Our staff is still working on code for breakdown tables in Goldenseal Pro for Windows. The starting point was GridCtrl sample code, available online. After removing 2/3 of that, we are now revising the remainder to include the best ideas from our original table classes (plus Cocoa’s NSTableView).
It’s possible we should have just started from scratch. But Windows and MFC have many quirks, and most likely we would have spent many frustrating weeks or months learning those the hard way. Better to use something that actually works at the start.
Meanwhile on the Mac side, it’s not looking good for the future of Objective-C and Cocoa. All signs point to them being retired soon, and replaced with the new Swift language and SwiftUI framework. Moving to Swift would be much harder than Cocoa, well beyond our abilities. So, it’s not looking good for the future of Goldenseal Pro for Macintosh either.
Microsoft is working on WinUI 3, which is a grand plan to modernize its developer tools. In theory, WinUI 3 will allow us to gradually replace our GUI code with more modern controls. They’ll look better, work more smoothly, and be more compatible with future OS versions.
Of course, Microsoft is a big corporation that doesn’t always deliver on its promises. Sometimes it produces products that suck. But at least their process is visible so we can plan around it. As turtles living under the feet of elephants, it’s kinda nice to know where they are headed.
Meanwhile, we filed a support incident with Apple Developer Tech Support in November, trying to get better info about their plans for Cocoa and Objective-C. We also emailed firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apple DTS replied in late December that they don’t release future plans. We then asked if anyone at Apple will talk with small developers like us. Yesterday they just replied again that they don’t release future plans. We didn’t hear from Tim or his assistants at all. We are still trying to find someone else at Apple who actually listens to developers, but it may be a futile task.
Back in TurtleSoft’s first decade, Apple had a dedicated manager for the A/E/C market (architects, engineers and construction). Besides that, there were several other Apple employees that we could talk with. All that evaporated when Apple almost died in the late 90s, and it wasn’t replaced when they became prosperous again.
Swift and SwiftUI look great for building small phone apps. They are not good for building large desktop apps such as ours. We really need easy linkage to C++, and a promise that it won’t require major rewrites every 5 years. Windows delivers all that: if anything they have too much backwards compatibility. Apple has been the opposite, and they are getting worse at it.
It wouldn’t hurt for our die-hard Mac users to contact Apple, and let them know that you still need specialty apps that run on the Mac desktop. Otherwise, the future appears to be a Macintosh that is pretty much a big-screen iPad. Lots of pretty little apps but no software for business.