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JDX_John

Introduction to Mac development

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A project I'm working on (C++ using Ogre & other cross-platform libs) has so far been Windows-only. We have just had a guy port the existing code-base to compile/run on both Windows and Mac. I am expecting my new MacBook to arrive tomorrow so I can build/test the Mac version and keep it working as development continues. The thing is I know nothing about Macs. I've used one literally once, about 8 years ago, to browse the internet. So I need to quickly get up to speed on the basics of C++ development on the Mac. Our project has been ported to build as an xcode project, and it should be fairly simple to get the project out of SVN and compile... if I knew where to begin. I don't even know if Macs come with xcode! Are there any tutorials along the lines of "so you have been programming for years and are highly PC/Windows literate, but need to learn about using/programming on the Mac"? Thanks for any tips.

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The Mac developer tools (which centre around XCode) will come either on the OS installation DVD, or on a separate accompanying DVD. You can also download them from http://developer.apple.com after you create a free account there.

In general, the IDE shouldn't be too much of a shock, but the system packaging for applications and libraries may be.

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Original post by JDXSolutions Ltd
I don't even know if Macs come with xcode!

They do. It might not be pre-installed, but it will be provided on CD.

I've switched to Macs, and they're not that hard to program in. I ported across a small game I made in C++ with SDL pretty painlessly. It takes a little while to figure out how to configure xcode, but no more than any other app.

I'm not much of a Mac programmer myself though. Usually when I think "Mac programmer", I think someone who knows Objective-C and can use Cocoa and Carbon, the Mac native frameworks. I don't know how to use those yet, but cross-platform game libraries generally work the same on any platform.

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One word of advice: depending on what version of XCode you end up using, new projects may default to ZeroLink being enabled. If you're new to programming on the Mac, you want that sucker disabled. This shouldn't matter on Leopard or later though.

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Original post by JDXSolutions Ltd Our project has been ported to build as an xcode project, and it should be fairly simple to get the project out of SVN and compile... if I knew where to begin. I don't even know if Macs come with xcode!


Once you have XCode installed, as others have covered here, if it has been ported to build as an xcode project there should be an xcode.proj file in the project.

Normally it is as simple as double clicking on that and hitting build. Really, just like opening up a VS project file...

Welcome back to the world of Macs. 8 years... Wow.. Just at the cusp of OS 9 / OS X...

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Well I have my Mac now and am pretty confused with the whole file structure and applications thing. I had a quick look in the command prompt using the 3 Linux commands I can remember, since I can't find any way of seeing the entire directory structure visually.

I can't actually TELL if xcode is installed or not. I ran the installer on the DVD accompanying the Mac OS DVD but I don't know what I have. It could be installed and I can't find it... apart from the bar of big colorful icons at the base of the screen (bleh) I found an applications list/dialog. Does this list every application I have?

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Original post by JDXSolutions Ltd
Well I have my Mac now and am pretty confused with the whole file structure and applications thing. I had a quick look in the command prompt using the 3 Linux commands I can remember, since I can't find any way of seeing the entire directory structure visually.

I can't actually TELL if xcode is installed or not. I ran the installer on the DVD accompanying the Mac OS DVD but I don't know what I have. It could be installed and I can't find it... apart from the bar of big colorful icons at the base of the screen (bleh) I found an applications list/dialog. Does this list every application I have?
On my Mac at least, Xcode is in /Developer/Applications (in the Finder, you'd get there by going to the main hard drive, and then to Developer/Applications). Note that this is different from where most applications reside (which is in /Applications), so maybe that's why you're having trouble finding it.

Navigation in the Finder is fairly straightforward, but it's a little different than Windows so if you've been in Windows-only mode for a while (which it sounds like you have), it may take a little getting used to. Also, although you can get around using the command line, at this point you should be able to do everything you need to do using the Finder.

As for the Dock, you can change its position and change the size of the icons from the 'system preferences' control panel (accessed via the Apple menu). Maybe changing some of these parameters would make you feel less 'bleh' about it (I've got mine at the bottom with fairly small icons, and it certainly doesn't bother me any).

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Great tips, thanks a lot.

Is the idea all stuff like XCode/Eclipse should be installed to Developer/Applications, it's not that XCode is special in some way?

One more question for now... what's the situation using SVN (client) on a Mac? Is the SVN command-line pre-installed? And, are there any decent visual SVN clients along the lines of TortoiseSVN? I came across two apps called "Synchro SVN" and "Versions" but maybe there is a standard tool most people use?

Thanks again.

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Original post by JDXSolutions Ltd
One more question for now... what's the situation using SVN (client) on a Mac? Is the SVN command-line pre-installed? And, are there any decent visual SVN clients along the lines of TortoiseSVN? I came across two apps called "Synchro SVN" and "Versions" but maybe there is a standard tool most people use?
The command line client is not installed, I reccommend the macports package manager for all your unix software needs, including svn. XCode has some ability to interface with CVS and SVN, complete with GUI support, but I haven't used it personally.

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Just as a quick side note. If for some reason you need to see the entire directory structure using finder you can use this quick hack..

sudo defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder

This will enable finder to see all files/folder. I personally only use this on occasion and set it back to FALSE for general usage.

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