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No Codewarrior v9 for the Mac OS

Metrowerks has announced in a statement to developers that they will not release a new version of CodeWarrior for the Palm OS platform for Macintosh operating systems. CodeWarrior is one of the leading commercial development tools for creating Palm OS applications.

CodeWarrior Development Studio for Palm OS Platform v9 was recently released for Windows in December. Metrowerks explained that the number of active Palm OS developers on the Mac platform had greatly diminished in proportion to the large population now developing for Palm OS devices under Microsoft Windows, and it is no longer cost-effective to support the Mac version of the integrated development environment (IDE).

The decision makes CodeWarrior for Palm OS v8 the last release for the Macintosh platform. Metrowerkls will continue to support CodeWarrior v8 for the Mac OS through the normal technical support channels over the next year.

Metrowerks has expectations that CodeWarrior for Palm on Windows will run on Virtual PC but this has not be fully validated yet, as a possible option for Mac developers.

PalmSource maintains a broad list of developer tools for different languages and platforms.

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What effect will this have?

RiddlerG4 @ 2/10/2003 11:50:51 AM #
As a long time Mac/Palm user what kind of effect can we expect this announcement to have?

Does this just effect the development of Palm software on the Mac or will it also mean Mac conduits for Palm software are going to be more difficult to produce?

RE: What effect will this have?
Foo Fighter @ 2/10/2003 12:00:01 PM #
What effect will this have? Right now it will have little impact at all. However, going forward this is a serious blow to Mac developers, and users in general. Existing Mac Codewarrior devs must now seek an alternative, which is easier said than done because Codewarrior was the pinnacle development tool for PalmOS. And I would suspect that connectivity to Macs (such as conduits) will also suffer as a result of this divorce.

This is just further tragic validation that the Macintosh platform is fading into irrelevance. As a Mac user myself, it kills me to see major commercial developers pull the plug on Apple. Metrowerks isn't the first, and they certainly won't be last. Even Adobe (a major player in the Mac market, since this platform is widely used by creative professionals) plans to start paring down their Mac offerings, starting with Premiere. :-(

"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs

RE: What effect will this have?
kezza @ 2/10/2003 12:05:17 PM #
this probably means a few things, but most notably is that companies that currently don't produce mac desktop components and conduits for their software (ie Natara) probably never will. which is a shame.
it also means there is a good chance that there will be a decrease in new mac desktop offerings. it's still possible to code for palm on a mac, it's just harder without codewarrior. and companies that don't own a mac probably never will without it, so they'll never have the means to create a desktop component. *sniffle*.

--------------------------------------
"Well, if it isn't the leader of the wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons"
http://stirwise.com
RE: What effect will this have?
Mandroid @ 2/10/2003 12:31:23 PM #
Hrmm. Perhaps though this opens the door for Apple to get back into the PDA market, if this current news will have an adverse effect on how well Palm OS PDA's work with the Mac.

I wouldn't go so far as saying this is a validation of the Mac platform sliding into irrelevance.....especially when the Mac platform has been growing both in numbers and in terms of the respect more people seem to have for it and OS X).

It's bad news any time to see a developer cancel a product, but I think it normally is done for sensible reasons.

RE: What effect will this have?
rsc1000 @ 2/10/2003 12:40:09 PM #
I really don't think this has to affect conduit development for Mac OS in any way. PalmSource still provides the CDK which is used in conjunction with CodeWarrior for Mac OS. Remember that its CodeWarrior for PalmOS FOR MAC that has been cancelled - NOT CodeWarrior for Mac OS (this might be a little confusing for the non-developers to follow). So - provided Metrowerks doesn't cancel this and provided PalmSource continues to release updates of the CDK for Mac - i can't imagine Palm developers suddenly dropping Mac support just because they can't write Palm code using a Mac.

