Porting MFC to Mac OS X and Linux

What would you folks suggest if I was asked to
port an MFC program(+100K lines of MFC application
code) to Linux and or the Mac?  What migration
tools could you recommend?  The application uses
extensively modified(owner draw) MFC controls.

--Mike


0
6/11/2004 11:59:11 PM
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I have no idea about Mac. For Linux, you can take a look at
http://www.mainsoft.com/products/mainwin.html and see it if it helps.

--
Ajay Kalra [MVP - VC++]
ajaykalra@yahoo.com


"Mike Engelhardt" <nospam@spam.org> wrote in message
news:jHryc.83896$Og1.41441@newssvr25.news.prodigy.com...
> What would you folks suggest if I was asked to
> port an MFC program(+100K lines of MFC application
> code) to Linux and or the Mac?  What migration
> tools could you recommend?  The application uses
> extensively modified(owner draw) MFC controls.
>
> --Mike
>
>


0
ajaykalra (6842)
6/12/2004 2:49:41 AM
In article <jHryc.83896$Og1.41441@newssvr25.news.prodigy.com>, 
nospam@spam.org says...
> What would you folks suggest if I was asked to
> port an MFC program(+100K lines of MFC application
> code) to Linux and or the Mac?  What migration
> tools could you recommend?  The application uses
> extensively modified(owner draw) MFC controls.

MainSoft has (or at times have had) ports of MFC to various flavors 
of UNIX. Another possibility would be to ensure that your Windows 
program runs well under WINE -- this is a lot less expensive, and 
with some care might work just as well.

At one time (around the VC++ 4 time frame) MS had a port of MFC to 
the Mac, but they haven't supported (or most likely sold) this in 
years.  Even when they did, it was quite expensive and worked pretty 
poorly.  Unfortunately, I don't know of any better alternative.

-- 
    Later,
    Jerry.

The universe is a figment of its own imagination.
0
jcoffin1 (194)
6/12/2004 4:31:32 AM
I have a client who has been desperately searching for an MFC that runs on the Mac, and
has given up and is rewriting his app using a portable third-party GUI system.
					joe

On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 22:31:32 -0600, Jerry Coffin <jcoffin@taeus.us> wrote:

>In article <jHryc.83896$Og1.41441@newssvr25.news.prodigy.com>, 
>nospam@spam.org says...
>> What would you folks suggest if I was asked to
>> port an MFC program(+100K lines of MFC application
>> code) to Linux and or the Mac?  What migration
>> tools could you recommend?  The application uses
>> extensively modified(owner draw) MFC controls.
>
>MainSoft has (or at times have had) ports of MFC to various flavors 
>of UNIX. Another possibility would be to ensure that your Windows 
>program runs well under WINE -- this is a lot less expensive, and 
>with some care might work just as well.
>
>At one time (around the VC++ 4 time frame) MS had a port of MFC to 
>the Mac, but they haven't supported (or most likely sold) this in 
>years.  Even when they did, it was quite expensive and worked pretty 
>poorly.  Unfortunately, I don't know of any better alternative.

Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
email: newcomer@flounder.com
Web: http://www.flounder.com
MVP Tips: http://www.flounder.com/mvp_tips.htm
0
newcomer (15975)
6/12/2004 6:43:06 AM
Mike,

For Mac OS X, you rewrite it from scratch. If you have a client with a large
budget, you can start to plan what to do with all the money you will be able
to charge.

Some things are so different in Mac OS X (file handling comes to mind) that
you might even have to redesign the application. Other stuff it not at all
supported, or you'll have to use completely different mechanisms (COM, DDE,
the registry).

That the controls are extensively modified might actually be a help, as you
will not need to rely solely on in-built controls.

I worked for two years with a proprietary (non-MFC, of course) C++ framework
for both Windows and Mac, and let me assure you, it is a major undertaking
to port code between the two.

Johan Rosengren
Abstrakt Mekanik AB

"Mike Engelhardt" <nospam@spam.org> skrev i meddelandet
news:jHryc.83896$Og1.41441@newssvr25.news.prodigy.com...
> What would you folks suggest if I was asked to
> port an MFC program(+100K lines of MFC application
> code) to Linux and or the Mac?  What migration
> tools could you recommend?  The application uses
> extensively modified(owner draw) MFC controls.
>
> --Mike
>
>


0
6/12/2004 10:14:40 AM
In article <ke9lc0plfgj1hss2hllk8jd1bloti6o049@4ax.com>, 
newcomer@flounder.com says...
> I have a client who has been desperately searching for an MFC that runs on the Mac, and
> has given up and is rewriting his app using a portable third-party GUI system.

