Dharma: Cocoa on Windows... Again?

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A first time poster to MacGeneration (French) forums posted the contents of an email, which was originally sent to another website.

The writer claims that Apple is reviving "Yellow Box for Windows" -- a development environment which promised Mac OS X developers the ability to develop and then deploy of both Mac OS X and Windows environments. The original plans for Yellow Box were promised during early developer sessions by Apple, but later killed.

The letter claims that the project has been relaunched internally under the name "Dharma". Resultant applications will be true "Universal Binaries", allowing developers to released their applications under the Windows environment also.

The reasoning behind this is the same as it was before -- lure developers (Mac and Windows alike) to the Mac OS X platform to stimulate more Mac applications and compatibility. Safari is reportedly already running on Windows XP and is expected to be released as a free application for Windows.

Obviously, anonymous forum posts are amongst the least reliable sources of information, but is linked here for interest sake.

I sent this e-mail yesterday to Lionel. Instead of publishing the real info it gave, he made an article which he pretended to have written himself where he explained his views (http://www.macbidouille.com/news/2005-12-01/#11945).

Here is the real deal :

Dear Mr *********,

I know you don't do rumors anymore, but this one is huge. The Mac
community is well aware that Apple going Intel is a two-sided sword.
The Mac platform has a lot to win from this audacious move, but a lot
to lose, too. In fact, Steve Job's company know that they are about to
face the dreaded 'OS/2 effect', which means, as you know it, that
binary compatibility, which can be achieved through little or no
effort thanks to the WINE framework. In its time, OS/2 was a
technically superior OS to Windows 3, but IBM made the tactical
mistake to let Microsoft (who were working with them at the time) add
a Win16 compatibility layer to OS/2. As we all know today, OS/2 didn't
succeed commercially and many attribute this failure to the fact that
programmers didn't made the effort to port their application to OS/2's
native API, but just relied on its ability to run unmodified Windows
16-bit binaries.

Jobs is well aware of the risk and, as soon as he decided to revive
the dormant OS X-on-Intel 'Marklar' project, launched a parallel
project (now known internally as 'Dharma') of reviving (here's the big
thing)... The Yellow Box for Windows. As you probably know it, the
Yellow Box for Windows was NeXT's project of porting Project Builder
(known as Xcode today) and the complete NeXT API (known as Cocoa
today) to Windows, allowing developers to create a Windows binary by
simply ticking a check box. Rings a bell? Yes, it IS what they
_always_ meant by 'Universal Binaries'. Truly universal.

Why bother? That's simple. By giving those powerful development tools
for free, Apple and Jobs hope to give Windows developer a competing
alternative to Microsoft's Visual Studio and thus 'contaminate' the
Windows environment with Mac-compatible, objective-C applications,
instead of letting WINE do just the reverse.

As an example of the power of the Dharma project, Apple has ported
Safari to Windows and an internal build of Apple's browser (2.0.2,
v.417.108) actually runs on Windows (XP required), complete with
Quartz anti-aliasing. It is reported to be fairly stable, even if the
Java and Flash plugins still aren't working, due to their dependency
to third-party code. Apple plan to release the Windows version of its
browser for free. In fact, this one was easy to do since they had to
port WebKit in order for the Cocoa framework to be complete.

Now you can ask why I give you this information, and not to another
website, and that's fair enough. The reason is quite simple, actually.
Some of the information I give you in this mail are strictly
confidential (and I mean strictly), and the DMCA would prevent a
US-based site to reveal them. Freedom of speech is not what it used to
be in the US (although I'm an Italian from Canada myself). I trust you
enough that you won't try tracing me and anonymize my mail (you'll
understand that I used a fake name for this). The other reason is that
the team in charge of the development of the Dharma project is...
French. In fact, Bertrand 'Mad Eye' Serlet, Apple's senior vice
president of Software Engineering is the lead of this project and
Apple France's engineers (of iCal and iSync fame) are in charge of it.
It is to be announced the very day when the first Intel Apple computer
is commercially launched.

Sincerely,

John Locke, somewhere near Hawaii
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
That would be neat.

Cocoa is an excellent framework and if it's available for Windows, too, it can only attract more developers. More developers = more software.
 

crazzyeddie

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2002
2,791
0
Florida, USA
I guess if everything works as smoothly as indicated (highly doubtful) then I don't see why Apple wouldn't do this. It might save them from some of the software developers who will only publish for Windows after the Intel switch (if the machines turn out to be dual-bootable / VPC runs at almost native speeds).
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
I also doubt it will be an entirely smooth ride to develop cross platform apps with Cocoa, but with extra care and testing on both platforms during development, it should be very possible.
 

rikers_mailbox

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2003
739
0
LA-la-land
I'm not smart enough...

