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FontSight - works great with "native" Mac OS X apps
--Andrew
May 28, 2003

I've been getting tons of email saying "FontSight is great - but it doesn't work with InDesign or AncientCarbonProgram X Y or Z".

Folks, I've been slaving away for the last 15 years to bring the object technology of NeXT (now called Cocoa) to the Macintosh Masses. In 1997, Gil Amelio told all the legacy Mac developers this was the future, and they should begin an effort to rewrite their code in Cocoa (then called Rhapsody).

They decided to ignore him and instead demanded a way for the new Mac OS X to run the old macos 9 code.

Fine, now you have old code - with all of its old bugs - running on a brand new spanking OS. These carbon apps are simply quick ports and DO NOT take advantage of all that is cool in Mac OS X and Cocoa like Create and other Stone Studio apps do.
All of Apple's new apps - iPhoto, KeyNote, Mail, TextEdit, etc. - use Cocoa - and thus FontSight works perfectly with them.
If you want to pretend there is no difference between a ported legacy carbon app and a native Cocoa app - just launch them and see how long it takes! ;-)
We cannot be apologists for old carbon apps, so please don't expect Stone Design to come up with ways to make those entrenched carbon apps work more gracefully on OS X.


Clever
Dale (dmgillard@myrealbox.com) May 29, 2003 03:50:40 AM

Hi... Fontsight's quite clever. Cocoa doesn't directly support finding the QuickDraw name of a font. Can I assume you've used Carbon to get the QuickDraw name of each font and then put this in a Cocoa-based menu?
whoa...
LKM (stone@lkmc.ch) May 29, 2003 07:23:03 AM

You know, it's okay if you choose to only support Cocoa apps, but spreading FUD like that won't help you and won't help Cocoa.


>If you want to pretend there is no difference between a
>ported legacy carbon app and a native Cocoa app - just
>launch them and see how long it takes!

Okay, I'll quickly launch iPhoto (Cocoa) and iTunes (Carbon)... Gosh, you're right! Finally I know that Carbon is far superior to Cocoa!
That's not FUD, that's experience.
A Random Cocoa programmer (sorry@anonymous.com) May 29, 2003 01:08:37 PM

The simple truth is, Carbon is a legacy-support framework. Look how bloody hard it was just to make it deal with Services!

Remember, Mr. Stone doesn't work for Apple, so he's under no obligation to pretend that Carbon is more than it is.
That's not FUD, that's experience.
A Random Cocoa programmer (sorry@anonymous.com) May 29, 2003 01:19:08 PM

The simple truth is, Carbon is a legacy-support framework. Look how bloody hard it was just to make it deal with Services!

Remember, Mr. Stone doesn't work for Apple, so he's under no obligation to pretend that Carbon is more than it is.
of couse
LKM (stone@lkmc.ch) May 30, 2003 12:28:38 AM

Of course he has no obligation, but by spreading lies, he is in fact hurting his reputation.

Yes, Cocoa is great. No, Carbon aren't more legacy apps than Cocoa apps are - it's just that Cocoa apps are legacy apps from NeXT, not from older Mac systems. Face it, Cocoa is just legacy support for old NeXTies.

Anyway, I don't want to argue about which framework is better. I'm not really qualified to do so. It's obvious that both have their advantages (and, looking at the apps that are available, I'd say that speed is definitely not one of the advantages of Cocoa). If Andrew wants to program only for Cocoa, he should do so. And since he was alwyas clear about that fact that he won't support Carbon, nobody has any right to complain if this app doesn't work with Carbon programs. But Andrew is not doing himself a favour by writing articles like this one. Most Mac users are not that dumb.
Excuse me?
A Random Cocoa programmer (sorry@anonymous.com) May 30, 2003 12:41:31 AM

OK, if that's what you want to believe, then be my guest.

Tell you what, though: consider the fact that Create was written by ONE developer. Then consider how many people worked on Illustrator, GoLive, and all the other apps that Create can replace.

So, which is the legacy framework? The one that makes it possible to throw good money after bad forever, or the one that makes it possible for a small group (or even a single developer) to produce an app like Create or OmniGraffle?

CARBON SUCKS
Mark Davis (davis.ml@mac.com) May 30, 2003 05:38:24 AM

Listen up people, what are the big mac-only shareware companies out there that we all love?

OmniGroup
Stone
Panic
Unsanity
Freshly Squeezed Software

All of the companies use Cocoa, not carbon!
okay...
LKM (stone@lkmc.ch) May 30, 2003 08:20:01 AM

Mark: Panic uses Carbon for its flagship app, Audion. Unsanity uses Carbon, too. There are more mac-only shareware companies using Carbon than there are using Cocoa. Anyway, that's not the point.

