Visual Studio 2010 Ships

Visual Studio 2010 shipped today accompanied by .NET Framework 4.0. I blogged before about the switch to using the MSBuild build system, and how that theoretically could be helpful in targeting multiple AutoCAD versions from the same solution. The shipping VS 2010 does not support non-Unicode response files, so out-of-the-box it cannot target VC 7.0 (for AutoCAD 2006 and earlier). When time permits, I’m planning to see if I can find a workaround; in the meantime, I’ll continue to use VS 2008 for ObjectARX.

A brief history of copyright

Tyler Ochoa (law professor and two time “Jeopardy!” champion) writes an interesting post about the 300th anniversary of the first copyright law, called the Statute of Anne. Referring to the motivation behind the original law, Ochoa says “Although the Stationers were chiefly concerned with restoring and perpetuating their monopoly, they framed their petition to Parliament in terms of justice for authors.” In many respects, not much has changed since 1710.

AutoCAD for Mac

There have been rumblings and rumors for a while now about a native Mac OS X port of AutoCAD. The ObjectARX 2011 SDK header files contain clear evidence of a native Mac port in the works. The evidence comes in the form of code comments and changes made to the files so that they work with the GCC compiler and the Mac OS X libraries.

For example, acedads.h conditionally declares a global function to return the main window handle as follows:

#if defined(_WINDEF_) || defined(_ADESK_MAC_)
/* AutoCAD graphics window handle */
HWND adsw_acadMainWnd();
#ifndef adsw_hwndAcad
#define adsw_hwndAcad adsw_acadMainWnd()

And in acedinpt.h there’s a telling comment:

#ifndef _ADESK_MAC_
#ifndef ACAD_PORT
#ifdef ACAD_API
#define ACAD_PORT _declspec(dllexport)
#define ACAD_PORT
// On OS X, we will export all symbols by default and will use GCC
// attributes to exclude symbols we don’t want to export.
// In this case, we do want to export the AcEdInputPoint symbol
#define ACAD_PORT
#endif // _ADESK_MAC_

It’s clear from the type, quantity, and quality of changes that Autodesk has successfully built at least a limited AutoCAD executable for OS X (both 32 and 64 bit). It’s also clear that the Mac build still has limitations, and some of these limitations might require significant changes (i.e. changes of the sort that would break binary compatibility for ObjectARX applications), therefore one could reasonably conclude that no full-blown Mac port is imminent.

Follow Me

Thanks to Google’s decision to eliminate FTP publishing as of May 1, I’ve moved my blog to WordPress. I’ve tried to make the transition as seamless as possible by ensuring that the permalink URL for every post remains unchanged. Unfortunately the RSS feed reader URL has changed, so make sure you visit the blog home page and update your feed URL (this will be the last post at the old URL): (RSS)