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Prior to the acquisition of the product by Freescale Semiconductor, versions existed for Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Wii, Sega Dreamcast, SuperH, M·CORE, Palm OS, Symbian OS, and even for BeOS. Currently, C, C++, and assembly language are the focus of the tools, though before Metrowerks was acquired by Freescale, versions of CodeWarrior included Pascal, Object Pascal, Objective-C, and Java compilers as well.
CodeWarrior was originally developed by Metrowerks based on a C compiler and environment for the Motorola 68K, developed by Andreas Hommel and licensed to Metrowerks. The first versions of CodeWarrior targeted the PowerPC Macintosh, with much of the development done by a group from the original THINK C team. Much like THINK C, which was known for its fast compile times, CodeWarrior was faster than Macintosh Programmer's Workshop (MPW), the development tools written by Apple.
CodeWarrior was a key factor in the success of Apple's transition of its machine architecture from 68K processors to PowerPC because it provided a complete, solid PowerPC compiler when the competition (Apple's MPW tools and Symantec C++) was mostly incomplete. Metrowerks also made it easy to generate fat binaries which included both 68K and PowerPC code.
However, after Metrowerks was acquired by Motorola in 1999, the company concentrated on embedded applications, devoting a smaller fraction of their efforts to compilers for desktop computers. On 29 July 2005, they announced that CodeWarrior for Mac would be discontinued after the next release, CodeWarrior Pro 10. Although Metrowerks did not detail their reasons, the demand for CodeWarrior had presumably fallen after Apple began distributing Xcode (its software development kit for OS X and iOS) for free. In addition, Apple's switch to Intel chips left Metrowerks without an obvious product as they had sold their Intel compiler technology to Nokia earlier in 2005.
During its heyday, the product was known for its rapid release cycle, with multiple revisions every year, and for its quirky advertising campaign. Their "geekware" shirts were featured in the fashion pages of the New York Times.
Origin of the name
During the 1990s, Apple Computer released a monthly series of developer CD-ROMs containing resources for programming the Macintosh. These CDs were, in the early days, whimsically titled using punning references to various movies but with a coding twist; for example, "The Hexorcist" (The Exorcist), "Lord of the Files" (Lord of the Flies), "Gorillas in the Disc" (Gorillas in the Mist), etc.
One of these, volume 9, was titled "Code Warrior", referring to the movie Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Later Apple dropped the whimsical titling in favour of a more sober "Developer CD series". Coincidentally the Metrowerks founder, Greg Galanos, an Australian, was also inspired by the movie and proposed the CodeWarrior name. Metrowerks subsequently used the name for their new developer product.
CodeWarrior CD packaging was very much in the tradition of the Apple developer CDs, featuring slogans such as "Blood, Sweat, and Code" and "Veni, Vidi, Codi" in prominent lettering. Competing products such as Symantec's THINK C were more conventionally marketed.
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- Metrowerks Inc. page: Professional 2
- Metrowerks (Freescale) CodeWarrior page
- Freescale Developer Technology Organization CodeWarrior page
- Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. CodeWarrior page