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Blog archives for June 2007

On WWDC and Apple's latest announcements

Though I'm not at WWDC right now (wish I could be, but it wasn't in the cards), like everyone else I had my predictions about what Steve would roll out on Monday. Of course, just because I didn't post them publicly but only in email exchanges with friends doesn't mean I can't go back over them now. I've covered them in the order I had them listed on my scorecard. It's the Mac developer WWDC prediction honor system!

ZFS filesystem I put this at the top of my list, not because of desire, need, or relevance, but because Sun's CEO Jonathan "May The Schwartz Be With You" Schwartz said so. Upon further investigation, as well as a complete smackdown from Apple, this doesn't make much sense right now anyway. Sounds like ZFS is more of an enterprise filesystem anyway. It might make sense to include read-only support for it, like NTFS, for compatibility, but little else. Score: 0 for 1

Finder redone in Cocoa I had said "[b]ig improvements in the remote filesystem mounting area, including clean sleep and wake. Google's MacFuse integrated for things like r/w FTP mounts and SSHfs. Core Animation used all over the place, including innovative things like piles." Piles (now "Stacks") has been on the radar for a few years following some patent applications, so I pretty much expected them. I didn't see Cover Flow coming, though. Score: 1 for 2

.Mac now backed by Google I still think this might be coming. Steve's even gone on record (though I can't find it right now) as saying .Mac needs a kick in the pants. My predictions were email, now with GBs of storage, geo-redundant, S3-like HTTPS WebDAV iDisk, and Google Calendars integration with Leopard Server. Score: 1 for 3

iPhone opened up for widget development I based this on the leaked iPhone sales material. Steve came pretty close, though I didn't see Safari on Windows coming. It all makes sense, though. Though I can sympathize with the general frustration with the way they were presented, being a hybrid Cocoa/web app developer/sysadmin, it fits right into where I'd like to be. Though, I'd sure want to see my app in action on an iPhone rather than just in a web browser, just for peace of mind. Although I'm sure Apple wouldn't have a problem with this, I know my wife does. Score: 2 of 4

Boot Camp allows OS-in-window and app-in-window compatibility Not quite, though it was nice to see Steve give props to both VMware and Parallels for doing this. I do like the nice touch of Boot Camp being able to safe sleep both OSs to allow quicker rebooting and restoration of alternating systems. Though I, like John Gruber, noticed that they removed the mention of this for now. Score: 2 of 5

Hardware: something will be coming Guess not. My guess was use of a large iMac as a TV. I think I was drunk when I thought of this, though, as that makes little sense with Apple TV. I was grasping at straws. Score: 2 of 6

Central, signed software updates Perhaps this was my wishful thinking after getting to know Software Update Server on Tiger Server a bit better lately. I was expecting a way to tie into this for developers, but that it would be a bit slow and cumbersome to get your company involved and only really appeal to large firms like Adobe or Microsoft. Dear God would it be nice to be free of Microsoft AutoUpdate! But alas, even a crappy rumor appears to be untrue as well. Score: 2 of 7

On top of all of these, I was a little disappointed at the list of new Leopard features. While they are cool, I think Steve should have followed the advice "actions speak louder than words". After hyping some major secret features back in January, then delaying Leopard, then rehashing about half of last year's already-revealed features (albeit with noticeable improvement), I'm kind of glad I didn't pay to see it in person this week.

While I'm missing the hanging out with my fellow developers, the parties, and the hands-on workshops, WWDC just didn't strike the right amount of value with me this year. I think I would have been pretty pissed sitting there, watching Steve and Phil talk over iChat with backgrounds, even if it was kind of funny.

Anyone else who didn't go not too upset? And anyone who's there feeling let down?

Congratulations to the MacTech 25!

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Congratulations to the MacTech 25, which honors the most influential people in the Macintosh community! This list was announced last week and I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate the recipients.

One of the best things about the Mac community is the fact that as a relative newcomer (I've been on the Mac for five years and developing for about half of that time), I was able to meet some of these folks and at least rub elbows, if not get to know them, last year at C4. Whether it was saying hi to Aaron Hillegass and catching him with his hat off, meeting Brent Simmons and Gus Mueller briefly and thanking them, respectively, for giving Pukka an early prop and setting a model for going indie, ingesting deliciously questionable late night Greek food with Chris Forsythe, getting to know Daniel Jalkut on the long L rides, or being able to thank Wolf in person for accommodating my attempt to secure my C4 spot from my honeymoon in Istanbul, I'm always impressed by how approachable these folks have been. I think this speaks to both why they are in the MacTech 25 as well as how great an opportunity C4 is.


Drupal DC: Of Jabber and HTTP Redirects

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Last night was the semi-regular monthly DC Drupal MeetUp and I got the chance to show what I've been working on lately. Since I take a keen interest in the systems side of web applications, two of the projects that I've been working on have been a perfect fit and made for great demos last night.

The first project is with MakaluMedia, whom you may have heard of from the winning Slashdot redesign. I have been involved in some research into the Drupal/XMPP space. XMPP is the protocol behind Jabber, the open source instant messaging protocol, and Drupal is a robust open source content management system that I've been involved with for a few years. Right now, things are only in the research stages, but eventually we will be developing a whole host of functionality in this area. I've put up some screenshots of what I showed last night on my Flickr account.

The other item that I showed was something that already existed in some form, but that I enhanced a bit. I've been working with DC's very own Environmental Working Group on their upcoming transition to a Drupal-based site and believe it or not, Drupal does not have any built-in functionality for doing external redirects (i.e. redirecting something like /blog to an external URL like While Jon over at had put together the http_redirect module, it was not compatible with Drupal 5.x and needed some slight UI adjustments to be useful for us. I recently made those changes and as per the GPL, am releasing them back out to the world. The new version is not yet available in Drupal CVS, but you can grab a tarball locally right here on my new Drupal contributions page.

In Cocoa news, I've got some things in the works that I'll hopefully post more about soon. Stay tuned!