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OS X Compatibility Layer For Windows - I.E. Cocoa On Windows


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OS X Compatibility Layer For Windows - I.E. Cocoa On Windows
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keithpk
 
 
2005-12-07, 20:49

This is a very interesting post that I found over on MacGeneration. I don't know about its legitemacy, however, it is still a very interesting idea and one that I could definately see Apple doing. If any one else has any other knowledge about it, let us know.

http://forums.macgeneration.com/vbul...d.php?t=120691
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Reid
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2005-12-07, 21:03

Sounds like a revival of the Yellow Box for Windows, which was part of the original Mac OS X developer releases called "Rhapsody" in 1997. It was based on a shipping NeXT product called OpenStep. If Apple kept Mac OS X86 running for all these years, I'd be surprised if they hadn't kept this running, too.

Just one more incentive for developers to use Cocoa: write once, run anywhere.
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HezMah19
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2005-12-07, 21:22

Is anybody else starting to see a more..."Agressive" way about Apple's actions? It seems to me that 2006 is going to be one hell of a year for the computing world...

jm.
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rollercoaster375
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2005-12-07, 21:26

Wow. That would be so utterly awesome. I mean, I could run Camino on Windows!
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PB PM
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2005-12-08, 01:57

If that is the case, how likely do you think it is that people will starting using Apple programs on their PC, and never switch?
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Hobbes
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2005-12-08, 02:05

Hmm, it's an interesting rumor, but the logic behind doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Won't this further decay unique software for the Mac? What does it offer developers except a juicy opportunity to create Windows versions of their Mac applications?

If anything, this move would accelerate the OS/2 effect (such as it is), not temper it.

By the way, when the Intel Macs do at last arrive, I don't think the OS/2 factor is going to be as a big deal as some have made out. Apple is *not* including Windows compatibility out of the box (for obvious reasons), WINE/VMWare is still for advanced users, and most importantly Mac users are not going to settle for non-native apps w/o a OS X look and feel. The game porting market will undoubtedly be affected, but otherwise it's a very solid win for people who want Macs but need to either dual-boot Windows or run just a few Windows-only programs on occasion (with actually decent speed).

And if Apple/Intel eventually provide a virtualization technology that allows the user to switch operating systems w/o rebooting, all the better.

Last edited by Hobbes : 2005-12-08 at 02:12.
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BlueRabbit
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2005-12-08, 02:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM
If that is the case, how likely do you think it is that people will starting using Apple programs on their PC, and never switch?
It would probably make them more likely to get a Mac. However, if they still see the Mac as more overpriced and less powerful (or even worse, barely understand what a Mac is), then they'll be more likely to stay with their PC simply running Mac programs.
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PB PM
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2005-12-08, 02:57

Thats just it, for the average Joe, if they can get the apps like iphoto or something like that for their PC, why would they spend more for a Mac with the same Intel CPU as the Windows machine they are already running, that costs them far less to upgrade etc. ? All that would be left would be the many differences between the way Mac OS and the Microsoft OS handle tasks.
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Henriok
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2005-12-08, 06:00

At this stage I think it'd make much more sense to develop YelloBox for Linux, *BSD, Solaris and AIX, just to test the waters, mature the technology, spread the gospel, show good faith and so forth.
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Koodari
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2005-12-08, 06:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM
Thats just it, for the average Joe, if they can get the apps like iphoto or something like that for their PC, why would they spend more for a Mac with the same Intel CPU as the Windows machine they are already running, that costs them far less to upgrade etc. ? All that would be left would be the many differences between the way Mac OS and the Microsoft OS handle tasks.
- There is more to hardware than CPU.
- Not everyone will port their apps. Apple can port all, some or no apps.
- Heavily CoreImage, Altivec, etc. stuff is unlikely to be ported.

If 10% of Windows users bought Apple software, that could double or triple Apple's software sales. Unlike selling hardware, selling an additional copy of existing software is pure profit, so this would be massive cash influx which could be used to, say, thinner margins on hardware and more R&D. The overall effect could give Apple more profit and more sales in both hardware and software.

And.. average Joes don't upgrade.
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SonOfSylvanus
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2005-12-08, 07:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koodari
And.. average Joes don't upgrade.
No, but they pay for "expandability" that they never use.

This rumour feels quite convincing. But there are just so many seemingly irresolvable questions, many of which have already been pointed out.

bouncy bouncy
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Koodari
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2005-12-08, 13:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonOfSylvanus
No, but they pay for "expandability" that they never use.
I don't think the majority of them are looking for expandability. You just basically can't buy a non-Mac PC that doesn't have extra card and HD slots. Offer them a choice that is cheaper and smaller and doesn't have the extra space, and they'll take it.

