[Openmcl-devel] More Intel: Rosetta & Universal Binaries

Raffael Cavallaro raffaelcavallaro at mac.com
Fri Jun 10 14:06:12 PDT 2005

On Jun 10, 2005, at Fri, Jun 10, 12:53 45 PM, Chris Curtis wrote:

> If you mean that Carbon itself is inherently more difficult, then  
> (a) I don't see any significant reason why that would be true, and  
> (b) as you pointed out, a lot of Cocoa is wrappers around Carbon  
> functionality which would need to be ported anyway. All of which is  
> moot, since everything has been running internally on both  
> platforms from the outset.

I think many people fail to see that these things cannot all be true:

1. Carbon does  not receive more limited Apple support/maintenance  
than Cocoa.

2. Both Cocoa and Carbon have been running as intel builds for 5 years.

3. Carbon apps will take longer to port.

Apple have stated publicly that 2 and 3 are true and I have no reason  
to doubt them. Therefore the only reason #3 is true - that Carbon  
apps will take longer to port - is that Apple have done less to make  
sure that Carbon apps will work with a simple recompile.

Now some might say that this due to the nature of the Carbon  
framework - that is, that it is lower level than Cocoa and therefore  
does not for example inherently take care of the endian issues that  
Cocoa does. Quite possibly so. But why hasn't Apple been maintaining  
a secret set of Carbon APIs that just do the right thing so that all  
that is needed is a recompile? My answer is that this would have  
entailed a good deal more work for Apple, and again, Apple does not  
have infinite manpower resources.

Five years ago when this began, I think Apple decided that Cocoa was  
going to be the "just click a checkbox and recompile for  ix86"  
framework and that Carbon was going to be the transitional framework.  
The fact that many developers clung to Carbon like grim death came as  
a surprise and disappointment for Apple. But it didn't cause them to  
start a parallel project that would allow Carbon apps to just work.  
Thus, Carbon apps require more effort to port. The fact that Carbon  
apps require more effort to port means ipso facto that Carbon is less  
supported than Cocoa.

Now Apple DTS will swear up and down that this is not the case  
because they don't want to alienate Carbon developers, especially big  
Carbon developers like Adobe.  But the very fact that moving a Carbon  
app to intel will take more effort means that Apple have put more  
work into making sure that Cocoa apps "just work" with a simple  
recompile. This greater effort on the part of Apple is the very  
definition of "more fully supported."



Raffael Cavallaro, Ph.D.
raffaelcavallaro at mac.com

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