PowerPC App Making

So you want to build a PowerPC application on your MacTel computer using Xcode. I wish the process was as intuitive as most of the software Apple makes, but it isn't. The main parts to doing this involve setting a few build settings. This tutorial's ultimate goal is for you to create an application that can run on Mac OS 10.1 or higher. But the first part will concentrate on Mac OS 10.3 or higher because it is easier to target.

There is a list of stuff that is needed in order to follow the directions included here. First I assume you have Xcode 3. I am using Xcode 3.2.5, but I don't expect you to have this exact version. The next thing you should have is the Mac OS 10.3 SDK. This should be on the Developer CD that you used to install Xcode. You can do a quick check for this SDK by looking in the folder /Developer/SDKs/. It probably will be called MacOSX10.3.9.sdk.


1) Start Xcode.

2) Make a new cocoa application project.

New Project window

3) Erase all Objective-C 2.0 code.
* @synthesize and @property must go because they only work on Mac OS 10.5 and up.
* NSApplicationDelegate is only available on Mac OS 10.6 and up.

Delete the line pointed to by the green arrow.
Removing @synthesis

The "<NSApplicationDelegate>" can simply be deleted.
Also delete the text "@property (assign)".
Removing objective-c 2.0 code

4) Click on the project file in the Groups & Files area. Then push Command-i to bring up the Project Info window.
Selecting the project file

5) Create a new configuration.
PowerPC only configuration

6) Add ppc to Architecture setting.
Setting the architecture

Remove the other architectures by clicking on one of them, then push the button with the minus sign on it.
Repeat this action until all other architectures are gone. Then push the button with the plus sign and type "ppc". Click the "OK" button.
Removing other architectures

7) Check the box next to "Build Active Architecture Only".
* Located beneath the Base SDK setting.
* Prevents other architectures like x86 from being built.

8) Set Base SDK to Mac OS 10.3.
* This SDK will only show up on the list if it has been installed.
* Applications compiled with this SDK can still run on Mac OS 10.1 and 10.2.

Setting the base SDK

9) Set the Deployment target to Mac OS X 10.3 or lower if you like.
* This setting will determine the minimum version of Mac OS X your application can run on.

Setting the Deployment target

10) Close the Project Info window.

11) Choose "ppc only" as the Active Configuration from the popup menu in the upper left corner of the window.
setting the active configuration

12) Setting the deployment target for you nib file
Interface Builder with Deployment target settings

13) Build the program by pushing Command-b.
* Xcode can not run the PowerPC application.

In order to test out your program, you will have to find it in your project's "Build" folder. It should be in a folder called "ppc only". This folder will have the same name as your configuration you used to build the program.

You should be able to build the program, and run it on a computer that uses Mac OS 10.2 by setting the Deployment target to Mac OS 10.2, but it will probably not work. This is because of the nib file. Apple has "improved" Interface Builder so that it produces nib files that are not compatible with anything that is less than Mac OS 10.3. You might be thinking that it should work because Interface Builder has an option for setting the Deployment Target of the nib file to be Mac OS 10.2. This deployment target does exist, but it doesn't work. From personal experience I know that any nib file produced with Interface Builder 3 will only work on Mac OS 10.3 or higher.

Do I have to give up on supporting Mac OS 10.2 or under? Not at all. There is still a way make such a compatible program. That part of the tutorial will be up soon...

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