Why we want Final Cut Pro rewritten to Cocoa!
Scott Simmons is running a “28 days of Quicktips 2011″ series over at Pro Video Coalition and on day 2, in parallel with the release of the Manifesto titling plug-in for Final Cut Pro, he points out that Manifesto has built-in spell check, the only FCP titling option that does.
What probably isn’t immediately obvious to the average user of these tools, is that the programmers at Noise Industries had to do zero extra programing to get spell check in a title plug-in. It’s part of the package that comes when you call (in your application or plug-in) the appropriate Cocoa framework – NSTextView for those few who care!
One of the things I’ve come to really appreciate as a product manager/designer, is how much Apple gives programmers “for free” in their frameworks. Programmers refer to these bonus features as “sugar” – something sweet you get without effort as a programmer.
When you create that view, it comes with spell check, autocomplete (hit Option+Esc key while typing); styles, color, mixed fonts, color and style and more, without extra effort as a programmer. (You can see the same features in the Motion text tools.)
The image editing application Pixelmator is built almost entirely on Apple’s Cocoa Frameworks built into the system, not written for the application. There are these incredibly powerful Frameworks and the older Final Cut Pro code can’t access them.
Similarly TextEdit – the system-supplied text tool – is mostly based on NSTextView and the majority of its features come from that Framework, not from the application specific code.
They can, of course, be accessed from any new Cocoa code, so the Pro Apps team were able to hook into the iChat Theater Framework and add that to Final Cut Pro without an enormous amount of programming effort. (I’ll tell you exactly how much once we’ve explored how easy it would be to add iChat Theater to prEdit.)
So, here’s to more Cocoa code in Final Cut Pro and adoption of great system features like QuickView, Location services, smart bins and so much more. And when they do, we get the benefit of the “sugar” – all the common features you’ll need for a function, done right.
If you’re interested in what Frameworks are available there’s a nice list at Apple’s Developer area.