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Desk Accessory Programming

Posted on 1997-05-11
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What would I need to begin to program an old Desk Accessory for the Mac??  Are there any freeware/shareware mac compliers??  What is the best commercial software to program on the Mac??  Is there any software that will allow Mac programs to be complied on a PC??
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Question by:Vore
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by:PAD
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If don't know Freeware/Shareware compiler, but the best environment for mac is CodeWarrior from Metrowerks, they sold this environment in several graded pack from MacOS only to MacOs, Windows32, BeBox, PowerTV, PlayStation, and much more

See there web site for more information www.metrowerks.com

No easy environment exist for real cross platform developpement (PC/MacOS) except large tools (like XVT) which are expensive, slow, long and diffucult to learn and not powerful...

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staggart earned 50 total points
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To program a desk accessory for the mac you will need a compiler.  I recommend either Metrowerks C or Symantec C (assuming you will use C which is now the language of choice for the Mac).  My choice would be for Metrowerks since they are updating their products whereas Symantec is milking the proverbial cash-cow dry.

In any event, both of these compiler packages have sample desk-accessory programs which you could start with.  Note that with System 7 and newer, you do not need to nor should you write a desk accessory.  Instead, just write a small application and it will act like a DA in system 7 if you place it in the Apple Menu items or Control Panels folder.

If you do choose to write a DA for an older system, debugging can be kind of tricky - you cannot use the source code debuggers because a true DA runs in a special environment.  I would recommend the TMON debugger, but you must be GOOD at assembly language.  For this reason, I would try to get your customer to run System 7 so you can debug using good source code tools since you will be debugging a regular C app and not a old-stlye DA.

As far as public-domain or sharware compilers/development systems, I don't think there are any that allow you to devlop DAs (or for that matter, serious apps).

In addition to the sample DAs included with the above mentioned compilers, I am sure there are plenty sample source code DAs on the public Mac sites.  Start with www.sharware.com and go from there.

Good luck, Scott.
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