Mops is a public-domain development system for the Mac. It’s based on Forth, with extensive OOP extensions, along the lines of Smalltalk. It comes with a class library which gives support for all the normal Mac interface functions. While not as full-featured as PowerPlant or MacApp, say, it’s very adequate for the kind of applications which might be developed by a single programmer.
Mops is derived from Neon, which was one of the first languages for the Mac that allowed actual development on the Mac itself. It’s a close cousin to Yerk, which is a more “conservative” development of Neon, basically aimed at keeping up with later Macs and systems while remaining fully compatible with Neon. Mops is more “radical”. It’s a complete reimplementation which compiles native (68k and PowerPC) code instead of the usual Forth threaded variety. It’s very fast — about as fast as anything on the Mac in fact. It has a few other improvements over the original Neon, such as multiple inheritance, public ivars, temporary (local) objects and object references.
I highly encourage you to check the website every month or so for new updates. Some other Mops code is available, and there various other useful links there.
If you’ve obtained Mops from somewhere else, I recommend you check on the web site to be sure you have the latest version. There are some ancient versions around.
The Powermops-USERS mailing list is an unmoderated discussion forum devoted to all issues relevant to using and programming PowerMops. Everyone is welcome to join, regardless of programming experience.
Another place to find discussion of Mops is the newsgroup comp.lang.forth.mac. This is not exclusively Mops, but Mops is an occasional topic of discussion.
There is a mailing list that for users interested in working with up-and-coming Mops releases. If you enjoy working with the cutting edge, or would just like to be kept apprised of new developments and bug fixes, consider joining Powermops-BETA.
There may be other places on the net with an active interest that we haven’t listed here. If you should know of one, please let this FAQ’s maintainer know about them!
Sorry, I can’t help much. I’ve only written two “real” Mops applications myself, and I’m not free to distribute the source. Most of my Mops time has been spent on developing it rather than writing applications in it. If the above ftp and web sites don’t have what you want, try posting on comp.lang.forth.mac or the MacForth Forum - maybe somebody else there can help.
You could make a good start. Mops comes with an on-line manual, which is derived from the original Neon manual. This assumes a very basic level of knowledge about programming, and none about the Mac. However to move on past the beginner stage with Mac programming, you’ll really need to read some of Inside Macintosh. You can certainly keep using Mops, though!
Definitely! - for the same reason as in the last question. OOP was still very new when Neon came out, so the manual explains everything from a very basic level.
No, sorry, you can’t do it. Mops only does applications, and shared libraries on PowerMacs. In fact with OSX and shared libraries, the days of Extensions etc. as such are pretty much over.
If your Mac can run Carbon applications, then you should be able to run Mops! So just about any machine running Mac OS X, Mac OS 9 (or a version of Mac OS 8 with CarbonLib installed) should do nicely!
Please note that some newer features introduced in recent releases (i.e., calling Cocoa frameworks) are specific to Mac OS X, and have no equivalent functionality on older “Classic” versions of Mac OS.
It certainly is!
Yes! The latest versions of Mops run natively on just about any version of Mac OS X and Mac OS 9, as well as versions of OS8 with CarbonLib installed. (The last of the “Classic” (non-Carbon) releases is also still available for compatibility with older versions of Mac OS without CarbonLib.)
With the release of Mops 5.6, it is now possible to call Cocoa frameworks directly from within your Mops applications on Mac OS X! (However, it is not possible to create Cocoa frameworks with Mops.)
Yes, it does! AltiVec was developed by Apple, IBM, and Freescale Semiconductor (formerly Motorola).
With version 6.0, yes!
With version 6.0, yes!
Not anymore! With the release of Mops 5.6, 68k support has been largely stripped from the distribution.
If you have a 68k Mac, we now recommend you download Mops 4.0.4, which is a complete distribution for these machines. However, we’re not planning any further 68k development, so this is not officially supported.
No. It will run under Rosetta (which allows PowerPC code to run on Intel Macs), but to run natively the code generator would need to be rewritten to target the Intel architecture. This could be done, since it’s written in Mops, but would take a lot of time. Adaptation to another RISC-style architecture could be done in a fairly straightforward way. The Intel architecture, however, is basically early-1980s vintage and is CISC, not RISC. Adaptation would be, let’s say, exciting and challenging. And take even more time A LOT of time. It’s not time that I have any enthusiasm whatever for putting in, especially as I strongly dislike the Intel architecture.
