TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apr 97 Factory Floor

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 4
Column Tag: From The Factory Floor

Avie Tevanian, Apple's New OSMeister

By Dave Mark, ©1997 by Metrowerks, Inc., all rights reserved.

This month's Factory Floor interview is with Avie Tevanian, Vice President of Engineering at NeXT, Inc., and recently appointed OSMeister at Apple. Avie is charged with bringing NeXT's OS technologies together with Apple's and producing Apple's next OS, code-named Rhapsody.

Dave: What will become of the existing Mac Toolbox? Will the investment developers are making in mastering the existing Toolbox be devalued as Rhapsody kicks in? Will Mac apps that run under today's System software continue to run under Rhapsody? If so, will this solution be a compatibility box like MAE?

Avie: Keep in mind that the System 7 based MacOS is going to be supported for a long time and that developers can keep their investment in this architecture and port to Rhapsody at their own pace. Many of the existing toolbox resources are being ported to Rhapsody.

Additionally, most applications that run under System 7 today will run on Rhapsody via the "blue box" which is not an emulation environment, rather it provides native access for System 7 apps at great speeds.

Dave: What can you tell us about the overall Rhapsody architecture? Will it be the OpenStep architecture with some modifications? Will any of the Macintosh architecture survive? Will resources (a la ResEdit) be part of Rhapsody?

Avie: Many aspects of the existing Macintosh architecture will exist in Rhapsody such as QTML (The QuickTime Media Layer). The "yellow box" included in the attached picture represents the new APIs based on OPENSTEP. These APIs will allow developers to build better applications faster. These apps will enjoy new features such as multitasking, multithreading, protected memory, etc. We plan on making these APIs public as soon as possible for developers to become familiar with Rhapsody's capabilities.

Dave: What will be done to make the new architecture thread-friendly?

Avie: The CoreOS has full support for threads, allowing multiple threads of execution to run in parallel on multiprocessor systems. Additionally, there is full support for thread synchronization and communication.

We've worked with multi-threaded programs for a long time. Sometimes they can be challenging to get working correctly. After all, there are a lot of synchronization issues to worry about. However, the multi-threaded model often leads to significant simplification of applications with partitionable functionality yet retains a high degree of state (memory) sharing.

Dave: What can you tell us about the Rhapsody kernel? Will NewOS be based on Mach? The Copland Kernel? A combination of both?

Avie: Fortunately Apple now has the option of incorporating a variety of new capabilities in their "core os" based on a number of kernel choices. We have not yet announced what the primary source base will be. What's important is the fact that it will support true multitasking, protected memory, and SMP. In anycase, I see us drawing on many of the code and ideas from many sources. "[Just as we went to press Apple announced their plans to use a Mach kernel, but not which version of Mach. -Eric]"

Dave: What will the Rhapsody user interface look like? Will it resemble the existing NeXT interface? For example, will the menu bar be the NeXT menu list or the more familiar Mac menu bar?

Avie: Our goal for the UI is to have it maintain the true spirit of the Macintosh while also making it become much more powerful. We'll draw on some of the best aspects of the NEXTSTEP UI and the existing Macintosh UI and deliver a world-class solution.

Dave: Will Objective-C become the standard language for future Mac development? Will there be any role for languages like C, C++, and Pascal? How will non-Objective-C languages work with Rhapsody? Will there be a set of APIs for languages other than Objective-C?

Avie: Metroworks has committed to providing Rhapsody development tools in a variety of languages. In addition, we have committed to start supporting Java based APIs within Rhapsody and expect that these APIs will become much more prevalent over time.

Finally, the Objective-C runtime is a simple ANSI C callable set of api's. It can be called directly from any language. We've found that many developers prefer to program in Objective-C once they've learned it - and learning it is not hard at all. However, we will not force developers to use Objective-C.

Dave: The newsgroups are saying that the performance of C and stack-based C++ is much greater (in terms of function dispatch speeds, for example) than Objective-C. What's your experience in this regard?

Avie: Rhapsody gives developers the option of also writing straight C and C++ code. Objective-C offers dynamic runtime binding giving developers capabilities that aren't possible in C or C++. While there is some overhead to dynamic binding, developers have the choice to statically or dynamically bind their objects in the system. We have had good experience building large systems using the dynamic features of Objective-C (all of NEXTSTEP uses it!). We don't see performance as being a problem at all.

Dave: Again from the newsgroups, there is concern that Display Postscript running on a PC offers some performance concerns. For example, window dragging is perceptibly slower than under NT or Win95, even on a 200Mhz Pentium. Will Display Postscript become part of the new OS? If not, what imaging model will be used?

Avie: Our intent is to use Display Postscript for the imaging model. Users will be impressed with the speed of window operations as well as the flexibility for output devices. In addition, other APIs will be provided for performing fast, direct to screen operations as would be used in multimedia, games, etc.

