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The Almighty Buck

Motorola to purchase Metrowerks 122

chigs writes to us with the news that Motorola, chip maker extraordinaire, is planning to purchase Metrowerks, creators of CodeWarrior. Hopefully this will not effect Metrowerks expansion into the Linux-area, but Motorola said it plans to leave Metrowerks as a stand-alone company.
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Motorola to purchase Metrowerks

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  • I was just thinking to myself "Hmmm...I haven't seen any egregious spelling/grammar errors from Hemos lately...maybe I should change my sig." Then this story appeared.

    Andover.net, if you are listening: We've all gotten over the shock of the /. takeover. You may now safely begin putting Rob, Jeff and crew through some training on "how journalism works".
    ---
    Put Hemos through English 101!
    "An armed society is a polite society" -- Robert Heinlein
  • Aye. As long as you've got all the needed libraries with no conflicts (I *think* that dyn-linking an X11R6 application with libc6 and X11R6 libraries dyn-linked with libc5 can do evil things, but it's been a while...), which is increasingly rare, you're fine.

    Apps be distributed with the various libraries, or statically linked. This is the same issue w/ Windows, only somewhat better (in that DLLs tend not to have version numbers in their names, IIRC, and thus this makes it hard to have multiple versions...).
  • maybe they'll start optimizing the compilier for the PPC chips. A post to another topic recently mentioned that [insert gross oversimplification here] x86 will still be the primary architecture for Linux (or any OS really) as long as Intel is the only one spending money optimizing compilers. [end gross oversimplification]

  • Indeed, you're correct. But don't forget that "affect" can also be used as a noun (usually done by mental "health" professionals). The whole affect vs. effect differentiation isn't done at all well by current education. Nowadays, we're happy if kids can read the street signs.

    On a similar note, how many times per day do you see somebody write that something is "definate"?

  • The command-line pilot-link tools work great for me.

    --

  • Instead of gcc, could he be talking about libraries? I never thought about it until now. There's more to gcc than a compiler. There's the linker (um, you Unixy people call it a loader, I think) and a standard library (i.e. code for printf(), etc.). If the libraries are GPLed and you link them into your executable, that might cause a problem. (? I'm just trying to figure out what this AC might be talking about. :-)

  • That's what LGPL (library GPL) is for. There are no restrictions for a commercial program linking to an LGPL library.
  • Umm lemme check. 3F17, "Bart on the Road". Bart is going on a roadtrip with Nelson and Milhouse, and he tells his parents he's going to a grammar rodeo. Lisa asks him "If there's a grammar rodeo, why didn't I know about it?" and he gives the response in my sig.
  • Well, with the coming of Mac OS X, soon, the most popular Mac OS IDE might very well be GCC.

    (surely I jest)

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
    -jafac's law
  • I had been wondering about that slow rise myself - The slow downward drift of MTWK was an annoying red mark on my e-trade portfolio, as well as causing concern about the health of a company who makes products I really like.

    Hopefully this is a good thing for Code Warrior, I'd hate to see it go downhill.
  • Why bother with an IDE when you have Unix?

    That's a trick question. Some people would say that Unix is an IDE.

    More to the point: If you need an IDE, then your desktop environment isn't good enough.

  • A level standards are lower and so are GCSE's. I sowed a relative of mine who failed the old O Levels and they had no difficulty with the GCSEs.

    I'll drink to that. A years ago, I got a 'B' for A level Further Maths. I immediately applied to retake it, naturally. However, as the year drew on, I couldn't be bothered. I ended up taking the next years' exam having done absolutely no work in between. I saw many questions on the paper that I knew I could have answered the year before, but couldn't any more. Overall, the standard of my answers was much lower.

    I got a 'B' again. The standards had dropped that much in a single year!

    I wonder if we could instigate a class action against those who say the standards aren't slipping - it's devaluing the qualifications that we worked for by saying that today's A levels are just as meaningful.

  • Forgive my ignorance for I have been on a /. hiatus. When was /. bought?

