windows ad portability? (longish)

Mitchell Lerner lerner at
Thu Dec 12 08:10:25 AEST 1985

>>An article was recently posted Net.lang.c comparing Sun Tools and the
>>Mac user interface toolbox.  Its main points can be summarized as follows:

>>	The Mac's software interface is incredibly machine dependent and 
>>		very cumbersome.

>>	The Mac's window system is "quick" and "dirty" compared to the
>>		Sun's.

>>	Sun Tools provides a much higher level of interface than does
>>		the Mac.

>>While recognizing many weak points in the design of the Mac (very
>>limited memory, disk space and compute power compared to a
>>Sun/Apollo/Lisp Machine).  I consider its user interface to be a
>>strong point compared to these machines.

Again, I state that the comparison between the Mac and the Sun is not 
fair due to the fact that they are each a separate class of computer.

>>The user interface components on Mac: the dialog manager, the menu manager, 
>>the control manager, the resource editor and MacApp seem far more capable 
>>of supporting a high quality user interface than does SunTools 
>>(moreover the documentation for Mac seems much clearer than that for the Sun).  

>>Since I last looked at the Sun documentation they have added a CGI and
>>are working on a new user interface and better documentation.  However, 
>>I am told by those who have to program to this interface that this is 
>>still dificult.


I dont know what version of Suntools you looked at or programmed
under (and the difference between 1.x and 2.x is large) but I was able to 
crank out a reasonably complex user interface with the Panel Subwindow Package
that included "Menus" for everything, "Toggles" (Iconic thingies 
marked "on" or "off"), "Buttons", "Message windows", "Silders" (slide bar),
"Type-in" windows (allow users to type in test items), "Choices" and a TTY 
emulator subwindow. I read the documentatin and wrote this program with no 
prior exposure to "graphics programming" or Sun software in about a week.

My Sun programming experience is with versions 2.x of Sun Unix.

I've also used both Sun and Mac documentation...

When I first learned that I was to be programming a Mac I sought out documentat-
tion, first to find and incredibly 68k based book called Inside the Mac. I
was warned that many examples are wrong and that the book is very confusing
If you are not a 68k wizard (and even if you are!).  The book is not a book 
about programming the
Mac (examples and top down approach to complexity) as much as it is about Mac
system internals.  I do not have time to learn the internals just to write
an application!

A little repreave came when someone pointed me toward two books: Macintosh
Revealed vols. 1 & 2.
This book is well written and geared toward writing software on the Mac.
It includes many helpfull examples and all of the system calls In both 
68k and some sort of Pascal.  However, and this is and has been my
main point about programming on the Mac; one MUST COMPLETELY digest
vol1 and strenuously identify with vol2 BEFORE one can start succesfully
programming the Mac for ANY application.

For my first Sun effort I read about 30 pages once, then used those pages
as a reference. Never have I need to go to any of the "lower level" layers
while using the Suntool layer.

Programming on the Mac is a MUCH more complex task for generaly trivial
applications (e.g. graphics based user interfaces) than on the Sun.

Debugging on the Mac is entirely more at the "internals" level than on the
Sun. And one finds some very inscrutable bugs on the Mac.

Again, I MUST say that this is not a "fair" comparison (for reasons mentioned
I am only pointing toward the Sun user interface support as a product well made 
and easily used (just a step in the more "right" direction).  



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