Though he’s skeptical of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ claims that 600 applications have already been written for Mac OS X, BusinessWeek Online columnist Charles Haddad is “increasingly hopeful” about Mac OS X.
Why? Due to its reception at the recent Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. That reception was good — and Apple developers aren’t always easy to please, Haddad says
in a new column.
“What has excited Mac developers isn’t so much OS X’s stunning graphical interface but the ease with which they can write new programs in Cocoa, OS X’s native application environment,” he said. “Apple, stealing a page from Microsoft, has written a set of easy-to-use software-development tools for Cocoa that turn the language into something like a set of Legos. Programs can be snapped together in minutes.”
Cocoa should make Mac programming a lot easier for both amateurs and professionals, he opines. The result could be “hundreds of new developers and developer wannabes,” resulting in a welcome influx of new blood.
Counting support for Java 2 in Mac OS X, the next generation operating system has three principal application environments for developers: Carbon, Cocoa, and Java.
Carbon is an adaptation of the Mac OS 9 application programming interfaces (APIs) and libraries for Mac OS X. According to Apple, Carbon keeps 70 percent of the functions in current Mac OS APIs and dumps the 30 percent that are too outdated to be part of a modern operating system. To be more precise, Carbon keeps about 70 percent of the total functions and 95 percent of the functions used by typical applications. Carbon also includes additional APIs and services specifically developed for Mac OS X.
Programs written using the Carbon APIs can also be deployed on Mac OS 8 and 9, though they won’t have the nifty new features of Mac OS X: protected memory, multithreading, preemptive multitasking, etc.
Cocoa is a collection of advanced, object-oriented APIs for developing applications written in Java and Objective-C. Apple says that Cocoa is the most advanced object-oriented technology on the market today. It’s just like WebObjects. You can write apps 10 times faster in Cocoa so if you’re writing a new app, Apple recommends you go this route.