Metrowerks CodeWarrior is the leader

In 1994, development environment CodeWarrior was the first and only really important for Macs direction: only she was able to generate industrial quality code for PowerPC 601. Apple and Symantec was late, the situation was critical – a classic.

Naturally, absolutely defenseless in the face of their future processors Apple was not in her possession was the instrumentation of the source code consultants and, in the end, with so many engineers, it was possible to correct even “on the knee”, but the normal tool chain, ensuring high quality of code was not.

From independent developers, circulatory system, computer platform, such opportunities were not. And Apple, which was required urgently to shovel mountains of code that was not easy.

Not folded and Symantec that came out of long-term severe crisis, and again became one of the leaders of the programming software.

In Metrowerks was preparing to win a place under the sun during the bloody struggle with strong competitors, CodeWarrior was a good chance to win even in such a situation – and suddenly…

Well, who would have thought that Apple and Symantec can be a real problem with bringing the instrumentation to the industrial state? With the possibilities!

The dream of all startups in the world, and which almost never happens, was in their hands. Now they were alone with the eager and surging the market. But online Commerce is still, by and large, was not. She was just born, she still did not trust, serious shopping was done “in real life”.

This is the second part of the mini-series about Metrowerks CodeWarrior. Previous parts:

First: Metrowerks: fantastic rise of the small company.

Production theme

Software product in the mid-90s is not only a set of files on storage media, usually on one or more CDs that need to “burn” and to make beautiful. Logo, product name and color. Otherwise undignified. That’s not all.

Software product 90 is first of all the packaging. Durable and comfortable, but the durability and convenience on the shelf are not visible. It is a design, printing, opportunities for hundreds and hundreds of talented and hardworking people to earn bread and butter and a beautiful life.

And this documentation in paper form. The era of the CD made it optional, many have done without it – but undignified… And all kinds of printed materials, which we are surprised, pulled out of these boxes, registration forms, discount coupons when purchasing upgrades or something else, advertising leaflets (not worse than the posters from magazines)…

All this need to invent, to find the best option, to order, to bring into one place, check again (especially the CD with the product, the most important and the most whimsical piece “product”), assemble and tighten the transparent film.

In 1995-96, for the unloading of Trucks with tons of documentation from Kazan sent all of us (developers, managers, testers and the writers of this documentation), these carton boxes (10-15 kg) it was necessary to drag from KAMAZ to the Assembly hall, through the courtyard and up the stairs, to the warehouse production.

The author of the documentation (a big man, in his early youth, a former drifter metro system) wore the three boxes at once, and I was quietly happy about myself, not that I wrote all this…

On a tiny Metrowerks going to win a place under the sun, about the style and other “frivolous” things, of course, thought, but… Not in the first place. In may 1994, together with the need for “a bloody nose” to finish first this release, equally urgent and equally important task was the organization of production.

We grumble at the progress, accusing him of billions of sins – sometimes it is useful to recall how it was before the advent of online software stores. However, there is another point of view: the obstacles to the goal of not only preventing its achievement, but also builds character and are forced to hone the product, striving to perfect…

Farewell to the maple leaf country!

In 1995 the company moved to Austin, Texas, in a special economic zone with special tax treatment for hi-tech companies.

Re-registration has not taken long to anybody in such zones is not allowed, to convince officials it is not easy (maybe they’re intentionally trying to sound stupid, emotions reveal of the applicant as a bombing target in the accelerator particles reveals the secrets of the structure of matter?), but Metrowerks was the star of high technology.

The headquarters of company is located on Metric Boulevard Austin, probably not least because of the name of the Boulevard. In Canada, by law, adopted the metric system of weights and measures. Perhaps it’s farewell to Royal tax services Canada?

In a press release, of course, called another reason the company moved to another country, nothing to do with tax evasion. The semiconductor products sector of Motorola (Motorola SPS) is also housed in Austin – and Metrowerks had to be nearby.

After all, a leading developer of software development tools for PowerPC!

However, as it really was, and what were their motives in reality – nothing more than assumptions. In the late 90’s, at the very peak of its popularity, Metrowerks, there were only 250 people.

Symantec counterattack

Perhaps this was a blatant and unforgivable trick on their part: the former Symantec employees, developers Think C and the Think Class Library, becoming an independent company, is now seriously threatened by a giant and well-known companies in one of the most important segments of the market.

Or maybe just business and nothing personal – but response to the invasion of CodeWarrior was swift and hard. The company entered into a clinch. Adequate development tools for PowerPC was now in both companies.

PowerPC’shny code “from Symantec” were slower code “from Metrowerks”, at 5-25 percent, depending on the features of the code. But Symantec’s user interface was more comfortable, more functional, and more productive.

In CodeWarrior, at any time, could be opened only one project. Uncomfortable.

That’s not all: for each version of the architecture of the generated code, it was necessary to create a separate project. That is, developing application for both the PowerPC and 680х0 was forced constantly to open and close projects.

The amount of points that Symantec was in the lead. This company was a strong contender, as is well known, the stronger they are, the better the results we show…

The developers chose Metrowerks.

The end of a series should (have to go back to Apple NeXT little absorption)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *