Odds and Ends for March 22

These things really seem to pile up after a while. A little bit of something for everyone in this batch. Most Cocoa/Mac but a few game-related items as well. These mega posts get a little unmanageable, so I may be forced to shamelessly "borrow" the Linked List format.

I'm not sure whether it's surprising, reassuring or just plain bizarre, but there's some anecdotal evidence that the serifness of your font may change how your writing is received.

I'm already a fan of all things Chronicle, but i am 8-bit gives me that special feeling even more than usual. Check out iam8bit.net for some samples.

Andy Matuschak has created an open source, Cocoa-based software update module called Sparkle. In a "it's a small world" category, John Fox (father of MemoryMiner) has been contributing some code to this project.

Alastair Tse has a useful tip of you're trying to subclass WebView.

If you're ever wondering what 3,000 iBooks look like when stacked and setup together, Jason Brass has the answer. I have a weird affection for unusual quantities of things.

Shiira is an interesting web browser with a number of unique features. The sidebar features an RSS browser and brings back IE's page holder feature. The "Open All Links" feature can take a block of selected text and open all of the contained links in separate tabs. Tab Exposť displays the contents of all tabs at once in Exposť style. It even uses Core Image for fancy 3D page flipping effects. Available in Aqua or Metal flavors.

Nintendo of America might be able to learn a thing or two from Nintendo Europe's high-impact advertising for the company's WiFi service. How many people even know Nintendo has an internet service? An ad like this would sure help raise the visibility.

Jeff has a search parameter that allows you to see all Universal apps in his ginormous Mac OS X application database.

This is a bit out of my area of specialty, but apparently one of the major advantages of switching to an Intel architecture is that we get access to Intel's compilers, which are now available in at least some form. Can anybody comment on these from personal experience? Quoth InfoWorld:

I've said it from the beginning: Intel's development tools are the best part of Apple's decision to switch to Intel CPUs. I am genuinely psyched. [...]

If you're a Mac developer who makes a living writing code, or you want to become one, the Intel compilers are just plain required.

That's probably enough for now. See you next time.
Design Element
Odds and Ends for March 22
Posted Mar 22, 2006 — 6 comments below


Andy Matuschak — Mar 22, 06 947

And my name is now a conjunction! :) Hehe, despite the typo, thanks for the plug.

Shiira is really awesome: it's fast, takes less RAM than Safari, and has more features. And of course, by features, I mean gratuitous visual effects.

rob mayoff — Mar 22, 06 948

Intel's compiler does produce much faster code than gcc in many cases. As a bonus, it also compiles faster than gcc.

rentzsch — Mar 22, 06 949

Intel's compilers don't support ObjC, and don't cross-compile to PPC, so their use is rather limited to typical Mac apps.

One the upside, their frontend is based on EDG, which means their C++ support should be great.

Jean-Francois Roy — Mar 22, 06 950

Cross-compilation is irrelevant because Xcode's build system could easily be adapted to use the Intel compiler for i386 targets and gcc for PowerPC targets, and finally calling lipo to create the final multi-architecture (not to say fat -- it's so 90's) mach image.

As for Objective-C, I don't think that would take Intel too much time to implement. After all, a lot of Objective-C's magic is in the runtime (all pure C), not the compilation process.

Scott Stevenson — Mar 22, 06 951 Scotty the Leopard

Sorry about the typo, Andy. Fixed now.

Jon H — Mar 24, 06 961

Objective-C apps could probably benefit by calling or wrapping functions from Intel's special-purpose libraries, which I'm sure have all the benefits of being compiled with Intel's compilers and tuned within an inch of their lives.


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