Could someone please expand/speculate on Apple's intentions for (potentially) releasing Safari for Windows. Is it for mindshare, marketing? Are there revenue possibilities for releasing a browser?
 

andrewm

macrumors regular
Apr 2, 2004
132
3
Los Angeles, CA
The beauty of it is in how well-integrated everything was. If you look inside of a Cocoa (or modern Carbon) OS X application bundle, you'll see a directory named 'MacOS.' Assuming that memory serves correctly, and that there's anyone here who doesn't yet know, the same application *bundle* (ending in .app) would work on both Macintosh and Windows, with executable code unique to each platform (or, rather, each processor for each platform, if I understand correctly) inside its relevant (sub)directory.

Thus a Cocoa program would be slightly larger than it is now, but would work on two platforms without much more than additional compiler stuff--and, of course, fine-tuning.
 

Some_Big_Spoon

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2003
855
0
New York, NY
Well, if it were a 1 to 1 pairity, then there's a better chance that Safari gets used more, then sites/companies/etc might push for either inclusion of Safari when they code and design sites, or put into effect more browser/platform agnostic architecture.

Right now many, man, many sites are coded for IE only, and, occasionally, require IE just to access them. Firefox is doing an ok job of shaking things up, but a recognized company like Apple putting their weight into things could make uptake faster for non-IE browsers. Choice is good, and choice makes innovation possible.



rikers_mailbox said:
I'm not smart enough...

Could someone please expand/speculate on Apple's intentions for (potentially) releasing Safari for Windows. Is it for mindshare, marketing? Are there revenue possibilities for releasing a browser?
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
rikers_mailbox said:
I'm not smart enough...

Could someone please expand/speculate on Apple's intentions for (potentially) releasing Safari for Windows. Is it for mindshare, marketing? Are there revenue possibilities for releasing a browser?
Releasing Safari for Windows isn't really the news here.

The news is that Apple may release tools that will enable any developer to develop software that works both on OS X and on Windows and still looks and feels like an OS X application.
 

Sky Blue

Guest
Jan 8, 2005
6,856
10
Nermal said:
Dharma... John Locke... Hawaii :rolleyes:
my thoughts exactly. Maybe Locke got bored of inputting 4 8 15 16 23 and 42 and tried to port Safari to Windows instead.
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,849
1,398
Falls Church, VA
John Locke + Dharma = LOST

Guys, this is 100% fake. The guy put the project name as Dharma, and signed the email "John Locke, somewhere near Hawaii".

Watch LOST on ABC, and tell me it isn't fake.
 

GodBless

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2005
1,004
0
gekko513 said:
Releasing Safari for Windows isn't really the news here.

The news is that Apple may release tools that will enable any developer to develop software that works both on OS X and on Windows and still looks and feels like an OS X application.
Just imagine Xcode for XP (or Vista I should say). One thing is for sure, tomorrow will be interesting.
 

rikers_mailbox

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2003
739
0
LA-la-land
gekko513 said:
Releasing Safari for Windows isn't really the news here.

The news is that Apple may release tools that will enable any developer to develop software that works both on OS X and on Windows and still looks and feels like an OS X application.
Safari for Windows is the secondary headline here. Understood.

But if it were true, it's joining a very short list of Windows-built Mac programs (Quicktime, iTunes, any others?), which seems like significant news to me.

I'm not a developer, so I'm not too interested in the details of coding/compiling Mac programs to natively run on Windows. But as an Apple investor, I'm curious as to the implications of releasing Safari Windows and how Apple could benefit.
 

kainjow

Moderator emeritus
Jun 15, 2000
7,958
6
longofest said:
Guys, this is 100% fake. The guy put the project name as Dharma, and signed the email "John Locke, somewhere near Hawaii".

Watch LOST on ABC, and tell me it isn't fake.
The guy does mention in that email that he uses a fake name. So he probably saw "Dharma", and playfully put in "John Locke" and "Hawaii"
 

rikers_mailbox

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2003
739
0
LA-la-land
longofest said:
Guys, this is 100% fake. The guy put the project name as Dharma, and signed the email "John Locke, somewhere near Hawaii".

Watch LOST on ABC, and tell me it isn't fake.
Eh.. I just think he's using it as a clever alias. It has no bearing on whether the rumor is true or not.

