MPW C Error Messages

Those of us who've been programming the Mac for a few years have some fond memories of the old Macintosh Programmer's Workbench (MPW). It was very much like the Terminal Window on OS X, but had a few quirks of its own.

Among those quirks were the error messages that the C compiler would give you for certain errors. Messages like, "a typedef name was a complete surprise to me at this point in your program," and "String literal too long (I let you have 512 characters, that's 3 more than ANSI said I should)" almost made you want to write broken code just to see what the compiler had to say.

The most complete list of the error messages I could find is here.

Well, rumor has it that there's a skunk works at Apple who are busy porting some of these error messages into XCode 2.0. And they say that Apple have lost their sense of humor...



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Comments (5)

  1. Rick Schaut digs up some of the cool MPW C Error messages. You haven’t lived if you never compiled a substantial MacApp-based application on a 8 MHZ 68000-based Mac. Upgrading to a 16MHZ 68030 machine helped, but you could still…

  2. dj says:

    I have a distant memory of some humorous error messages in the old Berkeley 4.2 (Vax-11) Unix manuals. One line quipped "If you get this error message, consult a Guru." Another one said, "For a more detailed explanation, read the source code."

    Even Microsoft had a sense of humor at one time. I recall that in Version 1 of MS-Word for DOS, if the copy protection scheme sensed a violation the program came back with something like: "Error: copy protection violation, the C: drive is being erased".

    Of course, the program did not erase the hard disk. I though it was pretty funny, but someone probably lost their job over it.

  3. Rajesh says:

    Those error messages brought back some old memories. I loved that compiler. Apple was trying to get in shape for some time and was not in a mood for such goodies. Good to here they are getting their old self in XCode 2.0.

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