RE: What effect will this have?
Foo Fighter @ 2/10/2003 12:46:13 PM #
> ".....especially when the Mac platform has been growing both in numbers"

If only that were true. Unfortunately Apple's market share has continued to whither. Currently Macs hold less than 2.6% of the world wide market, and somewhere above 3% US. And those numbers have continued to slip precipitously. In addition to that, Apple's unit sales have likewise declined along with marketshare. Ironically, Palm outsells Apple unit per unit by a large margin. It is a sad indictment that one PDA vendor outranks the entire Macintosh market.

Needless to say, "growth" is not a word I would use to describe the Mac platform.


"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs

RE: What effect will this have?
whitemiata @ 2/10/2003 1:22:39 PM #
I don't think it should have any effect of significant importance.

Any SERIOUS developer who desires to continue in their task should be able to afford the few hundred bucks required to hook themselves up with a Wintel machine, to continue development.

If they're indeed proficient programmers, owning both a Mac and Wintel machine should at some point enable them to offer true cross-platform compatibility by writing conduits for both platforms.

Incidentally I was wondering if what just happened would happen, once the Motorola chip was abandoned.

Incidentally I wouldn't be surprised to see something new and better, for the Wintel platform, storm the Palm ARM world and wipe Codewarrior off the planet (as it deserved to be long ago) (*)

Alessandro

(*) that comment is related to my personal experience buying CodeWarrior for PalmOS V 5.0 Windows, and finding it to be one heck of a poor excuse for an application Port. Borland Turbo C 1.0 for Dos was a better product than that heap of junk. For all I know MW may have since abadoned Resource Forks and other similar idiocy since V 5.0

... then folks say Mac is easier. Uh hu. Sure.

RE: What effect will this have?
bcombee @ 2/10/2003 2:06:37 PM #
PilRC support has been available in the CodeWarrior tools since Neil Rhodes's developed his PilRC-to-Rez plugin. V9 of the Palm OS tools on Windows has a new linker that completely avoids Macintosh resource forks by directly linking PilRC-output .ro files into the output of the compilers, producing a .prc file without using PalmRez or any other Mac-based tools.

The CW toolset has changed a lot since V5, the current version in 1999. Four years of professional development have given it some great capabilities, and smoothed out most of the rough spots.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

RE: What effect will this have?
bnystrom @ 2/10/2003 2:54:52 PM #
------------
> companies that currently don't produce mac desktop components and conduits for their software (ie Natara) probably never will. which is a shame.
------------

The situation with Natara may not fit your assumption. We are resource constrained. If we did have the resources to develop a Mac desktop and conduit, the lack of a Palm OS compiler on the Mac side would have no bearing. We do agree that the lack of a Mac Palm OS compiler may discourage pure Mac developers from creating a complete Palm package.

Bryan Nystrom
Natara Software, Inc.

RE: What effect will this have?
mikemusick @ 2/10/2003 3:01:21 PM #
Exactly. The existence of a Mac-based development system for Palm OS itself has no bearing on conduit development at all. Conduits are developed for the platform on which the Palm Desktop and Conduits run, not the handheld.

In this case, CodeWarrior for Mac OS is alive and healthy and still arguably the best tool to use for building Mac OS Conduits.

RE: What effect will this have?
skeezix @ 2/10/2003 3:14:28 PM #
Mac CodeWarrior for PalmOS has nothing to do with conduit or desktop application development. It is only the portion of CW used for building the handheld side of the deal. As a cross platform Palm OS app developer, this doesn't hinder me in the least.. I've got Unix, Windows, and Mac boxes under my desk, and certainlythe Mac will continue to chug along building its desktop and conduit stuff in the normal fashion.

The only people effected are those Mac developers building the handheld side.. they'll need to use the free prc tools (gcc and family), which is cool.. they're very good. The GUI tool (Constructor) is actually built by Palm, so the quesiton becomes.. is Palm still making Constructor? If so.. theres really no big loss here at all. If Palm drops Constructor, then its pilrc time for the Mac handheld developers. PilRC is fine.. its used by thousands every day. Its just not "pretty" for most people ;)

Seriously, this isn't as big a deal as it sounds like on the surface.. but obviously its a morale blow to find out theres not enough paying MW MAC Palm customers around to pay MW's bills in making the app :/

jeff

The Shadow knows!

