TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Mar 01 ADC Direct Volume Number: 17 (2001)
Issue Number: 3
Column Tag: ADC Direct

Carbon: An Essential Element of Mac OS X

By Mark Turner

One of the things that makes Mac OS X unique is its integration of five separate application runtime environments: Carbon, Cocoa, Classic, Java, and BSD. Never before has an operating system offered developers so many options. This series of articles will give you the information you need to make an informed decision as to which of these environments is right for your application on Mac OS X. This month, I'm going to talk about Carbon and what it offers you as a Macintosh developer.

A Brief History of Carbon

Carbon represents the evolution of the Mac OS API, from a single-user, cooperatively scheduled system, to a modern multi-user system with memory protection and preemptive multitasking. Carbon sprang from Apple's desire to provide a gentle migration path for developers, while at the same time delivering all the performance, features, and reliability that Mac OS X has to offer. About 70 percent of the classic Mac OS APIs are fully supported, and Carbon adds many new APIs specifically to take advantage of Mac OS X.

ADC Programs and Mac OS X

As Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, announced at Macworld San Francisco in January, Mac OS X will be released on March 24, 2001. All ADC Members who receive a monthly mailing will be automatically sent Mac OS X and the Mac OS X Developer Tools on CD-ROM upon release.

If you are getting your hardware or software products ready for Mac OS X, be sure to take advantage of our numerous ADC Member Discounts for Cocoa and Carbon porting, Aqua integration, driver development services, and more. Mac customers will be looking for hardware and software products that are built for Mac OS X - make sure yours are ready! For the complete list of all ADC

Member Discounts, please see:

http://developer.apple.com/business/

For more information about ADC Programs, please see:

http://developer.apple.com/membership/

What Diamonds Are Made Of

Carbon offers a wealth of features to support and accelerate your Mac OS X development efforts. Whether you're new to the platform, or an old-timer, here are some of the reasons why you'll find Carbon a solid foundation for your software product:

  • Broad Language Support
    Apple provides interfaces, compilers, and tools for Carbon programming in C and C++, while other languages such as BASIC and FORTRAN are offered by other tool vendors.
  • Excellent Tools
    As we covered in last month's article, Tools for the Trade, you can choose from a range of excellent tools including Metrowerks CodeWarrior, Real Software's REALbasic, Absoft Pro Fortran, and Apple's own IDE combo, Project Builder and Interface Builder.
  • Choice of Frameworks
    The two most popular object-oriented application frameworks for Macintosh are now Carbonized: MacApp (part of Apple's suite of C++ frameworks) and Metrowerks PowerPlant (version 2.1 or later). Basing your application on one of these frameworks can greatly simplify your work.
  • Support for Mac OS 9
    Because the majority of Carbon APIs are also supported on Mac OS 9, Carbon provides a solution to the problem of how to move forward with Mac OS X while continuing to support those people who are going to wait a bit longer to upgrade. If backward compatibility is important for your product, you can create a single binary that will run on any version of the Mac OS, from Mac OS 8.1 through Mac OS X.

Getting Started

If you're starting from scratch, and you want to program in C or C++, you should really consider basing your Carbon application on a framework like PowerPlant or MacApp, which provide for rapid development and easy maintenance. These frameworks can also make it easier to port your code to or from the Microsoft Win32 API, if that's a consideration for you. REALbasic and Absoft Pro Fortran also offer cross-platform solutions.

For an excellent introduction to Carbon programming, grab a copy of Moon Travel Tutorial: Creating a Carbon Application. This little gem takes you through the entire process of building a pure Carbon app-one that doesn't rely on any legacy technologies. You'll also learn how to use Apple's Project Builder IDE, and see how easy it is to design your menus, controls, dialogs, and windows using Interface Builder. You can download it from:

http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macosx/Carbon/pdf/MoonTravel.pdf

The best place to begin exploring Carbon is the Carbon Developer home page, where you'll find links to the latest Carbon software development kits, documentation, tools and other resources:

http://developer.apple.com/macosx/carbon/

If you've already got a Macintosh application that you haven't yet Carbonized, it's time to get started! One of the great things about Carbon is that you can adopt it incrementally. The basic steps necessary to get an application up and running on Mac OS X typically take just a few days, but to completely Carbonize a large application you should expect to spend a month or more, especially if you need to support Mac OS 9 or prior versions.

