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A Wiki for Classic development?

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Hi everyone,

I'm trying to learn Toolbox programming (oh how I miss Cocoa already, not going to lie) so I was thinking about setting up a Wiki for Toolbox and Carbon programming in C/C++ so I can document what I learn and people can add what they know to it.

 

The reason for this is:

  1. Apple seems to have purged all pre-OS X 10.6 documentation, and all that remains (buried deep) are docs about how to convert Toolbox apps to Carbon and Carbon apps to Cocoa, how Carbon is depreciated, etc.
  2. Inside Macintosh is good but:
    1. It's mostly in Pascal (and who knows/uses Pascal nowadays?)
    2. It's lengthy - with information that most people don't need nowadays (who wants to read 24 pages about what a mouse is and what a menu bar does?)
  3. Other Mac C/C++ programming books are.. well.. not so good?
    1. Seriously, one I found had 5 (five!) pages talking about PowerPC's history followed by spec sheets for PowerMac models of early 90s.
      1. How is this related to programming? Even two paragraphs is more than enough but 5 pages followed by spec sheets? I thought I was reading an Apple brochure for a second.
    2. Most of which I could find either teach only the basics of programming with C/C++ (how to write loops, etc) or assumes you know the Toolbox inside out and dives right into advanced topics.
  4. Computers and PDFs of books designed for printing really don't mix well.

So yeah, I was thinking about creating a Wiki just for Classic Mac OS development (mainly Toolbox and Carbon, we can add MacApp, PowerPlant etc later?) I was thinking about a little intro section that describes what the Toolbox is, an AppleEvent is, a run loop is etc and then documentation of (at least the most used) Toolbox functions with example code, etc.

 

What do you think? Would you be interested in such a Wiki? Any help would be greatly appreciated..

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I think it's a great idea. I've also been teaching myself classic toolbox dev over the last year or so, so I'd be happy to share my experiences on the wiki.

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I think adding more info on Classic Mac OS programming would be great for our existing Wiki. (wiki.68kmla.org) I think self-registration is disabled to prevent spammers, so you'll need to ask an admin to make a wiki account for you.

 

While I haven't yet fully delved into programming with the Toolbox, I have found the Macintosh Programming Primer series to be a very nice introduction. (I own the Pascal version, here's the THINK C version: https://www.amazon.com/Macintosh-Programming-Primer-Inside-Toolbox/dp/0201608383) It just dives right into the Toolbox, no basic programming intros, or lengthy explanations of general computer concepts, etc. I also have physical copies of THINK Pascal's and Symantec C++'s manuals so they've been good references.

 

But yeah, a more modern take would be very nice.

Edited by PowerPup

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I know there was a UT student who had put together the beginnings of a code for 68k Macs site, but I think that project stalled a long time ago.

 

Fortunately it still seems to be online at http://code68k.extropicstudios.com

 

 

The CodeWarrior Pro Reference CD also has a fair number of good books in PDF form that teach entry level 68k and PowerPC Mac programming. CWP4 is the last that actually runs on a 68k Mac, but you'll probably be happier with CWP6 on a G3, the last version I'm aware of that supported compiling to 68k Macs.

 

Each version of CWP had a reference CD and a tools CD, but I don't recall the reference CD changing much between versions. Either way, I don't think CWP 6 is hard to come by.

 

 

Finally, if you really want Mac OS X documentation, the Tiger DVD had a complete archive that I frequently reference for since-deleted details like the structure of Mach-O binary slices. I think that might have been the last version of OS X to ship with developer documentation on the disc, but I could easily be wrong there.

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More a bit of an oddity, but for the sake of being complete:

 

Steven Troughton-Smith did a hobby project showing off how to use an an MPW emulator for Mac OS X 10.8+ to build a Hello World-like app for the Mac Toolbox and Carbon. My sole contribution to that was to fix an issue with creator codes, some time ago.

 

I think the original purpose of the MPW emulator was to use the official Apple tooling to build Apple IIgs software on a modern Mac. I don't believe it's by any means a complete solution for retro Mac development. Still, it exists.

Edited by nglevin

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Further to the MPW Emulator, there is also the Retro68 project. I've used this successfully to build a few libraries and apps - all on my Windows 10 laptop.

 

Retro68 also has its limitations - but writing classic Mac apps in a modern IDE sure is nice.

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I’ve been enjoying using MPW recently. 

 

I was always a Codewarrior guy back in the day and never used MPW, but I’m very much a vim/make guy these days, so MPW suites my sensibilities much better!

 

On http://macintoshrepository.org/ there is quite a lot of old Apple Developer Connection CD ISOs that contain sample code and documentation.

 

A wiki would be great, pointing to this kind of resource, sample code, and books.

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Bit of semi-common knowledge here, but most of those ISOs were copied from the Mac Garden without credit to the original uploaders.

 

In the spirit of keeping things above board, yes they're old dev CDs that are likely only useful in a warehouse close to Apple HQ in Cupertino, but I wouldn't link to any of those. It would not make the powers that be at Apple happy.

 

Now, if someone kept an INDEX of what cool things you'd find on these CDs, that would be wonderful! I once had a QuickTime SDK CD that had a version of SimplePlayer that works beautifully on System 6, for the best in postage stamp sized, dithered B&W video on an SE/30. :cool:

Edited by nglevin
Smileys are hard.

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On 7/3/2018 at 11:51 PM, ants said:

Further to the MPW Emulator, there is also the Retro68 project. I've used this successfully to build a few libraries and apps - all on my Windows 10 laptop.

 

Retro68 also has its limitations - but writing classic Mac apps in a modern IDE sure is nice.

This is magnificent! Can't wait to take a look once I learn more! (MacHub, especially, sounds really interesting)

On 7/3/2018 at 9:26 PM, PowerPup said:

While I haven't yet fully delved into programming with the Toolbox, I have found the Macintosh Programming Primer series to be a very nice introduction.

I just bought it :p I also bought the Toolbox Essentials and several others, which should be interesting..

On 7/3/2018 at 10:55 PM, nglevin said:

I know there was a UT student who had put together the beginnings of a code for 68k Macs site, but I think that project stalled a long time ago.

Fortunately it still seems to be online at http://code68k.extropicstudios.com

It's a shame this died out, looks really promising :( I think someone should mirror it just in case, by the way.

 

Speaking of references, I found Apple's own Macintosh Toolbox Assistant (which I couldn't find anywhere online) on one of the developer CDs I bought - if anyone is interested I can upload it to Macintosh Garden this weekend. Though I think Think Reference is much better - its a bit more outdated than MTA, but is more descriptive, has screenshots, etc (and best of all, its not in Pascal!)

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MacHub shows promise, but has stalled due to a lack of free time :( It uses Facebook and Google's "OAuth for devices" to allow a vintage mac to authenticate with the help of a modern smartphone:

 

machub.PNG.3566632a3cf3f0f9dfb583a7191b90ed.PNG

 

Eventually I'd like it to show your Facebook feed, Gmail inbox etc - perhaps as a screensaver.

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