Destination: Universal

Today is a great day indeed. At least for us. This morning we received the one piece of compiler technology that was still missing in order to enable us to produce universal plug-ins. At least we think we do. Since we do not use C or C++ but rather prefer 'old-school' high quality code written in Pascal we until today had no way of integrating our Pascal Compiler's (the excellent Free Pascal, or FPC) code into an XCode-generated project (our old plug-ins were compiled using Metrowerk's CodeWarrior development environment). One hold-up was that XCode behaves rather brain-dead when compiling source for different compilers, and never was able to correctly use FPC when C or C++ code was present. Of course, Apple's development kit only relies on C code, and the fact that the last updated was published anno domini 2003 did not help.

This morning, Erling Johansen, Pascal programmer extraordinaire emailed us a work-around that might enable us to finally mix Pascal and C++ code in a way that is useful.

If this works, we still have some distance to go; the new plug-ins are bundle-based, we have to carbonize the interface, and we are looking into moving some of the code to CoreGraphics in order to alleviate the Carbon/Cocoa problems we have seen. This will be a lengthy process, and we do not expect to have universal plug-ins in a meaningful way ready before autumn. But at least one of the major stumbling blocks may have been removed. On the plus side we have most of our effect core, plus a lot of CoderGraphics-related code already moved to XCode.

We'll keep you posted.

And thanks, Erling. You really made our day!

Posted: Thu - February 22, 2007 at 06:45 PM