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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

pwSafe 4.0.1 - Secure password managemen...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
WALTR 1.5.4 - Drag-and-drop any media fi...
WALTR is designed to make it easy to upload and convert any music or video file to an iPad or iPhone format for native playback. It supports a huge variety of media file types, including MP3, MP4,... Read more
Audio Hijack 3.1 - Record and enhance au...
Audio Hijack (was Audio Hijack Pro) drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio... Read more
PopChar 7.1 - Floating window shows avai...
We're also selling a 5-license family pack for only $25.99! PopChar helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar X provides a frustration-free way to... Read more
BBEdit 11.1.1 - 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
Picasa 3.9.139 - Organize, edit, and sha...
Picasa and Picasa Web Albums allows you to organize, edit, and upload your photos to the Web from your computer in quick, simple steps. Arrange your photos into folders and albums and erase their... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0.5 - 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
NetShade 6.2 - Browse privately using an...
This promotion is for NetShade and 1 year of Proxy and VPN services NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN... Read more
CrossOver 14.1.3 - Run Windows apps on y...
CrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office,... Read more
Little Snitch 3.5.3 - Alerts you about o...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activity As soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more

Block Fortress has a Big New Update for...
Block Fortress is a survival-style game that's as fun as it is blocky. It's also just gotten a rather sizeable update that adds a lot more cool stuff. [Read more] | Read more »
Simple and Surreal Star Base Sim rymdkap...
I really like rymdkapsel. Not just because I'm a sucker for games that are cleverly simple or highly stylisitc, but because it's fun and challenging. Actually it's extremely challenging, which is why I was excited to learn that it's getting a couple... | Read more »
Check out the anticipated Angel Stone in...
Fincon has finally revealed Angel Stone in action in the first ever official gameplay trailer for the anticipated hack and slasher. Angel Stone is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which humanity is in danger of being wiped out by the demonic... | Read more »
Moleskine Timepage is an All-New Calenda...
Moleskine Timepage is a bit of a departure for the notebook manufacturer (since it has little to do with notebooks), but it certainly carries their simple and elegant style quite well. [Read more] | Read more »
Jog on Over and Check Out the New Runtas...
Runtastic has put out a fair number of apps to help you sleep, track excercise, and train various parts of your body. Now it's time for your legs to have their own time in the spotlight with Runtastic Leg Trainer. [Read more] | Read more »
It's Lights Out in the Upcoming Pla...
Ember’s Journey is a stark puzzle platformer with a twist: the entire game is played in darkness. The only light you can see by is the one emanating from your own character. [Read more] | Read more »
MooVee - Your Movies Guru (Entertainmen...
MooVee - Your Movies Guru 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: MooVee helps you effortlessly manage your movies, on your iPhone. | Read more »
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions (Games)
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enjoy the next chapter in the award-winning Geometry Wars franchise and enjoy stunning, console-quality... | Read more »
CHAOS RINGS Ⅲ (Games)
CHAOS RINGS Ⅲ 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $19.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The newest addition to the popular smartphone RPG series is finally here! ・CHAOS RINGS Overview | Read more »
The Popular Insight Series of Travel Gui...
Getting around in a country when you can't understand the primary language can be tough. Fortunately there are several options available to help wold travellers with the important stuff like giving directions to a cab driver or asking where the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Top Markets Saturation To Slow Global Smartph...
According to a new mobile phone forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone shipments are expected to grow 11.3% in 2015 — down from 27... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off original MSRP, starting at $979. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
What Would the ideal Apple Productivity Platf...
For the past four years I’ve kept a foot in both the Mac and iPad camps respectively. my daily computing hours divided about 50/50 between the two devices with remarkable consistency. However, there’... Read more
PageMeUp 1.2.1 Ten Dollar Page Layout Applica...
Paris, France-based Softobe, an OS X software development company, has announced that their PageMeUp v. 1.2.1, is available on the Mac App Store for $9.99. The license can be installed on up to 5... Read more
Eight New Products For USB Type-C Application...
Fresco Logic, specialists in advanced connectivity technologies and ICs, has introduced two new product families targeting the Type-C connector recently introduced across a number of consumer... Read more
Scripps National Spelling Bee Launches Buzzwo...
Scripps National Spelling Bee fans can monitor the action at the 2015 Spelling Bee with the new Buzzworthy app for iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. The free Buzzworthy app provides friendly... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $120 o...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $979 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model (except for Apple’... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899, $10...
B&H Photo has the new 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Save up to $50 on iPad Air 2, NY tax only, fr...
B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $50 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $469 $30 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $549.99 $50 off - 128GB iPad... 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

Jobs Board

*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
Program Manager, *Apple* Community Support...
**Job Summary** Apple Support Communities ( discussions. apple .com) helps customers get the most from their Apple products and services by providing access to Read more
Senior Data Scientist, *Apple* Retail - Onl...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail - Online sells Apple products to customers around the world. In addition to selling Apple products with unique services such as iPad Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Watch SW Application Project Manager...
**Job Summary** The Apple Watch software team is looking for an Application Engineering Project Manager to work on new projects for Apple . The successful candidate Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.