Archive for August 27, 2003

Wednesday, August 27, 2003


With a nod to Douglas Adams, Hydra is now SubEthaEdit. Not the greatest name, perhaps, but it’s fun.


Bruce Hoult writes about a Dylan entry in the International Conference on Functional Programming contest.


Mac OS X Hints links to HTMLDOC, a tool that can download Web pages and save them to PDF, with clickable links.


Eric Blair praises iStockphoto. Good to know.


Chris Hanson writes about his open source frameworks BDControl, BDRuleEngine, and BDRuleEditor. I haven’t had a need to use these yet, but rule-based programming is fun.

Color Tool

Raena Armitage:

Need colours? Feeling lazy? Kohai Style’s QuickColor tool is effin’ awesome. Drag the sliders around to get an extremely nice bunch of harmonious colours. It’s based on ColorMatch, except in Flash.

Macworld on FTP

I don’t really agree with Macworld’s assessment of seven FTP clients. The interface section leads off mentioning Fetch’s Get and Put buttons, giving the impression that it doesn’t support drag and drop. It complains that people will find these names confusing, though I personally find them vastly clearer than Transmit’s notion of “your stuff” vs. “their stuff.” (Does it cease being my stuff when I put it on my server?) Teague says that “RBrowser is the most OS X–like of the FTP clients we reviewed”—which is either very generous or very cynical depending on your point of view—and then dings it for having a “complex interface.” He gives props to FTP Client for letting you save droplets that upload files to particular folders, but any scriptable client will be able to do that, and anyone serious about synchronization will use rsync or a similar tool rather than FTP. Teague assigns a lot of weight to previewing capabilities, but I’ve never cared about that feature. He doesn’t seem to care about Edit With BBEdit, manages to imply that Fetch doesn’t support that, and prefers RBrowser’s less elegant alternative. He doesn’t mention the Keychain, AppleScript, batch downloads, Internet Config, SSH, or Kerberos.

Which FTP client do I use? I started out with Fetch because it was good, free, and had some unique features for Dartmouth’s network. I then used Anarchie for many years and was a big fan of its multiple-window interface. I used Fetch when I needed Kerberos. Then Stairways changed Anarchie’s name and got the idea that I’d rather have a skinnable FTP client than security or batch features. I stuck with it through one upgrade because it was OS X–native, but the mirroring feature stopped working for me. This led me to rsync, and I stopped using FTP entirely. Recently, I’ve been doing work on a server that I don’t mirror locally, and so I’ve wanted to edit remote files securely with BBEdit. Teague claims that Fetch supports SFTP, but that’s not true from what I’ve seen, and so I’ve instead been using Transmit. Transmit is a nice, polished program, but I’m not a fan of its single-window interface or drawers, and I don’t understand the difference between its queue and batch download features.