Random Cocoa programmer: Yes, development in Cocoa is faster in most cases. And that, too, is not the point.

Both frameworks have their uses, both frameworks are here to stay, and both frameworks are legacy frameworks. If Andrew doesn't want to support Carbon, fine. However, spreading lies about Carbon is *not* fine.
It still sucks...
Mark Davis (davis.ml@mac.com) May 30, 2003 09:18:24 AM

But the fact is that the most popular applications from Panic are Transmit, CandyBar, Desktastic, Pixadex. Their OLD application Audion still looks like it was made for macos9 so it is slowly losing it's users.

Companies that rewrite their applications as Cocoa applications usually do much better than when the applications were carbon. I think the reason OmniGroup and Stone are so well known is because they make true quality products that take advantage of MacOSX and aren't just some quick macos9 ports.
What do you mean "spreading lies"?
A Random Cocoa programmer (sorry@anonymous.com) May 30, 2003 01:07:59 PM

I'm going to call bullshit on you for this. If you want to claim that Stone is lying, you have to be specific. I haven't seen anything from him on the subject of Carbon that was incorrect.

Sure, Carbon is here to stay, just like the UNIX sockets API and many other *legacy* libraries in Mac OS X. That doesn't change the fact that carbonizing an app falls short of making it native on OS X.

How many Carbon apps can you name that publish any application services? (Some of them can *use* app services now, but I don't know of any that go beyond that. That's because it's really hard to do in Carbon.)
And BTW, Carbon does not suck.
A Random Cocoa programmer (sorry@anonymous.com) May 30, 2003 01:12:31 PM

FWIW, to give credit where credit is due, the Carbon library is a pretty amazing achievement. Writing new Carbon *apps* is a bad idea; but the library itself, separating the worst of the Mac ToolBox API from the salvageable parts was a tremendous effort by Apple to support their existing developers.

The right thing to do if you've got a Mac OS 9 app, is to port it to X using Carbon, and from that point on write any new parts in Cocoa. Check out the Cocoa in Carbon examples on Apple's developer site.
Yeah but...
Mark Davis (davis.ml@mac.com) May 31, 2003 07:54:50 AM

What really pisses me off is REALbasic, it makes the crapiest and buggiest applications for Mac OS X and then they charge tons of money for it.

The REALbasic users should look at Applescript Studio or Objective-C instead of making all their new applications in this shitty tool.
okay...
LKM (stone@lkmc.ch) May 31, 2003 03:49:22 PM

here are the lies:

>Fine, now you have old code - with all of its old bugs

Wrong. He implies that you can't fix bugs in Carbon, that you have to keep all the bugs. That's simply not true. In fact, it's quite likely that Carbon apps have less bugs than Cocoa apps and perform better since they had more time to mature. Just as the Carbon framework had more time to mature. Just look at how much worse Apple's Cocoa apps are compared to their Carbon apps. Compare iMovie 2 (Carbon) to iMovie 3 (Cocoa). Go ahead, do it.


> These carbon apps are simply quick ports

Not only is that a lie, it's also insulting to all Carbon programmers.


>and DO NOT take advantage of all that is cool
>in Mac OS X and Cocoa like Create and other
>Stone Studio apps do.

Lie. Obviously needs no explanation, Carbon apps can use Mac OS X features, too.


>All of Apple's new apps - iPhoto, KeyNote,
>Mail, TextEdit, etc. - use Cocoa

Lie. For heaven's sake, even the Finder is Carbon! Not all Apple apps are Cocoa, by far!


>If you want to pretend there is no difference
>between a ported legacy carbon app and a
>native Cocoa app - just launch them and see
>how long it takes!

Implying that Carbon is slower: Lie! In fact, if there's a difference at all, Cocoa apps are slower. Which is to be expected, since Cocoa is a higher level framework.
Huh.
mrmister (mrmister@spam.com) May 31, 2003 04:27:01 PM


Look--it's a NeXTie pushing his own agenda. How surprising.

Wake me up when Cocoa is as fast as Carbon apps, and maybe then we can talk.
Take a grain of salt...
Joe Programmer (anonymous@not.here.not._there_.com) May 31, 2003 11:42:29 PM

Maybe Andrew just wanted to tell that Carbon apps can not make use of some new features in MacOSX. (And he is right with that statement) ;)

No need for a holy war...
Cocoa speed
Joel (jNOSPAMdabrowski@mac.com) June 2, 2003 07:34:19 AM

"Wake me up when Cocoa is as fast as Carbon apps, and maybe then we can talk."