  • Motorola Computing was at Linux World in San Jose. So maybe it's a good thing for Linux.

    This has nothing to do with that. All the groups and divisions in Motorola are almost like seperate companies. MCG is doing good stuff with Linux.. but they don't affect what SPS (which is much much bigger, BTW) does at all.. and vice versa.

    All that said, Motorola now has a mandate from the CEO that all of the divisions have to start getting along better so it isn't too far fetched that MCG might contact (and might have already contacted) SPS to establish some synergy, here.

    The group I work for is ANTI-Linux, BTW...

    Everything above is my opinion and I could be wrong with all of it

  • which episode did it come from?
  • I looked at the comments so far, and nobody seems
    to grok the real reasons for the deal. MetroWerks
    makes CW for other Motorola chips besides the PPC. It's somtimes hard to get compiler vendors to support tools for all of the different embedded chips out there and this should help ensure that there is such support for the myriad of embedded processors that Moto makes (even as Moto attempts to consolidate it's offerings down to a sane number.)

  • Ah, yes, "Anonymous Coward", the font of all wisdom and knowlegde.

    Whatever you're smoking, it must be pretty good. You're obviously so blasted that you can't think straight. How can GCC tell if code is commercial? Have you ever tried running Debian?

    I have. In fact, I'm using it right now. I happen to use it for 99% of my computer use (except at work, but I've started on a project to do some Beowulf programming). I've got this funny little program called "Civilization: Call to Power" installed.

    It runs. It was almost certainly compiled with GCC. Funny thing, that.

    No go back to M$ with the rest of the crackheads. We don't want people like you here.
  • Lies, lies, lies. The GPL does not interfere (much) with commercial rights, it simply has to do with the distribution of software itself, i.e. the code must somehow be available being the bottom line for most of us. Commercial entities are entitles to use this code, modify it, and even use it to develop proprietary products. That's right, M$ could use gcc to compile Windoze!
  • I sent Motorola(one of their personalities anyway) an angry email to this effect. Why would a company that makes such cool chips, and even their own motherboards, use computers that run on rival chips. Wouldn't there be a certain economy and positive publicity/ morale in using your own product.

    I don't buy the argument that the chip design software they use is NT only. They have enough $ pull here to get the software they need ported to any platform they want.

    Ya think Dell buys a lot of Compaq computers for their operation? We have a StarMax3000 at work and it is a nifty little box.

    1. Motorola, or part of Motorola, was pissed about Apples moves with cloning and decided to punish them by buying Wintel.

    2. Motorola and IBM, and possibly Apple have teamed on the CHRP rebirth to grow the market for the G3/G4 chips in PC's.

    I am psyched about Generic PPC mobos. Lets see... freeBSD/BSD/Darwin, LinuxPPC, Mac OS X Server and Client, Be(mayBe)... OS/2, others? ;) These things are going to ROCK! Any word if AGP, Firewire or even USB are going to be part of this architecture? Is the IBM architecture the same as the CHRP stuff from years ago? Has there been continued development since then?

    If there hasn't Apple is still going to have the edge with their io chipsets and bus speeds in the short term.

  • From what I've heard, it does work on the other distro's. However, given that it is proprietary, and that different distro's have different directory structures, it's certainly possible to have software that will only work on some distro's. Even when they are all using exactly the same kernel, libc, etc.
  • I am psyched about Generic PPC mobos. Lets see... freeBSD/BSD/Darwin, LinuxPPC, Mac OS X Server and Client, Be(mayBe)...OS/2, others? ;) These things are going to ROCK! Any word if AGP, Firewire or even USB are going to be part of this architecture? Is the IBM architecture the same as the CHRP stuff from years ago? Has there been continued development since then?

    I think the designs are pretty plain vanilla and not very cutting edge any more. IBM is just releasing their design, any customization/updating up to the people that actually make the boards. I can't see anyone getting them up to the level of Apple's boards but hey, who knows?

    cheers,

    Matthew Reilly
  • > Nowadays, we're happy if kids can read the street signs.

