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Apr 97 Newsbits

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 4
Column Tag: Newsbits


By Jessica Courtney

Absoft Pro Fortran

Absoft is pleased to announce Pro Fortran, a new Fortran toolset for Power Macintosh. Pro Fortran is a complete development toolset which includes: F90 compiler, upgraded VAX compatible F77, and Plum Hall validated C/C++ compilers. All compilers utilize a common development environment, tools and user interface (individual compiler interfaces are also included). All languages are link compatible and mixed language applications can easily be created.

Absoft's primary focus remains on Fortran compilers. The new F90 compiler is the first available for Power Macintosh. The upgraded F77, designed for porting legacy workstation code to the desktop now includes LS F77 extensions. New compile and runtime options allow byte swapping for porting code to/from Intel. The C/C++ compilers are included for those wishing mixed language development in a single environment.

Special upgrade pricing is available for existing Absoft and LS Fortran users. Contact Absoft at for details.

Fortner Research Introduces PowerTap

Fortner Research announces the release of PowerTap, a software library that can add multi-processing support to Macintosh applications. As new software becomes more complex, hardware manufacturers are having to deliver comparably powerful desktop systems. In turn, developers must spend additional resources reprogramming applications to take advantage of this new hardware. Such development is costly and may only reach small markets that purchase the new machines. This is where PowerTap can make a difference.

PowerTap is a new software development tool that bridges the gap for Macintosh developers in the never-ending race for the highest technology. PowerTap provides two specific solutions to this problem. First, PowerTap turns any Macintosh network into a multi-processing powerhouse by scheduling tasks to run not only on the host CPU, but on any networked machine set up to relinquish time to that application. By accessing these available processors, applications can execute in a fraction of the time. Second, PowerTap makes it simple to provide support to the new lines of multi-processing machines released by Apple, Daystar and other Mac Clone manufacturers. PowerTap's capabilities are extremely versatile and allow developers to harness the power in a network or MP computer with literally no additional expenditures in hardware.

For more information on PowerTap and other products by Fortner Research, visit Fortner Research's Web site at

Apple Introduces High-Quality MPEG Software for QuickTime

New QuickTime Extension Allows Playback of Popular MPEG-1 and VideoCD on PowerPC MacOS Systems

Apple Computer, Inc.announces immediate availability of the QuickTime MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) extension, enabling full-screen, software-only playback of MPEG-1 and VideoCD audio/video files on PowerPC MacOS computers. The MPEG extension is available immediately for use with QuickTime 2.5 and may be downloaded from the QuickTime web site at

Through the MPEG extension, VHS-quality, full-screen video, and CD-quality audio are now available as a synchronized data type in the QuickTime architecture. Apple has long recognized MPEG as an important industry standard and has supported hardware MPEG-1 playback on Macintosh since 1994. With the announcement of this QuickTime Media Layer (QTML) software extension, Power Macintosh users no longer need special hardware to view a variety of MPEG files and formats.

The MPEG extension will also work with the QuickTime plug-in for Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, enabling real-time, live MPEG playback inside these browsers. QuickTime's ‘fast start' feature enables MPEG content to be viewed as it downloads, eliminating the delay associated with large multimedia files across low-bandwidth connections.

The extension is compatible with a wide range of Internet-based MPEG, including Variable Bit Rate (VBR), MPEG, audio only or video only streams, and can read specialized MPEG encoded streams, broadening the ability for publishers to deliver interactive titles for Macintosh and Intel-based audiences.

The QuickTime MPEG software extension enables high quality software video decoding on personal computers. QuickTime provides a number of new capabilities for MPEG compressed media, a characteristic of codes and media types playing under the QuickTime platform.

All applications updated to be compliant with QuickTime for Macintosh 2.5 can immediately take advantage of these new features. Users should check with their tool vendor for compliance. Apple is providing a new version of MoviePlayer, version 2.5.1, to allow immediate use of these features. Apple is committed to giving Windows customers an equally compelling MPEG experience in 1997.

The MPEG extension can upgrade systems currently installed with QuickTime for Macintosh 2.5 due to the extensibility of QTML and the open plug-in architecture of QuickTime.

