GraphicConverter 7 Goes Cocoa

| Product News

Graphic Converter 7 from Lemke Software GmbH was released in early October. The user interface has been completely rewritten in Cocoa, and version 7 touts several new features including a map for geodata, multiple processor support and stepless zooming of preview images.

According to Thorsten Lemke, the developer, “Many users have been asking us to produce a modern user interface for GraphicConverter for a while now. Here it is at last: GraphicConverter 7 comes with a completely new user interface. Four programmers spent a whole year redesigning the browser and all of the dialog boxes.”

GC7 (from Lemke)

GC7 Browser (from Lemke Software GmbH Website)

Here’s the list of new features and improvements:

  • New user interface (in Cocoa)
  • Geodata is shown on a map
  • New window for multiple conversion
  • Stepless zooming of preview images in the browser
  • Clearly organized preferences dialog
  • Multiple processor support for more efficient work

GraphicConverter has been a Macintosh graphics application staple for many years. Support and updates have been tremendous and frequent, and many consider it a must-have Mac application.

GraphicConverter 7 is priced at US$34.95 and updates are $25.95. Original and upgrade Family Packs (5 users) are also available for slightly higher prices. It requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later.

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17 Comments Leave Your Own

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Congrats to Thorsten Lemke. GC is and has been a staple application on the Macintosh.

I’m curious about two things… (1) Why Lemke Software isn’t considered “lazy” by the folks who comment here for taking a decade to adopt Cocoa. (2) What do the people who comment here think about Apple’s native development tools if it took 4 man-years to recraft the interface? I’m kinda shaking my head.

John Martellaro

We can certainly ask Mr. Lemke. Thorsten Lemke <lemke@lemkesoft.de>

Will C

In (Herr) Thorsten Lemke’s defence - he seems to always be tweaking his software and keeping it as up to date as possible ironing out bugs adding incremental features. I have provided a couple of suggestions in the past for GC and he implemented them within days.

So maybe re-coding/writing GC in Cocoa may have been quite complicated while keeping the old one up to date - I dunno I have no coding skills.

Great app though, one of my faves.

Tiger

Hmm. Going after a small developer who charges $30 for shareware (albeit one of THE best pieces of software I’ve ever purchased…and repurchased with each major upgrade) as lazy seems a bit ridiculous as opposed to a large corporation, say Adobe whose products run 10 and 20x that amount with thousands of employees. And even I don’t call them lazy. Stubborn maybe, but lazy? I still can’t get the office to fork over the $400 to upgrade from CS4 to CS5. (BTW to buy CS5 outright, even on educational rates is nearly $1,200.)

VaughnSC

I?m curious about two things?

<feigns indignation>What?!
Are you just trying to stir up a needless ruckus? smile

Firstly, ever heard of ‘if it ain’t broke, dont fix it’? Or ‘the devil is in the details’?

A ‘ground-up rewrite’ is scary business and not to be taken lightly, especially if it’s your one ‘bread and butter’ app. I’m sure Herr Lemke has to wear many hats besides re-architecting from say, CodeWarrior to Xcode on a 24/7 basis to suit you and your merry band of nit-pickers. smile  How many man/years of code are there in the original, non-Cocoa version? Can you estimate that, Brad?

I figure, in a perfect world, retyping the same 2,000 page novella on a computer takes just as many keystrokes as on an IBM Selectric III: Porting isn’t copy/paste and whereas the original had features added over the course of years, the Cocoa version has to have them all from the get-go and then some new tricks. If rewrite took even half the man/years of the original codebase, then that’s a win, in my book.

I’m sure you know there is no magic Convert?my?project?to?Cocoa… menu item any more than there are truly-fluent computer translators.

Even large software concerns, who can spend the money to pick up and throw an small army of Cocoa-saavy coders at the problem can face an uphill battle and take as many years (witness Adobe and er… yes, Apple).

Them’s my .02… and hats off to Mr. Lemke (and all small developers.)

John Martellaro

Like Tiger, I too have continuously upgraded through all the major versions of GC.  It’s one of the few apps I’ve done that with. I can’t even recall how far back I go with GC.

