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I need to compile some program with either Cocoa or Carbon windowing system. I have a 10.6.8 Snow Leopard installed on a i386 (at least uname -a tells me this) system. I opened the system-profiler and selected > Software > Frameworks. There are listed among others:

CarbonCore
CarbonSound
Cocoa

Does that mean, I am free to choose?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Sort of - cocoa is the modern API for newer applications, and least with the latest versions of OS X, the preferred one.

Carbon is a legacy API, used in OS 8 and 9 and is depreciated with the upcoming OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion . Some applications for OS X however continued using the carbon API until recently - wikipedia states older versions of photoshop, itunes and final cut were coded with carbon, though modern versions are cocoa based.

As a developer, you should be using cocoa over carbon, since cocoa supports 64 bits and well, isn't obsolete. In this case picking cocoa over carbon is a good idea.

As a user, this should be transparent to you, but you'd be using what API your software uses, assuming its supported.

I am guessing however compiling for either should work.

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Thanks, I didn't know that Cocoa and Carbon are APIs. I just recently managed to boot into 64bit and I will use Cocoa interface. – math Jul 6 '12 at 12:10

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