Try Create and a few other non-Apple Cocoa apps, and find out how some Cocoa apps are even faster than Carbon ones. ;-) Let's not get our panties in a bunch. The fact is that Cocoa apps are higher-level and use a lot of OS X features Carbon ones do not. While Carbon is not *supposed* to be any less native than Cocoa, in praxis Cocoa does take advantage of OS X's architecture and UI in ways Carbon cannot, at least not yet. Let's not get our panties in a bunch. It's up to Apple to make things otherwise, and Panther will probably go some way to help make Carbon apps take better advantage of the the OS.

Part of this of course is whether Carbon developers will ever take advantage of the system architecture the way Cocoa developes do now. Some big-name developers aren't necessarily interested in doing this anyway. Adobe for example is making a distinctly non-Mac OS UE for its apps, they have no intention of being a (for lack of a better word) "good" Aqua or OS X citizen than they have to be to keep users.
What Features?
LKM (stone@lkmc.ch) June 3, 2003 03:04:22 PM

Everybody keeps talking about all the Mac OS X specific features that Carbon can't use. Could anyone tell me *which* features those are? They can use Services now. Is there actually anything they *can't* use?
Carbon as Legacy and Cocoa Future
Marc J. Driftmeyer (mjd@reanimality.com) June 12, 2003 05:18:13 PM

Does it take someone who worked at Apple during the development of Rhapsody to clarify to you "brilliant" outsiders, who haven't a clue the difference between Marketing Hype (Carbon and Cocoa are the same) versus Reality (Engineering--make a transition layer for the largest Developers who are refusing to rewrite in Objective-C for now, and give them time to convert to ObjC)?

YES IT DOES and that is pathetic!

Hi Andrew, long time no see old friend. The applications look awesome and say hello to Katie and the kids!

It's real apparent to me that after 6 years, count'em 6 years that people do not get it!!

Carbon is and will be removed when OS XI arrives.

Does that mean any specific programming language will be removed? NO!

You'll be able to develop in C++, C, Java, Fortran and others but Objective-C is the foundation (pun intended) and ObjC++ with I/O Kit, etc. Java is the foundation for WebObjects (too bad since ObjC version is actually FASTER!, but I digress), etc.,.

Regarding what Carbon "can" use, they do not use delegates from Objective-C directly, they do not use Foundation/AppKit directly from Objective-C they use the transition layer.

Its a reinvention/delay of OS X incremental updates just to satisfy folks who still have enough clout to demand that Carbon exist.

Once the Finder is Objective-C implemented as it was ready to go oh 5 years ago then you'll suddenly a much faster messaging response system within all native Cocoa applications.

Reference some specific API's in Carbon and tell me just exactly how they communicate and compare with Cocoa and tell me who is the bottleneck. Its Carbon! It always has been.

You wanna bitch and find the truth ask the folks in Foundation/AppKit or the I/O Kit team at WWDC just what truly is the bottleneck.

Why is it there? You should know 3rd party developers you demanded it or you weren't going to play in the sandbox anymore.

FontSight problems
Hasan Diwan (hdiwan@mac.com) June 14, 2003 12:07:39 PM

I just wrote myself an application using cocoa. Am wondering why FontSight isn't working with it... Do I need to do something special? Feel free to respond to me by email or leave a note here. Thanks Andrew!
huh?
LKM (stone@lkmc.ch) June 15, 2003 01:52:19 PM

>Carbon is and will be removed when OS XI arrives.

Yeah. And a few months later, Apple will be removed from the economy.


>make a transition layer for the largest Developers
>who are refusing to rewrite in Objective-C for now,
>and give them time to convert to ObjC

Okay, so you're seriously telling me that right now, Microsoft is converting Office to Cocoa, Adobe is converting Illustrator, Photoshop and the others to Cocoa and Macromedia is converting FreeHand and all their stuff to Cocoa? Sorry, but I'm glad somebody as clouded as you isn't working at Apple anymore, and I really hope there aren't many like you left there.
Reply to LKM (huh?)
Marc J. Driftmeyer (mjd@reanimality.com) June 18, 2003 03:46:37 AM

No moron I'm not telling you those applications are being developed solely in Objective-C.

I'm telling you that Apple is no longer pouring in countless Engineering hours to give those lazy companies more time.

It's called maintenance mode.

If you think Microsoft Office will be the Office platform for Apple in 3 years you're sadly mistaken.

