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The Changelog The Changelog #421

The future of Mac

We have a BIG show for you today. We’re talking about the future of the Mac. Coming off of Apple’s “One more thing.” event to launch the Apple M1 chip and M1 powered Macs, we have a two part show giving you the perspective of Apple as well as a Mac app developer on the future of the Mac.

Part 1 features Tim Triemstra from Apple. Tim is the Product Marketing Manager for Developer Technologies. He’s been at Apple for 15 years and the team he manages is responsible for developer tools and technologies including Xcode, Swift Playgrounds, the Swift language, and UNIX tools.

Part 2 features Ken Case from The Omni Group. Ken is the Founder and CEO of The Omni Group and they’re well known for their Omni Productivity Suite including OmniFocus, OmniPlan, OmniGraffle, and OmniOutliner – all of which are developed for iOS & Mac.

Sam Soffes soffes.blog

Homebrew on Apple Silicon

Sam Soffes:

Today, my new 13-inch MacBook Pro arrived! I was super excited to get it out of the box and set it up. This thing is fast! I am already very impressed. When I started setting up my development environment, things started to get a little frustrating. Have no fear, it’s solvable!

The biggest issue for me was Homebrew. According to this issue “There won’t be any support for native ARM Homebrew installations for months to come.” No big deal though. Homebrew can work just fine with Rosetta 2 and some things work natively.

Linux darlinghq.org

Darling lets you run macOS software on Linux

Darling is a lot like Wine only for macOS.

It implements a complete Darwin environment, runs macOS software directly without requiring a hardware emulator, and aims to integrate apps into the Linux desktop experience.

The only downside is they haven’t quite gotten GUI apps working yet:

This took us a lot of time and effort, but we finally have basic experimental support for running simple graphical applications. It requires some special setup for now though, so do not expect it to work out of the box just yet. We’re working on this; stay tuned!

Browser London Icon Browser London

Apple’s move to ARM could reshape the development landscape

James Blizzard, writing for Browser London:

in my view, a number of factors are converging to make change ever more likely. Namely, the huge scale of cloud computing providers, Apple’s plans to migrate their laptop products to ARM-based processors, and the opening up of the educational space to include ARM-based systems.

There are some great thoughts from James in this article. From my vantage point, ARM is well-positioned for the short/medium-term, but RISC-V might just disrupt that for the long-term. One small piece of evidence: how Apple positioned this transition to Apple Silicon instead of to ARM.

Brian Malehorn bmalehorn.com

ARM Mac: Why I'm worried about virtualization

Docker is expected about 5x slower…

Docker on a Mac utilizes a hypervisor. Hypervisors rely on running the same architecture on the host as the guest, and are about about 1x - 2x as slow as running natively. Since you’re running ARM Mac, these hypervisors can only run ARM Linux. They can’t run x86_64 Linux.

And, “VirtualBox won’t work.”

VirtualBox is a hypervisor. Therefore, it won’t be able to run x86 Windows or x86 Linux.

And, “Boot Camp won’t work.”

Boot Camp is an Apple-approved way to dual-boot Mac OS and Windows. Boot Camp will definitely not be available on ARM Macs. It might be added later with the ability to run ARM Windows, though Microsoft would have to approve.

Brent Simmons inessential.com

Maybe the iOS and Mac markets are the same size(ish)

Brent Simmons did some analysis on download numbers for NetNewsWire on iOS and Mac.

Based on the above, and knowing that way more people use iOS than macOS, you’d expect the iOS app to be way more popular. But it’s not. It’s a little more popular.

I find this super-fascinating, because it’s some data — admittedly just one app — that confirms what I’ve thought for a long time, which is that, for some types of apps, a Mac app would do as well as an iOS app.

macOS tyler.io

macOS 10.15 Vista

Tyler Hall:

I completely realize and wholeheartedly own-up to the fact that I’m a geek and a Mac power user above and beyond what normal muggles will ever experience, nonetheless, this is the first-run experience I was greeted to this afternoon after upgrading to Catalina.

I’m sure Catalina will be worth it in the end, but I’m going to sit this one out for a bit until the dust settles.

macOS 10.15 Vista

Apple github.com

Turn a MacBook into a touchscreen with $1 of hardware

We turned a MacBook into a touchscreen using only $1 of hardware and a little bit of computer vision. The proof-of-concept, dubbed “Project Sistine” after our recreation of the famous painting in the Sistine Chapel, was prototyped by Anish Athalye, Kevin Kwok, Guillermo Webster, and Logan Engstrom in about 16 hours.

See that thing at the top of the laptop? It’s a mirror that’s redirecting the webcam downward to do the detection. How they detect a touch is (at least in principle) simple:

Surfaces viewed from an angle tend to look shiny, and you can tell if a finger is touching the surface by checking if it’s touching its own reflection.

Turn a MacBook into a touchscreen with $1 of hardware

Saagar Jha saagarjha.com

Thoughts on macOS package managers

Saagar Jha shared an honest perspective of using Homebrew and MacPorts. Find out why Saagar favors MacPorts over Homebrew “for the foreseeable future.”

A couple of months ago, I uninstalled Homebrew and migrated my configuration to MacPorts. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the state of package management on macOS, and here’s what I’ve come up with based on my experiences using both and interacting with their development communities.

macOS sylabs.io

Run the Singularity container runtime on a Mac

Andre Marcelo-Tanner:

The most widely used container runtime on High Performance Computing now runs on Mac, allowing any developer to package their entire application into a single container. This has broader implications and possibilities of what exactly is possible by putting everything into a single file with no daemon required on OSX but I would let an expert like Greg Kurtzer talk about that :)

This was a brief topic of conversation when we had Greg on The Changelog a few weeks back.

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