Dave: What is the plan for Java integration with Rhapsody? With Objective-C?

Avie: Apple is committed to Java and plans on adding Java APIs to Rhapsody. NeXT has already integrated Java into WebObjects such that developers can write their entire program in Java. Fortunately, the Java design is very close to the Objective-C design, with the primary difference being the syntax. In fact, Java was explicited designed with Objective-C-like functionality in mind. Java is a great match for our Objective-C technology, and you'll see us doing lots of interesting things with Java in general.

Dave: Is SOM officially out of the picture for Objective-C? Is there an alternative in mind?

Avie: We haven't looked at this in detail but it seems as though it would be technically feasible for SOM to interoperate with Objective-C.

Dave: Assuming that developers will need to retool and retrain to develop for NewOS, what can you say convince them to make this investment, rather than making the less risky switch over to Windows?

Avie: Rhapsody will allow developers to build new "best of breed" applications. They can focus on adding their own value to their apps rather than spending a lot of time, money and energy trying to make their apps work in Windows.

Further, it is false to assume that a "switch over to Windows" is less risky. In truth, competition in the Windows space is very difficult with shelf space given only to the largest developers with development budgets of tens of millions of dollars. To get your product on Windows you first have to compromise on the features, then you have to fight it out in the market (probably against Microsoft). Developers should be able to build a very nice business off their Rhapsody-based applications!

Avie Tevanian, Vice President of Engineering, is responsible for managing NeXT's industry renowned engineering department. Tevanian started his professional career at Carnegie Mellon University,where he was a principal designer and engineer of the Mach operating system upon which NEXTSTEP is based.

Tevanian joined NeXT as an engineer on the NEXTSTEP team in January 1988. He quickly moved up the ranks and managed the operating system.

Now a recognized pioneer in creating cross-platform development environments used worldwide, Tevanian heads up the engineering teams that make NeXT's current products award-winning and proven.Mr. Tevanian holds a Ph.D. and a Masters of Science degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from the University of Rochester.

 
AAPL
$111.78
Apple Inc.
-0.87
MSFT
$47.66
Microsoft Corpora
+0.14
GOOG
$516.35
Google Inc.
+5.25

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

LibreOffice 4.3.5.2 - Free Open Source o...
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
CleanApp 5.0.0 Beta 5 - Application dein...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more
Monolingual 1.6.2 - 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
NetShade 6.1 - Browse privately using an...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
calibre 2.13 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Mellel 3.3.7 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
ScreenFlow 5.0.1 - Create screen recordi...
Save 10% with the exclusive MacUpdate coupon code: AFMacUpdate10 Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your... Read more
Simon 4.0 - Monitor changes and crashes...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
ExpanDrive 4.2.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Make your own Tribez Figures (and More)...
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More) with Toyze Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness...
The holiday season is in full-swing, which means a whole lot of iOS apps and games are going on sale. A bunch already have, in fact. Naturally this means we’re putting together a hand-picked list of the best discounts and sales we can find in order... | Read more »
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode f...
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode for Angry Birds Epic Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minec...
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their...
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their New Game: Tempo Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] WarChest Ltd and Splash Damage Ltd are teaming up again to work | Read more »
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary...
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary with a Bunch of Free Games Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] BulkyPix has | Read more »
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking F...
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking Fever’s new sushi-themed update Posted by Simon Reed on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulat | Read more »
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to C...
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to Celebrate 20 Million Downloads Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Desti...
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny, and Beyond – AppSpy Takes a Look at AAA Companion Apps Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] These day | Read more »
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Fre...
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Free for the Holidays Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

The Apple Store offering free next-day shippi...
The Apple Store is now offering free next-day shipping on all in stock items if ordered before 12/23/14 at 10:00am PT. Local store pickup is also available within an hour of ordering for any in stock... Read more
It’s 1992 Again At Sony Pictures, Except For...
Techcrunch’s John Biggs interviewed a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employee, who quite understandably wished to remain anonymous, regarding post-hack conditions in SPE’s L.A office, explaining “... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Pros for...
 B&H Photo has new MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP as part of their Holiday pricing. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Airs for...
B&H Photo has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, for a limited time, for the Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday shopping season. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: iMacs for up to $...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software: - 21″ 1.4GHz... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac minis availab...
B&H Photo has new 2014 Mac minis on sale for up to $80 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $459 $40 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $629 $70 off MSRP... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac Pros for up t...
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $500 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2599, $400 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3499, $... Read more
Save up to $400 on MacBooks with Apple Certif...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Save up to $300 on Macs, $30 on iPads with Ap...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
iOS and Android OS Targeted by Man-in-the-Mid...
Cloud services security provider Akamai Technologies, Inc. has released, through the company’s Prolexic Security Engineering & Research Team (PLXsert), a new cybersecurity threat advisory. The... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Store Leader Program (US) - Apple, I...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on experience, Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the 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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.