Chocolate or Charcoal (repost from AE forum)
by bogiesan on Mar 27, 2002 at 3:56:02 pm
A few days ago, the After Effects users were wondering about the differences between using plugins in Classic or OS 10 mode and when their favorites would be "carbonized." That lead to a discussion about the two environments developers are using to create applications for OS 10: Carbon vs Cocoa.
The differences are subtle as far as the user is concerned but significant as far as access to the rest of the operating system. Tons of the most advanced features and capabilities of OS 10 are not available from the Carbon, er, sub-kernel.
Carbon is nothing more than a cosmetic update to enable existing apps to operate in today's OS 10 and here's the main kicker: most, not all, but most carbonized applications can run in EITHER OS 9.2 or OS 10. Examples include Apple's i-suite apps, AppleWorks, Explorer, and, believe it or not, the Finder itself.
Here are the significant differences. When completely rewritten in Cocoa, applications have:
1. Access to all of the features of the Fonts panel;
2. Title Bar icon tricks;
3. Toolbar tricks;
4. Secret keyboard shortcuts;
5. Background window tricks;
6. Access to all Services;
7. and some more cool things that haven't been announced yet by Apple.
Yes, it's hard to comprehend what these seemingly silly doodads could possibly mean when it comes to running our favorite little plug-ins for After Effects and I'm not going to pretend to understand any of this stuff. But it seems to me that until Adobe totally rewrites its products in the Cocoa language, we're all just sort of plodding along with the same old application. They just hang more toys onto the existing code's foundation. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, since it appears to work.
All information contained in this post is taken from my favorite OS 10 guru, David Pogue, See "The Missing Manual for OS 10" pages 116-124.