Archive for November 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

John Vlissides, RIP

John Vlissides, co-author of the extremely influential Design Patterns book (among many other publications), died Thursday after a long struggle with cancer (via Lambda). The c2 wiki has a page of remembrances from people who knew him.

I read the GoF book in 1996 and thought it was a revelation. I’ve since realized that much of the fuss was about breaking the shackles of C++. Yet it still had an enormous impact on the industry, and it deserves to be part of the canon because of the vocabulary it established.

Monday, November 21, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Siegel on Haxies

Rich Siegel explains Bare Bones’ widely misunderstood haxie alert:

On the one hand, there’s Unsanity (the developers of APE) and their third-party developers, who are just trying to make a living by serving a market need. On the other hand, there are the application developers, many of whom have observed an uptick in tech-support volume (and its associated costs) as the result of interactions with haxies. And on the gripping hand, there are the customers, who want the capabilities offered by haxies (and thus enabled by the installation of APE), and who have every right to expect a stable and functional operating environment.

Thursday, November 17, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Text Dragging Delay

Adam Knight shows how to reduce the amount of time that you have to hold down the mouse button before you can drag text (via Erik Barzeski).

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

A Dim View of Spotlight

Rob Griffiths (via Pierre Igot):

Once Tiger hit the streets, however, I was less than impressed with the real-world usability of Spotlight, as I discussed in this entry on my personal blog. When I wrote that entry back in May, I focused a fair bit on the interface and the performance. Now that I’ve had several months to adjust to using Spotlight, I’m ready to follow-up with some additional observations gained over the last six months, and some recommendations on what I’d love to see in “version 2.0” of Spotlight. But before that, let’s revisit a few of my first impressions of Tiger’s search technology.

I like the idea of Spotlight, but I’ve turned it off. Trying to search with it would lock up the Finder or the Spotlight menu for minutes at a time, and it would rarely find what I was looking for, anyway. I’ve seen it work well on Macs with a small number of files, but on my main Mac (a dual 2 GHz G5 with 2.5 GB of RAM but lots of files) it’s worse than useless because it slows everything down. Fortunately, Path Finder has a good file search feature.

Chat Transcript Manager 1.0

This new application from Unsanity seems to be well done. I’d use it if I chatted.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Evening at Adler

The video of Drunken Batman’s Mac developer event is now available.

Monday, November 14, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Apple’s iCal Library

Here’s a roundup of calendars you can use with iCal to stay on top of everything from ball games and concerts to major holidays and movie openings.

Except that the movie openings are a few weeks behind, and the NBA calendars still show the 2004–2005 season. In fact, the main library page seems to show fewer calendars than before (though some old ones are accessible through the search engine). Was it too much work for Apple to maintain them all?

Friday, November 11, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Address Book’s Edit Mode

Pierre Igot:

This particular problem has actually happened to me a few times. I couldn’t get Mail to autocomplete an e-mail address for me, even though the e-mail address was clearly there in a card in my Address Book. I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t autocomplete the e-mail address. Finally, I realized that I had mistakenly entered the e-mail address in the “work” phone number field! If you do that, then of course Mail will not actually recognize the e-mail address as an e-mail address and will not include it in its autocomplete feature.

There is also another problem with this way of labelling the card’s text fields with grey text in the fields when they are empty. The problem is that this grey text is automatically removed from the field and replaced by the data you are entering only if you do things as expected. The other day, I mistakenly pressed a cursor key before starting to enter my data, and here’s what happened:

Xcode 2.2 Universal Binaries

Mike Cohen shows how to use Xcode’s new per-architecture build settings to create Universal Binaries that run on Mac OS X 10.2. Shell script contortions are no longer necessary, except of course for libraries compiled outside of Xcode.

Friday, November 4, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Candy Crisis Source

John Stiles has open sourced his excellent Candy Crisis game (via Foo Chik Chuan).

Thursday, November 3, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Safari and Dial-up Connections

Pierre Igot:

While I suppose that eventually everyone will have a broadband connection it will still take many years and even then, there will always be occasional network slow-downs. If the recent evolution of Safari is any indication, it is going to become more and more painful to use Mac OS X over a dial-up connection, regardless of the actual contents of the sites we are actually trying to browse and view. It’s bad enough that more and more sites are more or less requiring a high bandwidth connection. Apple doesn’t have to add its own unjustified requirements to the mix.

I still think Safari should provide control over the number of simultaneous connections or downloads. That can go a long way towards making the browser feel responsive on dial-up.

Yahoo! Maps

Simon Willison:

One of the most exciting things I’ve seen at Yahoo! since starting here has finally been made public: the new Yahoo Maps. The map application itself differs from many other recent map sites in being rendered entirely in Flash. This leaves far more scope for interface niceties, but doesn’t it reduce the scope for hacking that made things like Google Maps so much fun?

Not at all. The maps team have produced a set of APIs that should make any geo-hacker very happy indeed. Take a look at these, all launched today:

The draggable zoomed out view (not sure of the proper name for that) is great.

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

C-Command Blog

It’s long overdue, but I finally have a a blog for product news and updates.

ATPM 11.11

The November issue of ATPM is out:

Tuesday, November 1, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

NetFlix History Analyzer

The NetFlix History Analyzer calculates statistics such as how long you keep DVDs and how much you’re paying on average (via Erik Barzeski). It also shows the savings over traditional rentals, but I don’t think this takes into accounts NetFlix’s falling rates. And, anyway, I’d rent far fewer movies without Netflix.