TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Feb 01 ADC Direct Volume Number: 17 (2001)
Issue Number: 2
Column Tag: ADC Direct

Tools for the Trade

By Godfrey DiGiorgi

The focus of this article is Apple's development tools. Apple has been working on a Mac OS X tool suite to address all facets of Mac OS X development needs and provide valuable options for all developers.

Recalling from the first article in this series, Mac OS X is all about choices: what to develop, what to take advantage of in this new state of the art operating system. From its UNIX - based kernel to its advanced object - oriented application frameworks, Mac OS X provides a wide variety of opportunities for new products, each of which presents a need for development tools support.

The Apple Developer Connection (ADC) ensures the success of Macintosh developers by supporting them at Apple events. During Macworld San Francisco, ADC members displayed software and hardware products to customers and received discounts on booth space and CPUs. ADC has similar programs in place for Macworld Tokyo, Macworld Paris, and many other shows. ADC Members in Europe were recently treated to a series of in-depth developer briefings. These briefings, designed for developers who want to make the move to Mac OS X by carbonizing their applications and plug-ins, covered topics such as Aqua, Carbon, Cocoa, Core OS, and Java. Be sure to mark your calendar for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference 2001, which takes place in San Jose, California from May 21-25. Details and preliminary schedules will be available soon.

The first developer tool to highlight is Mac OS X reference documentation. In particular, developers wishing to understand and take full advantage of Mac OS X's capabilities should start by reading "Inside Mac OS X: System Overview", available from the Apple Developer Connection web site in the Mac OS X Documentation section, System Overview category: macosx/macosx.html

This book will take you through the entire operating system from the kernel OpenSource layer (Darwin) to the Aqua User Experience and give you the system overview necessary to make development choices.

Let's say you've already chosen your development area; you have your product in mind; you know what you want it to do; you have chosen your development API set from the choices available in Carbon, Cocoa, Java, BSD or Kernel centric realms. In front of you is the next set of choices: What development tools will you use to achieve your development goals most effectively?

Both Apple Computer and third-party tool vendors have a long history of delivering Mac OS development tools which span the gamut: from high - level, easy to use, and fast to learn tools to commercially oriented, high - power tool suites that approach every kind of operating system component and application development. No less is true for Mac OS X. Apple has been working closely with third-party IDE and other tool vendors to bring their tools to Mac OS X, including Metrowerks' CodeWarrior Pro and Real Software's REALbasic along with many others. For a more detailed listing of available tools and URL links to their vendors, see the Development Tools page on the Apple Developer Connection web site:

Let's now take a brief look at Apple's development tools for Mac OS X.

Project Builder

Project Builder is Apple's integrated development environment (IDE) for Mac OS X. It is designed to fully support all of the major platform initiatives of Mac OS X, such as the Carbon and Cocoa frameworks, Java, I/O Kit and the application bundle mechanisms. It provides templates for quick creation of new projects; a few clicks of the mouse will create a starter project for an I/O Kit driver, a standard UNIX type tool, or a Cocoa or Carbon application. Everything that can be written for Mac OS X can be created with Project Builder including applications, tools, frameworks, libraries, plug-in bundles, down to kernel extensions and device drivers.

Project Builder provides project editing, search and navigation facilities, file editing, build system and target setup, and high - level debugging facilities. Language implementations allow development using C, C++, Objective-C and Java. CVS source code control system access is integrated into the user interface.

All of these features are built on top of industry standard tool components provided by Mac OS X, allowing for great robustness and compatibility with source code developed on many platforms. C, C++ and Objective-C compilers are the gcc compiler suite; Java is compiled with either javac from Sun's JDK or with the jikes compiler from IBM. The build system is based upon jam, a high performance 'make' with reduced maintenance requirements. Project Builder's debugger uses gdb providing both high level debug panes and direct access to gdb commands for any desired runtime inspection.

The design centers of Project Builder provide robustness and flexibility along with multi-user, multi-project capabilities. In order to keep project management and debugging clear and consistent, Project Builder uses a paned-window approach in its UI with growable/collapsible areas that allow maximized effectiveness when working in a specific area of its functionality. It can open separate editing windows when multiple files need to be available at the same time. Project Builder is also able to accommodate pre-existing and legacy projects, with support for makefile driven builds as well as CodeWarrior project imports.

Interface Builder

Interface Builder is Apple's user interface design tool for applications. Developers using its graphical editing environment can manage virtually every aspect of creating a well designed user interface that adheres to the Aqua user interface guidelines. It's great for prototyping and fast development changes.

Interface Builder understands all Carbon and Cocoa UI elements and produces 'nib' files that provide a modern way to manage and develop the static resources used by applications. Recent enhancements to Interface Builder include layout tools that use guides and distance measurement tailored for Aqua, a high degree of integration with Project Builder, and improvements in performance, stability, and "Undo" capability.

Interface Builder provides the easiest way to use advanced Carbon Events in the Carbon application development process and it is a highly tuned part of the Cocoa application development process through implementation of the Cocoa concepts of outlets and actions. By leveraging the AppKit and Foundation frameworks of Cocoa, Interface Builder provides a highly efficient rapid application development environment.

Interface Builder works with Project Builder to make application design and implementation more productive and to create highly reliable, good looking applications. Expect much more to come as Apple evolves these applications to take advantage of upcoming Mac OS X features.

Performance Tools

Mac OS X is a new operating system with new libraries and semantics that can differ in many ways from previous incarnations of Mac OS. There are different costs to the use of these APIs, often different algorithms are required to get the most out of your implementation. Apple has developed several performance analysis tools that are available to you now. Inspection capabilities that we have developed fall into roughly three categories:

  • System State: memory, resource usage, system calls
  • Execution Patterns: profiling and tracing
  • Memory usage: tracing allocations and leaks

One group of these tools leverages the command line environment provided by BSD services and allows for minimally invasive ways to gather data about a running application. These include but are not limited to:

top - determine what tasks are executing and statistics

fs_usage, sc_usage - observe system call usage

At a higher level, there is Sampler for 'on the fly' profiling. This tool stops the program at intervals to see what's running, summarizes which functions and call traces were seen, and provides a statistical look at runtime operation. It requires no recompilation or source code changes to do its job. It's best for exploring an application's execution in large context; the command-line version, 'sample', is great for seeing why an application is hanging.

Discounts on Mac OS X Migration

Bring Your Apps to Mac OS X

With Mac OS X Public Beta here, and the commercial release just over the horizon, Mac developers everywhere have a huge need for Carbon and Cocoa application porting, Aqua user interface implementation, and driver development services. Several high-quality software engineering firms, in association with the Apple Developer Connection, are offering these services at very attractive discounts to all ADC Select and Premier members.

A last tool to highlight here is MallocDebug. MallocDebug is intended to do memory heap analysis, answering difficult questions like:

  • How much heap memory is a program using?
  • Where has a buffer been overrun or underrun?
  • Which functions request large chunks of memory?
  • Am I leaking memory?

MallocDebug can tell you how much memory is used at specific times and identify the call stack leading to each allocation. It can also see all Carbon, Core Foundation and Objective-C memory allocations.

Use of these analysis tools can contribute to substantial improvements in application performance and reliability.

Delivery and Documentation ... where to go for more!

All of Apple's Mac OS X development tools are distributed on a companion CD to Mac OS X called the "Mac OS X Developer Tools CD". This jam-packed CD contains packages that install the applications, reference documentation and sample code into a Mac OS X configured system.

Documentation for tools and APIs is available from within running applications using the Mac OS X help system's "Developer Center" and in the form of HTML pages viewable with any browser. On a Mac OS X Public Beta system with the Developer Tools CD installed, see the file:


The first version of the Mac OS X Developer Tools CD was delivered in conjunction with Mac OS X Public Beta, mailed directly to all Premier, Select, and Student members of the Apple Developer Connection. A downloadable version was made available to all ADC Online program members. Future plans include similar distribution, and web-based component and documentation updates. Stay tuned for future announcements on these plans!

Summing up

Choosing your development tools is important. You should weigh the strengths of all the development tool options to achieve your implementation goals. Apple's tool suite provides a rich set of capabilities for Mac OS X development allowing you to access every feature of this new operating system and providing you with the broadest development flexibility.

Godfrey DiGiorgi is Technology Manager for Development Tools and Cocoa in Apple Worldwide Developer Relations. He's in his 8th year at Apple, having spent six years in Developer Technical Support as an engineer and manager. Godfrey has been involved with software development on Mac OS since 1984, working on Radar Imaging applications while at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and later in the chemical research industry as lead architect/engineer for a cross-platform application framework implemented on Mac OS. He also spent two years at Sun Microsystems as part of the team that developed the specification for the Java Card language platform.

Did You Know?

Finding API Information from Project Builder

Through integration with the Mac OS X help system, Project Builder makes it easy to look up reference documentation on functions, methods, structures, and other API symbols directly from your code. This feature is easy to set up and use.

