Archive for March 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008


RegexKitLite, from the developer of RegexKit, uses the ICU engine instead of PCRE and has a highly simplified API. This makes it very small (since ICU is built into Mac OS X) and gives it better support for Unicode. It’s also potentially more efficient, since ICU can often use an NSString’s UTF-16 buffer rather than creating a separate UTF-8 buffer, as would be required for PCRE. ICU’s regular expression syntax is not as rich as PCRE’s, however.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Vote For Virtualization

Craig Hockenberry:

Regression: This ability has never existed, but ever since the arrival of virtual machines in Mac OS X, developers have dreamt of being able to do this.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Page-in-a-Page Design

Brent Simmons:

The engineer in me says that the page is already in the browser-window box—another box is just not needed, it’s waste.

And the designer in me would rather see an aesthetic that embraces the reality that it’s all lights and pixels on a flat screen. It’s not the real world or even the printed page. Why pretend it is? Isn’t there something to be gained by going with what-it-is rather than fighting it?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Unwanted App Launch Problem Solved

Matt Neuburg:

There can be a file in your top-level Library's Preferences folder called This mechanism is used by a very few specialized applications that launch on a per-user basis and want access to the Window Server, but need to launch before the user actually logs in. (Timbuktu is an example of such an application.) It is deprecated in Leopard, where you're supposed to use a LaunchAgent instead; but some older programs still use it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Story of the Ribbon

Microsoft’s Jensen Harris presents a session about the design process for Office 2007’s user interface(via Jesper).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Aperture 2.0 Review

Ars Technica has a good review of Aperture 2.0:

The Color Vibrancy is genuinely great at doing what it is designed for: “selectively boosting saturation without adversely affecting skin tones.” […] It’s definitely effective, and I can’t quite figure out what it’s doing, which (as a retoucher) is driving me a little crazy. Local contrast definition, on the other hand, looks a little more familiar. Advertised as “offering local contrast for adding clarity to images,” the Definition adjustment looks a lot like unsharp masking with a really wide pixel radius.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Code Signing and You

Mike Ash:

Code signing itself is a neutral technology, but it gives incredible power to the system vendor, and that power is just waiting to be exercised and abused. I believe that the iPhone is serving as a testbed to see how users and developers will react to an environment with ubiquitous code signing and control. If it goes well I think we can expect to see our desktop Macs gradually move in this direction as well.

iPhone SDK

Overall, I like what Apple announced. I don’t mean to take away anything from what looks like great work they’ve done. However, I do want to point out that the spin was a bit much:

As with the original sweet SDK, Apple has made entirely reasonable business and technical decisions, but they chose to spin them unnecessarily.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Time Machine

Sven-S. Porst has written a lengthy post about how Time Machine works, as well as how it can be configured and used. It covers a bunch of interesting issues that I don’t think anyone else has collected into one article.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

ATPM 14.03

The March issue of ATPM is out:

Saturday, March 1, 2008


MacRuby sounds very cool (via Jens Alfke):

In MacRuby, all Ruby classes and objects are actually Objective-C classes and objects. There is no need to create costly proxies, convert objects and cache instances. A Ruby object can be toll-free casted at the C level as an Objective-C object, and the Ruby VM can also handle Objective-C objects without conversion.

I hope this can be done for Python, too.

ScreenFlow: The iTunes of Screencasting

Fraser Speirs:

“Tweak it afterwards” makes it sound lightweight. It’s not. In other screen recording software, such as Snapz Pro X, you define a region of the screen to be recorded and if a dialog pops up somewhere you didn’t expect, you start all over again. ScreenFlow does away with all that: you record the entire screen, and zoom in or crop the video later. That alone justifies the application for me. You can also add highlights such as cursor circles, click targets and sounds and keystroke overlays—all automatically and all after the fact.