Apr 2005

Flickr Automator Action 0.1

Fraser Speirs: “So I quietly released my first Automator action, for uploading to Flickr.”

Tiger's Core Data Draws Developers

eWeek: “As Apple Computer Inc. rolls out Mac OS X 10.4 by touting over 200 updated features, one new element of the operating system—Core Data—is generating a lot interest among developers. In fact, most Mac users will never notice Core Data’s existence.”


dashLicious is a Dashboard widget that “implements a post to your del.icio.us account on the fabulous web service created by Joshua Schachter. dashLicious is optimised for Safari and NetNewsWire users. When you enter into the dashboard dashLicious will automatically populate the url and description fields from either Safari or NetNewsWire (and will allow you to toggle between the two inputs).”

The Tiger Details List

Daring Fireball: “I’ve been using the final developer build of Mac OS X 10.4 for the past few weeks, and I’m compiling a list of observations and interesting details. Things that are new, things that are different.”

Triumph of Tiger - Macworld’s exclusive review of Mac OS X 10.4

Macworld UK: “So you have your copy of Tiger—and now what? Based on an exclusive hands-on test of the final version, here’s a special guide to what you should do, and expect, from the newest version of Apple’s operating system.”

What's New In Mac OS X

Apple Developer Connection: “This article summarizes key features that are available beginning with Mac OS X version 10.4. It also lists many of the documents that were created or updated for the release.”

Automator Programming Guide

Apple: “Apple includes a suite of ready-made actions with Automator, but developers are encouraged to contribute their own actions. You can create actions—which are implemented as loadable bundles—using either AppleScript, Objective-C, or a combination of the two languages.”

Bare Bones Embraces Automator

Apple: “Automation is no stranger to BBEdit itself. Version 8.0 of the product introduced Text Factories, a visual tool for creating a series of transformations on text. Text Factories let you use BBEdit as an automation solution from start to finish. Automator lets you bring multiple applications to the party.”

DropDMG 2.6 and Automator

Michael Tsai: “DropDMG 2.6 adds support for Tiger and Automator... [Automator] lets you combine DropDMG with actions from other applications, and my sense is that for straightforward kinds of automation it’ll be easier and faster than AppleScript, even for people who know AppleScript.”

Discovering the Dashboard

Macworld: “The concept behind Dashboard is new but straightforward: It’s like an alternate Finder desktop, launched (and later hidden) by pressing F12, containing small mini-applications called widgets. These apps range from calculators, games, and weather reports, but you can also expect to see things like search tools and front-ends for more complex apps.”

Automator World

Automator World: “Better living through Macintosh scripting.” Cool.

Delegating the grunt work

Macworld: “Automator is a utility that’s designed, like the 21st-century robots we were once promised, to do all the dull, repetitive tasks we intelligent humans don’t want to bother with.”

ars technica Tiger Review

John Siracusa: “Tiger includes updates that are at least twice as significant as any single past update. Mac OS X is now getting to the point where significant improvements require a larger time investment. As far as the core OS is concerned, most of the low-hanging fruit has been harvested. Now it’s time for Apple to get down to the real work of improving Mac OS X.”

BBEdit 8.2 offers integrated Automator Actions

MacMinute: “BBEdit 8.2 brings support for Automator, the new personal automation assistant in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger that simplifies repetitive or time-consuming tasks.”

NetNewsWire 2.0b45: Automator actions, Atom enclosures, bug fixes

NetNewsWire 2.0 icon

NetNewsWire 2.0b45 adds Automator actions, supports Atom enclosures, and fixes a bunch of bugs. See the change notes for details.

(Automator is a new application in OS X 10.4 Tiger for automating repetitive tasks.)

You can download this release from the NetNewsWire betas page.

A new beta of NetNewsWire Lite has been posted too. Here are the change notes for the Lite version. (It’s also available from the betas page.)

(NetNewsWire 2.0 costs $24.95; NetNewsWire Lite is freeware.)

