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Shark, Apple. Apple, Shark

Jump, Apple, jump!

In one of these great moves in marketing history, Apple has decided not to support UIs written in C or C++ in 64-bit apps. Adobe CS4 is going to be greatly delayed on the Macintosh because of it, if the people who need CS4 (which is likely to include the most of the entertainment industry) even bother with Macs any more. Way to go, Apple!

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I had noticed that something having to do with Adobe was not going to be 64 bit on Macs, but hadn't understood why.

To tell the truth, I still don't fully understand why, but then I'm not a programmer, and this is obviously programmer business.

I do now understand that this results from a decision on Apple's part, rather than Adobe's. It doesn't seem like a good idea to me to hobble what Macs can do if Apple wants to maintain market share. I wonder if there's some hardware reason for this, or something; it just seems so self-destructive to do for no reason.

The more important point here is that Apple has set things up so that people who want to develop high-end animation, video, three-dimensional modeling, or gaming software for Macs in the future will have to learn a new computer language, which is of use largely on Macs. Most of us just aren't going to bother--who's got time for an unproductive year?--and so that whole important range of commercial software is probably going to Microsoft and will not be back.

Way to go, Steve Jobs!

To fill in a bit with my comment below, you can use C++ with the objective-C apis - i've done this frequently.

Honestly, up until the announcement about carbon-64 with leopard (and then apple's subsequent removal of it), I had assumed that carbon wasn't ever going to get a true 64 bit port.

(I'll leave out my rants on all the hate that I recently have for C++, courtesy of working on a project that exposes me to more of the underbelly of C++ than I ever wished to have :)

Oh, C++ can be a pain and Carbon is creaky. But C++ is cross-platform, standardized pain and I wonder about the performance of Objective-C at the high end. For myself, Apple Objective-C is almost as much proprietary as C#, and I've decided I don't want to spend the year to learn it well; at my age, a year away from productive work--and on a proprietary tool!--doesn't make a lot of sense. And maybe I can finesse the problem--I am not primarily a software engineer any more and in my view we overuse compiled languages any way. But it doesn't make a lot of sense for Adobe, either, with their teams and their big C++ codebase. We're talking at least a man-century of work, probably more. Adobe is big enough in the entertainment and graphic arts industry to make a decision to for Windows stick, so why spend the resources? Especially when Autodesk, their well-heeled competition in that field, isn't going to?

This has all happened twice before, I think--Steve Jobs makes decisions based on power he doesn't have and Apple nearly goes under. They're not going under again, I think--the iPod and similar technologies will last at least a generation. But I expect they are going to be left behind in commercial three-dimensional modeling software, animation software, and lighting software, tangential now to my own field. I wonder what the people at McNeel (Rhino) are planning on doing; the next time I see them I'll have to ask.

This is actually not entirely accurate.

Apple has decided not to support apps written using the Carbon api's in 64-bit - or rather, they've decided not to produce a 64-bit version of the Carbon API - this was the API that basically mirrors the old pre-mac os x apis, and was used to ease porting of apps from pre-mac os x to mac os x.

The cocoa gui apis are all 64-bit capable/aware.

CS4 will probably not be delayed on the mac, from what I understood. But Adobe still[1] has not moved their CS line from the carbon apis to the cocoa apis (for better or worse) and so until they do their CS suite as a cocoa app they won't be able to do it as a 64-bit app, which probably won't happen until CS5, from what i've been reading.

To be fair, apple at one point early in leopard's development announced that they were planning on doing 64-bit carbon support - but then dropped it for various reasons. Not having stated those reasons, we're left to assume whether it's because those resources got pulled off to the iPhone or whether there's too much legacy crap in carbon that assumes a 32 bit world that doesn't make the transition to a 64 bit world terribly well.

[1] The first betas of OS X providing the new cocoa apis were made available nine years ago, the first commercial release of OS X and the cocoa apis was seven years ago, during which adobe released photoshop 7, 8 (CS1), 9 (CS2) and 10 (CS3), all the while with apple saying 'you should be switching to cocoa'.

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