Feb 2009

Using CSS to keep up morale and not hate people

Mark Damon Hughes has a cool tip on using CSS to hide comments.

Defending Safari 4 tabs

Manton Reece: “So why do I like what Apple is doing here? Because I’m hopeful that this is the first experiment to bringing system-provided tabs to applications.”

Omni releases four apps as freeware

The Omni Group “has released four of their software applications as freeware: OmniWeb, OmniDazzle, OmniDiskSweeper, and OmniObjectMeter.”

(Via danielpunkass.)

On not allowing comments

Alex Payne: “The anonymity of the Internet inspires hit-and-run attacks, unintelligible ramblings, and truckloads of spam. I believe that comments are evil by default...”

I have at times wished for a standard markup container of some kind that says “here be comments” — and a browser preference that would turn them off, so I wouldn’t see them.

The quickest way (on the web) to start feeling as if the human race doesn’t deserve to survive is to read comments. This reporter makes a point of not feeling that way.

New Safari Dev Center

On Apple Developer Connection’s new Safari documentation: “Most of it is totally new stuff” twoth Michael Jurewitz.

Safari 4 beta

Ars Technica: “This update brings a bunch of new features, including a flashy new Top Sites view, a completely redesigned Windows UI, and support for some impressive emerging Web standards. ”

Variety iPhone App

Variety’s free iPhone app displays news, photos, and videos from variety.com.

It’s built using our media app framework — it’s essentially a special build of NetNewsWire/iPhone 2.0 (which is in progress). Some of the features you’ll see in that app are features that will appear in NetNewsWire. The difference is, of course, that it has a predefined list of feeds, a tab bar instead of a toolbar, and it uses Variety’s colors and artwork.

We’ve also built a widget for them, and there’s a press release for more info.

Variety iPhone app screenshot

On Installers

bynkii: “The best you can hope for here is ‘no problems.’ Don't go for ‘delight’ because chances are, that will blow up in your face. Instead go for ‘transparent and doesn’t require extra work.’”

Asteroids-style game in CoreAnimation, Part Two

Cocoa with Love: “I’ll show you how to write a resolution independent, high-speed, model-view-controller designed, Asteroids-style arcade game using CoreAnimation as the screen renderer. In this second of four parts, I’ll create basic objects in the game and their corresponding CoreAnimation Layers on screen.”

Two Years On Mars

Red Sweater Blog: “My answer was about as close to ‘hell, yes!’ as one can get in a business context without appearing completely cavalier and freewheeling.”

NetNewsWire script: Subscribe to full-text feed of current subscription

bylr.net: “Here’s a script that attempts to subscribe to a full-text feed of the current subscription in NetNewsWire. It does this using EchoDittoLabs’ excellent FullTextRSS service.”

Experimental Engineering

Tim Bray writes about iPhone, Android, and Palm’s web OS — says that “this represents an unprecedented experiment in competitive software-engineering approaches.”

Deal With It

An older (March 2007) post from Daring Fireball worth re-reading: “I suspect it’s the nouns that add the most to the cognitive load.”

(Via email from Greg Reinacker.)

Pocket Euchre

My friend and co-worker Nick Harris just posted his first iPhone app — Pocket Euchre. I’ve already bought my copy. ;)

Here’s the Sirrahsoft website with more info.

Everything Buckets

Sci-Fi Hi-Fi: “Maybe Alex is right that I can even approximate tags and VoodoPad’s multifarious connections among documents using UNIX-ey constructs like symlinks, but why, when apps exist that do that in a more natural way?”

A Twitter Decision

A Twitter Decision: “Every couple of weeks, a meme stressing about ‘an increase in Twitter spam’ wanders the Internet. Each time I see this meme appear, I turn away from my keyboard and bang my head against my desk three times.”

ClickToFlash + NetNewsWire

wurzelfoo: “In NetNewsWire, i had plug-ins disabled in news items, as it dramatically slowed down my feed-reading workflow. That, obviously, enforced me to open a browser-tab to view embedded videos. Not anymore, with ClickToFlash I have speed and convenience.”

Usability Nightmare: Web Forms

Under The Microscope: “Stop trading my cycles for your own. Your time is not more valuable than mine, and it’s certainly not more valuable than that of all your users put together.”

iPhone on Rails and ObjectiveResource

iphoneonrails.com: “ObjectiveResource is an Objective-C port of Ruby on Rails’ ActiveResource. It provides a way to serialize objects to and from Rails’ standard RESTful web-services (via XML or JSON) and handles much of the complexity involved with invoking web-services of any language from the iPhone.”

Looks pretty easy. Like it.

Via Jens Alfke.

ACME ray gun pen

SCI FI Wire: “With no fanfare that we can detect, a company named ACME is about to release what is possibly the most gorgeous pen designed to look like a ray gun that’s ever been made.”

