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I'm learning about IDEs and software development on Mac OS Classic systems and recently discovered Macintosh Programmer's Workshop. Navigating to a cached version of the old MPW Tools page on Apple's dev site, this IDE appears to have been made available for free on Apple's FTP server after it was superseded by CodeWarrior.

Are there any resources or downloads available of MPW? Or do I have to find an old Developer CD matching the Mac OS version I want to use MPW on.

  • I'm not overly familiar with MPW but this looks promising: macintoshrepository.org/… – Geo... Jul 13 '16 at 18:47
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    After further research, it appears that the Macintosh Programmers Workshop was indeed given away freely by Apple. Several of Apple's archived web pages make reference to it being fee to download from Apple's FTP site. I do not believe there is any copyright or licensing issue with providing a link to these files. - It looks like Apples FTP is long gone, but I think this mirror: staticky.com/mirrors/ftp.apple.com/developer/Tool_Chest could provide another source for the files / resources the OP is looking for. Specificaly, check out the Core Mac OS Tools sub folder. – Geo... Jul 14 '16 at 0:42
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Apple used Metrowerks CodeWarrior for a lot projects once the PowerPC came out, including later versions of the Finder and the early MacOS X versions of the Finder. As a result I don't think that the system requirements for MPW went up very much over time. The last version of MPW could run on MacOS 9 but I doubt that it required much more than a PowerPC Mac running System 7.5. A lot of other companies made plug-in compilers for MPW including Metrowerks (C/C++), Absoft (Fortran), and Symantec (C/C++).

I used THINK Pascal for 68k Macs and Metrowerks CodeWarrior for 68k/PPC once it came out. Codewarrior has an integrated IDE with great Pascal/C/C++ support and PowerPlant if you want to use C++ frameworks. Older versions of CodeWarrior support Macs as low down as the LC running System 7.1 and as new the last PPC boxes running MacOS X 10.5. On really old Macs like the MacPlus, THINK Pascal has a great IDE with the first good integrated debugger, and even inline stop points in the source code. THINK Pascal requires only 1 MB and System 6, though debugging with a single floppy drive is a little slow.

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    I used to run the golden master version of MPW on a 68LC040 machine (powerbook 190) and System 7.5. The compilers where a bit slow at times, but the environment was snappy enough. – dmckee Jun 8 '17 at 1:35
  • I preferred the CodeWarrior IDE to the simpler MPW environment, plus the CodeWarrior Pascal compiler supported PPC while MPW Pascal was only 68k. For C++ the PowerPlant framework in CodeWarrior was great, the original MacOS X Finder was written with PowerPlant. All the older Macs were very slow by current standards though I found that the THINK and CodeWarrior compilers were fast enough, at least until you got to PowerPlant. I used to spend 45 minute precompiling C++ libraries every time CodeWarrior was updated. – Michael Shopsin Jun 9 '17 at 14:03
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    Since you mention Metrowerks, I feel compelled to give a shout out for their Mac Classic Modula-2 development environment, which was a lot of fun to use at the time. – KJ Seefried Oct 25 '17 at 21:02
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    @KJSeefried I never used Modula-2 so the Metrowerks environment for that is lost on me. I used three different dev environments on MacOS Classic: ThinkPascal, Metrowerks, and MPW (for Absoft Pro Fortran). – Michael Shopsin Oct 26 '17 at 16:02
  • @Michael Shopsin Modula-2 wouldn't be unfamiliar to you from Pascal (it's a descendant), with a stronger separate compiled 'module' a bstraction, built in concurrency and a well defined hardware access interface. – KJ Seefried Oct 30 '17 at 2:36
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There was a version of Mac OS 7.5 that was released by Apple on their ftp site. The last version of MPW was also released on the same site.

I develop using MPW on the Basilisk II emulator, which can be setup using these instructions: http://emaculation.com/doku.php/basilisk_ii_setup

There are still mirrors of apple's old ftp server available online (a google search will find them). This was the url for the last release MPW (which stuffit expander can extract):

ftp.apple.com/developer/Tool_Chest/Core_Mac_OS_Tools/MPW_etc./MPW-GM_Images/MPW-GM.img.bin

The url for the mac os 7.5 install files was every url in this ftp folder:

/pub/apple/US/Macintosh/System/Older_System/System_7.5_Version_7.5.3/

You may also need disk copy 6.3.3 to read the MPW image as well:

Disk_Copy_6.3.3.smi.bin

  • Welcome to Retrocomputing! – JAL Nov 1 '17 at 16:06
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    That sentence about mirrors of Apple's old ftp server makes me tempted to ask a question. Have you found a complete mirror? – wizzwizz4 Nov 1 '17 at 16:51
  • @wizzwizz4 Yes a couple, but in my experience if too many people find out about mirrors of important sites they tend to go offline. A sad fact of life. I guess bandwidth costs money and there's also sometimes the threat of legal action. There's an apple one based in Hungary that's not well known though. – Paul Humphreys Nov 2 '17 at 21:11
  • @PaulHumphreys If the Internet Archive finds out about mirrors of important sites, it becomes a mirror of said important site. Just a thought. (Also, this question has only had 377 views and comments aren't indexed by Googlebot.) – wizzwizz4 Nov 2 '17 at 22:48
  • just checked it and its not responding now anyhow. If it starts working again (and I believe it might) can I ask the internet archive to mirror it in private? I wouldn't want the owners bandwidth costs to skyrocket. – Paul Humphreys Nov 3 '17 at 2:24

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