Archive for February 2, 2005

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

NeXT Applications and Interface Builder

DrunkenBlog has some comparisons of current Mac apps to their older NeXT incarnations. You probably noticed some similarities if you watched the video of Steve Jobs demoing NextSTEP 3.0. But more interesting is what commentor Rory Prior has to say about Interface Builder:

<rant>What’s annoying from a developers perspective is that Interface Builder is getting so long in the tooth. It lacks some really necessary basic features and still requires that you manually inform it of any changes to your classes made in Xcode or vice versa. It doesn’t provide any features to deal with maintaining localised nib files, it has spotty support for contextual menus, and generally makes editing complex component layouts (especially nested layouts) a complete nightmare. A lot of work which should be doable in a few clicks ends up having to be done programatically, which is time consuming to say the least and adds the potential for more bugs.</rant>

Interface Builder was ahead of its time. And, yes, the ability to set outlets and actions is still cool. But aside from adding support for layout guides and bindings, it doesn’t seem to have changed much. It could even learn a few things from PowerPlant Constructor, circa 1996. The last time I complained about Apple’s developer tools, it wasn’t long before they announced Xcode. So hopefully there’s already a project underway.

Also, I’d love for someone to really make localization easy—as it, in theory, should be. I’ve tried (I think) all the third-party tools that help in localizing nibs and strings files. Maybe I’m just weird, but all of them seem cumbersome to me, and some of them don’t even work reliably. Perhaps the design and documentation of nib files are partially to blame. Anyway, at present, I’m using a collection of scripts and Makefiles to help with localization. I wonder how many other developers have rolled their own.

Subversion via DarwinPorts

James Duncan Davidson:

Today, I set up a Subversion server. I’ve set up several over the last year or so and have gotten pretty handy at putting all of the moving parts together from source code bundles. I’ve even got a set of handy little scripts that make it painless. This time, however, I decided to give it a try using DarwinPorts to see how easy it was.

So You Want to Be a Consultant

Steve Friedl:

I’ve been a consultant of one form or another since 1985 when I started my old company, V-Systems, with a friend from college, and actually did bits and pieces of consulting as early as 1982. I have been asked often about the business, and I decided to write this up.

Panic T-shirt Store

Steven Frank:

Of course, Cabel, being the kind of guy he is, wasn’t happy with using just any old Web-based shopping cart system. No, he would settle for nothing less than implementing a completely amazing drag-and-drop based DHTML and JavaScript wonder that basically reinvents the whole Web shopping cart model.

He’s not kidding. Frankly, I’ve always thought that Panic uses too much JavaScript, but this is pretty cool.