    I know all the different definitions for "affect" and "effect" (I think) but I'm no super-smart super-learner. The only reason I can tell the differences is because I read so much. Repetition of correct application -- in context -- is my best tool for learning.

    I think that most people suck at grammar, spelling, and conversational English because they simply haven't paid any attention to good examples of same. (Maybe they're just reading Jon Katz, or something).

    > On a similar note, how many times per day do you see somebody write that something is "definate"?

    Or "seperate"? Or "rediculous"?

    MJP
  • Can anyone confirm or deny that RedHat was bidding on MTWK? I've heard that the reason for the price rise earlier this week was because RHAT was making an offer. That would explain the premium MOTO paid, as compared to the stock price 4 days ago.

    If there is truth to this rumor, then expect RHAT to start wielding their stock price to make some acquisitions. Also, look for them to purchase a tools company soon. Cygnus?

  • ...Moto drags its feet on the one technology that might save PPC (AltiVec - where are you?!).

    Nope, Avitec is Motorola tech, it is IBM who are dragging their feet on it. Apple's next gen. machines will contain Motorola G4's w/Avitec.

    cheers,

    Matthew Reilly
  • They were making noise a while ago about getting rid of making desktop PowerPC's and focusing on embedded chips, which was a bigger profit.
    --
    "I was a fool to think I could dream as a normal man."
    B. B. Buick
  • Read todays MacOSRumors [macosrumors.com] and its blurb on Altivec. Nothing definitive, but enough enthusiasm to make you wonder. It's that sort of 'I wish I could brag about the killer machine I'm using' attitude... MacOSRumors isn't typically prone to exaggerating. Can't wait to plug a G4 into my old 7500!
  • About a year ago I distinctly remember Motorola saying that they wanted out of the 'desktop CPU chip' business, because it was a market segment where they couldn't compete with the x86 parts vendors. This would definitely be the case after Apple killed off all the Mac clones, leaving Motorola with a single customer for said chips.
  • Apple is NOT the only customer for PowerPC. Not even the high-end PowerPC chips like the 750. In fact, considering all PowerPC sales, more chips went into NON Apple Mac than into Apple Macs. Many 750's and other high-end PPC chips are used in network routers and very high end printing, maybe even more apps than that.

    Not like anyone would see this comment, as dead as this topic is by now. What's the average lifetime of a /. topic, 1-2 days?
  • First of all.. forget desktop computers. Motorola couldn't care less about PCs and desktop toys. They've always built superior chips but they still get slaughtered by Intel. In the grand scheme of
    things (at least from the industrial perspective), PCs will have been a passing fad and a battle that Motorola lost.

    For years Motorola has been shipping boards with stock SVR4 and gcc. For better or worse (better to my mind) they've avoided forming strategic relationships with OS vendors (like Sun, MS, WindRiver, etc). They make hardware (very good hardware when you compare it to all the rest) and don't get fancy or "strategic" when it comes to the software that runs on it.

    For the past year, they've been offering Linux with their PPC boards (and providing source for baseline drivers). Recently they formed a partnership with Caldera. For a number of technical, psychological and economic reasons, it made sense for them to embrace (exploit) Linux. This is A Good Thing.

    Given this picture, there's nothing sinister in deciding that they want to "sexy" up their stock compiler by buying Metroworks. Sure Metroworks (the Edith Bunker of development tools) is junk but was Intel gonna let Motorola buy Cygnus?

    Motorola is in no position to strong-arm (pardon the pun) other vendors (a la Intel & M$). Besides they've never done business that way.

    It seems lately on Slashdot that the FUD flies from every direction... :-\
  • Motorola better be telling the truth.
  • This fits *perfectly* with last week's IBM's PowerPC announcement [slashdot.org] last week.

    Someone made a good point that, as much as PowerPC has advantages over x86 -- less heat production & energy consumption, greater integer floating point and soon vector processing, etc. -- PowerPC still lacks a good optomizing compiler (at least on Linux).

