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Re: OpenOffice.org on OS X and GNUstep

From: Markus Hitter
Subject: Re: OpenOffice.org on OS X and GNUstep
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 06:47:26 +0100

Am 03.11.2005 um 21:35 schrieb Adrian Robert:

On Nov 3, 2005, at 3:03 PM, Lars Sonchocky-Helldorf wrote:

Am Donnerstag, 03.11.05 um 15:32 Uhr schrieb Adrian Robert:

On Nov 2, 2005, at 3:17 PM, Sean Fulton wrote:

On 2005-10-07 10:23:07 -0400, Adrian Robert <address@hidden> said:

If they're paying attention at all they won't even consider Carbon. I believe Apple has essentially told developers that Carbon is dead. If you want your app to run (well) on OS X on Intel, you have to develop with Cocoa. Porting something to Carbon now would be a waste of time.

That's good news if so, but if the story so far is any indication, Carbon will continue to maintain a very vigorous life of its own, regardless of what Apple wants. Microsoft, Adobe, and others won't rewrite their apps, and even Apple would have a lot of work to do, redoing Finder, iTunes, etc.. (I have NO idea why they essentally *rewrote* Workspace Manager in Carbon in the first place, but there you have it..)

They did not rewrite Workspace Manager in Carbon they killed it and ported stuff from the existing Mac OS 9 Finder to Carbon, partially to prove that Carbon was a viable way to do such things since the major companies like Adobe and Quark were not convinced and thought about dropping Mac support at all. Even the sheer existence of that thing called Carbon is a result of this. OPENSTEP was ported to PPC and somewhat ready (called Rhapsody) but the application suppliers did not jump on that train - basically to avoid having their apps rewritten in ObjC/OpenStep.

My guess is that the OO nature of the [*Step] API made it architecturally more difficult to share common code with the Windows versions.

FWIW, I can pretty much support this opinion. If you listen to Apple mailing lists, there are many developers out there coding primarily on Windows and wanting a similar API on Mac OS X as well. They obviously feel more comfortable with Carbon as Carbon shares roots with the Windows API. Some of them even report they have no influence on the Windows code they have to port to the Mac; the quality of the Mac API is counted by the number of lines they need to get it running.

Apple, with the advent of Tiger, marked all the QuickDraw functions (the classical Carbon graphics model) as deprecated. But if they ditch Carbon any time soon, they could easily loose half of all the applications available.

Their answer to the situation seems to be CoreFoundation. A low level framework with mostly Cocoa in mind, but accessible through a plain C API.

What does this mean for GNUstep? Well the hack-until-it-builds-and- debug-until-it-seems-to-work type of application development appears to be wide spread. A lot of developers firmly hold grip on their existing, huge code bases. They prefer low level hacks over revising or even rewriting logic. IMHO, GNUstep can't do much about this, but to continue making the development of well thought code design even easier and quicker. Some steps towards fewer diffs to Cocoa development surely wouldn't hurt.

Again, only $0.02,

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Dipl. Ing. Markus Hitter

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