AeroXperience on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

AeroXperience (a forum for Windows Vista developers) gives us more intel on Mac OS X 10.5 (aka Leopard):

  • Disk recovery tools now built into Disk Utility,
  • an improved Firewall,
  • dictionary lookups and mathematical calculations from Spotlight,
  • new developer contols (Mail-like buttons)
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Objective C 2.0

Nice article from Informit.com explaining the Objective-C changes coming in Mac OS X 10.5.

Developer Kit for Mac OS X 10.5/Leopard

Apple have made available 10.5 seeds, reference documentation and WWDC videos to Select and Premier developers. Visit the Leopard Early Start Kit.

For the less rich among us, free articles will be published as part of the Leopard Technology Series for Developers. Unfortunately, these will probably be very brief, with little detail, like the similar Tiger/10.4 series of articles.

[QUOTE] The sponge

Heard tonight in my home:

I asked, “Why are you washing up those with your hands?”. To which he replied, “Because I’ll get the sponge damp”.

Shortly afterwards I was found suffering a severe case of carpet burn, from falling over and laughing wildly 🙂

Easier navigation in Xcode source files

Here’s a great tip from Cocoa Samurai: put a Pragma mark in your source code to add headings and separators. This helps to organise your code, but the biggest advantage is that it makes navigation from the Xcode function popup much easier and nicer to use.

Cocoa Dev Central web site redesign

Cocoa Dev Central is an excellent site for learning Cocoa and has just got a facelift. The site’s owner is Scott Stevenson. You can read about the redesign and his thoughts about software development over at Theocacao.

Find an interface element from Interface Builder

Here’s a new tip from Apple: How can I visually identify the various components of my interface in Interface Builder?

The answer is: ctrl+shift click an interface element in the outline view of the Instances pane and a blue arrow will appear next to the element. See Technical Q&A QA1323 for a picture of this in action. It reminds me of the purple arrow feature being added Mac OS X 10.5 Help.

Why Carbon sucks.

If you haven’t already, pop over and read Wil Shipley’s latest blog entry, Pimp My Code, Part 12: Frozen in Carbonite, to find out why.

The comments are an interesting read too. Many people are missing the point, and going off on a tangent regarding the speed of C vs Objective C, etc.

iPhoto 7 wishlist

I’ve just started using Flickr and have found iPhoto 6 lacking in a few respects. Here’s a few things I’d like to see in iPhoto 7:

  • Better keyword implementation
  • Better photo sorting
  • API for plugins

Better keyword implementation
The current implementation of keywords is tedious. New keywords can only be added from iPhotos preferences. And a single keyword can only be added to a photo by dragging it onto a keyword button. As well, it appears that keywords cannot be added using AppleScript because the iPhoto AppleScript dictionary does not allow for keywords to be easily manipulated.

iPhoto 7 should allow new keywords to be added via the main iPhoto interface. In addition, new keywords should be able to be imported into iPhoto 7, eg, a set of keywords describing your geographical location, a group of keywords related to a family that can be shared with other family members, or a group of keywords that relate to a business. Also, keywords should be applied by selecting one or more photos and then choosing one or more keywords.

I believe (though this belief may be wrong) that iPhoto 6 keywords aren’t stored with the photo. That is, in the EXIF metadata for the photo. This means the keywords are lost when you share them. iPhoto 7 should remedy this by storing all keywords internally, but saving specific keywords into the EXIF metadata for individual photos. Also, keywords should be able to be put in a named set, and added to a photo by applying this set to the photo.

To be fair, I don’t know of any other program that does keywords right. Photoshop Elements is tedious to use in this respect too. It’s possible that Aperture and Adobe’s new photo lightroom thingy do keywords right, but they’re professional programs. And if they do, then that’s beside the point – consumers should get ease-of-use with iPhoto too.

Better photo sorting
iPhoto lets you view your photos by title, keyword, film roll and rating. iPhoto also sorts by photos by title, keyword, film roll, rating and date. Almost identical aren’t they? Confused? So am I. My expectation is that I can choose one of these views, and then have the photos within the view sorted in a particular way. But that’s not how it works. Instead, sorting overrides the chosen view. For example, I love the Film Rolls view. But when I choose to sort by keyword or date, the named Film Rolls are removed and all photos are ordered by the chosen sort method. So it seems a View is just a named sort. This isn’t very useable. Apple either need to combine Views and Sorts so that they’re consistent, or make them work as expected.

API for third-party plugins
iPhoto works well with .Mac. But many people don’t use .Mac, and based on the blogosphere it appears the number of .Mac users is decreasing. While iPhoto has an API that allows developers to write plugins, this API is unsupported and not documented. Apple need to publish an API for iPhoto plugins so that services such as Flickr and MySpace can be directly supported. If Apple don’t do this then they will marginalise iPhoto, making it relevant only to a dwindling number of .Mac users, and push users of fast growing social sites like Flickr and MySpace into using other tools.

I’d appreciate your comments about the issues I’ve raised above. Please correct me if I’m confused about how to use iPhoto 6, or add your own wish list of features.

Thanks.

The Torments of the Traitor by Ian Irvine

Ian’s latest novel set in the world of Santhenar is now available in Australia and the UK. It’s the first book in new trilogy taking up Nish’s story after having been released from imprisonment. Strangely, the book has been called “The Fate of the Fallen” in the UK.

I can’t wait to get into this book and to return to these characters and their unique world. The last trilogy ended with a real twist in the last few pages. I never saw it coming and the story requires this trilogy to finish it off!

I’m hoping Ian will also do a book signing in Coffs Harbour. Apparently he lives about 50 kilometres away, and I know he’s done book signings at the Park Beach Plaza before. Fingers crossed.

[UPDATE] Here’s an interview with Ian regarding the book.