Maybe he has more missing film?! :p Or maybe the computer used to reset the counter runs on universal binaries!
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,849
1,398
Falls Church, VA
kainjow said:
The guy does mention in that email that he uses a fake name. So he probably saw "Dharma", and playfully put in "John Locke" and "Hawaii"
Yeah, I just noted that too. Well, for the sake of all of us, I hope so, and I hope this sketchy rumor is true. Personally, I am a developer who has to use MFC and Microsoft crud at work. To be able to develop using XCode and make a truly universal binary would be so incredibly awesome...

I bet you that Apple would lure a bunch of people away from Microsoft's stuff if they still release XCode for free. I mean, whats the harm in supporting more operating systems when development costs don't go up? I mean, you do have to retrain your workforce to know Cocoa, but meh... the long-term benefits would be much better.

Plus, the Microsoft compiler sucks.
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,849
1,398
Falls Church, VA
rikers_mailbox said:
Eh.. I just think he's using it as a clever alias. It has no bearing on whether the rumor is true or not.

Maybe he has more missing film?! :p
Speaking of which, anyone else can't wait for tonight's episode??? I'm stoked!

EDIT: Bloody hell!!! It's a repeat! When's the next new one?
 

kainjow

Moderator emeritus
Jun 15, 2000
7,958
6
longofest said:
Yeah, I just noted that too. Well, for the sake of all of us, I hope so, and I hope this sketchy rumor is true. Personally, I am a developer who has to use MFC and Microsoft crud at work. To be able to develop using XCode and make a truly universal binary would be so incredibly awesome...

I bet you that Apple would lure a bunch of people away from Microsoft's stuff if they still release XCode for free. I mean, whats the harm in supporting more operating systems when development costs don't go up? I mean, you do have to retrain your workforce to know Cocoa, but meh... the long-term benefits would be much better.

Plus, the Microsoft compiler sucks.
The sweet thing about Cocoa on Windows compared to .NET 1.1/2 on Windows is that for each one, the framework is not built-in to the operating system (at least with XP and below). So the user has to download it. With .NET, you can only built for x86. With Cocoa, you can build for x86 AND PPC. What do you think developers will use? :D

I'm psyched.
 

MacNeXT

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2004
258
0
Would a be very interesting development. It is like the Intel switch: Jobs apparently has enough confidence that it will work this time, as opposed to the Intel switch for NeXT, which turned out to be somewhat of a debacle. It makes sense, why not also Yellow Box again? It's a fair observation that Apple/Mac OS X has leveraged enough momentum (more than the pre-Mac OS X era) for it to work out as it is supposed to this time. That was not the case when Yellow Box was killed. That might have been a wise decision at the time.

But, it's still a rumour. Without wanting to make a statement about the credibility, I do agree that the LOST reference doesn't indicate it's necessarily fake.

Edit:

http://groups.google.nl/group/comp....&q=dharma+apple&rnum=8&hl=nl#76d8867f66b6d995

Funny, I wasn't there, but maybe others remember. Maybe the Dharma code name is supposed to refer to Dharma & Greg. Could just as well be a coincidence though. Or it may have inspired the creator of a well thought-out hoax.
 

Rocksaurus

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2003
652
0
California
MacNeXT said:
Funny, I wasn't there, but maybe others remember. Maybe the Dharma code name is supposed to refer to Dharma & Greg. Could just as well be a coincidence though. Or it may have inspired the creator of a well thought-out hoax.
Okay, okay, let's give Apple a little bit more credit in creating code names, shall we?

Yeesh.

From the link:

"(1) Svakkhato The Dhamma is not a speculative philosophy, but is the Universal Law found through enlightenment and is preached precisely. Therefore it is excellent in the beginning (Sīla ... Moral principles), Excellent in the middle (Samadhi. . . Concentration) and excellent in the end (Pań ña . . . Wisdom) (2) (Samditthiko) The Dhamma can be tested by practice and therefore he who follows it will see the result by himself through is own experience. (3) (Akāliko) The Dhamma is able to bestow timeless and immediate results here and now, for which there is no need to wait till the future or next existence. (4) (Ehipassiko) The Dhamma welcomes all beings to put it to the test come and see for themselves. (5) (Opāneyiko) The Dhamma is capable of being entered upon and therefore it is worthy to be followed as a part of one's life. (6) (Paccattam veditabbo viññūnhi) The Dhamma can be perfectly realized only by the noble disciples (Ariyas) who have matured and enlightened enough in supreme wisdom."
(bold added by me ;) )
 
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