Cocoa Tip

I’ve been playing around with Cocoa in Real Studio.  It’s come a long way in the past couple of releases and I urge you to start testing your apps to find those pesky Cocoa bugs.  Real Software is making a huge effort for the 2011 R2 release to fix as many Cocoa bugs as possible.  It’s that close.

Yesterday I ran across a problem where my app was crashing immediately upon startup.  The crash log gave a very odd error message:

Dyld Error Message:  Library not loaded: /System/Library/Frameworks/user32.framework/user32

Wha?  User32?  That sounds like a Windows library and certainly nothing I’ve ever seen on Mac OS X.  I actually wrote the ‘bug’ up and sent it in via Feedback and then did some more research.  The answer wasn’t really all that surprising.

I have a lot of old code that I’ve developed, bought, and found over the years that make it into most of my projects.  It’s there and I don’t even think about it.  One of the pieces of code that I bought from someone works cross-platform Mac/Windows and so it has a ton of #if statements.  Things like this:

#if targetcarbon then

//Do Mac stuff


//Do Windows stuff


See the problem?  If I wasn’t making a Carbon application, which Cocoa most definitely is not, it attempts to run the Windows code.  So now the crash log makes total sense.  I suspect that a lot of people will have a similar problem.

Check your projects for compiler switches like this.  If you’re developing cross-platform applications you’ll probably have this problem.  In the long run all I did was do a simple global search for #if targetcarbon and replaced it with the target for Mac OS.  That won’t work for all cases, but it should get you close.

Ideally I would love for the Real Studio compiler to give me a warning for this case but I don’t think that’s even possible.  Really, how many libraries are there in the world to know about for each platform?  Impossible I say.  At a minimum, however, I would think that it would be possible to get a better runtime error.  Sort of like how you get error messages if you don’t have the plugin libraries where the executable expects them (much more of a problem in Windows if you move the Libs directory).

What say you my fellow REALbasic geeks?  Have you tried Cocoa yet with 2011 R1.1?  Any major problems?

2 thoughts on “Cocoa Tip

  1. That’s a great tip, Bob. I’m sure that, just as you said, we probably all have some old code lying around with similar issues.

    I’ve been testing my products off-and-on with Cocoa support for the last few major releases and have seen quite a lot of improvement. A while back I wrote up a report where apps would crash when running with a subclassed canvas and calling ClearRect (and quite a few other graphics methods). Thankfully, that was fixed very soon.

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