RE: What effect will this have?
MountainLogic @ 2/10/2003 3:33:49 PM #
In light of Metrowerks' Motorola ownership this seems real strange from a broader moto business viewpoint. Apple & Moto have been very close from the very start of the Mac (68K).

RE: What effect will this have?
Palmruz @ 2/10/2003 8:35:54 PM #
The real question is if there was sufficient demand of past products to merit a update. Most decisions are usually related to the financial aspect in business. If Metyroworks were to turn a profit on releasing a Mac version they more likely than not would. I, who was a very fervent Mac user for years but thru circumstance was forced to join the PC ranks find both Palm OS and Apple would benefit from a Apple branded Palm OS device, especially a Palm OS 5 or palm OS 6 device since in the next few years the millions of current Palm OS 4 and 3 users might be looking to upgrade. Apple has a chance to join the PDA world years after the Newton set the mold of what a PDA should be and include.

"Virtual PC" recommendation is specious.

mikemusick @ 2/10/2003 12:35:00 PM #
My attempts to use Virtual PC (all versions up to and including the current one) for a competing Windows-only development package were rewarded with frustrating performance and user interface lags that constantly impeded getting the work done. And it got much, much worse under Mac OS X. Nobody who depends on the CW IDE for paying work will put up with Virtual PC - at least not for more than a couple of days.

We "old fart" developers on Palm OS see a lot of irony in this decision - in the early days of Palm OS, the only serious development tools for Palm were on the Mac, specifically ResEdit. Some folks got by with GCC on WinTel platforms, but you could usually identify those applications by the clunky user screens (forms). In the long run the Palm OS world benefitted with the CW IDE for Windows, now apparently at the expense of what is arguably the better tool.

I feel that Metrowerks erred somewhat in this decision by not factoring the amount of after-purchase support that Windows-based applications require - especially given that Palm OS development neophytes and dilettantes are disproportionately Windows users. I'm willing to bet that if MW took a serious look at their ratio of support calls by platform that they would find the Win:Mac ratio far, far higher than indicated by their installed base.

RE:
frauen1 @ 2/10/2003 4:44:09 PM #
I know Metrowerks tried to get the Mac-based PalmOS developers to ask for the new version (Ben Combee worked hard to get them to send in the requests). Apparently not enough did.

The biggest problem probably is porting the ARM compiler for Armlets (since it's a new and big piece of work). Maybe also the IDE changes (although I'm sure they could use the IDE for mac development as a base, it's still another variant to support). They already have a 68K compiler and debugger nub, PalmSource does the constructor work.

Last summer I was considering switching my development to the Mac. What stopped me was how much I could get for the $$$ on the Windows side versus buying a cheap iBoot (I prefer to do all my development on laptops). I love the Mac, but I really can't justify it.

I do think that this decision is not smart - I think the Mac development community is strategic; obviously, some of the most experienced developers are Mac based, given the history of PalmOS development. I think that something is lost here that is hard to quantify but will definitely be felt in the developer community. IMHO, of course...

Cheap on Budget

RhinoSteve @ 2/10/2003 3:19:14 PM #
This means either that the management at Metrowerks was not able to find replacements or was not willing to rehire anyone to replace their two top Mac developers who left about a year ago for better deals.

Personally, I don't see much of an affect with this since while the Mac has gone to Unix based system (OS X), there are ports of many GCC enviroments to the Mac -- Falch.NET is looking really nice on OS X -- so all the hardcore Mac guys will move to GCC and one of the many Palm developer enviroments that encapsulate those tools.

This, good news for the GCC guys and Metrowerks trimmed their budget. I'll keep writing Palm code on my Windows box.

Sign of Mac's death?

ray00pal @ 2/10/2003 3:34:42 PM #
Codewarrior is very important for Mac OS.

I don't want to start the discussion of which OS is better. Frankly, I think Mac could be better but so what? They are dead now.

There will be no more application for them. I can see Windows will cost $800 in the future.

