Feeds

Apple Mac OS X: ten years old today

A decade of Ten

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Cocoa and Carbon

If Mac OS X wouldn't then be a break with the past for users, it certainly would for developers. Well, at the start, anyway. It was initially envisaged that software writers would begin using OpenStep's object-oriented application programming interface (API) - the methods by which application communicates with operating system - which became known as Cocoa in the Rhapsody era.

Mac OS X Cheetah Classic

Classic case: Running OS 9 under OS X
Click for full-size image

Cocoa uses Objective C, a version of the C programming language tweaked to support the modular object-oriented (OO) programming. Many Mac OS programmers were already using C++ to write OO apps in C, so that wasn't a huge leap. Learning an entirely new API, however, was another matter, and a fair few developers rebelled, among them some majors, including Adobe.

The result was a compromise: Rhapsody would incorporate a "legacy" API, dubbed Carbon, to allow coders to migirate their existing apps more quickly, though with a view to migrating to Cocoa in due course. Apple would later add a Java API layer to OS X and, eventually, allow apps to be coded in Mac OS' own scripting language, AppleScript.

Ironically, Mac OS most central user-facing feature, the Finder, implemented in OS X as a standalone application, was initally released as a Carbon-coded program. Initially, a single-thread app, Finder's use of Carbon was blamed by outsiders for its seeming poor performance. It was a frequent displayer of Aqua's 'I'm busy doing something' pointer icon, the so-called "spinning beachball of death".

Mac OS X Cheetah Finder

Finder... but not as Mac OS 9 users know it

Finder wasn't re-written as a Cocoa application until 2009's Snow Leopard update, OS X 10.6.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Next page: Aqua

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.