First Time MacOS C++ Development

As previously mentioned on this blog, I am now the proud owner of a mac mini. The reason for this is that I wanted to improve mac support for Irrlicht and port irrKlang to this platform (soon to come) but also because I had not much experience with macs until now and was a bit curious. So here is a short summary of the first impressions from a developer perspective.

The MacOSX graphical user interface is a bit different, and it took a bit more time (some hours) for me to get used to it, in contrast to the switch for example from windows to KDE or Gnome. Shortcuts are different (Apple-Key instead of Control), the minimize/maximize/close buttons do different things, the dock is new but feels useful.
Cool: the mac mini comes with a remote control, so you can use it as DVD player, sound system and multimedia station. Nice idea.

Programs: The operating systems includes a useful set of tools like DVD player, text editor, mail client, music player and similar. Of course there is always something missing, and I quickly installed Opera which - for me - loads and displays web pages about 4 times faster than Safari, the self proclaimed "fastest web browser on any platform". When I searched for a nice IM client for macos (I decided to use Adium), I found that the amount of free applications for macos seems to be a bit more limited. But who cares, I have everything I need now. I can recommend Seashore as image editor, it's based on Gimp.

Development tools: MacOS offers a free (after forced registration) C++ IDE named XCode, and it really is nice. Actually, I think it includes the first usable gdb based debugger frontend I've ever seen, most others I used in the last years were crappy, slow or didn't work. Also the project management in XCode is very nice, for example you can just drop in cxx/cpp and .h files or packages and press build, no need to add include search paths or similar in most cases. Need to play around with it a bit more, but until now I like it.

BTW: I totally like the fact that MacOSX is based on Unix, i needed for example only about one hour to get my sound library irrKlang to compile on it. It doesn't play sounds yet, but I should only need to write an CoreAudio based output driver for it. Once this is done I'll publish an alpha version, but it could take still some weeks because I am a bit busy with other projects currently.

ten comments, already:

It’s OT but another interesting think I have seen recently
it’s having a GUI system html/javascript/flash based using llmozlib
It would be nice to have it running on both irrlicht and ogre.
I’m looking for having llmozlib running on linux (win only by now).
stef_ - 11 07 07 - 15:08

It’s a really funny coincidence because I’m off to buy a Mac today :) I’ve only tried XCode briefly on a borrowed machine and found it pretty weird personally but hopefuly I’ll get used to it.
Steve () (link) - 11 07 07 - 15:43

Quick tip, Quicksilver is a must have app for any Mac user. But I’m glad to see there will be better Mac support. I hope you plan to port the editor to Mac and it would be super awesome if you make the Mac equally supported with Windows and Linux. Yeah!
joemacher () - 11 07 07 - 15:53

hehe, maybe this iPhone marketing subconciously persuades us all to buy apple products :) Interesting, will have a look at quicksilver.
niko - 11 07 07 - 16:24

Now it’s time to try Irrlicht .NET CP on MacOS :) just kidding, I perfectly know it works :D

I would also try MacOS once but prices are making this a bit too hard for me, hope to try it on someone else’s computer…
Emmanuel 'DeusXL' - 11 07 07 - 16:48

Niko, it seems that at this moment it’s still a problem to build an Irrlicht application in windowed mode (like using wxWidgets) under Mac. It’s a handle problem, I believe. Maybe now that you have a Mac this can be worked out?

@stef—- Wow, Navi is awesome. It would be great to have something like that compatible with Irrlicht. Again, WOW!
Quantum_Leap - 12 07 07 - 02:59

Now that you’re on the best OS ever (just kiddin ;p don’t wanna start a mac linux windows war here ), I advise you to try textMate.

As a developper textMate will surely help you, it’s a really cool text editor with a lot of features, I even use it as Xcode’s text editor.

This program isn’t free, but you can at least watch some screencasts or download the demo, perhaps you’ll fall in the trap like me and buy a licence after :p
Nico () - 12 07 07 - 08:54

irrKlang support on Mac OS would be cool!
3ddev (link) - 13 07 07 - 16:34

Stef, you better see this:

I’m actually integrating llmozlib within Irrlicht for a project following the instructions given on this thread
Quantum_Leap - 13 07 07 - 21:15

I know that post (btw it’s the only one regarding llmozlib in irrlicht forum). The problems are: 1) llmozlib doesn’t work with linux by now, afaik 2) that example isn’t a gui system, it’s a browser.
stef_ - 13 07 07 - 21:45

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