Sep 2002

The Do’s and Don’ts of Shareware, Part 1

O’Reilly: “I’ll be facilitating open and frank discussions about sales percentages, servers, coding styles, tools, Web sites, mirrors, sales engines, installers, registrations, support, press releases, marketing, database back-ends, localization. I’ll even come up with a checklist for your first release. Just about everything you’ll need to consider before shipping your product will be discussed right here.”

User-Centered URL Design

Jesse James Garrett on human-friendly URLs: “The advent of content management systems has been a boon in many ways, but the readability of URLs is not one of them.” Of course, it’s important to point out that some CMSes do allow one to use human-readable URLs. In fact, I’d be willing to state Brent’s Law of CMS URLs: the more expensive the CMS, the crappier the URLs.

PHP iCalendar

It’s a PHP-based iCal file parser that “displays iCal files in a nice logical, clean manner with day, week, and month navigation. It supports 8 languages.”

F-Script Anywhere 1.1.4

Nicholas Riley’s F-Script Anywhere “lets you embed a F-Script interpreter in any Cocoa application. You can use F-Script like a debugger, so you can examine your application’s objects in a richer environment than GDB or Project Builder permits.”

Red Hat 8.0 Reviewed on Red Hat’s new Linux distribution.

XSLT Tools 1.0 Beta 1

Late Night Software has released a beta of a free scripting addition that “allows AppleScript to apply XSLT transformations to XML data and to use XPath expressions to extract information from XML data. XSLT Tools also allows you to extend the XSLT processor using AppleScript functions.”

XML Tools 2.5

Late Night Software has released XML Tools 2.5, their free AppleScript scripting addition.

ICeCoffEE 1.1

Nicholas Riley: “ICeCoffEE lets you Command-click on URLs in Cocoa applications to launch them. It is modeled after ICeTEe, for classic Mac OS, which provided the same functionality in many Macintosh applications by patching TextEdit.”

The BSDs: Sophisticated, Powerful, and (Mostly) Free

ExtremeTech on the history of the BSDs: “What is BSD? If you ask a typical computer ‘expert,’ he or she is likely to reply (incorrectly!) that it is ‘an operating system.’ The correct answer, however, is more complex than that. BSD is—among other things—a culture, a philosophy, and a growing collection of software, most (though not all) of which is available for free and with source code.”

Spring EA 2

This new early-access release of the awesomely cool Spring includes Jaguar support.

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0.1

A new, non-beta release of NetNewsWire Lite has been posted. Changes since 1.0 include crashing bug fixes, opening URLs in the background in the browser, remembering the pane sizes and positions, and keyboard navigation enhancements.

Apple Releases iSync Beta

Apple: “Now you can keep your calendar and contact information synchronized up to the minute between your Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone, iPod, Palm OS device or multiple Macs.”

CSS Design: Taming Lists

A List Apart: “I find that most pages on the web contain a menu of links in a navigation area. These are often marked up as a string of links, often in separate DIVs or paragraphs. Structurally, however, they are a list of links, and should be marked up as such.”

GUI front-end for installing open source software

MacMegasite: “FinkCommander provides a convenient graphical front end for the Mac OS X package manager, fink, which makes it easier to install, update, and maintain open source packages on your system.”

Red Hat set to roll out Linux 8.0

InfoWorld: “The new Bluecurve interface, based on Gnome 2.0, features themes, scroll bars and menus, and several new graphical enhancements and icons. The new version also contains a number of updated applications including the Open Office productivity suite, beefed up Evolution e-mail client, and the Mozilla browser 1.0.1.”

Apache 2 for Mac OS X

Bill Humphries reports that Apache 2.0 (and other server components) are available for OS X.

Roll Your Own Browser

O’Reilly: “The browser is dead. It’s a two-dimensional piece of software that is slowing the evolution of the Web... [but] contrary to what some people lead you to believe, browsers will be around for a while longer. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the concept of customizing, or creating, your own browser using the wonderful toolkit that is Mozilla.”

