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.