Put a Tiger in Your Mac

Wired News: “The feature I’m most jazzed about, and the one that will have the biggest impact on how I interact with information on my Mac, is Spotlight. Spotlight is designed to help users find files—instantly. You type a keyword, and even as you begin to enter the letters, results are already popping up.”

Typology of syndication applications

This post at P@ Sunglasses includes an excellent graphic showing how various syndication applications fit together.

How to open the right-most tab

If you’re viewing news items, and you want to open the right-most tab—the tab you most recently created—then type shift-cmd-leftArrow. Or choose Window > Select Previous Tab.

Rizearch NetNewsWire Style

Andrew Skinner presents version one of the Rizearch theme for NetNewsWire.

MarsEdit passwords and Keychain

The weblog password used by MarsEdit is stored in Keychain so it remains there even if the weblog is deleted. However, you can manually delete it in Keychain Access.

1. Quit MarsEdit if it is running.
2. Launch Keychain Access (Applications/Utilities/Keychain Access)
3. Look for MarsEdit:[your username]
4. You can edit it within Keychain Access or delete this item and then MarsEdit will ask you for a new username/password when you recreate the weblog.


Dustin Sacks: “RSSMailingList is a free combination mailing list manager and RSS feed generator. It’s made up of a few PHP scripts and a MySQL database. Your users can subscribe to whichever notification method they prefer and they will receive the same content when you add it.”

SubEthaEdit 2.1.2 released with special offer

SubEthaEdit - News: “From today to Friday, 29th of April 2005 we are celebrating the imminent release of Apple’s new operating system ‘Tiger’ and the release of the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ movie, a tale that inspired SubEthaEdit’s name. Hence every customer purchasing a commercial SubEthaEdit license within the celebration period receives one additional license key, that he can give to a fellow carbon based life form or use for his or her second head.”

Tiger style for NetNewsWire

Jon Hicks has created a new spotlight-inspired style for NetNewsWire.

More on the ‘feed’ URL bug

Surfin’ Safari: “The feed URL dialog that tells you 10.4 must be installed to view RSS feeds is simply a bug and not part of a master plan for global domination.”

We assumed as much, but it’s nice to hear it confirmed. The question is: will there be an update for Panther users? (A few other Safari and WebKit bugs have been noted in the 10.3.9 update.)

Despite the bugs, the update has some cool new features. Our favorite may simply be the better performance.

Gundam NetNewsWire Theme

them.ws: “Continuing in my long line of creating Gundam themes for Mac OS X programs comes a Gundam view style for NetNewsWire.”

Safari 1.3 and feed URIs

Tim’s Bandwagon reports on how ‘feed’ URIs apparently don’t work in Safari 1.3, which came with the recent OS X update to 10.3.9. (We haven’t checked this out ourselves yet, but we’ve seen a number of reports.)

URL Manager Pro 3.4.2 released

MacMinute: “URL Manager Pro allows users to store, manage, and organize bookmarks independently of their browser. Version 3.4.2 adds support for NetNewsWire, the RSS news reader.”

NetNewsWire full and Lite 2.0b41: bug fixes

NetNewsWire 2.0 icon

NetNewsWire 2.0b41 brings NetNewsWire 2.0 even closer to shipping. This release fixes a bunch of bugs—see the change notes for details.

You can download this release from the NetNewsWire betas page.

NetNewsWire Lite 2.0b41 has been posted too. Here are the change notes for the Lite version. (It’s also available from the betas page.)

(NetNewsWire 2.0 costs $24.95; NetNewsWire Lite is freeware.)

Creating Cross-Platform Applications with Core Foundation and Open Source

Apple Developer Connection: “One of the most powerful yet under-appreciated frameworks in Mac OS X is Core Foundation, also known as CF... Because CF is open source, developers can compile and run it on Macintosh as well as other platforms—and this opens up a number of interesting possibilities.”

(Via The Shape of Days.)

Mail-like style for NetNewsWire

decaffeinated: “The sheet itself was for NetNewsWire; on a whim I’d decided to whip up a style to make feed items resemble email messages a la Apple Mail, and I liked what I saw.”