Looks like a major market opportunity for somebody who's extremely 
ambitious.  OTOH, they'd have to be considerably more ambitious than 
the MainSoft folks (for one example).  Porting to Unix is a bit 
easier because Unix users are (by and large) accustomed to every 
program having its own uniquely clunky UI.

Mac users have higher expectations: they expect programs to follow 
Apple's prescription for a clunky UI.

-- 
    Later,
    Jerry.

The universe is a figment of its own imagination.
0
jcoffin1 (194)
6/12/2004 8:51:03 PM
Jerry,

> ...Mac users have higher expectations: they expect
> programs to follow Apple's prescription for a
> clunky UI.

LOL.  I stopped by a Fry's the other day to play
with a Mac for awhile.  I was astonished to find
the mouse still has only a single button.  I'm
trying to port a CAD/drafting program.  Macs now
work with normal after market 2button+wheel mice
and the driving interest for this porting effort
says it's okay if my port requires users to buy
a mouse.  I looked over the UI guidelines from
Apple's site.  Fortunately the nature and target
audience of my program allow me to ignore it.

--Mike


0
NoSpam2208 (77)
6/13/2004 12:37:07 AM
Johan,

> For Mac OS X, you rewrite it from scratch. If you have a client
> with a large budget, you can start to plan what to do with all
> the money you will be able to charge.
>
> Some things are so different in Mac OS X (file handling comes to
> mind) that you might even have to redesign the application. Other
> stuff it not at all supported, or you'll have to use completely
> different mechanisms (COM, DDE, the registry).

Thanks for the input.  My application is about 100K lines of GUI
and 500K lines of application implementation.  I'm not too worried
about the application implementation which does a good job of
avoiding OS specific approaches.  Except for the thread handshaking
which can always be replaced with volatile globals and polling, its
is all generic FILE * operations(except for being able to seek
within a file with a VC++ __int64 type).

> I worked for two years with a proprietary (non-MFC, of course)
> C++ framework for both Windows and Mac, and let me assure you,
> it is a major undertaking to port code between the two.

Which C++ framework for both Windows and Mac was that?  So far I've
found Qt, and yes, it a rewrite coming from MFC, plus it has a
number of disappointing limitations like no multi-line tab
controls for property sheets or check box buttons with the text
to the right of the box(so that it lines up with CLabel/CEdit
pairs for inputs that isn't just yes/no and so it feels more like
checking an item on a paper list.  I've never understood why
check boxes on computers have the box almost universally on the
wrong side.)  So did you use Qt or is there an alternative?  I
need to know if Qt is my only option here.  Were you happy with
the "proprietary C++ framework"?  I'm not going with Mainsoft
as has been kindly suggested by Ajay Kalra(thank you!).  I have
used that many years ago and just I spoke with the Mainsoft people
last week.   That won't work for me in this case because (i) it
doesn't run on a Mac and (ii) it's licensing model is completely
incompatible with my business model.

--Mike


0
6/14/2004 4:17:55 PM
Mike,

Comments inline

"Mike Engelhardt" <nospam@spam.org> skrev i meddelandet
news:Tckzc.85622$7c5.48032@newssvr25.news.prodigy.com...

<snip>
> Thanks for the input.  My application is about 100K lines of GUI
> and 500K lines of application implementation.  I'm not too worried
> about the application implementation which does a good job of
> avoiding OS specific approaches.  Except for the thread handshaking
> which can always be replaced with volatile globals and polling, its
> is all generic FILE * operations(except for being able to seek
> within a file with a VC++ __int64 type).
>

Mind you, the message handling is different, font handling is different,
window handling is different... 100K lines is not a trivial task to convert.
And if the app implementation is more than just calculating, I'm sure you
will find lots of areas that might not exactly be difficult to rewrite, but
will take time and perhaps experimentation. And, aha! "seek within a file".
The Mac file system is very different... very, very different.