RE: Sign of Mac's death?
skeezix @ 2/10/2003 3:58:53 PM #
Read carefully; no one said Codewarrior for Mac was going away. Codewarrior for Palm (on Mac OS) is going away.


The Shadow knows!

RE: Sign of Mac's death?
bcombee @ 2/10/2003 4:05:37 PM #
Just to reiterate what Jeff said, Metrowerks still strongly supports CodeWarrior for Mac OS, our tools that target development of Mac OS X applications. We have continuing development going on in that space.

We have just said that we are not planning on producing a Mac OS-hosted version of our Palm OS V9 tools. The Mac hosted Palm OS tools and the ones targeting Mac OS X development are done by different groups here in Metrowerks.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

RE: Sign of Mac's death?
mongrot @ 2/10/2003 6:08:10 PM #
It ain't the sign of Mac's death, it's the sign of Metrowerks death. You can tell your sales people to stop bugging me to upgrade to 9. Guess what? It isn't going to happen. I feel like I've been violated somehow.

I'm off to download the GNU development tools and install the Apple Developer Tools... (oh yeah, and remove Metrowerks). Can you tell I'm pissed off?

RE: Sign of Mac's death?
Foo Fighter @ 2/10/2003 8:33:14 PM #
Why is it that every time a great application drops Mac support, Mac users say it (and the parent company) "sucked anyway". And they childishly pray for said company's death. I'd like to see the response when Quark pulls the plug on Apple; "Oh, Quark sucked. Nobody uses XPress anyway." :-
"it's better to be a pirate than join the navy." - Steve Jobs
RE: Sign of Mac's death?
mongrot @ 2/10/2003 11:05:55 PM #
Hmm, I hope that isn't what you got out of my posting. Perhaps I should explain. First of all, Metrowerks has been bugging me since last last year to pre-purchase an upgrade to version 9 of their tools. Fortunately for me, I decided to hold off until I could see them. Now I find out they are discontinued? What would have happened to me had I pre-paid? So when I say I am not going to upgrade, it's not because I hope they are going out of business, or that I think their product sucks. I really like Metrowerks, I'm sad they had to make this decision.
Now on to my statement about the end of Metrowerks. I don't want them to go out of business. I don't want any of the software companies that I like and use to go out of business. I really hope Palm can stay in business too. I'm still pissed because when I see things like this happening, it only increases the grip that Microsoft has on this entire industry. How does giving one company so much control and influence help the industry? I mean, if I am going to be developing software in Windows, I might as well develop software for Windows CE too! It's easier right? That's Microsoft's story, and if they get what they want, why do we need Metrowerks on any platform? Get the picture? It sucks. I realize it is a business decision but it still sucks for everyone.

RE: Sign of Mac's death?
ray00pal @ 2/12/2003 1:03:11 PM #
I think this confusion is due to the horrible title choosen for the subject. It should read "No Palm Codewarrior for Mac OS". However, don't get me wrong, Mac OS is STILL dying. Who knows, maybe Codewarrior will drop Mac support completely. This might be just the first step. Many PDA software does not consider Mac OS at all.


CodeWarrior for Mac is NOT going away

ardee @ 2/10/2003 4:15:31 PM #
CodeWarrior targeting the Mac is NOT going away.

(Only CodeWarrior targeting Palm but running on the Mac is.)


RE: CodeWarrior for Mac is NOT going away
stan98 @ 2/10/2003 4:33:45 PM #
Right!

At this point MW has lost all credibility and might sing a very different tune some time from now. Their decision to discontinue the Palm compiler is already backfiring as many developers are now building MW-free environments.

RE: CodeWarrior for Mac is NOT going away
bcombee @ 2/10/2003 5:00:57 PM #
We decided not to continue our Mac OS X hosted environment for Palm OS development. While we would prefer that they move to our Windows-based tools, having those developers switch to prc-tools for building their applications doesn't hurt Metrowerks since we were not going to be able to support them anyway.

