Macintosh Programmer’s Workshop

Apple’s Macintosh Programmer’s Workshop (MPW) is the most powerful development environment available on the Macintosh. It is more than just an environment for writing programs: it also offers powerful file-manipulation and task-automation functions.

Newcomers to MPW often describe it as being “UNIX-like”. While many features of MPW are indeed modelled on UNIX, its approach is fundamentally different from the conventional UNIX command line—and quite different from any other Macintosh development environment, for that matter.

People familiar with other Mac-based development environments tend to consider MPW to be complex and unfriendly. But then, MPW can do many things that those other environments cannot. MPW is admittedly “un-Mac-like” in many ways, but then, regardless of what else you may be familiar with, MPW is like nothing else you’ve ever seen!

MPW is available for downloading from Apple. Or you can read more info...

Comparison: MPW Versus UNIX

MPW has some UNIX-like features:

It also has features like nothing available in UNIX:

There are some UNIX features lacking in MPW:

Comparison: MPW Versus Project-Oriented Environments

Project-oriented development environments like Metrowerks CodeWarrior are very popular. They are built around a pretty simple model: take a bunch of source files, compile them all, and link them into a single executable. They probably deal nicely with 90% of programming needs (though your choice of problems to solve is often subtly influenced by the tools you have available to solve them!). But they do tend to fall down in a number of areas:

MPW Tips & Tricks

MPW-Related Links

Created by LDO 1997 August 7, last modified 2001 September 14.

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