Metrowerks to Acquire Latitude Porting Technology

Metrowerks Inc. announces that it had signed a letter of intention to acquire the principle assets of The Latitude Group, Inc., of Mountain View, Calif. Latitude's principle assets include a porting library which allows MacOS applications to be ported to unix-hosted operating systems, including Sun Microsystems' Solaris 2.3+, Silicon Graphics' IRIX 5.2+ and Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX 9.03+. The Latitude porting libraries redirect MacOS commands to the target operating system, with a unix library containing a portable implementation of the MacOS API at its core. Metrowerks will also take over providing the Latitude porting technology to The Latitude Group, Inc.'s existing clients already under contract.

Metrowerks intends to use the Latitude porting library to port CodeWarrior to run on Sun Microsystems' Solaris-based unix workstations in order to offer this platform as a host for embedded systems development. Sun's Solaris-based unix workstations are widely used by embedded systems programmers worldwide.

The Latitude porting libraries will be incorporated in a new product, CodeWarrior Latitude. CodeWarrior Latitude will continue to support the unix-hosted operating systems outlined above.

Metrowerks also plans to extend CodeWarrior Latitude to enable the port of MacOS applications to run on Rhapsody, Apple's Next Generation OS. This will allow Metrowerks' existing clients to more easily port their existing applications to Rhapsody.

As part of the agreement between Metrowerks and The Latitude Group, Inc., David Hempling, president and CEO of The Latitude Group, Inc., will join Metrowerks as the technical lead for CodeWarrior Latitude. Mr. Hempling was a co-founder of Quorum Software Systems Inc., which created Latitude.

Metrowerks plans to ship CodeWarrior Latitude in the summer of 1997. CodeWarrior Latitude will include all available targets (Silicon Graphics, Hewlett-Packard, Solaris and Rhapsody) in one library package and will sell for $399.

Fortran Compiler Soon to be Available for Metrowerks CodeWarrior

Fortner Research, developers of software for scientists and engineers, has announced their plans to deliver LS Fortran for CodeWarrior. CodeWarrior owners will now be able to use LS Fortran to write and compile Fortran programs directly in the CodeWarrior environment, and mix Fortran routines with C, C++ and Pascal software, such as the PowerTap MP library.

Since 1988, LS Fortran has gained a strong following for its ability to port large, legacy Fortran programs from mainframe computers to the Macintosh and for its ease in creating full-featured Macintosh applications. LS Fortran is currently hosted in the Macintosh Programmers Workshop (MPW), developed by Apple Computer. Although MPW's command line interface environment was the standard for many years, CodeWarrior delivers an extremely popular GUI with superior project management that enables programmers to spend more time programming, and less time on the tedious task of project set-up.

Fortner Research expects to begin shipping LS Fortran for CodeWarrior by March. Current users of CodeWarrior and LS Fortran for MPW will be able to purchase LS Fortran for CodeWarrior at a special introductory price.

For more information on LS Fortran for CodeWarrior and other products by Fortner Research, visit Fortner Research's Web site at

VOODOO 1.8 Integrates Version Control into CodeWarrior

New release 1.8 of the popular version control tool VOODOO offers scriptability and integration into Metrowerks CodeWarrior IDE.

UNI Software Plus announces that the new version 1.8 of its popular version control tool VOODOO will be released soon. In order to bring the new features to the customers as soon as possible UNI Software Plus further announced the immediate availability of a full functional free pre-release of VOODOO 1.8.

In version 1.8 the delta generation process has been improved again and is much faster. Besides that, the new version supports even the comparison of files of different types. Right now VOODOO can display the differences of text files, MS Word files and resource files using different helper applications. Other file types will follow.

A pre-release of VOODOO 1.8 available for download from This pre-release is intended for demonstrating many of the new features of version 1.8. It will never be sold but can be freely used by anybody for evaluation purposes. The pre-release will expire on April 30, 1997. At that time, the final version will be available. While the unregistered version offers full functionality on projects not older than 3 months, registered versions are fully functional until the expiring date. This allows existing customers to start working with the new version immediately.

VOODOO (Versions Of Outdated Documents Organized Orthogonally) is a stand-alone version control tool with a neat graphical user interface offering many features for the simple and clear management of projects in which files evolve in numerous versions. The tool manages not only variants and revisions of single files, but of whole software projects (multiple files, multiple users, multiple variants, access rights, project structure, project history, etc.)

VOODOO differs from previous source code control systems in its orthogonal approach to version management. This means that for every component of a project hierarchy you can not only store its revision history but also different variants of the same component. The orthogonal organization of revisions and variants leads to a much clearer organization than with other tools which use trees for organizing variants and revisions.


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