The ease of Carbonizing an existing application is directly related to how closely you've followed Apple's recommended programming practices in the past, the degree to which you've adopted recent APIs such as Navigation Services and the Appearance Manager, and whether your code already compiles using the latest Universal Interfaces. If your code base is up-to-date, and you're not relying on undocumented data structures or unsupported features, adopting Carbon is relatively simple.

Before changing a line of code, however, you should run your application through Carbon Dater, Apple's Carbon compatibility tester. Available on the Carbon Developer web site, Carbon Dater is a helpful tool that examines your application and issues a report listing all the Mac OS functions you're using that need to be updated for Carbon compatibility. For example, if you're calling InvalRect, the report will explain that the function is not supported in Carbon, and recommend that you use InvalWindowRect instead.

With the Carbon Dater report as your guide, you can begin the Carbonization process by searching your sources for unsupported functions and replacing them with their Carbon equivalents. While I can't cover the entire Carbonization process in detail here, you'll find a complete description in the Carbon Porting Guide, which you can download from here:

http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macosx/Carbon/pdf/CarbonPortingGuide.pdf

Even if you're not porting, I recommend reading the Carbon Porting Guide for its overview of new Carbon technologies, optimization strategies, and instructions for building Carbon applications using CodeWarrior, Project Builder, and the Macintosh Programmer's Workshop (MPW). Technical Note 2003: Moving Your Code to Mac OS X, is another great resource. It highlights all the major considerations for developers transitioning from classic Mac OS to Carbon, and provides pointers to additional documentation on the web:

http://developer.apple.com/technotes/tn/tn2003.html

Once your application is Carbonized, you'll want to make sure it looks great on Mac OS X. This means putting the polish on your interface by giving it an Aqua tune-up. The Aqua Human Interface Guidelines contains all the specifications and recommendations for designing Aqua-compliant applications and icons:

http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macosx/SystemOverview/AquaGuidelines.pdf

Project Builder Tips & Tricks

  • To get a pop-up menu containing all the functions in your source files, select "Index Project" from the Project menu. This also enables definition searches from the batch find panel. And, the counterpart button (the third button from the right in the navigation bar) becomes a pop-up menu that shows files that are imported by or dependent on the current file.
  • The inspector panel, available from the Project menu, can be used to modify more than one file at a time. For instance, if you want to set the tab width for a number of files all at once, select them in the Groups and Files pane, bring up the Inspector, change the tab width, and hit return.
  • To set a breakpoint on a line of code, just click in the column to the left of that line of code. Clicking again enables and disables the breakpoint. To remove the breakpoint, drag it off the column. You can also move a breakpoint to a different line by dragging it.
  • To rename a file or group, option-click its name from the Groups and Files pane.

New Mac OS X Related Releases

The following software is available from the Download Software area of the ADC Member Site at: http://connect.apple.com/

  • CarbonLib 1.2.5b2 SDK
    The latest prerelease version of the CarbonLib 1.2.5 software development kit provides all the files needed to begin Carbon development.
    http://connect.apple.com/
  • OpenGL SDK 1.2
    This software development kit is for adding OpenGL support to your application. This implementation provides several features and performance enhancements.
    http://developer.apple.com/opengl/downloads.html

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: http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/

  • Q&A QA1000 - Gathering system information under Traditional Mac OS
  • SAMPLECODE - Graphics 3D: Carbon SetupGL
  • SAMPLECODE - Graphics 3D: OpenGL Movie
  • SAMPLECODE - Platforms and Tools: Project Builder: Cocoa_With_Carbon_or_C++
  • SAMPLECODE - Networking: OTStreamLogViewer
  • SAMPLECODE - Networking: OTClassicContext
  • SAMPLECODE - Devices and Hardware: Drivers: TradDriverLoaderLib

Mac OS X: An Overview for Developers
This 10-page PDF highlights the benefits of Mac OS X technologies to developers. http://developer.apple.com/macosx/

Fatbrain's Apple Developer Library
The following four titles have been added to the Apple Developer Library, the ADC's print-on-demand series of titles located at: http://www1.fatbrain.com /apple/

  • Carbon Porting Guide for Mac OS X
  • Inside WebObjects: WebObjects Overview
  • Inside Mac OS X: Kernel Environment
  • Inside Cocoa: Object-Oriented Programming and the Objective-C Language

Upcoming Seminars and Events

For more information on Apple developer events please visit the developer Events page at: http://developer.apple.com/events/

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.

http://www.bignerdranch.com/when.html

Developer Related Conferences

Game Developer Conference, San Jose, CA
March 20-24

For 15 years, the Game Developers Conference (GDC) has been the independent and unbiased forum where game development professionals from around the world gather to share ideas and build the skills essential to creating the next generation of interactive entertainment. Apple will be exhibiting at this year's conference.

Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2001
San Jose, CA
May 21-25

Register now for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference 2001, which takes place in San Jose, California from May 21-25. ADC Premier members receive a free pass to the conference, ADC Select members receive discounts for early registration, and ADC Student members can apply for a scholarship to attend for free! For schedules and other details check out:

http://www.apple.com/developer/wwdc2001/

If you missed last year's conference, a great way to get ready for WWDC 2001 is to purchase our five volume WWDC 2000 Conference Sessions on DVD-ROM. This set contains over 80 hours of detailed technical information from WWDC 2000 and is deeply discounted for ADC Members. Additional information on this product can be found at:

http://developer.apple.com/products/

MacHack Conference, Dearborn, MI
June 21-23

MacHack, in its sixteenth year, remains centered around cutting edge software development. MacHack's uniqueness derives from the informal feel and the LIVE coding that occurs around-the-clock during the conference.

http://www.machack.com/

An Investment in the Future

Carbon is more than just a porting tool. It's a full-featured API that provides a solid foundation for serious ongoing development. Apple is working hard to make sure Carbon has everything you need to write world-class applications, now and in the future.

Mac OS X, with its killer graphics and superior performance, presents an opportunity for you to revitalize or even reinvent your application. Your goal should be more than simply getting your code running on Carbon-it should be to create a compelling new product that takes advantage of everything Mac OS X has to offer.

When you're finished, be sure to let Apple know about your product, so we can list it on the "Built for Mac OS X" web page located in the Mac Products Guide (MPG):

http://submit.macsoftware.apple.com/usupdate/upindex.html

Until Next Time

With Mac OS X shipping on March 24, the demand for native applications will be huge. Carbon is one way to bring your Mac OS X product to market quickly. Future articles will cover Cocoa, Java, and other options for Mac OS X development.

Whatever path you choose, Apple's Worldwide Developer Relations team is here to help. For technical support, visit http://developer.apple.com/products/techsupport/. Better yet, sign yourself up on the Carbon Development discussion list (carbon-development@lists.apple.com). This list is monitored by Apple technology managers, engineers, and your fellow developers from around the world. It's a great place to get answers or share your knowledge, and it's free. To sign up, go to http://lists.apple.com and search for Carbon Development. See you there!

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.

http://developer.apple.com/mkt/macosxmigration.html

End-User Tech Support

We all know how expensive and time consuming it is to set-up and maintain a comprehensive customer tech support department. To support developers in their migration to Mac OS X, 877MacTank has designed an exclusive and affordable tech support staffing program for ADC Premier and Select members.

http://developer.apple.com/mkt/mactank.html

Did You Know?

Much of Apple's technical documentation is geared toward helping Carbon application developers. To see the scope of this documentation, check out the Carbon documentation suite on the Web at:

http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macosx/Carbon/carbon.html

Here you will find the "Inside Carbon" suite of API documentation for the nearly 100 Carbon-compatible managers, organized by topic. This documentation includes Carbon inclusion status, per-function release availability, and porting notes to help you modify your legacy Mac OS code for functions that aren't supported. Some documents also describe concepts and include sample code to help you revise your legacy Mac OS applications for Carbon and to create new Carbon applications. You'll also find at the Carbon documentation site a number of relevant programming guides, such as "Aqua Human Interface Guidelines," "Carbon Porting Guide," and "Moon Travel Tutorial: Creating a Carbon Application."

The Carbon documentation suite is also available on the Mac OS X Developer CD. When you install the Developer package, you can also access this documentation from the Developer Help Center using the Help Viewer application.

If you have legacy Macintosh applications that you wish to port, be sure to use the Carbon Dater tool. Carbon Dater produces an HTML report customized for your application. The report lists function calls and code usage that you may need to change, and offers the latest documentation to help you make those changes. Although the Carbon documentation site provides a link to Carbon Dater, the tool itself is not included on the Developer CD.

