Doing the same work over and over again is a pain for software writers. After creating a program for, say, the Apple Macintosh, they may spend months rewriting it for IBM-compatible PCs. Apple Computer Inc. and software maker Symantec Corp. see a better way.
The companies are working on a programming system, Bedrock, due out in early 1993. It will let engineers create a program once that will work on the Mac and with Microsoft's Windows package for PCs. A later version will work with IBM's OS/2, Unix, and Microsoft's Windows NT. Bedrock's power stems from a set of more than 150 prewritten chunks of software, or objects that work on many computer brands. They'll perform frequently used functions such as scrolling text. If it works as advertised, developers' programs will be relatively small, simply calling the right objects into action as needed.