Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced Apple’s new
developer tools during his Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address. Xcode combines a Unix-based development environment, a breakthrough — and simplified — user interface, and performance technologies including Fix and Continue, Zero Link and Distributed Build.
Xcode delivers performance improvements that are five times faster than Apple’s previous generation developer tools, delivering significantly faster turn around times for developers creating applications for Mac OS X, Jobs said. With the Fix and Continue feature, developers can make live code changes to a running application and see their effect immediately without the need to restart the application.
Zero Link removes the linking stage for all development builds. Project build times are minimized through a Rendezvous-enabled Distributed Build feature allowing developers to compile applications using multiple systems. This feature works with Apple Xserves, as well, opening the possibility that Mac developers may add the rack-mounted Mac OS X Server-equipped boxes to their environments as “build farms” to help speed development.
Xcode’s interface presents all the information and tools developers need in a streamlined interface similar to the successful iTunes and iPhoto consumer applications. Smart Groups, similar to Playlists in iTunes, provide a new way to organize projects; Fast Find delivers a consistent search interface with live indexing that refines searches as they are entered.
Developers can use AppleScript and Apple’s graphical development tools to create native Mac OS X applications that take advantage of Apple’s Cocoa programming environment and Aqua user interface. Xcode will be available in English and Japanese worldwide on September 15.