TweetFollow Us on Twitter

OPENSTEP Porting to Rhapsody

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 7
Column Tag: Rhapsody

Porting to Rhapsody PPC from OPENSTEP

by Andrew Stone, Chief Executive Haquer, Stone Design Corp.

Want your OPENSTEP application to run on more than one platform? Apple is making it easy

In late 1995, when the future for NeXT Software, Inc. seemed rather bleak, the first beta version of OPENSTEP 4.0 shipped to a few faithful developers. Faced with doing Java development in incomplete environments, I decided to yet again recommit to OPENSTEP and port our best selling drawing and design program, Create, which contains the Stone Libraries upon which our other apps are based. In an effort to save others from the pitfalls I fell into, I produced a porting guide http://www.stone.com/porting/ documenting the likely gotchas of the process of porting from NEXTSTEP to OPENSTEP.

It took me one month to port this 100,000 line code base to a state of linking and limping. After 8 months of intense debugging and working back and forth between the NT and MACH teams at NeXT and the SOLARIS OPENSTEP team at SUN Microsystems, Create 4.0 rolled into beta, and was the first app to ship for OPENSTEP in the fall of 1996. Proving the claim of true cross platform compatibility, it ran on Windows 95 and Window NT, SOLARIS, and OPENSTEP MACH for Motorola, Intel and SPARC architectures. Since the development and porting tools were just being debugged for the first time and my OPENSTEP knowledge was still nascent, the process was lengthier than a port from NEXTSTEP to OPENSTEP would be today. We shipped, and were underwhelmed by the lack of response from a beleaguered set of OPENSTEP users.

Apple acquiring NeXT on December 20th, 1996 changed all of that, proving once again that reality is far stranger than fiction. The Wheel turned full circle and the renegade ex-Mac developers were back home!

'Tis true that perseverance furthers, because 2 weeks prior to the 1997 WWDC on Cinco de Mayo, I was invited to NeXT Software's headquarters in Redwood City to build Create for the PowerPC. Unlike any previous visit to NeXT where I was watched with hawk-eye and not allowed to go anywhere unescorted, I was given full reign of the second floor of engineering, replete with my own office and access to that legendary espresso maker.

Two binaries were needed for the show: one for Rhapsody running on Intel, the other for Rhapsody running on PowerPC. The app was also built to showcase Yellow Box running on Windows with the Windows look and feel. This build compiled without warning, the app launched and hung. It turns out that I had a vestigial line of code from NEXTSTEP 1.0 circa 1989:

[menu display];

This was a workaround to get the menu to redraw after dynamically adding menu items. However, in the brave new world of Rhapsody, one cannot be sure what a menu is. Normally a menu is a subclass of NSView, which contains a display method. Under Rhapsody, Apple's drop-down menu is not a subclass of NSView, and does not recognize the display method.

The engineers at Apple/NeXT, in the midst of going through a total reorganization, had ported the kernel and compiler tools to PPC within a matter of months. They had built a cross-compiler to build PPC binaries from Intel machines, and once again, Create compiled cleanly. The PPC kernel was only a few days old, still dripping with amniotic fluid, when the first commercial app just came up and ran. As key team member Matt Watson is oft heard saying, "It just works!" Shouts of joy from the team could be heard throughout the building.

True to the promise of Rhapsody, no coding changes were required for the PPC/Yellow Box port, a few NeXT Interface Builder files (nibs) had to be adjusted to be more Mac-like -- mainly Create's main menu had to have its menu items reordered and renamed slightly to feel like a Mac. To solve this problem, a new interface loading paradigm was introduced: if a nib file has a platform suffix, that nib file is loaded instead of the one without a suffix:

NEXTSTEP look as provided by _NEXTSTEP___<NIB_FILE_NAME>-nextstep.nib

Macintosh look as provided by _Macintosh:__<NIB_FILE_NAME>-macintosh.nib

Windows look as provided by _Windows NT/95_<NIB_FILE_NAME>-windows.nib

The Mac and Windows NT/95 menus use a separation marker that you can find on the Menu palette of IB when you set the "Interface Style" in Interface Builder's Preferences (General) to "OPENSTEP for Windows." The separation marker must be disabled in the IB inspector to give it the light gray look. Menu organization and menu item naming should follow the User Interface guidelines of the target platform.

Having taken the time to learn Java and the various development environments from Sun and Symantec over the last couple of years, I can unreservedly say that Rhapsody rocks the house and Java has a lot to implement before it offers the power, elegance and integration of Rhapsody. After this delightful porting experience, I believe that Rhapsody is Write Once -- Runs Right Everywhere.


Andrew Stone, an early HyperTalk developer and co-author of "Tricks of the HyperTalk Masters" emigrated to the NeXT community in 1989, going on to write such NeXT classics as TextArt, Create, DataPhile and 3Dreality.

