Sent: 1/5/97; 1:48:19 PM
From: email@example.com (Chris Trimble)
I just got back to reading my mail that came in over Christmas, which includes all of your reports on the NeXT merger. I agree with just about everything you say from the developer's perspective... and with some of your thoughts on Obj-C and NeXTSTEP. But, definitely give NeXTSTEP a shot before you're convinced that BeOS would have been more enjoyable from a developer's perspective.
A while ago, when I had a some experience on Mac and more significant experience on X/UNIX, someone turned me on to NeXTSTEP. I still haven't seen a development environment that's as easy to learn and as powerful. The amount of time it takes to develop significantly complex apps is, well, frighteningly easier than with other IDEs. NeXTSTEP is the only static development environment where I feel the design-a-little-code-a- little philosophy is relatively efficient. And, you asked about IAC: it rocks. Drag and drop has been working on the NeXT since I first tried it (circa 1991). Here's one of the better pages I could find: http://www.next.com/NeXTanswers/HTMLFiles/1826.htmld/1826.html It's a little old, but you'll get the idea. Also prod around at: http://www.stepwise.com
Objective-C, actually, is a pretty cool language. It has interfaces (called Protocols), and ways of splitting large classes into multiple files (called Categories). It has dynamic typing, which is uniquely cool. Like Java, it has no multiple inheritance or overloaded operators. The one bummer is that it does not have overloaded methods. I do think it is the best object oriented extension to C to date. http://www.next.com/Pubs/Documents/OPENSTEP/ObjectiveC/objctoc.htm
Developing on NeXT included some of the most enjoyable development experiences for me. I look forward to Apple's lowering the price on OpenSTEP/Developer/Mach, which is currently $5K, to a reasonable, Codewarrioresque price. If and when they do so, I will undoubtably be one of the first people purchasing it for my Intel box, with plans of having fun writing software for their new OS. Because NeXTSTEP allows total cross-compilation and fat binaries for all of its architectures, there are going to be a lot of Intel people like me who are developing for Mac/PPC users without even conscious effort.
-- Chris Trimble Blue Sky Studios www.blueskystudios.com
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