    I don't think Motorola would be buying Metrowerks if PowerPC were going to remain an "embedded chip" or a "Mac chip" provider. Now, lets see them bring back the StarMax (my first Mac after years of PC).

  • Motorola Computing was at Linux World in San Jose. So maybe it's a good thing for Linux. Now what I want to see is Motorola port their "docking" software for their cellphones (i1000) to Linux. They've got a Windows version to manage the phone number database. The phone has a docking station similar to a palm pilot in that it (I believe) connects to the serial port.

    Speaking of docking, isn't 3COM supposed to be working on software for Linux for the palm pilot? Sure, Kpilot looks great, but it's buggy as hell. At Linux World Applix had a version that exports data from the pilot, but won't read it back in. Haven't tried it yet, but I'd be willing to pay for a decent docking program for my pilot and my phone.


    David
  • *Bzzzt!* Thank you for playing, we have some lovely parting gifts. :)
    CodeWarrior is only *certified* for RedHat. You may have to do a little work, if any, to run it on SuSE or Debian, but it can work. Someone else have direct experience here? I don't...
    Please (please, please) learn more about what you're commenting on before attempting to pass off erroneous beliefs as fact in this forum, you'll only earn no end of grief (and flames, and flames, and...).
    --
  • Actually CodeWarrior works just fine w/ non-Redhat linuxes. Metrowerks's marketing folk just didn't think that the world could handle a long string of requirements for running (ex: Libc2.1, etc.), so they just said Redhat.

    As for Debian not running commercial software, what are you smoking? Debian doesn't come with any commercial software, but you can certainly run it on Debian.

  • Bah. Go get back to work on Bob 2.0
  • It's a shame they decided to buy a compiler instead of just dumping money on Cygnus like Intel did. Intel had the right idea.

    Although, I guess, since many of Motorola's CPUs wind up in Macs, there's a certain logic in a backing a full IDE.

  • What's the point?

    Is this to distract stockholders from the Iridium disaster?

    D

    ----
  • Hopefully the purchase won't
    affect Metrowerks' expansion.
    Hopefully Motorola will still allow them to effect their intended expansion.

    Although I personally don't like the second usage of the word, I believe it's actually correct. Generally, "affect" is a verb, while "effect" is a noun. "Effect" as a verb has an entirely different meaning.

    Sorry, I'm feeling pedantic today - the UK Government claimed that 'A' level standards aren't slipping, even though this year's results show a higher pass rate than last year's for the 17th year running. I'm doing my bit to fight against the creeping stupidity of the population.

    That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :)

  • I believe the next version of gcc is supposed to have rudimentary 750 optimization built in. It's better than nothing. :)
  • This is very bad news. The end of all things pure and good.

    Motorola, the biggest manufacturer of the PPC, and the platform's greatest enemy, will now force Metrowerks to go x86-only. What a shame. (no it doesn't make any sense, but this is Motorola we're talking about, the company that, on a temper tantrum, unloaded it's desktops based on it's own CPU, and went and played suck-up to WinIntDell.)


    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
    -jafac's law
  • You are smoking crack. What planet are you from? This is not even vaguely possibly true. This is complete and utter tripe. Go read the GPL, it says nothing about the output of a GPL program being GPL. Go post somewhere else troll.
  • People should try out kdevelop at www.kdevelop.org. It is still beta but shows much promise for thouse who want a VC++ type of IDE.
  • I think another reason for the purchase would be that CodeWarrior definitely has a good share of the market for embedded, rtos, gaming system, and handheld development.

    Throw the most popular operating systems into the mix and it's actually quite an attractive product line.
  • My guess is that this is due to MetroWerks' continued support of the PowerPC platform, and their support for Motorola's next extension of the PPC architecture, AltiVec, which is suppposed to show up in the next generation of PowerPC chips, the G4.
  • OK, first we have IBM handing out free specs for PowerPC motherboards. Now Motorola is taking over the most popular MacOS IDE. It looks they're really attempting to dump Apple this time, instead of just threatening them.