 
AAPL
$119.00
Apple Inc.
+1.40
MSFT
$47.75
Microsoft Corpora
+0.28
GOOG
$540.37
Google Inc.
-0.71

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Skype 7.2.0.412 - Voice-over-internet ph...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
HoudahSpot 3.9.6 - Advanced file search...
HoudahSpot is a powerful file search tool built upon MacOS X Spotlight. Spotlight unleashed Create detailed queries to locate the exact file you need Narrow down searches. Zero in on files Save... Read more
RapidWeaver 6.0.3 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
iPhoto Library Manager 4.1.10 - Manage m...
iPhoto Library Manager lets you organize your photos into multiple iPhoto libraries. Separate your high school and college photos from your latest summer vacation pictures. Or keep some photo... Read more
iExplorer 3.5.1.9 - View and transfer al...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.0.3 - Discover and i...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on macupdate.... Read more
SteerMouse 4.2.2 - Powerful third-party...
SteerMouse is an advanced driver for USB and Bluetooth mice. It also supports Apple Mighty Mouse very well. SteerMouse can assign various functions to buttons that Apple's software does not allow,... Read more
iMazing 1.1 - Complete iOS device manage...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
PopChar X 7.0 - Floating window shows av...
PopChar X helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar X provides a frustration-free way to access any font's special characters. Expanded... Read more
OneNote 15.4 - Free digital notebook fro...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Raby (Games)
Raby 1.0.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.3 (iTunes) Description: ***WARNING - Raby runs on: iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Mini 3, iPad 4, iPad Air,... | Read more »
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath (Games)
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** PLEASE NOTE: Oddworld Stranger's Wrath requires at least an iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad Mini or iPod Touch 5th gen... | Read more »
Bounce On Back (Games)
Bounce On Back 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Dwelp (Games)
Dwelp 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: === 50% off for a limited time, to celebrate release === Dwelp is an elegant little puzzler with a brand new game mechanic. To complete a... | Read more »
Make Way for Fat Chicken, from the Maker...
Make Way for Fat Chicken, from the Makers of Scrap Squad Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Relevant Games has announced they will be releasing their reverse tower defense game, | Read more »
Tripnary Review
Tripnary Review By Jennifer Allen on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRAVEL BUCKET LISTiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Want to create a travel bucket list? Tripnary is a fun way to do exactly that... | Read more »
Ossian Studios’ RPG, The Shadow Sun, is...
Ossian Studios’ RPG, The Shadow Sun, is Now Available for $4.99 Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Mmmm, Tasty – Having the Angry Birds for...
The very first Angry Birds debuted on iOS back in 2009. When you sit back and tally up the number of Angry Birds games out there and the impact they’ve had on pop culture as a whole, you just need to ask yourself: “How would the birds taste... | Read more »
Rescue Quest Review
Rescue Quest Review By Jennifer Allen on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: PATH BASED MATCH-3Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Guide a wizard to safety by matching gems. Rescue Quest might not be an entirely original... | Read more »
You Can Play the Final Chapter of Lone W...
You Can Play the Final Chapter of Lone Wolf: Dawn Over V’taag Right Now Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

BEVL Releases Dock Tailored for iPhone 6 and...
Seattle based BEVL has released their first product: an iPhone dock that is divergent in build quality, rock-solid function and visual simplicity to complement the iPhone. BEVL is now accepting... Read more
Black Friday: $150 off 13-inch Retina MacBook...
 Best Buy has 13-inch 2.6GHz Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $150 off MSRP on their online store as part of their Black Friday sale. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available).... Read more
Black Friday: $300 off 15-inch Retina MacBook...
 B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $300 off MSRP as part of their Black Friday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina... Read more
Black Friday: Up to $140 off MacBook Airs, fr...
 B&H Photo has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $140 off MSRP as part of their Black Friday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 128GB MacBook Air: $799 $100... Read more
Black Friday: 13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on s...
 Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $899.99 on their online store as part of their Black Friday sale. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their... Read more
2014 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $...
 B&H Photo has the new 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new model. Adorama... Read more
Early Black Friday pricing on 27-inch 5K iMac...
 B&H Photo continues to offer Black Friday sale prices on the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac, in stock today and on sale for $2299 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP... Read more
Early Black Friday sale prices on iPad Air 2,...
 MacMall is discounting iPad Air 2s by up to $75 off MSRP as part of their Black Friday sale. Shipping is free: - 16GB iPad Air WiFi: $459 $40 off - 64GB iPad Air WiFi: $559 $40 off - 128GB iPad Air... Read more
Early Black Friday MacBook Air sale prices, $...
 MacMall has posted early Black Friday MacBook Air sale prices. Save $101 on all models for a limited time: - 11″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $798 - 11″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $998 - 13″ 1.4GHz/... Read more
Why iPhone 6 Tablet/Laptop Cannibalization Is...
247wallst.com blogger Douglas A. McIntyre noted last week that according to research posted on the Applovin blog site the iPhone 6 is outselling the iPhone 6 Plus by a wide margin . Hardly a surprise... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, 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* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.