IDE on a Mac and on a PC - Same ??

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Mon Jul 26 07:25:29 EDT 2010

Francis Nugent Dixon wrote:

> Can anybody tell me if the IDE for RunRev is
> the same on a PC as it is on a Mac ?
> Having used PC versions of some applications,
> I often found important differences from their
> Mac counterparts, but I'm certainly not going to
> buy the PC RunRev Studio, just for the pleasure
> of finding out myself ...... :>)
> I need an answer from someone who has worked
> them both, or at least who knows for sure.

I'm spending my time in increasingly diverse workflows, jumping between 
OS X, Win 7, and Ubuntu throughout the day.  The differences between 
them are minimal these days, and even more so in Rev.

In Rev, any IDE is merely a collection of stacks that runs on top of the 
engine.   The first IDE for this engine was MetaCard, then FreeGUI, then 
Rev, then mine, then Jerry's, and there may be others.  All just stacks 
- you can write your own too if you're so inclined; it can be kinda fun.

Since they're all just stacks, yes, the Rev IDE is one set of stacks 
that runs on all all platforms.  There's a little bit of 
platform-specific branching code in them, but not much, and overall 
you'll find the IDEs very similar from OS to OS with most of the 
differences being related to the OS itself.

For example, in OS X folks are used to seeing one menu bar that all apps 
share.  This is currently unique to OS X (though there are some noises 
from Canonical suggesting this may be adopted in Ubuntu down the road 
because it makes better use of screen real estate).

So in Windows and Linux you'll find the IDE's menu bar is attached to 
the top of the toolbar, while on Mac it competes with your app, 
sometimes showing Rev's menu bar and sometimes showing your app's (in my 
own IDE this has been dealt with in a way that saves the most screen 
real estate possible by not having a menu bar at all; think NeXT;  more 
on that later).

There are other differences as well, similarly minor yet if you spend a 
lot of time working in Rev they'll take some getting used to.

For example, older Mac keyboards still had a Return key distinct from an 
Enter key.  This distinction has been gone from the PC world for a long 
time if it ever existed at at all, and having been dropped from the Mac 
world in recent years Apple has removed one more inconsistency between 
the OSes.  Instead, there's one key which in Rev maps to the ReturnKey 
message but is labeled "Enter".  As with newer Macs, on PCs you can 
trigger the EnterKey message by using Function+Enter.

This difference means that compiling and closing scripts requires you to 
press two keys, Function+Enter, as using Enter alone will just put a 
Return character into your selection.

When you get started using Rev on Windows or Linux, if you've been using 
an older Mac you may find yourself instinctively striking Enter thinking 
it will trigger an EnterKey message to compile or close your script, but 
like any other such habits it doesn't take but a few days to pick up new 
keyboard habits.

You'll also find that the Ask and Answer dialogs flip the order of 
buttons to be consistent with Windows, in which they're laid out with 
the confirmation button on the left and the Cancel button on the right. 
  If you're accustomed to triggering those buttons with the Enter and 
Escape keys you'll find they work the same as on Mac, but if you click 
on them your muscle memory will undergo some retraining to adapt to the 
different layout.

I think you'll find other differences on the same order: relatively 
minor, and somewhat easy to adopt new habits to get used to, probably in 
just a couple days.

Echoing Andrew Kluthe's sentiments, one thing you may enjoy about the PC 
world is the nearly infinite variety of hardware you can run your OS on. 
  This isn't a Rev-specific factor at all, but for Mac folks entering 
the PC world it's a pleasant surprise:  using Apple machines is like 
driving a Bentley, quite nice if you enjoy the luxury but if you just 
need to get around town a Nissan can do quite well at a fraction of the 
price.  Having picked up some additional PCs here recently after having 
bought Macs almost exclusively for years, seeing the variety of hardware 
I can choose from at such low prices has been a very welcome eye-opener.

I hope you enjoy your exploration with a new OS.  I find switching OSes 
to be a very healthy mental exercise, putting me more in tune with all 
of my customers.  It's kinda like traveling to a foreign country in some 
respects, with similar benefits.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  Rev training and consulting:
  Webzine for Rev developers:
  revJournal blog:

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