Carbon Tips & Tricks

The Apple Developer Connection web site titled Carbon "Tips & Tricks" is dedicated to sharing special techniques for debugging and building Carbon applications.

Visit us at:

http://developer.apple.com/macosx/carbon/tipsandtricks.html


Mark Turner is the Carbon Technology Manager in Apple Worldwide Developer Relations. When he's not Carbonizing code, he enjoys carbonizing hamburgers on the grill and spending time with his family. He can be reached at turner@apple.com.

 
AAPL
$102.50
Apple Inc.
+0.25
MSFT
$45.43
Microsoft Corpora
+0.55
GOOG
$571.60
Google Inc.
+2.40

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.1.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.505 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
Get Lyrical 3.8 - Auto-magically adds ly...
Get Lyrical auto-magically add lyrics to songs in iTunes. You can choose either a selection of tracks, or the current track. Or turn on "Active Tagging" to get lyrics for songs as you play them.... Read more
Viber 4.2.2 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device,... Read more
Cocktail 7.6 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LaunchBar 6.1 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
BBEdit 10.5.12 - Powerful text and HTML...
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

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This Week at 148Apps: August 25-29, 2014
Shiny Happy App Reviews   | Read more »
Qube Kingdom – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Qube Kingdom is a tower defense game from DeNA. You rally your troops – magicians, archers, knights, barbarians, and others – and fight against an evil menace looking to dominate your kingdom of tiny squares. Planning a war isn’t easy, so here are a... | Read more »
Qube Kingdom Review
Qube Kingdom Review By Nadia Oxford on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: KIND OF A SQUARE KINGDOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Qube Kingdom has cute visuals, but it’s a pretty basic tower defense game at heart.   | Read more »
Fire in the Hole Review
Fire in the Hole Review By Rob Thomas on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: WALK THE PLANKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Seafoam’s Fire in the Hole looks like a bright, 8-bit throwback, but there’s not enough booty to... | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwi...
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwide Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Dodo Master Review
Dodo Master Review By Jordan Minor on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEST EGGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Dodo Master is tough but fair, and that’s what makes it a joy to play.   | Read more »
Motorsport Manager Review
Motorsport Manager Review By Lee Hamlet on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MARVELOUS MANAGEMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite its depth and sense of tactical freedom, Motorsport Manager is one of the most... | Read more »
Motorsport Manager – Beginner Tips, Tric...
The world of Motorsport management can be an unforgiving and merciless one, so to help with some of the stress that comes with running a successful race team, here are a few hints and tips to leave your opponents in the dust. | Read more »
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Add...
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Adds Lots of New Stuff Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Baseball Battle Review
Baseball Battle Review By Jennifer Allen on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLE HITTINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Simple and cute, Baseball Battle is a fairly fun baseball game for those looking for something... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Labor Day Weekend MacBook Pro sale; 15-inch m...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
Labor Day Weekend iPad mini sale; $50 to $100...
Best Buy has the iPad mini with Retina Display (WiFi models) on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store for Labor Day Weekend. Choose free shipping or free local store pick up. Price is for... Read more
13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $899,...
Adorama has the new 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
It’s Official: Apple Issues Invitations To Se...
Apple has issued one of its characteristically cryptic press invitations for a special event to be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in hometown Cupertino on Sept. 9, 2014 at 10:00 am... Read more
Tablet Shipments To See First On-year Decline...
TrendForce analyst Caroline Chen notes that when the iPad launched in 2010, it was an instant hit and spurred a tablet PC revolution, with tablets so popular that that notebook PC sales stagnated and... Read more
SOBERLINK Releases Apple iOS Compatible Handh...
Cypress, California based SOBERLINK, Inc., creator of the first handheld Breathalyzer designed to improve recovery outcomes, continues to show prominence in the mobile alcohol monitoring space with... Read more
New 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale again for $999, s...
Best Buy has the new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999.99 on their online store. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pick up. Price is for online orders only, in-... Read more
Smartphone Outlook Remains Strong for 2014, U...
According to a new mobile phone forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, more than 1.25 billion smartphones will be shipped worldwide in 2014,... Read more
Save up to $60 with Apple refurbished iPod to...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
12-Inch MacBook Air Coming in 4Q14 or 2015 –...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that according to Taiwan-based upstream supply chain insiders, Apple plans to launch a thinner MacBook model either at year end 2014 or in 2015, and that... Read more

Jobs Board

*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* 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* 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* 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
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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.