Similar answer to the preceding question. Also, Mops is very closely tied to the Mac API for all its subsidiary services such as memory allocation and all the GUI stuff.
Same answer as the previous question.
The latest versions are fully built up, so unless you’re involved in implementing new features, you won’t need to compile them up. You just have to double-click Mops.dic (68k Mops) or PowerMops, and start using it!
The most usual cause of this is that you are upgrading from an earlier version of Mops, and you still have a copy of the earlier Mops nucleus around. From the Mac’s point of view, “Mops.dic” is a document belonging to the application “Mops”. When you double-click on “Mops.dic”, the Mac system launches the application “Mops”, but if you have two versions of Mops around, you can’t be sure that it will fire up the latest. In fact, it probably won’t. As the location of words in the nucleus will be different between versions, you can’t have a new dictionary running on top of an old nucleus - you’ll just get a crash. So trash the old nucleus (if you’re the cautious type, save it offline first). That way, the Mac is forced to fire up the right version of Mops.
My code works fine in the Mops environment, but when I install it as an application [whatever went wrong].
There are a couple of things that could be wrong here. A common
situation is if you are using a module in an installed application, but
you’ve forgotten to put
true setInstall: myModule somewhere in your code.
That sets the flag that makes Install include it. This will happen, for
example, if you’re using dialogs and you’ve forgotten to put
true setInstall: dialogMod somewhere.
Another common source of problems with installed applications can happen if at compile time you’re ticking words, and comma-ing the resulting execution tokens (xts) into a table, then at run time executing the words via @ EXECUTE. This might happen, e.g. if you’re porting your application from another Forth. The Forth standard doesn’t guarantee that this sort of thing will work in a standard system, but it’s fairly commonly done anyway. In Mops there’s no problem with storing an xt at run time then using it later, but it’s highly dangerous to store it at compile time, save it with the dictionary, then later try to load the dictionary and use the xt. This is because in Mops an xt is simply an absolute address, and absolute addresses of locations in your code will probably change between runs, depending on where Mops or your application happens to load into the Mac’s memory. The best way to handle this kind of operation is with a DicAddr, X-Addr or X-Array object. Please see the section “Addresses–relocatable and absolute” in Part II of the manual.
You have to make the window a color window. The Window class now has a
new ivar, color?, and a method to set it, setColor: which takes a
boolean flag. So before you send new: or getNew: to your window, do:
true setColor: myWindow
Then when you send new: or getNew:, the window will be created as a color window.
How do I plot an Icon / use the Sound Manager / use an offscreen PixMap / use the serial port / [insert favorite problem here].
Well, this is an interesting question, but as as this is a general Mac programming problem rather than something specifically to do with Mops, I’m not really here to answer this sort of question. Try posting on comp.sys.mac.programmer.help. I’m doing this in my spare time, so it’s probably not right for me to be taking time to answer basic Mac programming questions. I don’t have all the answers anyway. I’m certainly not a substitute for Inside Mac. Read the appropriate parts first, and if you’re still stuck, try the newsgroup. There are plenty of people willing and able to help there.
I’d rather you didn’t ask me that. If you go ahead and do it anyway, I’ll probably give you a nice answer since I don’t want to put anybody off and try to be a nice guy most of the time, but it will go very low on the priority list and almost certainly never make it to the top. Maybe consider posting it to comp.lang.forth.mac.
I tried the code for the WhizBang99 algorithm that Joe Bloggs posted the other day, but it gave an error.
It’s very unlikely that I saw the code or have any idea what you’re talking about. Please see above for how to submit a bug report. If I respond at all, I’m likely to be less than polite. Should I have to do detective work to find out what on earth you’re talking about, when you have all the information I need at your end? Please try to help me, and then I’ll be able to help you.
Get Win32Forth (on Taygeta). It now supports much of the Mops OOP model.
Are you volunteering? (The person with the vision gets the job.)
Documentation for freeware products sometimes struggles (tm). Pull requests are welcome!
I’ve been doing it for 30 years now, and don’t plan to stop!
Try it and see how quickly you can get things done. The most popular way isn’t always the best way. After all, you’re using a Mac, aren’t you?