June 28th, 2004

bish, smile

OS X.4: Tiger.

So I opened this window to rant about Apple's next OS... But here's a little digression for the fellow coders in the audience:

HOLY CRAP! Xcode just got a huge update! It apparently does UML-ish diagrams. Also integrates ant and has other Java improvements. Dang. I'll have to try Java in Xcode again. Right now I'm using Eclipse 3.0. Maybe Xcode will be usable in X.4, or maybe I'll just use it for the UML-ish thing they seem to have added.

Okay, so Apple appears to be screwing over some of their best shareware writers... Let's do a side by side comparison of some of my current favorite programs and some new Tiger features, shall we?

iSeek: I love iSeek. No matter what I'm doing, a quick Cmd-Opt-/ will pop up a small text box to seach google with. However, it will also let me look up dictionary definitions, news items, or even e2 nodes. Spotlight: Well, Apple decided to have a little search icon up in the upper right corner. Will search your hard drive, address book, mail, whatever.
NetNewsWire: NetNewsWire is an RSS news feed reader, that I love. Has pretty good organization for feeds and will pop up articles or entire sites in Safari. Safari RSS: Find RSS feeds for your favorite web sites, combine your bookmarked feeds into a single page, jump between RSS article and web page.
Konfabulator: JavaScript-based "widgets" float around your screen doing... whatever. I have one for a calendar, current weather, a quick button to change my desktop, and a battery meter. Just added in current version: Konspose. Press F8 and all your widgets jump to the front. Dashboard: Press a shortcut and JavaScript-based "widgets" jump to the forground and let you get at information quickly, change settings, whatever.

Wow. Talk about stealing good ideas. Geesh. From what I can tell from the Apple preview, I'm still going to keep my shareware apps around. Spotlight only lets you search your hard drive, iSeek will search nearly any website. NetNewsWire will check feeds and let me know when they update, Safari will aggregate them when I ask for it. Dashboard pops up on request... Konfab widgets are always there, optionally pinned to the desktop if you'd like.

But still... wow.

I still want it, though. The metadata driven search is just nifty. Xcode has a nice upgrade. They seem to have opened up the iSync structure to anything, which looks neat.

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