Max/MSP and Xcode, correction: Okay, while it might be handy to have a copy of CodeWarrior around, I’m happy to say I was wrong about developing externals. Despite what the PDF documentation says in the Max/MSP SDK, you can now develop Mac externals using Xcode. Check out the new documentation, posted by David Zicarelli. I’ll be moving happily over to Xcode! Thanks, vallen! Now all we need is someone from Apple marketing to say something snarky about how Xcode is more advanced than anything else on the planet, and anyone who uses anything else is a loser.

It’s the arcane post of the week: Yes, this series will bring all the stories the fewest readers care about, direct to you. But I care about them (because I care about arcane things), and we’ll see if someone else does, too. This week’s entry: it looks like CodeWarrior, the long-beloved Mac development tool, is nearly at its end. Metrowerks is no longer supporting the product (though they’ll still happily sell it to you unsupported — uh, thanks), and “after Q1 2006” you won’t be able to download at all. (Or thereabouts, since it’s obviously still there.) Why am I bothering to mention a dead development tool in the first place, particularly with Apple’s own Xcode included free with every copy of Mac OS X? Two reasons: first, we’ve already heard noted music developer Propellerhead complaining that their PowerPC code was faster on CodeWarrior than Apple’s Xcode. Now, granted, I’m not sure why this is and I haven’t heard anyone else griping about Xcode performance (though you will hear them griping for other reasons), but I’ll leave that whole issue to others.

More importantly, Max/MSP/Jitter from Cycling ’74 still requires CodeWarrior for creating externals on Mac, a key means of extending Max’s already-deep capabilities. Yes, I expect Cycling will fix that in a future release, but it makes it sound as though CodeWarrior would be a smart download for backwards compatibility.
Pay US$99 for an unsupported product that’s waiting for the executioner? No way. But if you can convince Freescale’s automated form (hint, hint) that you’re an educator, you can use the learning edition. And I’m guessing if you’re writing Max/MSP externals, you’re either in an academic institution now, or were at some point, or could probably fit in if you happened to visit. Go download and enjoy. Oh, and send us your externals.

  • vallen

    You can, in fact, use Xcode for creating externals. :]

  • Hmmmmm . . . I can't get the new Universal Binary SDK to download from that page. And now it looks like c74 removed it from the wiki? Hmmmm . . . 🙂

    Researching further.

    Vallen, wherever you are, any thoughts?

  • Varian Allen

    It's right here, Sir.

  • Ah-hah.

    Now they want a beta password to download. (Earlier today and through the week it just didn't work at all.) And it doesn't appear to work with Jitter, anyway.

    So my "don't throw away your CodeWarrior just yet" advice still holds (and will continue to do so for anyone wanting greater backward compatibility).

  • the question is, why would anyone like to use XCode for

    making max objects?

    while i can understand how XCode can be more interesting

    than codewarrior for making GUIs or compiling huhge applications

    or plug-ins, its use for making usually small and simple documents

    for other programming enviroments such as MAX/Msp is quite


    surely it can be helpful to create universal binaries without much headache, then again do not forget that (normally) any Max binary

    object developer will also need a windwos version anyway …

  • Well, the reason you'd want a full-blown IDE like Xcode is that self-coded externals are neither small nor simple. They require lots of dependencies. Using Xcode allows you to code for both PowerPC and Intel processors and let Cycling '74 do the heavy lifting by using their template and changing only what you need. On Windows, you have the use of something like Visual Studio for the same job.