Speeding up Safari [and NetNewsWire]

Scott Laird: “I spent a few minutes cleaning out the cookie jar, and—amazingly enough—Safari’s a lot faster. I haven’t seen the beachball of death since I cleaned up the cookies; before I was seeing it every minute or so.”

Update: To be clear, the reason for pointing to this article is that cleaning up your Safari cookies can help NetNewsWire performance. NetNewsWire uses WebKit (the Safari engine) under the hood, which means it shares cookies with Safari.

Expand, collapse keyboard shortcuts

These handy shortcuts work in both the subscriptions outline and in the Sites Drawer:

, - collapse, or collapse-to-parent
. - expand
; - collapse all
' - expand all

Note that these keys are right next to each other and that on laptops they’re close to the arrow keys.

For more keyboard shortcuts like this, choose Help > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Adhoc 2005 featured speakers announced

Macworld: News: “The first speaker will be the co-founder of FreeBSD and Apple’s manager of the Darwin (UNIX-based) core of Macintosh OS X, Jordan Hubbard.”

Hacking on UDDI in Mozilla and/or Firefox

Seth Dillingham: “Want to hack on a web service that hasn’t yet been implemented in Firefox, and very few people understand?”


Trac: “Typo is an absolutely minimal weblogging engine which comes without an admin interface.”

Here at Ranchero we haven’t had the chance to try it out yet, but it sounds pretty cool, and we keep hearing from people who like it very much.

Make Need-to-Read Blogs Even Easier to Find

PCWorld.com - Mac Skeptic: “Though NetNewsWire’s interface looks more like that of an e-mail application than a Web browser, it’s easy to get used to its look and start browsing through feeds and news items... If, like me, you have a lot of subscriptions in Bloglines, you can set NetNewsWire 2.0 to monitor these as well.”

Delete the SearchIndex file

If you’re using NetNewsWire 2.0b37, and you used earlier betas, then you can delete the SearchIndex file.

It’s probably taking up a few megabytes of space on your hard drive. (Possibly quite a few megabytes.)

Here’s what to do:

1. Make a backup of your NetNewsWire prefs and data. (It’s always a good idea to make backups.) For more about making backups, open the Help book, click on “Contents,” then click on “Backing up your data.”

2. Delete the file at ~/Library/Application Support/NetNewsWire/SearchIndex

This file is no longer used (as of 2.0b37) so it’s safe to delete.

Keyboard shortcut for searching

To put the cursor in the search field in the toolbar, type cmd-opt-F. (If the search field is visible in the toolbar.)

Then to move focus back to the headlines table, type the Tab key.

Subversion Rules(tm)

Mark Dalrymple: “I’ve been using Subversion over the last month or so, and I’ve really been liking it.”


Coalmarch Productions: “This script [for NetNewsWire] allows you to subscribe to any number of mailboxes in Mail.app. Its main use is for dropping new unread messages from subscribed news groups (yahoo/apple, etc.) so I don’t have to switch to Mail when I want to be goofing off and reading news.”

Newsreaders Cut to the Chase

Wired News: “The good news is that publishers and software developers are teaming up to deliver timely articles of your choosing to your virtual doorstep—and you don’t even have to tip the delivery boy.”

Developing with Core Data

Apple Developer Connection: “Core Data, new in Tiger, completes the Cocoa vision for building well-factored applications based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern by providing a strong, flexible, and powerful data model framework.”

Keyboard shortcuts tip

You can set keyboard shortcuts for scripts—and even change the builtin NetNewsWire shortcuts. Here’s what to do:

1. Open System Preferences.

2. Click the Keyboard & Mouse icon.

3. Click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.

4. Click the + button.

5. In the sheet that opens up, choose NetNewsWire from the Application popup menu. Type the name of the menu item in Menu Title, then type the shortcut you want in Keyboard Shortcut. Click the Add button.

6. Restart NetNewsWire for the change to take effect.

Dock menu tip

If you choose a news item from NetNewsWire’s dock menu, and hold down the option key, you will jump to NetNewsWire’s view of the news item rather than opening the page in the browser.

