD tool, for the NextStep operating system on the Intel platform.

ICONIX uses porting technology ARDI, Inc. to enable applications for NextStep/Intel. ICONIX applications are also deployed across SunOS, Solaris, HP-UX, Windows 3.1, 95 and NT, as well as NextStep and MacOS. Additionally, ICONIX produces a line of computer-based training CD-ROM tutorials on object-oriented software engineering, and provides a variety of on-site training and consulting services. The company expects to have a downloadable demo version of ObjectModeler/NextStep on the internet at <> by the end of January.


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