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0.1fc1

This final candidate release adds smarter scrolling when arrowing through the headlines pane. A few sites were added to the Sites Drawer.

Will open source kill off the CMS money pit?

ZDNet Australia poses an interesting question. Paul Everitt: “My favorite trend is the revenge of the DIYers (do-it-yourself techies). Every time we (the proprietary CMS vendor Everitt once worked for) did a bid, the staff that wrote the existing mod_perl or PHP system was our greatest internal champions. With the tough economic climate, there is sentiment to grow what works, rather than dropping a $1.2 million bomb.”

The EffNews Project: Building an RSS Newsreader

Fredrik Lundh: “This project aims to build an RSS-based newsreader (aka ‘aggregator’) with a graphical user interface front-end, similar to applications like Headline Viewer and Brent Simmons’ NetNewsWire. The reader will based on standard Python cross-platform tools.”

News beats porn online

BBC: “Websense, a San Diego-based firm which provides software to monitor web habits at work, has found that news sites are proving the real internet addiction for employees.”

Interview with Watson’s Dan Wood

O’Reilly interviews Dan Wood: “I had run across some small utilities that did web ‘scraping’ (extracting and reformatting useful data from HTML pages) such as monitoring eBay auctions and collecting headlines of I decided that the world needed a handy container application for these kinds of utilities, and from there the individual tool ideas started coming left and right.”

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0.1b3

This release fixes a crashing bug when parsing RSS feeds. More changes are listed on the change notes page.

RSS Directory

A new directory of RSS resources from UserLand.

A new site, “your source for all things .Mac.”


It’s a site by Kim Kohen “for those interested in automating Mac OS X.”

AppleScript: Ten Tips and Gotchas for the Script Editor

Studio Log: “There are many alternatives to the Script Editor that has been a staple of AppleScript development since the beginning. But, many scripters still use the venerable Script Editor despite its many limitations. Following are ten tips that come from my time in using the program in creating scripts of various types.”

The State of Linux in 2002

OSOpinion: “Clearly, the Linux bandwagon is gathering speed—Sun has said it anticipates a 30 percent annual growth rate—but where is it going?”

A Deeper Look Into LindowsOS 2.0 “Understanding LindowsOS has been a challenge for many and the reason is simple: most of us are Linux people viewing LindowsOS as a Linux distribution. It’s much easier to appreciate the product when you approach it from a different viewpoint. LindowsOS is not made for Linux people, although they may like it, it’s made for Windows converts.”

Microsoft updates IE 5.1, 5.2 for security issues

MacCentral: “Internet Explorer 5.2.2 is the latest version available for Mac OS X. As with Internet Explorer 5.1.6, the update resolves a security vulnerability associated with the validation of digital certificate chains.”

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0.1b2

This new beta has two often-requested changes: it remembers the size and position of the split views, and you can tell it (via the General prefs panel) to have URLs open in the background in your browser. (That second feature works only in Jaguar, unfortunately.)

Opera 6.0 beta praises sung

MacWorld: “Tabbed browsing mode makes its first appearance in this release allowing for multiple windows to be opened within the Opera browser.” Me, I use tabbed browsing with Chimera. I love tabbed browsing. It’s the best thing to happen to browsers since support for graphics.

A Guide to Building Secure Web Applications

The Open Web Application Security Project has a guide with a bunch of notes on security.

Web Services with AppleScript and Perl

O’Reilly: “You can’t create a SOAP web service with AppleScript, but you can have it act as a SOAP web client and use Perl to create the service.”

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0.1b1

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0.1b1 has been posted along with documentation on the clipboard formats NetNewsWire exports. Sample code is provided for both Carbon and Cocoa.

Flirting with Mac OS X “UNIX is for servers, Windows is for desktops. Right? No, wrong. Turns out nowadays you don’t need to use that ugly W word to have a decent desktop and office environment. Enter Mac OS X.”

On Being a Programmer “You cannot write code if you’re not focused and dedicated. You can write code if you’re distracted, and that code may even work, but it will not be beautiful.”