I don't see how us telling people this information destroys our credibility. We made this decision in the middle/later part of January, and it took time for an official statement to be drafted and approved. We are trying to be honest and open with developers. How does that make us non-credible?

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

RE: CodeWarrior for Mac is NOT going away
Fammy @ 2/10/2003 5:18:11 PM #
What people don't understand is that business is business. I respect Metrowerks' decision. If the money isn't there, at the end of the day the product isn't going to be there.

I hate to see options being limited. Maybe in the future they will be able to re-open the Mac IDE.

_____
Fammy

RE: CodeWarrior for Mac is NOT going away
Anon @ 2/11/2003 6:43:58 AM #
If the main problem is the cost of support, then why not just increase the price or the Mac version to cover support costs for the platform instead of droping it all together? Has a market study been done to see if Mac based developers will be willing to pay extra for support?

I can assure you one thing: I will NEVER move to Windows for Palm coding for the Mac. I would rather move to desktop Linux or switch to another deveoloper tool.

RE: CodeWarrior for Mac is NOT going away
ardee @ 2/11/2003 9:51:06 AM #
A company must always do what it believes is in its best interest. And there will always be outsiders who disagee with the company's decision. Only MW knows completely all the factors involved in this decision, but I suspect the people running MW did not get where they are by making off-the-cuff decisions.


RE: CodeWarrior for Mac is NOT going away
stan98 @ 2/11/2003 2:03:00 PM #
Credibility is lost by lying. Development on the Mac version stopped when 8.0 came out. Naturally a "decision" in January would then be based on re-hiring some developers and the factual impossibility to keep Mac and Windows versions concurrent. So the decision was de facto made way back in June 2002, all the rest is just placating the folks.
Some other cost-cutting decisions were made that summer as well and involved licensing third party products, that would eventually show up as the notable improvements to MW's product. Both of these were not Mac native and there never existed a plan to port the resource editor to the Mac platform. Also, there would be a price increase with version 9, since the Windows version would cost $150.00 more - it used to be half of a bundle of the Mac/Windows package. Again, all of these decisions were made the summer of 2002 everybody knew darn well about it.

The "just buy a windows box" is unfortunately somewhat naive, since the compilers are usually the centerpiece of a development environment and are hooked up to all sorts of other software (i.e. text and graphics editors, compression software). They are often run via scripts (i.e.AppleScript) and must be compatible with QA procedures. Replacing such a system can run tens of thousands. Add to that the amount of man-hours it takes to restructure such a system even after the new hardware and software is in place and you will see why some companies will hurt badly.

Trust is an issue with compiler manufacturers. They are trusted to be there. They are trusted to have some understanding of the process. Metrowerks is now a part of Motorola and its ethics have been replaced with decisions by boards of people who have only short-sighted monetary goals in mind. Any Mac developer should take a close look at what happened here and and draw the proper conclusions.

RE: CodeWarrior for Mac is NOT going away
bcombee @ 2/11/2003 3:42:49 PM #
Stan, I think you are grossly misinterpreting unrelated events that happened here at Metrowerks last year. Like all groups within Motorola, we had cut-backs last year, including some layoffs. However, those events did not affect the engineering resources assigned to our Palm OS tools.

We have not lied about what we were doing with V9. Yes, we made a decision in mid-2002 to focus our development on Win32. However, we also decided at that time to maintain as much cross-platform design and implementation as possible to enable a port after V9 was released. We felt it better to get our tools out in the early days of OS 5 than to wait and lose the market window. When the news became public, we actively solicited developer input for the purposes of making a case to do the Mac OS-hosted tools.

Metrowerks does not always speak with one voice -- we are a company, not one individual. However, when I say that no final decision was made until January, I mean it. My team was given the opportunity to make our case, but emotions wasn't enough; with the market data and development cost estimates we had, we were not able to justify new work.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

Other Solutions

masitti @ 2/10/2003 4:51:10 PM #
What other solutions are there to develop for Palm OS on a Mac? I am going to be getting a very nice Mac setup in a few months and would like to develop on it if possible.