  1. Index your project. Choose Index Project from the Project menu. Indexing caches the definitions of all project symbols, including those of imported frameworks and libraries. These symbols are also captured in the reference documentation as special tags embedded in the HTML.
  2. Search for definitions. Choose Show Batch Find from the Find menu (or click the Find tab) and, in the Batch Find pane, choose Definitions from the pop-up menu. Then type the name (full or partial) of an API symbol in the Find field and click the Find button. To look up a symbol directly from your code, select the symbol in your code and press Command-Shift-E (Find > Find Selection).
  3. Click the book icon. When you search for a symbol definition, Project Builder returns a list of all symbols that match what you entered. If documentation on the symbol is available, it displays a book icon next to the symbol. Click the icon to display the documentation in Help Viewer.

The Developer Help Center section of Help Viewer includes a feature allowing you to copy declarations and other code "snippets" into your project. Click the folder icon next to the declaration or example to copy it to the Clipboard. Then, in Project Builder, move the insertion point to the desired place in your code and paste the declaration or code example from the Clipboard.

New Mac OS X Related Releases

The following software is available from the Download Software area of the ADC Member Site at:

Latest CarbonLib SDK

The CarbonLib SDK provides all the files needed to begin Carbon development.

Apple MacApp 15d3

Apple MacApp 15d3 is an application framework for creating user-friendly, object-oriented applications for the Mac OS. This release includes support for building with Project Builder, a new framework of helper classes for Mac OS X's Core Foundation, and updates to a variety of Toolbox suites in ACS.

Developer Documentation

The following new and updated documentation is available to help you on your way to successful Mac OS X application and peripheral development at:

  • Moon Travel Tutorial (Building a Simple Carbon Application)
  • Providing User Assistance With Apple Help
  • Handling Unicode Text Editing With Multilingual Text Engine
  • Aqua Human Interface Guidelines
  • Navigation Services for Carbon API Reference
  • Managing Fonts With the Font Manager
  • Programming With Language Analysis Manager
  • Using Apple Japanese Analysis Engine and Access Method
  • Programming With Dictionary Manager
  • Rendering Library Preliminary Reference
  • Carbon Specification
  • Carbon Event Manager Preliminary API Reference
  • Carbon Porting Guide
  • Drag Manager Reference
  • AGL Reference
  • Games Sprockets Reference
  • Power Manager Reference
  • Matching Fonts With Font Sync
  • Window Manager Reference
  • Dialog Manager Reference
  • Menu Manager Reference
  • File Manager Reference
  • Transferring Data With the URL Access Manager
  • Implementing Security Features Using the Keychain Manager
  • TN2009 - The Browser Control (aka That ListView Thing)
  • TN2006 - MP-Safe Routines
  • TN1128 - Understanding Open Transport Memory Management
  • Q&A JAVA28 - Creating JNI Libraries With Project BuilderMac
  • Q&A JAVA29 - Creating Mac OS X Applications From Java JAR Files
  • SAMPLECODE - Networking: OTMP
  • SAMPLECODE - Networking: DumpNetworkSetup
  • SAMPLECODE - Overview: MoreIsBetter
  • SAMPLECODE - Processes: CallMachOFramework

Carbon Tips & Tricks

The Apple Developer Connection web site now includes a Carbon "Tips & Tricks" web page dedicated to sharing special techniques for debugging and building Carbon applications.

Upcoming Seminars and Events

For more information on Apple developer events please visit the developer Events page at:

Training and Seminars

Programming with Cocoa

Taught by Aaron Hillegass at the Big Nerd Ranch, Ashville, NC and Atlanta, GA. Five-day classes are taught on developing web-based and Mac OS X applications

Developer Related Conferences

* MACWORLD Expo Tokyo 2001 February 22-24 Macworld conference and Expo Tokyo provides you with the ideal venue to introduce your company and products to over 200,000 eager attendees. Special exhibitor packages and hardware discounts for ADC Premier and Select members are available.

* Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2001, San Jose, California May 21-25 WWDC 2001, the definitive event for Mac software and hardware developers, is coming to the San Jose Convention Center a week later than usual this May. Mark your calendar now and read ADC Direct for updates.


