Metrowerks: the end of the story

In the late 90s and early zero equal rivals, the company was not. CodeWarrior was and remained the best. Monopoly always monopoly of the spoils – but Metrowerks was an exception to this rule… the Best free was defeated.

In 1998, in response to a request from a reader to recommend a developer Toolkit for writing Mac ovskih programs, named three: “CodeWarrior, CodeWarrior and CodeWarrior”.

If I hadn’t been “personally” familiar with recommended a friend, I would have thought the same as you: paid article, “jeans”. But I was familiar, I even went to the source. And all Mac native developers, with whom I spoke, agreed with the recommendation.

In 1996 Metrowerks started an active expansion on a variety of platforms. Development environment ported to Windows and on some UNIX’s (about the latter, except that they were, nothing further is known, probably did not come).

The main direction of expansion was code generation for a large number of different platforms, computer and embedded: BeOS, ARM, NEC v8xx, and VRxxxx, MIPS (ISA I-IV) and for many others. In many cases, CodeWarrior has become the main developer Toolkit for embedded platforms and game consoles (with CodeWarrior installed on a Mac or on a Windows machine).

List all platforms for which the CodeWarrior could generate code that would be enough for a whole article. There were so many.

The version of the Toolkit for Windows (32-itoi) supported by MFC version for Macs, in addition to its own class library, PowerPlant (in the style of C++ application libraries similar to BeOS), supported MacApp and App2PPC.

In August 1999 Metrowerks was acquired by Motorola for $ 95 million and became a part of the semiconductor products sector this company (Motorola SPS). For me and for my colleagues it was a surprise, Metrowerks was at the peak of success, but as it turned out after a couple of years, it was the right decision…

This is the third and final part mini-series about Metrowerks CodeWarrior. Previous parts:

First: Metrowerks: fantastic rise of the small company;
Second: Metrowerks CodeWarrior leader.

Under the authority of the Motorola

Metrowerks failure of sovereignty, oddly enough, nothing has changed for clients of the company. As before, twice a year there was a new version of CodeWarrior, and tasty with noticeable improvements. Technical support is one of the weakest positions of the company at the beginning of a tough confrontation with Symantec, has surpassed “teacher” and, in my opinion, was probably the best in the industry.

I was one of the customers, and tested all of this on their skin. That is not just “another company” and a subsidiary of the huge unsinkable Motorola, nothing like (except for additions in the letters of support and documentation about the copyright).

The Autonomous Republic of Metrowerks bring the new owners a good profit, and nobody was going to change something in her life.

Apparently, in a sign of respect and much sympathy, the former leaders of an independent company Metrowerks received the highest positions in the leadership of Motorola SPS. However, I can not say, who knows? In any case, this is proprietary information of Motorola, and it still is not subject to disclosure.

CodeWarrior was a better development environment, the team at Metrowerks was stronger than ever before, and able to survive in any struggle for a slice of the market against anyone in equal and fair competition. But it was expected.

The main (and only big in size) market Metrowerks was the developers for Macs. Trying to get into PC-shny market was not too successful: there are rules Microsoft. He was still a competitor. And, importantly, in CodeWarrior for Windows lacked something very important and special that is different from CodeWarrior for Macs from all its competitors. Inspiration?

And developer for embedded platforms, I think, just might not be enough for success.

But in the main, and almost the only serious volume market, with a sickening slowness, like a deadly incurable disease is something fatal…

Metrowerks CodeWarrior for Mac OS X Project Builder

CodeWarrior survived in any equal and fair competition with any other private company that is forced to sell competing product to survive. And then, what Metrowerks hastened to take refuge under the wing of Motorola, was supposed to come out in the third quarter of 1999.

Is Mac OS X, with built-in free development environment, Project Builder.

Project Builder – a direct heir to the ProjectBuilder from the NeXTSTEP and OPENSTEP, almost unchanged migrated to Mac OS X. the Most noticeable change was the appearance of a space in the name (just kidding, but every joke there is some jokes…).

Jeff Raskin argued that comparing the complex, multidimensional system with “better” or “worse”, we are making the same mistake as if we compared point on the plane on the “more” or “less”. Points can be more or less in module according to one of the coordinates themselves… a Rare case where I completely agree with Jeff, but now I’m going to comply with this rule, for that I apologize – otherwise it will be too long (but the essence is the same).

The Project Builder to develop Carbon applications was absolutely and undeniably worse than CodeWarrior, in almost all respects. Except two, but they are slightly lower (I’m sure you already guessed about what advantages I am talking about).

The IDE ProjectBuilder, NeXTSTEP, never faced direct competition in the same operating system. And this is a very important test, without which the path to perfection is probably impossible. CoreWarrior, before she was born, was aimed at capturing market at a very strong opponent, and then survived in a tough competitive confrontation with the enemy.

In addition, ProjectBuilder, and Project Builder (Mac OS X) – just one of the parts of something big and whole, though very important. Not only is important. No one will ever be to strain all the powers of the company for the benefit of the most important parts.

And Metrowerks compilers, an IDE, debuggers, class browsers and ZoneRanger (utility for finding memory problems) is all that they have.

Sorry, it was.

But all these dozens of words, compared to the joint opinion of nearly all who wrote to Carbon – compared to CodeWarrior, Project Builder does not hold water.

In Cocoa, for all his faults, the Project Builder was irreplaceable.

But even in Carbon from Project Builder were two advantages that make it invincible:
she was free;
keeping it up to date, more or less regularly, worked Apple itself has access to the source code of the system and their own plans.

In addition, in the Project Builder it is possible to write Carbon. If not for this fact, CodeWarrior would have a chance to win.

The end of the story

In 2003, Motorola was “tired” from the development and production of CPUs, and released its office Motorola SPS into free-swimming, turning it into an independent company named Freescale.

The number of companies and individual developers writing for Carbon, decreased with each passing day, almost all new programs for Mac OS X written in Cocoa. The Autonomous Republic of Metrowerks became unprofitable. New versions of CodeWarrior was support for Cocoa, but she was too weak. Xcode did it better.

In early 2005, as measures for financial recovery Metrowerks, all the achievements of Intel was sold cheap. In the same year, just three months later, Apple announced the transition to Intel.

At the end of 2005 Freescale announced the elimination of Autonomous units Metrowerks. Metrowerks personnel were asked to remain in Freescale, the work was for them, but not all. Trademark of Freescale CodeWarrior belonged to her absorption NXM Semiconductor in December 2015.

Only memories remain, and a few books from Metrowerks.

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