Developers Need Further Tweaking
of Code"> Theo Gray, the co-founder of Wolfram Research Inc., demonstrated how changing a check box in Xcode helped his company move their product, Mathematica 5, onto an Intel-based Mac. Developers using Xcode and Carbon, another Mac OS X set of APIs but derived from previous versions of the Mac OS, would need further tweaking of code, Jobs said, before a recompile.Most major developers, including Macromedia, Adobe and Microsoft, use Carbon because of its reuse of code from pre-Mac OS X software.However, Jobs warned, those who work with Carbon in Freescale Semiconductor Inc.s Metrowerks divisions Codewarrior development environment would have to move their workflow to Xcode, and then tweak and recompile code. Microsofts Office suite for Mac OS X is built with Codewarrior. Following the address, Theirry Kauffmann, the president of Frances Prokov Editions, which makes medical software, said he was "very surprised" at Apples plan to switch to Intel chips. "It could be good news," he said, in that it "could lead to more performance" from Macs. Apples switch to Intel reveals Steve Jobs motives. Click here to read more insight from guest columnist Peter N. Glaskowsky. He was sanguine about the switch because his company had switched from developing in Carbon to Cocoa in 1999, partially based, he said, on Jobs announcement at the time that Cocoa would offer cross-platform capabilities. That didnt pan out, but Kauffmann said the move now gives his company a leg up and a full year to test its applications. Gregory Dow, a Mac Framework Architect at San Francisco-based Macromedia Inc., said that the company largely uses Codewarrior and Carbon for its extensive suite of graphics applications. "The timing works out well for Macromedia, because we have the next cycle of product shipping in the fall. For this cycle, we wont change anything," he said. This makes a "good breaking point," allowing the company to concentrate on an Intel-compatible version in its next product cycle. Still there are a lot of unknowns. Rosenthal, for one, worries about what graphics processors Apple will choose for its different machines. A decision to go with Intels on-board graphics processors in some systems and discrete graphics cards in others could lead to increased driver and support concerns, he said. Apple will attempt to lend a hand to its developers, however. Jobs unveiled "developer transition kits," composed of a Pentium 4-based Power Mac, Mac OS X 10.4.1 for Intel and Xcode 2.1. The kits, which cost $999, will be available in two weeks, Jobs said, and must be returned to Apple in 2006. It was on computers like those, running Mac OS X for Intel, that Jobs ran his presentation Monday. Editors Note: David Morgenstern provided additional reporting for this story. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on Apple in the enterprise.