The thing Apple is really lacking is power per price.
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PB PM
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2005-12-08, 16:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koodari
- There is more to hardware than CPU.
We know that, but does average Joe? Not likely. So when average Joe goes into the store to look at computers he sees a Intel PC with 3.0Ghz for $1200 (just made up numbers here) vs a Intel Mac with 3.0Ghz for $2500-3000, which have the same hard drive, video card, etc, (remember average Joe just goes to the store without looking stuff up like you are I might, ie they trust the salesman in the store ) and buys what looks like a machine with the same specs for less, but under the hood is not.
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Reid
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2005-12-08, 17:25

The developers will go wherever the consumer does. If Apple is successful in increasing market share, and they offer an easy way to build cross-platform applications, then more software will be written for Mac. If the buying public doesn't bite on the hardware front, and Apple's share stagnates, then Apple will have a built-in strategy for transitioning themselves to selling Windows software. 100 million copies of iLife at $79 a pop? There's a lot of profit in those numbers.
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nato64
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2005-12-08, 17:37

i don't like the sound of this. it might as well be apple making OS X available to anyone
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Brave Ulysses
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2005-12-08, 19:25

Doesn't it just mean developers could adopt Apple's development tools and develop for both platforms with one source and one coding environment?

Seems like a great idea. If it really works like that.

Would people have to install this compatibility layer or would it be embedded in the compiled application?
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Brad
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2005-12-08, 19:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by nato64
i don't like the sound of this. it might as well be apple making OS X available to anyone
How so? The apps are only a small part of the Mac experience. Windows users will still have all their junk malware and viruses and bad UI to deal with.

*note: I'm not saying that this is a good thing, though.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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scratt
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2005-12-08, 21:55

Did anyone read the article right through and see that *allegedly* Apple plan to launch an XP based version of Safari the day that Intel machines hit the street..

Don't quite see the logic behind that, but it would be fun if they did.

What would be really cool is if Apple put a mal-ware detecter into the Intel OS X so that any time you run Disk Utility it scans the M$ partition and reports on how many exploits are running, and how many virus / trojan horses are sitting in there.. It would be a really cool geek party piece!

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
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BlueRabbit
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2005-12-08, 22:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt
Don't quite see the logic behind that, but it would be fun if they did.
Well, they could be going the iTunes route again - show people what a good product is, and they'll get used to it. Also, given the momentum Firefox has started about moving to non-IE browsers, Safari has a pretty good chance to gain market share.
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scratt
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2005-12-08, 22:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRabbit
Well, they could be going the iTunes route again - show people what a good product is, and they'll get used to it. Also, given the momentum Firefox has started about moving to non-IE browsers, Safari has a pretty good chance to gain market share.
I guess you are right. I kind of think by 2007 they will have missed the browser boat a bit and Firefox will be the main rival browser already, as it pretty much is now.

If I were Steve I would have put it out before Christmas as a little bit of marketting hype to keep things on the boil.. That way it will make more people think about the new OS that's being rumoured to be coming to PeeCees.

But it will be nice to show PC users what another real browser can do.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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Anthem
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2005-12-09, 02:19

I saw this thread and thought "How bizarre. Why would I want to run a Cocoa version of Internet Explorer in Windows?"
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PB PM
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2005-12-09, 03:13

Because the Cocoa version isn't linked into your core OS and wont screw everything up.
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Anthem
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2005-12-09, 09:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM
Because the Cocoa version isn't linked into your core OS and wont screw everything up.
But neither is Firefox...
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Brad
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2005-12-09, 09:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthem
But neither is Firefox...
And the people rejoiced!
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ShadowOfGed
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2005-12-09, 10:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRabbit
Well, they could be going the iTunes route again - show people what a good product is, and they'll get used to it. Also, given the momentum Firefox has started about moving to non-IE browsers, Safari has a pretty good chance to gain market share.
iTunes:

Ding ding! Hello, people! Apple had to do a lot of this work on Yellow Box for Windows just to get iTunes running over there. I find it hard to believe that Apple, with its limited resources, would honestly try to completely rewrite the UI for iTunes in MFC. Ugh, that'd be awful. Nope, I'd bet that they stole whatever under-wraps parts of Yellow Box they needed to ship a working iTunes.

Note that the rendering on iTunes sometimes has a few glitches (at least in my experience), and that it seems to lag noticably compared to other apps, which just screams "compatibility layer."

I think iTunes is one key reason to believe that Yellow Box never died. We're just now hearing that perhaps it will be released for general consumption, for all developers to use if they want cross-platform and cross-architecture apps.

