Archive for April 13, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

iCloud’s First Six Months

Federico Viticci:

As Streza noted, even when iCloud launched six months ago, “it really felt like a beta that Apple would be iterating on quickly”. Last summer, when Apple was beta-testing iOS 5 and OS X Lion with registered developers, a shared belief amongst app makers was that implementing iCloud integration would take a while. Six months after the public rollout in October 2011 and 10 months after the company’s announcement (and beta release) at WWDC, the situation still isn’t much different for many developers.

It seems as though the Core Data syncing, in particular, is nowhere near ready for primetime. Thus, Apple should commit to keeping the MobileMe Sync Services API working beyond June. More generally, Apple seems to be taking the “it just works” philosophy too far. When something inevitably goes wrong, there needs to be a way for developers (or even users) to get under the hood to see what happened and fix it.

Nib Memory Management

Mike Ash:

Nib memory management is similar between Mac and iOS but just different enough to be annoyingly confusing. Fortunately, it’s easy to mitigate the confusion by sticking to areas where the two platforms behave identically, which results in best practices anyway. Always use a Cocoa controller to load nibs rather than loading the nib directly yourself. Always declare properties for your outlets. As with any property, if your outlet properties are strong, then you must release the backing instance variable in dealloc (or let ARC do it for you).

I kind of wonder why they didn’t fix the top-level objects issue when introducing NSNib. It’s not even mentioned in the documentation.

Why I Use Safari Instead of Firefox

Early Netscape and Mozilla developer Jamie Zawinski (via John Siracusa):

Tabs are just one example, albeit an example I care about a lot, but this kind of thing happens with Firefox all the time in general too. A new version comes out, some random behavior has changed, and either you suck it up, or you go play whack-a-mole in the minefield of preferences checkboxes.

And, of course:

Firefox does not look or behave like a MacOS program. This is intentional. It has gotten better in recent years, but it still feels like a cross-platform open-source program, which it is. But I don’t want your Linux in my Mac. I want my Mac to behave like a Mac. That’s why I bought a Mac.

Java for OS X Lion 2012-003


This update also configures the Java web plug-in to disable the automatic execution of Java applets. Users may re-enable automatic execution of Java applets using the Java Preferences application. If the Java web plug-in detects that no applets have been run for an extended period of time it will again disable Java applets.

Glenn Fleishman and Rich Mogull say that the time period is 35 days.

This seems like a reasonable decision, although it’s strange that Java can’t be re-enabled directly from Safari. I don’t think most users know that the Java Preferences app even exists. There doesn’t appear to be any imminent danger for cross-platform apps such as CrashPlan, but this move got me thinking of Steve Jobs’s remarks:

Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.