Goodbye PowerPlant (mostly)

We started work on Goldenseal in 1991, using the Pascal programming language, the Think Pascal compiler, and their class framework (Think Class Library).  Less than a year later, Apple announced plans to switch processors (from 680×0 to PPC) and programming languages (from Pascal to C++).

We decided to just throw everything out, and start over.  Apple’s tools were not very good, but a program called CodeWarrior burst onto the scene for building C++ code.  They had a class framework called PowerPlant, and we built our code on top of it.   Having been bitten once, we were cautious and put a layer in between our code and theirs, in case we ever had to switch.

23 years later, we are appreciating that decision.  We will keep a few of the most useful pieces from PowerPlant, but we’ve already managed to prune out 80% of it, and will gradually remove most of the rest.   Then we can plop our code on top of a different framework.

Based on the past week’s progress, it should only take another week or two to finish the demolition phase.  We already have working code based on the QT framework, so we will continue work on that ourselves, and see how far we can get in a month or two.  At that point, we can make an informed decision whether to use it for the whole project, and whether to finish the work in-house.

It’s nice to be moving forward again, after being stalled for almost half a year.

Dennis Kolva
Programming Director
Turtle Creek Software

Author: Dennis Kolva

Programming Director for Turtle Creek Software. Design & planning of accounting and estimating software.