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People to Meet (2)

It's a big 64-bit leap.

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Oliver Rist said he'd like to meet some of the people working on Leopard, referring in particular to what he called the 'cornblower flue baby fuzzy toy' in the dock under active applications.

He didn't like the fuzzy toys much.

And there are things that puzzle us too. But there are also people we'd like to meet - in a good way. In particular - today - the team who put together IB3.

IB3 is Interface Builder version 3.0. Interface Builder has always been brilliant even in concept but this version takes a '64-bit' step up. It looks simply dazzling.

This was a rocket science project and it's incredibly complex and sophisticated. And it's cool just gawking at the thing. And reckoning how many post graduate courses you'll have to take before you master it all.

Interface Builder was the brainchild of Jean-Marie Hullot. He'd written an application he called 'SOS Interface' for the original Mac. Steve Jobs (who by now was in Redwood City) heard about it and invited Hullot to pop in and demonstrate it.

Jobs gawked, reportedly blurted 'I WANT THAT FOR MY COMPUTER', went around town and bought up all available copies, and signed up Hullot to work at NeXT. The result was Interface Builder.

There's a lot of logic - intelligence - in Interface Builder. No other platform has anything quite like it. Interface Builder files - NIBs - are 'freeze dried class code'. Thanks to a brilliant program loader these files get loaded and initialised at runtime.

And for the first time developers are able to actually 'sketch' out their applications graphically. And get a lot of the 'dirty work' out of the way.

So it's no surprise programmers regularly report project times five times as fast as on other platforms.

IB3 is an impressive leap forward. The graphics are totally redone. The basic layout that's been in place for ten years got a complete makeover. It's extraordinary eye candy.

IB3 is free with Leopard. It's worth installing just to take a look. Start by choosing a template.

Take an application.

Here's your main document window.

Here's your application window.

Here come a couple of your inspectors. See you on the other side.

Here come a couple more.

Then you have your library of objects and media.

And maybe you don't want an ordinary white window but want a black window? No problem.

If you've seen Steve's Auntie of All Demos you'll know you can craft entire running applications right in this sucker.

So yes - meeting the people who brought Los Alamos to IB would be something.

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