Thursday, January 26, 2006

More X-Code Ranting - and Tips

I have in the past been a big CodeWarrior fan…here are some thoughts on transitioning to X-Code…(most of the credit must go to the DTS and Apple tools team for these tips…)

- Editor and code browsing…you can get X-Code to do almost everything CodeWarrior can in terms of useful code management. Command-double-click rather than option-double-click to jump to a definition, and the syntax coloring can’t color keywords, but finding symbols and jumping between source files is there.

- There’s a preference to make the layout look like a CodeWarrior project. I am trying to get myself used to the default view because it seems like it conveys more information in the long term. X-Code has a mode too in case you like pain.

- Compile is slow, but it’s also per-CPU and networkable. If you have a dual-core or dual-CPU machine, that’s a nice win and starts to close the gap. If you have a lot of headers, compile is actually faster than CodeWarrior when you crank the optimizers on both sims. (Warning: networked compile does not work between machines with different endian-nesses.)

- Once you understand the concept, preferences management in X-Code is definitely superior to CodeWarrior. In X-Code, every setting is a key-value pair. The target preferences are layered on top of project preferences - any preference can be anywhere. This means that you can factor the vast majority of your preferences out to your project, which simplifies making global settings changes.

- X-Code has a real concept of debug and release builds…in CodeWarrior if you have five applications that need to be debug, inlined debug, release, optimized release, and optimized universal release then that’s 25 targets. In X-Code that’s 5 targets and 5 build modes; most of the target settings are factored into the project anyway. The end result is a lot less setting check-boxes.

I’ll try to post more as I get there. Basically it only took one day to convert X-Plane from CodeWarrior to X-Code, and one more day to make X-Plane run on Intel Mac hardware.

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