Aaron Swartz: “RDF/XML got you down? Tired of having to go through contortions to deal with data? Want to write Python and be standards-compatible at the same time? Need a module to implement the psuedo-code you had on your slides? TRAMP may or may not be the answer to these problems!”


gBrowser is an image-browsing app that looks pretty cool.

BDRuleEngine Framework

MacCentral: “The BDRuleEngine Framework builds on the power of the Cocoa framework by providing a rule system for software developers to use when constructing applications.”

Homemade Dot-Mac with OS X, Part 2

O’Reilly: “Jaguar has made significant improvements to aspects of Mac OS X. These features make setting up a home Web server easier and more powerful than ever, and I’ll touch on some of them while digging deeper into the homemade Dot-Mac project.”

Want A Date? We All Cal With ICal

Wired: “A few weeks ago, Web designer Patrick Crowley got one of those simple but brilliant ideas that makes you wonder why no one thought of it before. Crowley set up a website called, a clearinghouse for sharing calendars created with Apple’s new iCal calendaring program, which allows people to publish calendars online.”


CodeSearch is an OS X open-source code search engine by Michael McCracken of Blapp fame.

Apple posts September Security Update

MacCentral: “According to information provided with the update Security Update 2002-09-20 updates the Terminal application, which is pre-installed with Mac OS X.”

TigerLaunch 1.0b3

This release finds more applications, including those in your user applications folder. It uses an icon in the menubar instead of the word Apps. The Configure window allows you to choose an alternate icon.

Installing Sun ONE Studio on OS X

Sun: “The officially supported platforms for Sun ONE Studio are simply those on which the IDE has been extensively tested by Sun’s Quality Assurance teams. The IDE, however, can run successfully on a much wider range of platforms; indeed, it will probably run anywhere that a Java 2 JDK version 1.3 or later is available. One such platform is the popular Apple Macintosh OS X (version 10.1 or later).”

Why I develop for Mac OS X

From my personal weblog, an explanation of why I develop for Macintosh rather than Windows: “One of the reasons I develop for OS X is that, when it comes to user interface, this is the big leagues, this is the show.”

I just learned about this site from my referers list. From the home page: “Welcome... to our essential MacOS X software guide!”

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0

It shipped! One point oh! Get it while it’s hot!


Bill Bumgarner: “Rumors abound that Apple is working on iBrowse—a web browser based on the Chimera engine. Maybe, maybe not. However, the market is certainly rife for someone to create a real and working browser on the platform.”

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0fc2

This release probably is the 1.0 release (after changing the version number). Changes are a minor sorting bug fix and the addition of some sites to the Sites Drawer.

OS X 10.2.1 Released

MacNETv2 reports that Apple has released OS X 10.2.1. (And iTunes 3.0.1, by the way.)

On Building Software Product Sites

A possibly crazy explanation of my current thinking regarding building sites for products like NetNewsWire.

NSAppleScript is cool...

...says Michael McCracken. “It’s like OS X is just a great big tube of glue waiting for you to throw things together.”

MacCVSClient Carbonized

Version 1.7 of MacCVSClient, a GUI client for CVS servers, now runs on Mac OS X.

NetNewsWire Pro Features

This page details the current plan for the for-pay version of NetNewsWire. It’s a rough plan only at this time—it will surely change between now and when the for-pay version ships. But it should give you a general idea of what to expect.

NetNewsWire Frequently Asked Questions

Answer questions such as “how do I unsort?” and “how do I open URLs in the background?”

RSS 2.0 Spec

Area man finalizes spec. Universe to end shortly.

Develop Rock-Solid Code in PHP

IBM developerWorks presents a two-part article on “solving practical real-life problems in medium- to large-scale applications.”

Enable CVS pserver on 10.2

Mac OS X Hints: “Set up for cvspserver is even easier in OS 10.2 using xinetd.”