Lately, I’ve also fallen in love with Image Well from XtraLean Software.  It sizes my web graphics, sets a shadow, converts to .png, strips the EXIF data, rotates if required (but no trackpad support for finger rotation) and saves to a special holding directory for upload with just a few clicks. It can do a whole lot more. It’s a gem as well.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Vaughn, I don’t get why you’re being argumentative with me. (That was said in jest.) You pretty much make my point. Which is, just because Apple says things are Apple’s way doesn’t mean developers (small or large) have to see things that way. My apps are waiting for REAL Software to finish Cocoa support. I’m not particularly concerned or hurried with their pace. It’s not costing me any sales.

You guys know I’m off the reservation with how Jobs maliciously dealt with Adobe and how too many in the community piled on. Here’s a chance for you to be consistent, but I also know that most of you have too much class to do that. I also know that, like Adobe products, GC6 was pretty much indispensable, regardless of whether it was built Apple’s preferred way or not.

VaughnSC

Ah, my apologies Brad: I speak fluent jest, oft I fail to recognize it in others.

I might add, to my defense, that as an ISV who’s faced a few rewrites and ran screaming and/or limped away from others, you touched a nerve smile

This whole “lazy” thing did remind me of Typestyler (post-Br?derb?nd) which I saw advertised as ‘works in OS 9, coming soon for OSX!’ for what seemed to me like fourscore-and-seven-years.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

One issue Vaughn doesn’t hit above is that rewriting for Cocoa can involve completely rethinking how your app’s interface works. Cocoa relies heavily on the Model-Viewer-Controller (MVC) metaphor. Well, heavily is an understatement. The plumbing of a UI, how events are distributed, where you put code to do thing, etc. It’s really different. If you have a cross-platform app, it means you probably have two completely codebases for the UIs, even if they look and work the same. Or you rely on a compatibility layer and develop to a common model that’s probably not MVC.

The MVC model in NeXTStep was a real timesaver back in the early 1990s compared to what was available and popular then. Kind of like RISC architectures were a giant step ahead in performance when PowerMacs came along. But the mainstream stuff (app frameworks, x86) improved, refined, and evolved and passed these revolutionary advances up. Now, Cocoa is basically a giant PITA for building apps, especially compared to higher level tools that can spit out apps that work great and are indistinguishable to most users from “native” apps. But we may find out next week that Apple is dropping support for Carbon apps in 10.7, and a lot of wasted effort will go into updating software that already works pretty well. Oh well. Apple’s way or the highway.

Tiger

Brad, I think you take most of our posts WAY too seriously. Like Vaughn, I think my posts are often over received. wink

I must learn to use more emoticons. You give as good as you get and you stand your ground. And we’re all still here, so we must be doing something right!

While true, I’m no fan of Flash, I couldn’t do my job without Adobe’s software in the form of InDesign, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Acrobat, etc.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Ummmm, I wasn’t disagreeing or taking anyone serious, Tiger???? Just adding some perspective. I think it’s great that Lemke can make enough money on Mac products to just focus on them, and it’s great that he can put all his eggs in the Cocoa basket and go with it. He’s probably safe with the rising Mac tide now, a small operation, and a nearly ubiquitous tool for the platform. At one point, he was bundled with some new Macs and the residuals are still valuable, as users keep familiar software as they upgrade machines.

ctopher

Bosco Brad can’t keep up. Boo Hoo. It’s not REAL’s fault, it’s yours. REAL can make the business decision to go cocoa or not. Apple has been pretty clear.

There’s a ton of software I can’t run because I have an old eMac. My choice.

I also have a Win 2K machine and there’s a ton of stuff I can’t run on that either.

Apple moves faster than Microsoft and obsoletes stuff much faster. It’s not Nazism or hubris, it’s pushing technology forward. It’s what Apple does. Yes, they don’t treat their developers like Microsoft. If they were, we’d still be writing QuickDraw code and the OS would be hundreds of Megabytes larger and slower dragging around those old Toolboxes.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@ctopher… If all Mac customers were like you, I’d have quit this side of the game long ago. They’re certainly not as obnoxious, and the ones with money to spend could give a rat’s ass about Cocoa vs. Carbon. You pretty much have to be an insufferable nerd to know the difference. They have problems that need to be solved and are appreciative of a Mac solution if you have one, double appreciative if it works for Windows too, and triple if it works consistently across the platforms.

