Forwarding Address: OS X

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Well, it's day four of messing around with Loaner - Cory's old 466 ibook he lent me on Independence Day. I was keen to poke around with the development side of MacOS X, so I bought me a copy of Garfinkel and Mahoney's Building Cocoa Applications on Saturday, and got to work. Inconclusive conclusions so far:

Things I like

  • That the development tools and docs are gratis these days. Yay!
  • The old Project Builder/Interface Builder stuff is great, in a weird mid-nineties timewarp kind of way. What all the NeXT addicts endlessly go on about is true: it's a breeze to get up to speed. I managed to get my first dumb application up and running by Sunday afternoon, and that's with no knowledge of Objective C, precious little remembrance of C, no clue about AppKit - and not too much blind clicking on buttons. Gads, I'm almost looking forward to grokking AppleScript.
  • The built-in WebDAV support (in Finder's "Connect to Server") is cool. I can already see some applications for that.
  • the fact I can run all this on a 466 256KB iBook without strain.
  • Fink. Natch. What can I say? I'm a Debian boy at heart.

Things I'd do differently (given I'm such a darn free software wonk):

  • I think there should be an officially supported "Source" folder in the app bundle. Apple's talked about encouraging open source, and having this as an option would make sharing source on the MacOS a breeze. You could stash the code for GPL'd or BSD'd software inside, and still be able to hand people a single application file. It'd turn app binaries into little Kinder Eggs of source. And somebody could sell a shareware utility called SuperAppCompressorDeluxe which deleted that directory from all your apps, and charge $14.95 for it.
  • It's a damn shame that the NIB format is a proprietary binary affair. Having non-text bits of a development project is nasty - it makes archiving and oversight much harder, ties you down to one development environment, and scares the horses.

Things that, after all these years, remind me I'm back in Macland

  • Dozens of open applications, before I remember command-Q
  • Dreaming of a keyboard shortcut for "Hide Others"
  • Took me five days, but I still found myself messing around with File and Creator Types. Thank goodness Quick Change kept up with the times.