> > I worked for two years with a proprietary (non-MFC, of course)
> > C++ framework for both Windows and Mac, and let me assure you,
> > it is a major undertaking to port code between the two.
>
> Which C++ framework for both Windows and Mac was that?  So far I've
> found Qt, and yes, it a rewrite coming from MFC, plus it has a
> number of disappointing limitations like no multi-line tab
<snip>

The proprietary framework was developed and used by a customer. It was an
impressive piece of programming, but it also had many, many shortcomings.
Only MDI-apps for Windows, no COM-support, no registry support, *all*
controls where custom controls. Some of the screen handling was abysmal. It
was not commercial, and I doubt it will ever be.

I also wrote directly against the Mac OS X-API, and really came to like the
Windows concept that all windows are basically the same. Given a HWND, you
can send much the same messages to any window, be it a main window, dialog
or control. Not so on Mac. There is a multitude of API-calls for every type
of control. And the formatted text control... *sigh*.

Yet, the Mac and Win API:s are tantalizingly alike, but after a while, the
subtle differences are not so subtle anymore.

You might want to check CodeWarrior (www.metrowerks.com). They have a modern
development environment, and also some Wizards support and a framework -
http://www.metrowerks.com/MW/Develop/Desktop/PowerPlantXMac.htm. It's
surprising that Metrowerks hasn't given cross-platform a shot, as they
licence MFC for their Windows development environment (or perhaps it is not
so surprising).

You can find lots of documentation on Apples site if you want a feel for the
Mac API, http://developer.apple.com/macosx/ and more specifically
http://developer.apple.com/referencelibrary/MacOSX/index.html, for example.

But make sure you can get this financed, just updating code from Mac OS 9 to
Mac OS X was heavy work. My guess is that you will have to completely
rewrite the GUI-code, there is *nothing* out there to help you. It is indeed
possible to do, I think that it might even yield a good result, but it will
take blood, sweat and lots of tears. Or at least time :-)))

Johan Rosengren
Abstrakt Mekanik AB



0
6/14/2004 8:06:01 PM
In article news:<Tckzc.85622$7c5.48032@newssvr25.news.prodigy.com>, 
Mike Engelhardt wrote:
> Which C++ framework for both Windows and Mac was that?  So far I've
> found Qt, ...

You might also like to take a look at wxWidgets (formerly wxWindows), 
which I find not quite as polished as Qt but infinitely more 
reasonably priced (for commercial work, that is). www.wxWidgets.org

Cheers,
 Daniel.


0
wastebasket (364)
6/15/2004 11:36:34 AM
A quote from Alan Kay, one of the inventors of SmallTalk: "The reason for all the options,
such as close box, a menu item to close, and so on, were because we were designing
interfaces for preliterate children to use. It continues to amaze me that our ideas were
taken, without any judgment, and used in the Mac and in Windows".

It is worth observing that the Mac has always had a three-button mouse. The problem was
that the other two buttons were placed on the keyboard, as command-click and shift-click.
So the design of the "one-button" mouse was recognized instantly as being inadequate, but
rather than put in the correct fix (two or three buttons), the religious zealotry of "one
user, one button" forced the user to do a lot of things two-handed.

I started GUI programming with the Macintosh, but was inveigled into doing a Windows
project for one client. In the Mac, I had to debug in assembly code (source debugger? We
Don't Need No Stinkin' Source Debugger!) while in Windows I had a source-level debugger.
Also, I found out that there were LOTS of people who needed Windows apps, and only one
client had needed Mac apps. So when that client folded (due to a marketing failure), I
would have been left with an unsalable skill, Mac programming. I've never been asked to
write another Mac program in the last 15 years. I have more Windows work than I can
handle.
					joe


On Sun, 13 Jun 2004 00:37:07 GMT, "Mike Engelhardt" <nospam@nospam.org> wrote:

>Jerry,
>
>> ...Mac users have higher expectations: they expect
>> programs to follow Apple's prescription for a
>> clunky UI.
>
>LOL.  I stopped by a Fry's the other day to play
>with a Mac for awhile.  I was astonished to find
>the mouse still has only a single button.  I'm
>trying to port a CAD/drafting program.  Macs now
>work with normal after market 2button+wheel mice
>and the driving interest for this porting effort
>says it's okay if my port requires users to buy
>a mouse.  I looked over the UI guidelines from
>Apple's site.  Fortunately the nature and target
>audience of my program allow me to ignore it.
>
>--Mike
>

Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
email: newcomer@flounder.com
Web: http://www.flounder.com
MVP Tips: http://www.flounder.com/mvp_tips.htm
0
newcomer (15975)
6/27/2004 6:00:11 PM
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