Celsius1414: mini-monitor

Robert Daeley: “I set up a simple shell script to ask Mail and NetNewsWire for their current unread counts, then I display it in a tiny GeekTool window.”

Embedded browser changes

More details about the embedded browser changes in 2.0b37 was posted to inessential.com.

Point, Counterpoint: Mac OS X Is Great for Fortysomething Unix Hackers

Daring Fireball: “The primary group of programmers who were attracted to the old Mac OS were those who wanted to write Mac software: application software and other projects meant for use by regular Mac users. Mac OS X, on the other hand, is attractive to those same programmers, for the same reasons, and also attractive to all sorts of other programmers as well—most especially to those writing software for the web.”

CamelBones - What’s New in 1.0.0-beta1

CamelBones 1.0.0b1: “This new approach is a huge improvement over the old proxy-based bridge, and makes a number of things possible with this new version that could not be done previously: Support for Cocoa Bindings, NSDocument-based applications, Custom NSView subclasses.”

The birth of a new app

O’Reilly, Giles Turnbull: “Enter Sam DeVore, full-time dad and part-time programmer. He saw the need for something new, and suspected he could create it very rapidly. He posted to the list, announcing his plan, and set to work.”

NetNewsWire full and Lite 2.0b37: tag subscriptions, syncing, performance, more

NetNewsWire 2.0 icon

NetNewsWire 2.0b37 is the “almost-there” release. It includes some new features—tag subscriptions, syncing, per-feed enclosures (and podcasts) settings—and fixes lots of bugs and increases performance.

Read the change notes for more details. You can download it from the NetNewsWire betas page.

NetNewsWire Lite 2.0b37 has also been posted. Here are the change notes for the Lite version. (It’s also available from the betas page.)

(NetNewsWire 2.0 costs $24.95; NetNewsWire Lite is freeware.)

NetNewsWire 2.0 browser tabs screenshotAmong the many changes in this beta is an updated look for the browser tabs. (Click the thumbnail for a larger screen shot.) Also note the new Feed button in the lower-right corner: it appears when a page you’re viewing has a feed. Just click to subscribe.

Open unread items in OmniWeb

waffle: Here’s a “simple AppleScript to open all the unread items in the current subscription as tabs in a new window in OmniWeb.”

PunchOut 1.0 for Tiger

Bare Bones Software: “Bare Bones Software today announced the forthcoming release of PunchOut, a new integrated backup system which safely records critical user data onto a durable backup medium... The new Advanced Prioritized Retrieval Integration Layer engine uses Spotlight in conjunction with a naive Bayesian reverse classifier to analyze stored data in real time.”

Developing in OpenGL Using Makefiles

MacDevCenter.com: “When I was in college, I was furnished with a terminal to access the mainframe and used vi and makefiles to develop software. And I liked it! The days of coding on mainframes and PDP-11s may be long gone, but the methodology of software development is still pretty much the same.”

Outline Exchange and XML

About This Particular Outliner: “Many ATPO readers simply cannot find the outliner tool that does all the things they wish, so they combine tools. Often, this is facilitated by a standard called OPML, the Outline Processing Markup Language.”

Serendipity xml-rpc patch

Tim Putnam has posted a new xml-rpc patch that fixes a number of issues for people using MarsEdit to edit Serendipity weblogs.

Tiger Renamed; Ship Date Imminent

TidBITS: “In a surprise move, Apple revealed that the official name for this release would be "Mac OS X 10.4 Wombat... ‘It's not a cat! It’s not even fierce!’ said Jobs.”

Battlestar Galactica podcast

With tonight being the season finale of Battlestar Galactica, don’t forget to check out Ron Moore’s commentary via the Battlestar Galactica podcast.

You can also subscribe to the Battlestar Galactica Blog’s RSS feed.

April Power Hacks

43 Folders: “11. Cut your hair when it starts getting long or you’ll eventually have trouble wearing the hats that you enjoy.”


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