Hell Adobe is already utilizing Trolltech's Qt Frameworks for their applications which will be announced as ported to OS X. Do you think it will be for Carbon or Cocoa?

Since C, C++, Java are all first class citizens on OS X how long do you think the modern syntax support in Cocoa would take Adobe to port its Application Suite?

How many lines of code do you think Stone Design Create(TM) has, combined?

Last I recall it's less than 200,000.

No you wish I still worked at Apple because then you'd get less bullshit and more straight-talk.

What Andrew says is fact. The man has priviledged status as a developer because he beats up the Cocoa APIs and has helped refine it.

Apple listened so well to the folks who make TIFFany that they hired them to co-develop Quartz and EOF.

Pull your head out of your ass and see just exactly what Steve says about WWDC. Better yet go read the Sessions and notice the trend of how the Carbon sessions always have a Cocoa equivalent and how they are steering you towards Cocoa.

Apple will give maintenance support but will not enhance Carbon as the future of Apple Development.

And its about damn time!



Reply to Reply
LKM (stone@lkmc.ch) June 22, 2003 12:44:16 PM

So, you're telling me that Apple will put Carbon into maintenance mode? Basically, everyone programming Carbon won't get to take advantage of any of the new features Apple introduces into the OS? Well, just wait for what happens when they announce something like that. Apple is simply not in any kind of position to piss of Carbon developers. Just look at how much Quark's reluctance to switch to X has cost Apple. Quark is probably singlehandedly responsible for a lot of the monetary loss Apple has had to take during the last two years.

Look, I like TIFFany. I don't use it, but it's a nice Application. I like the Stone apps. But realistically, how much does he sell? He can't compete with Adobe. Apple needs Quark. They need Adobe. They need Macromedia. Hell, they even need Bare Bones and the like. If BBEdit can't use new Mac OS X features, that will hurt *Apple*.

If you think people don't rely on Office being on the Mac, you're sadly mistaken, too. Keeping MS from updating Office to take advantage of new Mac OS X features would cost Apple *a lot* of money. They can't and won't take chances.


>Since C, C++, Java are all first class citizens on OS X how long do you
>think the modern syntax support in Cocoa would take Adobe to port its
>Application Suite?

Longer than it did take them to port it to Cocoa, which took a lot of time. Plus, do you really think Adobe is going to introduce more complexity into their Application code base? They need to keep two branches (Mac and Windows) up to date and in sync as it is.


>Apple listened so well to the folks who make TIFFany that they hired
>them to co-develop Quartz and EOF.

Ah, so that's where they've gone. That's cool!
Caffeine guys
Joel (jdabrowski@NOSPAMmac.com) June 22, 2003 05:40:01 PM

Well, aside from the "virtual" argument about the state of Carbon (I kind of thought that PB and IB covered both under the umbrella CoreFoundation, and that they were just aspects of the same thing now), the news about Stan and, uh, was it Jan (?) is great. But I thought EOF died with OpenStep? Or is it part of WebObjects now? Anyway, god luck to them, I hope they're doing well. In the back of my head, I hope TIFFany and the other apps find their way into another developer's hands some day (no, I know it won't be Stone), or they find some time. money and impetus to re-start Caffeine. :-)
yeah!
LKM (stone@lkmc.ch) June 25, 2003 05:26:03 AM

>In the back of my head, I hope TIFFany and the other apps find their
>way into another developer's hands some day (no, I know it won't be
>Stone), or they find some time. money and impetus to re-start
>Caffeine.

I hope so, too. They had some great apps, and it was sad to see them go.
Photoshop will NEVER be Cocoa.
b. (b@b.com) August 5, 2003 01:08:25 PM

If Apple kills Carbon, I predict a mass flood of everyone important to Windows and the death of the Mac OS.

I wonder what will happen to our iTunes downloads...!
You must be kidding
Stephane (stephanecurzi@hotmail.com) August 5, 2003 04:34:03 PM

A Random Cocoa programmer said " Tell you what, though: consider the fact that Create was written by ONE developer. Then consider how many people worked on Illustrator, GoLive, and all the other apps that Create can replace. "

he can't seriously compare Create to GoLive or Illustrator !!! Although Create is a nice little application, it's nowhere close to the be an application for professional designer like myself.

As far as Carbon or Cocoa, I don't really see Carbon going away, they keep brining them closer to each other. I just started to learn programming for fun and I did a couple of app in Cocoa, not because it's the future but because it was easier to learn.