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0fc1

This final candidate release fixes some bugs and adds a ton of sites to the sites drawer. Check out the change notes. So now we’re looking for deal-stopper bugs. Are there any bugs important enough that they must be fixed before 1.0 ships? (Remember that of course 1.0 is not the end of the road but the beginning.)

Sun to shed light on desktop Linux plans

InfoWorld: “Company executives have hinted at a Sun Linux desktop distribution that combines existing software from the open-source community, such as the GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) desktop interface, the Mozilla Web browser and the desktop office productivity software package OpenOffice.” Notes

Nicholas Riley on Jaguar’s “Jaguar’s Terminal app offers significant improvements in user interface, capability and stability... [but] Terminal is still incredibly slow performing certain operations.”

Marketing Software, Part 2

TidBITS: “You first need a Web site where people can learn about your product, download it, and purchase it. While a complete discussion of what makes an effective Web site is beyond the scope of this article, there are some guiding principles to keep in mind.”

Unsanity Weblog

The Unsanity folks—the people behind the various “haxies” for OS X—now have a weblog. It’s cool when software companies have weblogs. They all should.

XML on OS X on XML, OS X, RSS, and NetNewsWire. Very nice!

Understanding HTTP Cookie “Hello and welcome to Monsterpiece Theatre. I Alistair Cookie. As you know, many site use HTTP Cookie for keep track of browser session. Today we are seeing how HTTP Cookie work.”

Apple on using the Font Panel in Carbon apps

Technical Note TN2058: “This Note is directed at application developers who want to allow their Mac OS X Carbon applications to use the Font Panel as a way for users to specify font family, typeface, and size settings for text.”

Apple on collection classes and multi-threading

Technical Note TN2059: “This technote describes some problems that can occur when using mutable collection classes (arrays, dictionaries, and sets) in multithreaded Cocoa applications, and describes some approaches to solving these problems, including several implementations.”

Marc Liyanage on Mac OS X Customization

Lots of good tips here, from useful utilities to Unix customization.


It’s a library for using Ruby with with Cocoa objects. (Via Archipelago.)

Objective-C: the More Flexible C++

Linux Journal: “It is a surprising fact that anyone studying GNUstep or the Cocoa Framework will notice they are nearly identical to the NEXTSTEP APIs that were defined ten years ago. A decade is an eternity in the software industry. If the framework (and its programming language—Objective C) came through untouched these past ten years, there must be something special about it.”

XDarwin updated for Jaguar

MacCentral: “The new update contains both bug fixes and a compatibility update so that all components will now work with Jaguar. The update is recommended for all users of XFree86 on Darwin/Mac OS X and is available now.”


Straw is a desktop news aggregator for the GNOME environment. Looks cool. (Via Aaron Swartz.)

Andy Ihnatko on RSS

Andy writes, “RSS is one of those Really Cool Things that’s Just Starting To Go Big. It’s slick and it’s fairly sophisticated: your website can essentially ‘syndicate’ parts of its content to millions of client apps. That’s a ridiculous amount of cool.”

Web Services with AppleScript and Perl

Apple Internet Developer: “To show off the connection between an AppleScript and a Perl server, I created a simple task to keep the mechanics to a minimum: fetching headlines from a news site.”

Marketing Software, Part 1

TidBITS: “If you can offer a better, faster, and/or cheaper solution to a problem, you have a good chance of being successful—but you must be able to prove it.”

TigerLaunch 1.0b2

Two main changes: it’s now a background app (no dock icon); a bug was fixed where it was missing some apps (usually Adobe apps).

NetNewsWire 1.0b23

This new release fixes a memory leak and a few other bugs and glitches. Here are the change notes.

Frontier 9.0 Released

Changes include easier setup, expanded Admin website, new Manila features, and more.

The Cocoa Files

Various articles by Andrew Stone on Cocoa development.

Interview with Cocoa Guru Andrew Stone

iDevGames interviews Andrew Stone of Stone Design: “HyperCard was the precursor to the Internet—the idea that mere mortals could make cool software was very appealing. Now that Apple has Interface Builder and provides the entire IDE for making Cocoa applications, perhaps we’ll see several replacement applications.”