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Planet Diver guide - How to survive long...
Planet Diver is an endless arcade game about diving through planets while dodging lava, killing bats, and collecting Starstuff. Here are some tips to help you go the distance. [Read more] | Read more »
KORG iDS-10 (Music)
KORG iDS-10 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Music Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: ** Debut Discount: 50% OFF! Sale Price US$9.99 (Regular price US$19.99). Other all Korg apps are also 50% OFF until Dec 28! **... | Read more »
World of Tanks Generals guide - Tips and...
World of Tanks Generals is a brand new card game by the developer behind the World of Tanks shooter franchise. It plays like a cross between chess and your typical card game. You have to keep in consideration where you place your tanks on the board... | Read more »
TruckSimulation 16 guide: How to succeed...
Remember those strangely enjoyable truck missions in Grand Theft Auto V whereit was a disturbing amount of fun to deliver cargo? TruckSimulation 16 is reminiscent of that, and has you play the role of a truck driver who has to deliver various... | Read more »
The best GIF making apps
Animated GIFs have exploded in popularity recently which is likely thanks to a combination of Tumblr, our shorter attention spans, and the simple fact they’re a lot of fun. [Read more] | Read more »
The best remote desktop apps for iOS
We've been sifting through the App Store to find the best ways to do computer tasks on a tablet. That gave us a thought - what if we could just do computer tasks from our tablets? Here's a list of the best remote desktop apps to help you use your... | Read more »
Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade guide - How...
Warhammer 40,000: Freebladejust launched in the App Store and it lets you live your childhood dream of blowing up and slashing a bunch of enemies as a massive, hulking Space Marine. It's not easy being a Space Marine though - and particularly if... | Read more »
Gopogo guide - How to bounce like the be...
Nitrome just launched a new game and, as to be expected, it's a lot of addictive fun. It's called Gopogo, and it challenges you to hoparound a bunch of platforms, avoiding enemies and picking up shiny stuff. It's not easy though - just like the... | Read more »
Sago Mini Superhero (Education)
Sago Mini Superhero 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: KAPOW! Jack the rabbit bursts into the sky as the Sago Mini Superhero! Fly with Jack as he lifts impossible weights,... | Read more »
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes guide - How...
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is all about collecting heroes, powering them up, and using them together to defeat your foes. It's pretty straightforward stuff for the most part, but increasing your characters' stats can be a bit confusing because it... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

World’s First USB-C Adapter For MacBook Suppo...
Innergie, a brand of Delta Electronics, has announced its official release of the world’s first USB-C adapter supporting four DC output voltages, the PowerGear USB-C 45. This true Type C adapter... Read more
13-inch and 11-inch MacBook Airs on sale for...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $819 $90 off... Read more
13-inch MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 o...
Take up to $150 off MSRP on the price of a new 13″ MacBook Pro at B&H Photo today as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only. These prices are currently the... Read more
13-inch 128GB MacBook Air now on sale for $79...
Best Buy has just lowered their price on the 2015 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air to $799.99 on their online store for Cyber Monday. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale... Read more
Best Buy lowers 13-inch MacBook Pro prices, n...
Best Buy has lowered prices on select 13″ MacBook Pros this afternoon. Now save up to $200 off MSRP for Cyber Monday on the following models. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Cyber Monday: Apple MacBooks on sale for up t...
Apple resellers have MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, and MacBooks on sale for up to $250 off MSRP for Cyber Monday 2015. The following is a roundup of the lowest prices available for new models from any... Read more
Cyber Monday: Apple Watch on sale for up to $...
B&H Photo has the Apple Watch on sale for Cyber Monday for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - Apple Watch Sport: $50 off - Apple Watch: $50-$100 off B... Read more
Cyber Monday: 15% off Apple products, and sto...
Use code CYBER15 on Cyber Monday only to take 15% on Apple products at Target, and store-wide. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-... Read more
iPad Air 2 And iPad mini Among Top Five Black...
Adobe has released its 2015 online shopping data for Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day. The five best selling electronic products on Black Friday were Samsung 4K TVs, Apple iPad Air 2, Microsoft Xbox... Read more
All-in-one PC Shipments Projected To Drop Ove...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that all-in-one (AIO) PC shipments may drop a double-digit percentage on-year in 2015 due to weaker-than-expected demand, although second-largest AIO make... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* New Products Tester Needed - Apple (...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, continues Read more
Software Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Apple (U...
# Software Engineer, Apple Watch Job Number: 33362459 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Jul. 28, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Join the Read more
SW Engineer - *Apple* Music - Apple (United...
# SW Engineer - Apple Music Job Number: 40899104 San Francisco, Califo ia, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Join the Android Read more
Sr Software Engineer *Apple* Pay - Apple (U...
# Sr Software Engineer Apple Pay Job Number: 44003019 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 13, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Apple Read more
*Apple* Site Security Manager - Apple (Unite...
# Apple Site Security Manager Job Number: 42975010 Culver City, Califo ia, United States Posted: Oct. 2, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Apple Site Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.