May 97 Dialog Box
Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 5
Column Tag: Dialog Box
by MacTech Editorial Staff
I've been a THINK / Symantec user for a number of years, but due to their recent actions I've switched to CW (as many have over the last year or two). Symantec seems to have all but abandoned their Mac C/C++ development tools. No mention of these products are to be found at their web site any more, and their online help area in AOL vanished in recent weeks after years of service. I personally have also had difficulty getting anything out of Symantec customer service in recent months. Hence, I jumped ship & use CW now. I couldn't be happier!
As your article mentioned, the two IDEs are fairly similar in the areas covered, but there are a number of areas not mentioned where CW blows Symantec out of the water, like the various cross-platform compilers (x86/32-bit, MagicCap, MIPS, etc...), scheduled updates (as you mentioned Symantec has no firm dates for future releases), Pascal support, and an all-around better feel. CW is a much more polished product in my opinion.
The numerous crashes, internal errors & various bugs of SC++8.5 are history now that I've been using CW 10 for the last several weeks. I personally would not recommend SC++ to anybody now that I've "seen the light." Mac programming hasn't been this much fun since I started (THINK C 5 back then).
Apple Should Fix OS Memory Problems Now
While I agree with many of the comments in Iverson's "Viewpoint" (MacTech, Oct. 96), I question the statement that serious development on the Mac is impossible without protected memory. Annoying, yes, but there are many "serious" development efforts done using the Mac and PowerMac. While I support the new policy of selective upgrades, Apple appears to be using this new release plan to push the release of the new "cosmetic" features of OS 8 while dragging its feet on fixing the important memory problems, such as protected memory and fine grain preemptive threads. Iverson's tale of his grandmother's experiences serve to emphasize that it is not just the hackers and programming geeks that are affected by the OS instabilities.
I do have to take issue with the statement "If all I was interested in was protected memory and preemptive multitasking, I'd buy Windows NT ..." It sounds here like Iverson is willing to "excuse" Apple's foot dragging on OS memory management fixes on the basis of overall ease of use. Let's not convey to Apple or anyone else that there is any excuse for not fixing the memory problems in the OS. In the final analysis the most frustrating user interface is one that belongs to a computer that keeps crashing because applications can and do get into OS memory areas.