------------------------
Mario Masitti
O/T Mod
I Love Tennis :)
RE: Other Solutions
kezza @ 2/10/2003 5:13:35 PM #
well, you could always get a windows emulator and run codewarrior on that. ;)

--------------------------------------
"Well, if it isn't the leader of the wiener patrol, boning up on his nerd lessons"
http://stirwise.com
RE: Other Solutions
Admin @ 2/10/2003 5:27:39 PM #
I use the MS remote desktop to connect to a windows machine with os x to use the occasional windows application. That's probably a better option than using virtual pc, however it requires that you have second windows box.
RE: Other Solutions
ardiri @ 2/10/2003 7:31:35 PM #
> What other solutions are there to develop for Palm OS on a Mac?

codewarrior is not the only development kit - you *can* compile prc-tools (the GNU toolchain) for mac osx without too much of a problem if you know what your going.

while metrowerks may have dropped support for the mac, i am sure it wasn't an easy decision - it costs money to build software; and, the amount of developers willing to purchase the mac version probably isn't sufficient to warrent developing it; its a classic supply and demand scenario - whats the big deal?

we haven't seen the linux community complain when software wasn't available on their platform have we? keep in mind mac is moving towards linux (most especially with the osx kernel). eventually, it may be possible to run applications like wine to emulate the windows layer - under X11.

but seriously, how much is a PC these days?

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

RE: Other Solutions
masitti @ 2/10/2003 7:58:27 PM #
Ryan, I like your idea also. I would have a PC box around. I find it disappointing though that a company that originated this on one platform completely switched to the other. I see many other companies that have applications both under Windows and Mac. I see them being able to do it.

------------------------
Mario Masitti
O/T Mod
I Love Tennis :)
RE: Other Solutions
ocspub @ 2/10/2003 8:26:38 PM #
> I see many other companies that have applications
> both under Windows and Mac. I see them being able
> to do it.

I think the potential target market for PalmOS
developers is much smaller than for other (consumer)
apps.

If Metrowerks was thinking they could make money on
a MacOS version, I'm sure they would have decided
otherwise. I am also sure that Ben did a good job
trying to find (reasonable) arguments for building
a v9 version. I heard somewhere that 40 developers
voiced interest in a MacOS version of v9. If that's
true, and if we assume that 10% of those who would
ultimately buy the version actually bothered to make
their voice heard, there would be 400 licensees to
develop for. If all were to pay full price (no
upgrades, which is highly unlikely), the revenue
would be somewhere around $160k. Doesn't look
like a very profitable project to me.

As a user of the Windows version (v7, though), I am,
of course, interested in Metrowerks being profitable
in what they are doing, because I'd like to continue
to count on future upgrade possibilities and Ben's
help in the development mailing lists. ;-)

Oliver

RE: Other Solutions
masitti @ 2/11/2003 8:50:16 AM #
I am sure Metrowerks is very profitable in the Windows version which would allow some slack on the Mac version. It is just disappointing when a company who has made the software for the Mac for how many years? Just drops it like a hot potato (or so it appears to the consumers).

------------------------
Mario Masitti
O/T Mod
I Love Tennis :)
RE: Other Solutions
quengho @ 2/11/2003 9:26:44 AM #
Something that people seem to miss, when talking about software development on the Mac, is that MacOS X is UNIX-based.

UNIX is a different kind of development environment than Windows or Macintosh. Typically one uses cooperating tools rather than a monolithic IDE, and since UNIX was designed by programmers for their own use it has tools in abundance. In addition, it's long been the home of the open-source movement... in short there is an absolutely amazing repository of development tools for UNIX.

I would strongly suggest looking into combining the strengths of CW8 with the strengths of the underlying UNIX environment in OSX.

RE: Other Solutions
rsc1000 @ 2/11/2003 10:14:14 AM #
>>Typically one uses cooperating tools rather than a monolithic IDE

Thats a nice way of saying that the user / developer has to do more work. I like Unix and appreciate its superior security /stability / robustness. But lets not pretend that lack of comprehensive IDEs is a good thing.

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