WWDC:

We also got a hint about this from WWDC last June, but nobody picked up on it. The developer specs said not to rely on various aspects of OpenFirmware when writing cross-platform apps, because sometimes you might only have a PC BIOS, not OpenFirmware.

Now, I'll be damned if the first Intel Macs from Apple are going to ship with a PC BIOS. They will probably be using EFI, as mentioned in many, many places. However, Windows PCs will still be on the PC BIOS. So if your Cocoa app is running on Windows, that computer will only have the PC BIOS, not OpenFirmware. But wait, there's more:

Apple's emphasis on TPM. OS X is not the only thing they want protected by these chips. They will not be releasing OS X to be run on your average PC. But the Cocoa API on Windows (Yellow Box) will indeed be running on your average PC.

So Apple will use the TPM not only to tie OS X to Intel Macs, but also to tie select Apple apps to OS X, because they likely don't want all of their apps to run on Windows. This way, Apple gets to hand-pick which of their apps will run on Yellow Box for Windows, and they will also give third party vendors the option of binding their app to OS X if they so choose.

These could very well be the reasons that Apple wants developers to be aware that they may be using a platform that has a PC BIOS instead of OpenFirmware or EFI. It is also very likely a second reason Apple wants to use TPM heavily to guarantee that hackers don't get to run all OS X apps on Windows. Just a few value-adds for Windows, like iTunes, Safari, and iChat for starters. They can be release more later if they want. Oh, and Adium would be nice. :smokey:

EDIT:

And if they officially released this, they could run select apps other than iTunes and QuickTime on Windows. You know all the complaints about having iTunes manage audio, video, and the kitchen sink? Violating the one-function, one-app paradigm? Well, with Yellow Box, it would allow Apple to easily port more apps to Windows and move the various pieces out into their own apps.

No longer will iTunes/QuickTime be the only "trojan horse" into the Windows world, and they can stop cramming non-music features into a program called "iTunes." Hey, I can dream.

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.

Last edited by ShadowOfGed : 2005-12-09 at 10:54. Reason: More pipe dreams about iTunes and such.
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Barto
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2005-12-09, 19:08

iTunes runs on Carbon on OS X, and the QuickTime libraries on Windows. No Yellow Box there on the Mac side or the PC side.

Back in the Dark Days at least one 3rd party Mac app was ported to Windows using the Win32 QuickTime libraries, even though Apple urged people not to do so.

The sky was deep black; Jesus still loved me. I started down the alley, wailing in a ragged bass.
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ShadowOfGed
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2005-12-09, 20:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barto
iTunes runs on Carbon on OS X, and the QuickTime libraries on Windows. No Yellow Box there on the Mac side or the PC side.

Back in the Dark Days at least one 3rd party Mac app was ported to Windows using the Win32 QuickTime libraries, even though Apple urged people not to do so.
Oh, blast. I knew that Apple was maintaining a Carbon app to prove that they wouldn't deprecate Carbon. I forgot and/or didn't know it was iTunes.

I know iTunes uses the QT libraries for audio/video decoding, but does QuickTime also draw the user interface? I'd be surprised if there's not at least some ported code in there...

So much for that half of my pipe dream. But the part about asking developers to expect a PC BIOS still sorta makes sense...

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.
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Brad
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2005-12-09, 20:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowOfGed
Ding ding! Hello, people! Apple had to do a lot of this work on Yellow Box for Windows just to get iTunes running over there. I find it hard to believe that Apple, with its limited resources, would honestly try to completely rewrite the UI for iTunes in MFC. Ugh, that'd be awful. Nope, I'd bet that they stole whatever under-wraps parts of Yellow Box they needed to ship a working iTunes.
As Barto said, iTunes has nothing at all to do with Yellow Box. It's a Carbon app and has been since before C&G sold the code and rights to Apple years ago. In fact, it's the epitome of a bad Carbon app in many ways. One of the reasons iTunes was probably relatively easy to port to Windows is that practically none of its interface is native to the OS. Everything from scroll bars to push buttons to checkboxes on the Mac version is done with a huge assortment of built-in bitmap images.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Barto
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2005-12-09, 21:26

iTunes uses the QuickTime libraries to draw the user interface but as Brad says iTunes only gets basic UI functionality from the host OS - most of the interface elements and behaviour are part of iTunes.

The sky was deep black; Jesus still loved me. I started down the alley, wailing in a ragged bass.
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Anthem
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2005-12-09, 22:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barto
most of the interface elements and behaviour are part of iTunes.
Right. It's always been ironic to me that while Apple fans always scream about the importance of native widgets, the cross-platform software that Apple produces never uses native widgets.
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