Under The Microscope

What Went On At Metrowerks

In July of last year, Greg Bolsinga posted a fascinating account of his time at Metrowerks and Apple, particularly as it related to the Intel transition. Somehow, it was lost in the shuffle, but I found it just now courtesy of John Gruber. It may be a little dense for the average reader, but there’s some deeply-relevant insights here. A few choice quotes:

“Metrowerks wound up solving this problem by eating their own dog food and using the doomed Metrowerks Sourcesafe, licensed from Microsoft. As this soon became absolutely untenable, Metrowerks moved to using CVS. They continued to sell Metrowerks Sourcesafe to unwitting customers after they had switched over internally.”

“Many of these engineers moved on after Be stopped using CodeWarrior (BeOS moved to the GCC compiler and Intel chips from the CodeWarrior compiler and PPC chips, does that sound familiar?)”

“As Rhapsody evolved and PEF and CFM were going to be supported in Mac OS X, Metrowerks seemed to take that level as what they were going to target, seeming (in Metrowerks at least) to leave Mach-O as a perceived legacy format.”

“While cleaning it up, I realized that java was building FAT. What this meant was that java was building both Intel and PowerPC builds. This was in 2000. I had asked my teammates why, and I was told that the build was just done that way for legacy reasons.”

“Because using Mac OS X on Intel was such a joy, there was a time that I tried to do all of my work on Intel. I succeeded for a bit, but it was hard. Whenever you used the Mac OS X on Intel machine, you had to close your door and your blinds since not everyone was disclosed.”

Read the whole thing for yourself.

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