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AboutIt just works...
It's just business.
I'm not concerned about Mac users not upgrading to OS X. What I find more interesting is how many switchers we're getting from Windows and Linux!
- Jack Quattlebaum, Apple Inc
The ACP is a look at systems development with OS X - with Cocoa, the NeXTSTEP classes. It's an attempt to both provide necessary tools for the developer and admin and to create a system structure for the development of these tools.
You won't find much redundancy in the ACP. Not a single resource - not even a 2 KB toolbar icon - is duplicated anywhere. Functions and methods that need to be called are centralised rather than left in multiple copies in the clients. The result is well coded applications, faster and more compact, and eminently more maintainable.
You won't find one-shot programs in the ACP. You won't find programs that search only for one type of file to only do one thing with them. What you will find is powerful programs that search for any type of file so you can do anything you want with them. You might have to think a bit more before you use one of the tools, but you're getting ten apps for the price of one.
You won't find much glitter and doodads in the ACP.
Written by professionals for professionals, ACP applications concentrate on getting the job done.
ACP applications come about not because someone detects a market need but because someone needs a tool for their own development project.
The applications are written because they're needed; as they're being used by their authors all the time, the code is constantly under review.
You'll be surprised by the efficiency and speed of the ACP: where most downloads for single apps are today in the megabyte+ range, the entire ACP - currently 90+ programs - is only 2.4 MB.
And you'll find a whole new attitude toward freedom as well. Normally limited to the confines of your home directory, you're suddenly free to go wherever you want to go: applications behave as folders again (but can be activated still the same) and you can go anywhere you want with file dialogs: inside application packages, into system areas, anywhere you like. Your whole disk is again at your disposal. As it should be.
Rixstep's done extensive work studying the behaviour of the GCC and the Cocoa frameworks to squeeze out optimum performance and efficiency. Too often developers rush through projects and never return to the unfinished ones. The ACP benefits from code being continually honed and tweaked. And when new optimisations are discovered, they are propagated throughout the entire collection.
The hallmark of the ACP is Xfile and the ancillary applications known as the Xfile System. Developers, administrators, and power users all need a powerful, straightforward, and reliable file manager. OS X does not ship with an adequate file manager, and third party offerings are either too antiquated or too slow. Xfile is also the safest file manager available. By far.
And there's an enormous difference between using 'object orientation' to administer a graphical user interface and trying to make it work with low level file system intrinsics. Professionals need speed and efficiency, and the Unix programming interface, used exclusively by the Xfile System, gives them that speed and efficiency.
When you look at what you get with the Xfile System - and when you look on disk at what you have - you're liable to not recognise your own computer. And even if the few alternatives out there may in the best of all circumstances be enough, it's not often circumstances so amenable apply, and it's no way to take care of an 'Internetted' machine or network of machines.
And time and again when casual users are left in the lurch - the iPod copy snag, the eBook snag, et al - and end up paying serious cash for a one-time solution to a one-time issue, ACP users just grin.
All ACP applications are subjected to rigorous 'monkey tests': it's not enough to see an app does what it's supposed to do - proper testing ensures that an app does not do what it's not supposed to do. Too often developers confine testing to expected behaviour and don't spend any time looking for unexpected behaviour. While perhaps no software can be 100% perfect, these ACP apps come a lot closer than you're accustomed used to.
The mission of the ACP is to show how industrial strength applications can be written for OS X. Applications that are lean and mean, efficient, consistent, cautious with use of resources, stable - in short, everything attractive to the people calculating that bottom line.
The ACP: It just works. And that's just business.
The ACP is not shareware; users get updates approximately once per week; it is sold only as a unit: despite it now having over one hundred Cocoa applications and command line tools, it is a system and built as one. Purchase of an ACP licence entitles the user(s) to free updates, new programs, and free support for one year (renewable).