Last week, I bought a new Mac Mini to be able to port PureBasic on the new Apple M1 chip. First boot looks very familiar, you can’t really tell there is a new processor here. A quick look at the Task Monitor and we can see all the programs running on an ‘Apple’ CPU. Great. All seems smooth so far, a very quiet computer in a small form factor.
After a few minutes toying with the prefs to plugin my PC keyboard and Monitor on a KVM switch, I was ready to start to dev, and downloaded XCode. It was the longest installation I never experienced, at a point I though the Mini was broken. It tooks over 4 (four !) hours to install (after downloading). Seems to be known issue if I believe all the posts found on Reddit. Needed to install homebrew for subversion (I know, I know) and I finally started hacking the compiler.
This promised to be exciting, as the C toolchain isn’t based on gcc but on clang/LLVM. I expected some adjustements to do here and here, but there were actually zero. Everything compiled out of the box and the first running executable was created after half day. Two more days and the whole compiler test suits was working which was amazing ! There is indeed some more work to do to build the full package, as some libraries needs to be tuned (missing headers due to new Cocoa SDK mainly), build scripts adjusted and so on, but it does looks very bright.
This will be the first version of PureBasic shipped without an assembly back-end. It does feel a bit weird for me, but I know it will do the job just fine to build your cool apps on new Macs !