    Where else might they shop for OS's? Linux certainly. BeOS? I doubt it, with Intel investing in Be.

    What about Amiga?
    --
    "I was a fool to think I could dream as a normal man."
    B. B. Buick

  • "All the groups and divisions in Motorola are almost like seperate
    companies."

    That would help explain Motorola's schizophrenic behavior:
    spend tens of millions to co-develop the hottest CPU west of the Pecos, then load up on NT-runnin' x86 boxes from Dell. . .


    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
    -jafac's law
  • >Hopefully they won't shift their focus away from
    >the Mac.

    Why would they do that? Chips designed and/or manufactured by them go inside every mac. Why would they shift away the focus?

    >Damn, Apple should have bought them long ago.
    Apple's MPW kicks CodeWarrior's butt in just about everything except friendliness and debugging.
  • Metroworks is problably the most kcik ass company out there right now. Being bought by Motorola could be a bad thing, if mot messes with a good thing. It could also be a good thing for metrowowrks if it can get access to some of that mot capital. My Page: http://www.polarbeartravels.com/spacedata/TrivialA pplet.html
  • Why would IBM or Motorola want to ever get rid of Apple? Are they not turning a profit on the chips they sell them? You're supposed to eliminate competition, not customers.
  • Apple is the only vendor competeing in the desktop/commodity/consumer hardware business with the PPC chip. All those other uses you cite are embedded applications. Embedded is Motorola's bread-and-butter (and they do damn well in that market segment, because they're good at it).
  • "Nope, Avitec is Motorola tech, it is IBM who are dragging their feet on it. Apple's next gen.
    machines will contain Motorola G4's w/Avitec."

    I'm well aware that AltiVec is Motorola's baby. I'm also well aware of the fact that this technology was promised to be shipping two years ago, and we still don't see it. Color me impatient, but this "MMX killer" is two generations behind MMX, and Motorola has done diddly-squat as far as hyping it to the press. Sure they've got whitepapers, but where are the dancing bunny suits?

    Rob should have a poll.
    AltiVec is:
    0-I've never heard of it.
    0-The magic bullet that will kill Intel.
    0-more vaporous and behind schedule than Merced.

    I'm sure the stats would be something like:
    99% .0001% .9999%

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
    -jafac's law
  • I bought CW at the Linuxworld show and unfortunately it has problems far worse that the bloatiness of VC++ you talk about. I am looking into kdevelop right now.
  • gcc optimizations on LinuxPowerPC anyone? :)

    That sounds good... and if they do that, they should start vamping up adverts on PowerPC. Those things need to get out there more (I want one):
    Someone made a good point that, as much as PowerPC has advantages over x86 -- less heat production & energy consumption, greater integer floating point and soon vector processing, etc. -- PowerPC still lacks a good optomizing compiler (at least on Linux).
    As opposed to that Cyrix I've got..... ugh
  • ACK!!! I can't believe this. All Linux is GNU Linux (strictly speaking), since the code base for the kernel is GPL'd. Different distros just don't always put GNU in the name, but the license is all the same. If I compile for RedHat on an x86, it will work on Debian just fine (if all the libs are there), and the same goes for commercial software. In the case of CodeWarrior, you often have to change the 'access paths' for the compiler. For instance, on my RH 6.0 machine, I have to add /usr/include/bits for some reason, and I have to something else on my Mandrake-Linux 6.0 machine (but I can't rememeber the details). Please, stop spreading the FUD.
  • I think this is a Good Thing.

    CodeWarrior is the only reason that people held onto their macs (and through them Motorola).

    Anything that will give Metrowerks more dollars to improve CodeWarrior is fine by me.

    btw, the visual diff/merge tool of CodeWarrior is simply drool worthy. You have to see it in action to really appreciate it.

    Za's Vid.
    E/.
    ************************
    You may fire when ready.
  • Debian is GNU/Linux not just ordinary Linux the GNU part means that only free software can run on it.

    I normally don't reply to idiots or assholes, but in your case I'll make an exception.

