I need Distribution Builder advice

Graham Samuel livfoss at blueyonder.co.uk
Thu Oct 2 18:43:01 EDT 2003

On Thu, 02 Oct 2003 10:26:12 -0700, Richard Gaskin 
<ambassador at fourthworld.com> wrote:
>Graham Samuel wrote:
>>  Thanks very much for the ref Richard, it does look comprehensible at
>>  first glance - I guess I will have to wade in... but it does rather
>>  let down the charm of RunRev.
>I don't see why that must be the case.  As a SuperCard user who's built
>standalones under Classic you've had to deal with ResEdit, modifying 'BNDL'
>resources and other arcana.  With OS X the steps are nearly the same but can
>be done with any text editor instead of a specialized geek tool.

Man, did I hate it! I NEVER found any explanation 'for the rest of 
us' about how Mac icon families were structured, what the various 
naming conventions meant (ICN8 was it?) etc etc. or really what a 
BNDL was. I just stumbled about, modifying existing icons etc and 
somehow got there in the end. Really the only thing I clearly 
understood was the type and creator codes, which didn't really need 
ResEdit to set them up... and I know these problems have not yet gone 

>And while there may be some elements of OS X builds that Rev has not yet
>fully automated, for many standalones it does an adequate job with no manual
>plist editing at all.

OK, I hope this is true. I had problems from the start, partly 
perhaps because I was trying to create OSX distributions from other 
platforms (MacOS 9.2.2 and Windows XP). I then found I had to go 
deeper and that's when I got upset.

>The biggest problem when migrating from other tools is that in most cases
>it's been so long since that tool was learned that the steep curve has long
>since been forgotten, being mistakenly remembered as "inuitive".  Very
>little about building applications is truly intuitive with any tool, since
>the art of developing software involves stepping behind the curtain to see
>how the magic's done.  Rev does as least as good a job as anything before
>it, and arguably more so in many cases.  Think back to the first time you
>booted ResEdit....

OK, you are right to defend RunRev. As I said I have never thought of 
those earlier Mac tools as intuitive, nor would I characterise the 
standalone-making features of SuperCard as superior to RunRev's. Of 
course I see that there is a fuzzy boundary area between the 
development system (RunRev) and the OS (in the plural in the case of 
RunRev), where it is unclear just how far the developer should expect 
the development system to take him/her. Perhaps I expect too much - 
but if so, it seems to me even more important (if RunRev is to have a 
wide appeal) that there should be a way for the developer to find out 
exactly what one is supposed to do to get a fully working app on each 
platform. I'd like to think I will be able to help with this effort 
to provide coherent information/recipes, but I'm not yet confident 
enough to promise anything.

          Graham Samuel / The Living Fossil Co. / UK & France

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