You can program with whatever, Cocoa, Carbon, Applescript, Java, even mixing them together, it wont help if your application isn't as good as your competitors.
the big picture
steve harley (silllyargumentstodelete@paper-ape.com) August 5, 2003 07:09:30 PM

is that the apps that most need a tool like FontSight are Carbon and will stay Carbon.. pragmatically, it makes little sense to rewrite a huge application just because Cocoa is a nicer framework.. the cost of such apps would go up and the user experience would suffer through a renewed period of debugging and stabilization.. so FontSight simply won't have much of a market without supporting Carbon apps

i can't tell whether Andrew Stone doesn't want to compete in this market, thinks it would require too much work for the ROI, or is simply being stubborn.. i'd like to give him the benefit of a doubt, but the defensiveness of his screed at top is a real turn-off.. i'm certain that Unsanity's Carbon-capable competitive product, if well put-together, will sell much better than FontSight
Crazy.
mrmister (mrmister@spam.com) August 6, 2003 04:13:26 AM


This guys is a nut--and he's certainly ensured that neither I nor my company will be using Stone Studio apps.

"There are none so blind as will not see."
Ignorant
Garrett (nospam@no.com) August 6, 2003 09:02:51 AM

Probably one of the most ignorant statements I've ever seen from a software developer. Unsanity's product will absolutely destroy this app, with good reason.

Refusing to make your software work the way your customers want it to is like giving everyone the finger. Why would I pay anything for this product?


Oh, and Carbon leaving OS X? Even more ignorant.
No wonder OS X is a mess
I Miss My Mac (areyouforreal@joke.com) August 6, 2003 11:34:57 AM

It's nice to openly see what many of us already suspected, that is how much NeXTies despise all things Mac. Duh.
I can see some of them at Apple giving shit about the Finder because it is Carbon, not Cocoa, (right?), thus turning the single most important Mac application into an unusable POS because we mere non-Terminal-aware Mac user mortals don't deserve anything better.
Remind me to switch to Windows before buying any StoneDesign application. :-)
No wonder OS X is a mess
I Miss My Mac (areyouforreal@joke.com) August 6, 2003 12:28:56 PM

It's nice to openly see what many of us already suspected, that is how much NeXTies despise all things Mac. Duh.
I can see some of them at Apple giving shit about the Finder because it is Carbon, not Cocoa, (right?), thus turning the single most important Mac application into an unusable POS because we mere non-Terminal-aware Mac user mortals don't deserve anything better.
Remind me to switch to Windows before buying any StoneDesign application. :-)
Carbon and Major Developers
Mark (markr@eudoramail.com) August 7, 2003 10:22:02 AM

Andrew can take any stance he wants to on this issue. It's his app. If he wants to write apps that don't work with 90% of the productivity software on my Mac, that's his choice. I just won't buy it.

But until the major players like Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia, and even Apple itself, get all of their code moved over to Cocoa, Carbon is here to stay. If Carbon blew away before the transition is to Cocoa complete for the major players, Apple, too, would blow away...
no transition
LKM (stone@lkmc.ch) August 9, 2003 06:34:00 AM

> If Carbon blew away before the transition is to Cocoa
> complete for the major players

There is no "transition to Cocoa for the major players".
Why? and a few thoughts
Larry (larry@skytag.com) August 11, 2003 10:38:39 PM

Why are people so emotional about this? Chill out. Let people write software in whatever they choose.

It sounds like Andrew made a choice to only support Cocoa applications, and now he's mad at everyone who has chosen to write Carbon applications because his application doesn't work with as large a part of the market as he'd like. That's life. You get to make choices You don't get to control others or the world around you.

Re: Carbon applications are just quick ports
Most Carbon applications probably are ports of classic applications, but its unlikely there was anything quick about it. LOL Parting a classic application to Carbon was a long and miserable process for a lot of developers.

Re: Carbon applications can't access all the features of Mac OS X
There may be a few things Carbon applications *can't* do, but mostly it's more an issue of some things may take more work and code to do them in Carbon.

Re: Cocoa vs. Carbon launch times
It's hard to compare launch times of different applications when there is more influencing that than just Carbon vs. Cocoa. What an application does at launch and what it pospones, as well as what system resources it needs at launch all play a factor, and the most significant factors are probably unrelated to Carbon vs. Cocoa. FWIW, the fastest launching applications I use run in Classic. ;-)

Re: Getting all the old bugs in Carbon
Nonsense. Apple has rewritten the OS for Mac OS X and introduced all new bugs for the occasion. And lots of them from what I can tell. ;-)

Larry
Here's a good reason not to use Carbon
Blah (nobody@example.com) September 14, 2004 05:19:17 AM

...you can't port to GNUstep.
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Kris Jensen

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