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CMx2 development and Apple's change to Intel architecture


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To the developers of CMx2,

I have been waiting for a OSX compatable version of CM. I understand that CMx2 has been in development for some time. How does Apple's decision to move to an Intel based architecture affect this development ? Where your programming with Xcode ? Will you be able to use Xcode 2.1 with its universal binaries ?

Thanks.......Basketcase. :confused:

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Well hopefully the guys / gals can say “yep we are using Xcode 2.1 so there will only be a slight delay” (e.g. Like the guys from Wolfram Research and Mathematica did during the Keynote).

Perhaps they are already in the queue to buy one of those “developer only” Pentium boxes in a G5 case with 10.4.1 on board.

Silence hopefully doesn’t suggest people are now scrambling to buy Xcode and start that initial conversion / rewrite process.

In theory of course they could just continue with whatever they are doing now and “Rosetta” would sort it out for us.

[ June 09, 2005, 02:29 PM: Message edited by: gibsonm ]

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Originally posted by gibsonm:

In theory of course they could just continue with whatever they are doing now and “Rosetta” would sort it out for us.

Unfortunately, Rosetta will most likely be too slow.

From the Apple document "Universal Binary Programming Guidelines":

Rosetta is a translation process that runs a PowerPC binary on an Macintosh using an Intel microprocessor—it allows applications to run as nonnative binaries. Many, but not all, applications can run translated. Applications that run translated will never run as fast as they run as a native binary because the translation process itself incurs a processing cost. How compatible your application is with Rosetta depends on the type of application it is. Applications that have a lot of user interaction and low computational needs, such as a word processor, are quite compatible. Those that have a moderate amount of user interaction and some high computational needs or that use OpenGL are, in most cases, also quite compatible. Those that have intense computing needs aren’t compatible. This includes applications that need to repeatedly compute fast Fourier transforms (FFTs), that compute complex models for 3-D modelling, or compute ray tracing.
I was planning on switching completely to Mac when Cmx2 is released, I guess I'll justhave to wait and see what happens.
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Unless Battlefront is very fortuitous, I cannot see how this will not slow down the Mac release. To begin with, they now have to get the new hardware and it will be like developing for 3 platforms instead of two. The endian problem may be less because of the simultaneous Windows development. Specialized code that is endian dependent but not OS dependent might be directly imported.

If I were they, I would be asking is it really worth putting any more effort into a G4 or G5 version that will have a life expectancy of just over a year and who is going to beta test an application when there is no hardware available yet? With all this effort to move it to an Intel based unix system, why not go all the way and support linux?

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Originally posted by MouseBert:

Unless Battlefront is very fortuitous, I cannot see how this will not slow down the Mac release. To begin with, they now have to get the new hardware and it will be like developing for 3 platforms instead of two. The endian problem may be less because of the simultaneous Windows development. Specialized code that is endian dependent but not OS dependent might be directly imported.

If I were they, I would be asking is it really worth putting any more effort into a G4 or G5 version that will have a life expectancy of just over a year and who is going to beta test an application when there is no hardware available yet? With all this effort to move it to an Intel based unix system, why not go all the way and support linux?

Why three?

1. A “Universal Binary“ for both Mac platforms (PPC and Intel) and

2. A WIndows version for the others.

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Originally posted by gibsonm:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by MouseBert:

Unless Battlefront is very fortuitous, I cannot see how this will not slow down the Mac release. To begin with, they now have to get the new hardware and it will be like developing for 3 platforms instead of two. The endian problem may be less because of the simultaneous Windows development. Specialized code that is endian dependent but not OS dependent might be directly imported.

If I were they, I would be asking is it really worth putting any more effort into a G4 or G5 version that will have a life expectancy of just over a year and who is going to beta test an application when there is no hardware available yet? With all this effort to move it to an Intel based unix system, why not go all the way and support linux?

Why three?

1. A “Universal Binary“ for both Mac platforms (PPC and Intel) and

2. A Windows version for the others. </font>

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Well perhaps we will move to a DVD install media (as at least combo drives are now standard on the later Macs). That might see the PPC, Intel and Windows versions on the same media (saving production costs.

Steve has also recently denied that there would be two releases(refer the link in Kurtz’s post above) so I guess we will see both (Mac and Windows) out at the same time.

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Originally posted by MouseBert:

If I were they, I would be asking is it really worth putting any more effort into a G4 or G5 version that will have a life expectancy of just over a year

G4 will probably be the first processors to be replaced starting next summer, some 6 months after CMx2 release. But there will still be a lot of G4's around for quite some time. All iBooks, Powerbooks and Mac minis. Not to mention a lot of Powermacs. The complete change to Intel will take another year. So there will probably not be any G5 replacement until some 12-18 months after CMx2 release, and those G5's will probably still be running fine by then.

Making G4/G5 versions makes lots of sense. The life expectancy of a computer in CM context is more like 3-5 years, if we look at the system requirements for the current Combat Mission.

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