Archive for July, 2005

The Much Maligned Finder

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

There’s much bad press around about the Finder under Mac OS X. Probably the most common complaints about the Finder are in relation to either:

  • networking, or
  • previews, usually those in column views

The question many people ask is simply “Why is still still like this in Mac OS X today?”. This is, on the surface, a perfectly sensible question. After all, clearly Apple already knows about the problems: they use the Finder too, and plenty of people have complained about it over time. So what’s going on? Why hasn’t Apple fixed all this yet? (more…)

Killing .DS_Store on Network Volumes

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

Mostly just a reminder for myself. A useful article provided by Apple: Mac OS X 10.4: How to prevent .DS_Store file creation over network connections.

Could be useful for those on a network with annoying Windows administrators who have to complain about something, and Macs dropping off .DS_Store files is as good a reason as any.

Deliciously Captivating Concepts

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

So drunkenbatman has posted another enthralling interview, this time with Wil Shipley of Delicious Monster. As always it’s an amazing read, so if you haven’t read it, grab a drink (alcoholic of course) and settle down for a nice long read.

Wil’s thoughts on heuristic algorithms are quite interesting. Throughout my degree (and indeed most formal education from what I can tell) much focus has been on provably correct algorithms and provably correct code. Apart from proving algorithms mathematically being boring as hell, in most cases relating to desktop computing the code is simply either too large to prove, or can’t be proved because of the amount of other code is interacts with.

That this sort of proof is a dead end in computer science mirrors what I’ve thought on this for quite a while (of course having to do it for a Uni course tends to increase this feeling). On the other hand, I can certainly see where this sort of proof is relevant — embedded systems involved in medical treatments or nuclear power plants for example. For me at least, this just isn’t what I’m working with.

Perhaps the most interesting decisions that come from this sort of idea is considering what parts of an application should be implemented using this style of programming, and what parts really need to be implemented in a provably correct style (maybe not mathematically provable, because that’ll put you to sleep, but at least logically provable). This decision can make a huge difference to how parts of a program can be implemented, but clearly the concept can’t apply to all parts of most programs, but it is certainly something interesting to keep in mind.

Ultimately, this is a way of providing better feedback to the user to allow them to do what they want, without feeling that they need to fight the computer, clearly something that every application should aspire to.

Hello world!

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

Well I finally got bored enough to create a blog. Who knows what’ll end up here but I’m sure there will be some things of some sort of interest here. Eventually.