    The GNU part doesn't mean that only free software will run on it. Tell me how that would work? How does the operating system magically know whether the software I put on it is free or not?
  • I agree that Visual C++ is not the greatest IDE and it certainly is unsuitable to developing and debugging multi-threaded apps but it appears to be the most popular by a long shot.
    However CW for Linux (and Solaris) is underwhelming. I've bought both and decided to continue using xemacs (and VisualWorkshop on Solaris).
  • Altivec is already supported for egcs - motorola did it and gave it away some months agos check out the debian-powerpc and linuxppc-dev mailing lists archives .....
  • What do you base this silly statement on?

    Motorola is one of the bigger CPU manufacturers, and Metrowerks makes a compiler for most of them. Why would they cut their own throat? I suspect the real reason they bought the company is to ensure those compilers continue to exist and be supported.

    As for the speculation that Motorola is going to get the compiler at cost...well, not bloody likely. Metrowerks is going to be an independant company under the Motorola umbrella. They will still have to make a profit. They *might* give a slight price break to people inside Motorola, but more likely they will charge full price.

    I suggest you try to think from the perspective of the Board, rather than the end-user. It is sometimes quite enlightening. Yes, sometimes depressing, but not all that often.
  • At least when you see a box and it says requires Windows you know it'll work if you have Windows.


    This must be some definition of "work" that I'm not familiar with.

  • I don't know, as far as PPC support from Moto is concerned, they've already shot themselves in both feet, both kneecaps, and are sharpening the straightrazor as we speak.

    Moto relies on Apple alone to make ads about how cool the PPC is. Moto priced their clones higher than Apple's boxes. Moto chickened out when MS wanted to play hardball with NT-PPC. Moto didn't release CHRP specs so folks could build Linux boxes. Moto switched internally to Dell machines. Moto drags its feet on the one technology that might save PPC (AltiVec - where are you?!).

    All of these things contributed to the slow adoption, and stunted growth of the PPC platform. With friends like that, who needs enemies. I hate intel as much as any person, and for that, I've had high hopes for Alpha and PPC, but now that Alpha is owned by intel, and Motorola seems to be doing more for PPC's demise than intel, I'm starting to wonder.

    "The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."
    -jafac's law
  • I've used Visual C++ on an NT box, but in general it makes me a tad less happy then I am devving on a Solaris or Linux box w/ XEmacs, make, and gdb... but that's probably largely because of the work I normally do.

    I loathe the project configuration/maintenance in VC++: give me Makefiles (and not the strange ones that VC++ exports, which in my experience A) usually don't work w/ nmake.exe, and B) are not exactly designed for readability or re-usability).

    The other major beef is more with MSDN than the IDE: the documentation seems a lot less... functional than the man pages that I'm used to for Solaris and Linux. I'm used to seeing, for instance, mentions of which header files and libraries to reference for a particular function; any implementation bugs regarding behavior versus existing standards; and so forth -- and I'm used to man-page-style documents being reasonably *up to date*.

    That's not to say VC++ has no redeeming features; it does. But if you intend to port to other OSes, or don't have (paper) Win32 programming references around, or so forth -- you might be better off with a different package.
  • >At least when you see a box and it says requires
    >Windows you know it'll work if you have Windows.

    Actually if all it says is 'Windows' you can't be sure which version it will run under, 3.0, 3.1, 95, 95OSR2, 98, 98SE, NT3, NT3.5, NT4, 2000. Now usually it will run under the latest consumer, 9X, version of windows.

    A lot of stuff will not run under NT/2000 that will run in 3.X and 9X. Particularly in the consumer market.

    There is also stuff that will run only on NT/2000.

    Thus you still need to list multiple versions of Windows if it runs on more then one version.
  • Agreed. The great thing is the small install ( 15 megs), but under E, I run into serious interface issues, like mouse select going haywire, and occasionally when cutting & pasting from Xemacs, strange garbase is added to my code. Anyone else have these problems?

Mathematics deals exclusively with the relations of concepts to each other without consideration of their relation to experience. -- Albert Einstein

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