Cocoa XML-RPC Demo

This article shows how to make a simple XML-RPC call from a Cocoa app using the new WebServicesCore framework.

TigerLaunch 1.0b1

It’s an open source (BSD license) application launcher, easy to use and easy to configure.

Fink For Jaguar

Fink Project: “A test version of the 10.2 updater for Fink is now available.”

Folder Actions in Jaguar

Apple’s docs explain how to write Folder Actions scripts.

Watson Adds Google, Amazon Plug-ins

TidBITS: “Karelia Software has released Watson 1.5.5, its utility for easily gathering information from the Web that offers more features than Apple’s otherwise-similar Sherlock 3.”

Blosxom Updated

Rael Dornfest: “There’s oodles of new functionality in this release, including: categories, shared weblog spaces, flavours (read: templates or views), and more.”

Even free, iCal isn’t worth the price

RandomMaccess: “Apple’s newly released iCal is the most beautiful calendaring program I have ever seen. It’s a shame it sucks.”

Configuring Sendmail On Jaguar

O’Reilly: “In its quest to make Unix more ‘Mac like,’ Apple decided that it would be best to allow users, at least administrative users, to be able to move files in and out of the root directory with impunity... This clashes heavily with Sendmail's built-in paranoia.”

Mozilla Rising

Salon: “Netscape won't dislodge Internet Explorer from its hegemony over browser space. But its open-source sibling is aiming at even bigger game: Windows.”

iCal Released

Apple: “iCal is an elegant personal calendar application that helps you manage your life and your time better than ever before. iCal lets you keep track of your appointments and events with multiple calendars featuring at-a-glance views of upcoming activities by day, week or month.”

Installing Perl 5.8 on Jaguar

On updating from Perl 5.6.0 to 5.8.

OmniOutliner 2.1 Released

This new release adds a Save All menu item, new toolbar commands, and improved HTML generation.

Chimera 0.5 Posted

According to its website, “The focus in Chimera 0.5 has been on stability and bug fixing, with some new features and performance work thrown in.”

Write Twice, Run Anywhere

Daniel Steinberg on porting Java apps to OS X: “Apple takes care of porting the look and feel of your favorite widgets and provides you with runtime properties to customize and fine-tune the appearance and placement. But what about the small things.”


Blapp by Michael McCracken is an OS X desktop app for editing Blosxom weblogs. It works with NetNewsWire and other HTML sources via drag-and-drop. Totally cool. (Michael is also the author of BibDesk, a BibTeX bibliography manager for OS X.)

99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete

Jeffrey Zeldman: “Though their owners and managers may not know it yet, 99.9% of all websites are obsolete. These sites may look and work all right in mainstream, desktop browsers whose names end in the numbers 4 or 5. But outside these fault-tolerant environments, the symptoms of disease and decay have already started to appear.”

Apple on Icons

Apple provides an Aqua Icon Kit which contains templates and so on for making icons.

RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers and Webmasters

Mark Nottingham’s tutorial “explains the features and benefits of a Web format called RSS, and gives a brief technical overview of it.”

The EffNews Project: Building an RSS Newsreader

Fredrik Lundh is leading a project which “aims to build an RSS-based newsreader (aka ‘aggregator’) with a graphical user interface front-end, similar to applications like Headline Viewer and Brent Simmons’ NetNewsWire.” Right on.

Contextual Menu Workshop

Abracode’s contextual menus development framework was updated yesterday, though change notes are not readily apparent on their website.

Smile X Updated

The freeware AppleScript script editor now runs under Jaguar.

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0b22

This release fixes crashing bugs and several UI glitches. See the change notes page for more info.

Syntax Coloring Demo for Cocoa

It’s a basic tutorial with sample code that shows how to do simple syntax coloring—it colors everything in a string between < and > characters. (It colors all HTML and XML tags, in other words.)


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