Archive for July 11, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

Design Is How It Works

Jim Ray:

Hey, Johny, maybe turn the ports 90° so I can actually unplug the goddamn things

Via ATP, which has a good discussion of the ports on the AirPort Extreme Base Station as well as on the Mac Pro.

Scripting From a Sandbox

Craig Hockenberry:

That’s a great solution for scripts written by a user. The user can then open that folder using a control in your app and edit scripts in any way seen fit.

But sometimes you’ll want to help the end user install scripts that you’ve written. Chances are, you’re a better programmer than your average customer, and you know how to write code that makes your app work better with your customer’s other apps. The natural place to put your own scripts is in the application bundle, but how do you get scripts into the user’s scripts folder?

The solution here is to get permission to write into that folder. In Xcode, you need to update your app’s Capabilities to “User Selected File to Read/Write,” under App Sandbox > File Access. Again, user intent is the guiding factor here, since you’re being given permission to add scripts to the folder.

This works, technically, but I had thought it was not allowed by the Mac App Store rules, probably rule 2.30:

Apps that do not comply with the Mac OS X File System documentation will be rejected

This is the same reason that applications aren’t allowed to have a button to install PDF services. Has this changed?

Update (2014-07-11): Craig Hockenberry:

xScope 4 does it. The User Scripts folder is documented as a place where this stuff MUST go.

Making Your Mac App’s Data Scriptable

Brent Simmons:

That’s not much code — most of the work is in designing the interface and editing the sdef file.

In the old days, you’d still be writing Apple event handlers and working with Apple event descriptors and all kinds of crazy jazz. In other words, you’d be a long way from done. Thankfully, these aren’t the old days.

iTunes Extras on Apple TV and iOS


Apple today released iTunes version 11.3 and with it is making its iTunes Extras feature available for HD movies on Macs. Apple also announced today that the feature is now available for Apple TV with update 6.2 and will arrive on iOS 8 this fall.

While we’ll have to wait for iTunes Extras to arrive on iOS with the release of iOS 8 this fall, the Apple TV OS 6.2 update rolled out late last month to users alongside iOS 7.1.2.


This is some clever marketing, because the other part of what they’re announcing is that “iTunes Extras” as it previously existed is being discontinued.

Old feature: Downloadable bundle of videos that you store and archive however you like. Offline viewing supported. If you’re willing to unbundle the videos, you can organize them however you like and sync them to your devices. Direct playback of the bundle on iOS devices not supported.

New feature: Essentially a rich Web page that pops up when you play the movie. Similar content. No option to download anything. No way to get at the unbundled videos. No offline viewing. Apple and the studios have total control of the content -- if they take something down, it’s gone. Direct playback of the bundle on iOS devices is supported but is streaming-only.


If you bought original iTunes Extras before July 10, 2014, you can download them again from the purchased page on the iTunes Store. iTunes Extras aren’t available in certain countries.

Pixar Wage-Fixing Cartel

Mark Ames (via John Siracusa):

A top Pixar producer reveals in her email that Catmull had in fact flown down to Sony Animation and met with the two co-heads, Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandy Rabins, to rope Sony into the non-recruitment cartel. That meeting presumably took place in 2004, when Catmull emailed Steve Jobs his intention to meet Sony about poaching employees.


Catmull admits to what appears to be further criminal behavior, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act: An attempt by a top executive to get other executives to agree to secretly fix their employees’ wages and career opportunities.

Sources with knowledge of the discussion told Pando that Sony Animation’s understanding of the Catmull meeting was very different, and that Catmull had only asked Sony, informally, to let him know in future if they were hiring any Pixar employees.

Their different interpretations were born out in their actions: Catmull was still angry at Sony in 2013; and Sony did not join the Pixar-Lucasfilm non-solicitation agreement.

Update (2014-07-20): Oluseyi Sonaiya:

Just a few months ago I was thinking to myself that the lead inventor of the Catmull-Rom spline could qualify as a career role model for me in many ways. Not anymore. Now he is a cautionary tale, but in my disappointment I must take caution not to discard everything I learned from him. Creativity, Inc. is still a great book, and I will finish reading it and look to apply lessons from it to my work. The journey of Pixar is still impressive and inspiring to me, and I will allow elements from it to influence how I approach some day (soon) building my own company.

Swift In Flux

Karol S. Mazur (via Brent Simmons):

The community is creating some incredible analyses and writing about Swift. What I keep asking myself whenever learning and reading about Swift is: how likely is this to change soon?

This document is an attempt to gather the Swift features that are still in flux and likely to change.