Intern at Omni

The Omni Group: “We’re looking for one or two software development interns for this summer!”

Analyze RSS Feed Content (with a Bookmarklet!)

NewsGator Technical Blog: “I made a bookmarklet for it, so you when you are viewing a feed in your browser you can just click a link to see the post content. This even works on regular websites: for instance, if you are visiting http://www.cnn.com, our system will be able to determine the RSS feed for that site and pull up the content.”

This is useful for people like me who work with RSS. If you’re on some website, and you want to see a human-readable version of its feed — not the XML source, which is hard to wade through — you just click the bookmarklet. (I tried it in Safari: it works.)

Profiling With Shark

Mike Ash: “Opinions may differ, but mine is solid: Shark is the only tool to even consider using here.”

Mike’s right. Shark rules all.

Bento: My CRM Of Choice

carpeaqua: “Even though Bento didn’t work out for issue tracking, I have adopted it to manage my PR list.”

Accessorizer 1.2

Kevin Callahan: “Accessorizer enables you to work much faster as it removes the tedium of writing @property and @synthesize statements, providing a wide range of coding styles while helping you avoid common mistakes.”

Includes support for Objective-C 2.0. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will. Sounds pretty cool.

Completion Dictionary 4.1

Objective Development’s Completion Dictionary adds support for Xcode 3.

It’s one of my favorite utilities.

Inspecting Obj-C parameters in gdb

Clarkcox.com: “Since the addition of i386 and x86_64 to the Mac OS’s repertoire several years back, remembering which registers are used for what has become difficult, and this can complicate the debugging of code for which you have no symbols. So here is my cheat-sheet...”

Why Your Avatar Matters

Hivelogic: “Use it on your blog if you have one (you should). Use it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, everywhere.”

Dropbox: A Collaborator’s Dream

David Weintraub, TidBITS Business Apps: “The feature that really won me over was the capability to allow other Dropbox users to share folders inside my Dropbox. Simply select any folder in your Dropbox and invite the Dropbox users with whom you want to share it.”

PluginManager

Grayson Hansard: “I especially like applications that provide a plugin architecture. I am ecstatic to find applications that provide script-based plugins... [The PluginManager is] a series of classes that provides support for a vast number of scripting languages as well as standard Cocoa bundles.”

The idea is to make your app more hack-able — people could extend it via Python, Ruby, Lua, and so on.

NSConference 16-17th April 2009, Hatfield, UK

[NSConference home]; “The conference is designed for Mac Developers who want to spend 2 days together geeking out while being educated by some of the world's top Mac Developers.”

I totally wish I was going — sounds like fun.

Record Your Core Animation Animation

Cocoa Is My Girlfriend: “Every once in a while I find a way to combine multiple technologies that, while they don’t produce anything terribly useful, are very interesting when combined. In this post I will be taking a look at combining Core Animation and QuickTime.”

LegiStyles - NetNewsWire styles

Antonio Carusone: “LegiStyles™ are a series of custom styles for the award-winning RSS reader NetNewsWire. Much attention has been paid to the design and typography of the styles to improve legibility and readability, and to enhance the overall reading experience.”

My favorite is Haaus.

Interacting with SOAP based web services from Cocoa, part 2

MacResearch: “Once we have figured out what a SOAP call looks like as a plain XML message, it’s easy to identify where the parameters that you wish to send along fit in. Our approach is to simply create an plain text template and fill in the parameters just before sending the actual SOAP message.”

That’s how I do SOAP in NetNewsWire too — I just do string substitution and run the returned result through a parser. Low-tech. Works. No magic.

Open source Crash Reporter for iPhone

Ars Technica: “Just released in beta, the Plausible CrashReporter is embedded into programs where it monitors Objective-C exceptions and fatal signals such as SIGSEGV and SIGBUS. It stores thread state for all active threads and produces a custom crash report when an application crashes.”

git ready

gitready.com publishes “daily tips for the noob to the guru.”

How will Twitter make money?

Niall Kennedy: “In this post I will take a deeper look at Twitter and its revenue potential as publicly hinted by its founders.”

Subtle difference of add: and insert: in an NSArrayController

Clickable Bliss Blog: “insert: happens before the current selection not after the current selection as the documentation would have us believe.”

Lighthouse Keeper

M Cubed Software’s Lighthouse Keeper is a desktop Mac app that works with Lighthouse. Looks pretty cool — worth checking out if you use Lighthouse.

Interprocess communication: snooping, intercepting and subverting

Cocoa with Love: “This is the story of how I investigated the communication between Xcode and Interface Builder, so that I could recreate it for myself.”

Usability Nightmare: Web Slideshows

Under The Microscope: “In a word, this is horrific.”

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