Apple pulls this crap right now, because, like the proverbial dog licking his dangly bits, they can. Other vendors with far more marketshare in both PCs (Microsoft) and mobile (RIM) have embraced third party tools and cross platform software. They know their place. Calling Apple’s tools and APIs modern though, is supreme fanbotulism (another new word coined by me). And if you’re a developer who has bought into that, someone has sold you a load. Get ready to ask people if they want fries with their burger within 5 years. The economics of coding apps like don’t work.

ctopher

@Bosco Brad - If you’re going to reply, at least read what you’re replying to. I’m not the first person to say that to you, so maybe… Sorry, off topic.

Customers certainly don’t care how an app is developed. I don’t know who was whining about Adobe moving to Cocoa but I’m sure customers wanted to make sure that their cutting edge software would take advantage of their cutting edge hardware.

And Mr. Hutchings, do you honestly believe that Apple might be removing support for Carbon just because they can? Really? You assign that much anti-developer animosity to Apple?

But I think you’re almost right about Apple and animals licking their dangly bits. They both do it to remain clean.

Apple’s tools are fine. Their APIs work well for what they need to do. And did you really say the Model View Controller design pattern isn’t modern? Hey even your beloved REAL Basic folks think that’s a good way to use their tools!
REAL wiki on MVC

At the moment most of my development work is bound for the web (I know, it’s so last century!) I am using Eclipse PDT with a lot of MySQL to back it up. I can do it using MAMP on the Mac or The Uniform Server on the PC. The tools seem downright ancient compared to the last time I used XCode, but it’s not the tools, its the craftsman! (I’m the type that ends up missing fingers so yes, I may soon be asking you if you want fries, but it’s not because of the tools!)

Back to the topic of developing cross platform apps. Yes, that’s a good way to broaden your market, if your market doesn’t want any of the specific features of a given platform. But a chat application for a mobile device probably would have different specifications and features than one on a desktop. Even if we’re talking about web deployed applications, these platform issues have to be worked around.

Oh and I don’t know about RIM, but to develop to Microsoft’s standards, you need Visual Studio, not third party cross platform tools. Sure, there’s a free version, but if you want to use any Microsoft frameworks, you’re gonna have to pony up.

Oh I hear you say… anyone who know what they’re doing uses QT or yes, REAL Basic, not the tools created by the platform makers…

Hey I could argue with you all day, by myself!

Bosco - Keep writing great software, but when Apple makes a change and forces you to have to re-design in order for your ideas to run on their latest hardware or operating system, don’t take it personally.

Oh, and if anyone looks at a dog licking his dangly bits and wishes they could do the same? Better ask the owner first! smile

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

And Mr. Hutchings, do you honestly believe that Apple might be removing support for Carbon just because they can? Really? You assign that much anti-developer animosity to Apple?

I’ll answer this one question for you ctopher, because from this one question, it doesn’t appear you’ve been around long enough to remember. Back when Mac OS X was Rhapsody, that’s exactly what Apple tried. Carbon was not going to be an equal peer in Mac OS X, and all the big developers they needed told them to shove it. They were not going to do ground-up rewrites of their apps for un unproven OS, and they expected that recompiles within certain bounds would perform natively on Mac OS X. Apple responded by making Carbon an equal peer. So indeed, when Apple was unable to reach its tongue to its dangly bits, it didn’t.

It will be interesting to see what Apple does to its customers who plan to upgrade their installed base of Macs in the future. Will these customers be required to have custom software rewritten? Will applications that have served them well for years suddenly not work anymore? I don’t think Apple will listen to developers, because it doesn’t have to now. They have telescoped to developers in the past that Carbon would eventually be dropped. That’s why there is more urgency to finish Cocoa support among various cross-platform tools developers. So far as developers are concerned, Apple can lick its dangly bits now. Not sure what they think about customers though.

Oh, and I could argue with you all day about platform native tools as well. I use them for the usually small and isolated portions of my products that have to run fast. As a result, I can argue with you all day, still continue to churn the Share From products I’m focussed on now, spend a few hours of the day on the phone with prospects, walk dogs 5 or 6 miles a day, be available and engaged with family and friends, and get the 8 hours of sleep I need to stay sane. grin

John Martellaro

Bosco—with a wink of the eye here ... didn’t you mean “telegraphed?” grin

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

If I were a Harry Potter fan, I could save that with:

http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Punching_telescope

grin

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