Several blog postings and rumblings on the Net have surfaced over the past two weeks that seem to indicate that Autodesk may have plans for developing a Mac native version of AutoCAD for Apple’s growing platform. This news shouldn’t be all that surprising (or taken too seriously) as the design software company has been making significant overtures towards the Mac platform since Macworld 2009 in San Francisco. At that time the company told Architosh there were strong demands for all of its major software products on the Mac platform and that the company was working on addressing those needs.
Autodesk AutoCAD 2011 Mac Beta
Over at Outside the Box, a blog on AutoCAD and ObjectARX, Owen Wengerd has discussed the evidence of a native Mac port in the works by examining some of the latest ObjectARX 2011 SDK (software development kit) header files. This type of nosing around and discovering “code comments” to learn about what may be coming down the pike is what Apple fans often do to figure out the future of the Mac, iPhone or iPad OS.
Evidence of a Mac port comes in the form both comments and changes made to the files so that they can work with the GCC compiler and the Mac OS X libraries. Some of the code looks as follows:
#if defined(_WINDEF_) || defined(_ADESK_MAC_)
/* AutoCAD graphics window handle */
#define adsw_hwndAcad adsw_acadMainWnd()
And in another file (acedinpt.h) there’s more telling evidence of the Mac:
#define ACAD_PORT _declspec(dllexport)
// On OS X, we will export all symbols by default and will use GCC
// attributes to exclude symbols we don’t want to export.
// In this case, we do want to export the AcEdInputPoint symbol
#endif // _ADESK_MAC_
Wengerd writes that it is clear that “Autodesk has successfully built a limited executable of AutoCAD for OS X” in both 32 and 64-bit forms. It is not clear to us how he can determine the bit-ness of these possible early builds unless he has a copy of the beta itself. He writes that changes do “break binary compatibility for ObjectARX applications” and thus “no full-blown Mac port” can be near.
There are several source of this information on the Net, including Wengerd’s blog here, a summary at Hardmac.com and the screen capture from this site, which published a “no” article to Autodesk developing a native Mac port.
Thanks to reader David Chaney for pointing this all out to us.