*Coder Blog

Life, Technology, and Meteorology

Month: May 2005


For some reason, I’ve found 0 time to blog recently, so it’s time to play catch-up.

Gus moved to the West Coast and is settling into his new place. Congrats to Gus and Kirstin on the move.

Brent has been posting his thoughts on Apple’s interface design in Tiger. I’m sure you’ve probably seen links to this on other blogs, but I thought I would post it anyway since all of the articles have been quite enjoyable to read.

WWDC is coming up! I’m flying out to the Bay Area tomorrow evening. Early, I know, but the airlines really aren’t convenient when you want to redeem frequent flyer miles. I’m spending the extra couple of days visiting with Katrina’s parents, so it should be a good time. This year I’m going to bring the digital camera to take some shots at the conference. Apple won’t allow photos to be taken in the sessions, so last year I figured a camera wouldn’t be of much use and I left it at home. I ended up missing out on some good photo opportunities though, so this year I’m bringing it along.

Dashboard Widgets Contest

Dashboard Widgets has finally opened the voting for their Mac Mini Contest. Check out the widgets on their site and vote for your favorite.

If you think Dash Monitors is cool, vote for it here! 😉

DesktopSweeper 1.2

Philippe Martin released DesktopSweeper 1.2 a few days ago. I’ve mentioned this app many times on this blog, and find that it is very useful to keep my desktop clear of the multitude of icons that manage to get dropped there.

Congrats on the release Philippe!

Dash Monitors 1.2

Dash Monitors 1.2 was released this morning. I think this release is a lot nicer than version 1.1, and it’s the first release that is considered “final.” If you are running Tiger, be sure to check it out.

WWDC Mac SB Meetup

I just wanted to extend an invitation to any Mac developers planning to attend WWDC this year. A group of people on the MacSB (Mac Software Business) mailing list are planning to meet at WWDC for an informal discussion about topics that relate to owning a Mac software business. This page lists some of the details of the event.

It looks like we should have a good group of people there, so I’m really looking forward to it. Let me know if you’re planning to attend or if you would like to suggest any additional topics to discuss.

MTK is Ready

In preparation for a Dash Monitors 1.2 release tomorrow, I’ve released MTK 1.0 this afternoon. Dash Monitors 1.2 will get all of it’s statistics from the MTK app and plugins, and so far it’s working great on my machine here.

I’m hoping to get some developer docs written soon, so people can write their own MTK plugins. In the meantime, all the current plugins are pretty simply laid out, so you can probably just look at any of those to pick up how a plugin should work.

If you want to use MTK Plugins in your own project, check out the source code for the mtk command line executable. The MTKController class is a pretty good place to start, and the entire class isn’t much more than 150 lines of code.

MTK is released under the GPL, so please respect the open source nature of the code. The archive includes a complete copy of the license. Basically, it boils down to free usage as long as your code is released under the GPL as well.

Dash Monitors 1.2 Progress

I’ve been spending some time working on Dash Monitors 1.2. I changed the interface to make the widget smaller than the current version and polished it’s look a bit. I’ve also been spending some time optimizing redraw time. Dash Monitors 1.1 uses canvases to draw most of the monitors with Quartz-type routines. It ends up that doing more complex drawing with images in canvases is incredibly slow, and I hope Apple optimizes this area of the Dashboard code sometime in the future. Now I do more work outside of canvases and I’ve decreased the resource usage by around 30% so far. Screenshot below…

Tiger Window Shadow

One subtle detail that I noticed in Tiger yesterday is that the active window now has a deeper shadow than inactive windows. It’s a small change, but it does make it easier to pick out the active window instead of just having to look for the window with colored buttons in the title bar. The screenshot at the right shows an example of this (topmost window selected).

Tiger Dictionary

This post on MacDevCenter shows a cool dictionary feature of Tiger that I didn’t know about. Looks like it only works in NSTextViews (or WebViews), but since most apps use them it looks like it will be pretty handy. Hopefully apps like Word will add a capability like this in the future.

Google Error Page

Looks like even Google isn’t perfect. Check out this screenshot Rich Wareham took when he came across an internal server error while searching on Google. I’ve never seen an error on their site before, so it’s pretty amazing to see this…

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