TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Tiger Time

Volume Number: 21 (2005)
Issue Number: 5
Column Tag: Programming

Tips From Big Nerd Ranch

Tiger Time

by Aaron Hillegass, Chris Campbell, and Marquis Logan

For this special Tiger issue, it seems appropriate to pass on a few tips that may help as you move your development efforts to Mac OS X 10.4.


Xcode 2 has several nifty new features, but our absolute favorite is "All-In-One Layout." In previous versions of Xcode, if you had a few projects open and each project had a build panel, a run log, a debugger panel, and an editor window, you were quickly lost in a sea of windows. In Xcode 2, all of these functions can be done in a single window. To experience the pure joy of All-In-One, you must close all your projects and open the General Preferences:

Figure 1.

When you open a project, there will be a segmented controller labeled Page on the left end of the toolbar:

Figure 2.

There are three pages:

    The editor page handles editing, project search, and revision management.

    The build page handles the building, the build log, and the run log.

    The debug page handles debugging.

If you often work with several projects simultaneously, this will make your life a much more pleasant place.

Backwards Compatibility

If only users would update immediately to Tiger, we would not have to worry about backwards compatibility. The most common source of backwards compatibility issues is inadvertent use of new Tiger APIs. This will prevent your application from running on 10.3. There are two good solutions to the problem.

    Solution 1: Use the 10.3 SDK (or 10.2 if needed) for apps that should only use Panther APIs.

Figure 3.

This will cause the application to link against stub libraries that match the APIs available on 10.3.

    Solution 2 (our favorite): Use the "Current Mac OS" SDK to take advantage of all the latest APIs on the current system:

Figure 4.

and set the "Mac OS X Deployment Target" in the target build settings to 10.3:

Figure 5.

This causes the newer APIs to be weak-linked into the application. It requires a little additional work by the developer to check the availability of an API in the code and gracefully handle cases where API is missing (running on an earlier version of the OS).

C function symbols need to be checked if their value is valid:

if (CGContextFillEllipseInRect != NULL)
   CGContextFillEllipseInRect(context, rect);
} else {
   // Older OS version actions

Objective-C methods can be detected using -[NSObject respondsToSelector:]

if ([tableView respondsToSelector:@selector(setColumnAutoresizingStyle)])
   [tableView setColumnAutoresizingStyle:NSTableViewLastColumnOnlyAutoresizingStyle];
} else {
   // Older OS version actions

This is the most powerful solution as it allows the developer to take advantage of the latest features while maintaining the broadest compatibility.

See Apple's documentation on cross development for more details:

Debugging Bindings

There have been many complaints that bindings are difficult to debug. This is sadly still true, but Apple has begun to make things easier for us. There is now a default NSBindingDebugLogLevel. Set it to 1 to turn on logging. The easiest way is to pass it as an argument on the command-line. Under the Executables group in Xcode, select your application, and look at the info panel. Add the argument -NSBindingDebugLogLevel 1.

Figure 6.

In the short time that we have been using Tiger, we have found it to be a superior platform for developers. It is chock-full of fun new technologies and is even more beautiful than 10.3. Enjoy!

Aaron Hillegass, Chris Campbell, and Marquis Logan


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Square Rave guide - How to grab those te...
Square Rave is an awesome little music-oriented puzzle game that smacks of games like Lumines, but with its own unique sense of gameplay. To help wrap your head around the game, keep the following tips and tricks in mind. [Read more] | Read more »
Snowboard Party 2 (Games)
Snowboard Party 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crowned the best snowboarding game available on the market, Snowboard Party is back to fulfill all your adrenaline needs in... | Read more »
The best games like Animal Crossing on m...
Animal Crossing amiibo Festival is out right now for the Wii U, reminding us of just how much fun that world can be. Or at least to go back and check in on our villages once in a while. [Read more] | Read more »
Between 2 Taps - Tap for Tap interview M...
Hello, and welcome back to Between 2 Taps, Tap for Tap’s Indie Dev interview series. [Read more] | Read more »
Facility 47 (Games)
Facility 47 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: You wake up alone and freezing in an icy cell. You try the cell door but it’s locked, it seems that you are stuck with no... | Read more »
The best Photoshop alternative on iPad
Instagram and Lightroom are great and all, but sometimes people need to get extra creative with their image editing.Like, Photoshop creative. If you're one of these people, take a look at our pick for the best mobile Photoshop experience on iPad... | Read more »
The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land guide -...
A new update for The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land was released last week, making it the perfect time for you to head back to your base and take out some walkers. Here’s the lowdown on what’s new to the game, and how to take advantage. [Read more] | Read more »
Goat Rider guide - Tips and tricks to st...
We've all been there. One second, we're riding high on a crazed goat, and the next, we've been tossed off it like someone who's no good at goat ridin'. [Read more] | Read more »
Real Boxing 2 CREED: How to become a gre...
Just in time for Rocky fans who can’t wait to see CREED, the latest movie, we have the official tie-in game,Real Boxing 2 CREED. It builds on the success of its predecessor and there’s lots to take in so we at 148apps thought we’d run you through... | Read more »
CoinOp Heroes 2 guide - How to build an...
CoinOp Heroes 2 justlaunched and, like all clickers, it's dangerously addictive stuff. You have to furiously tap your screen to defeat wave after wave of foes and earn an insane amount of cash to spend on character upgrades and an army of minions... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Best Buy Black Friday deals: Up to $200 off M...
Best Buy has posted their Black Friday sale prices for 2015. Save on MacBook Pros, MacBooks, MacBook Airs, iMacs, iPads, and Apple Watches. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Save $30-$40 on new Apple TVs after rebate
Adorama has new Apple TVs on sale for up to $40 off MSRP after mail-in rebate, good through December 15th. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 32GB Apple TV: $119.99... Read more
13-Inch Haswell MacBook Air At Two Years – Th...
The 13-inch mid-2013 “Haswell” MacBook Air I ordered in Apple’s November 2013 Black Friday sale was my first new Mac in four and a half years — the longest interval I’ve gone between system upgrades... Read more
Target Black Friday Early Access deals: $100...
Target is offering early access to their Black Friday deals on Apple products on their online store for today, the 25th, only. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - Apple... Read more
BlackBerry Q3 Mobility Index Report Finds iOS...
BlackBerry has announced results of its thirteenth Good Mobility Index Report, showing that organizations are increasingly building custom secure apps. Among Good Powered by BlackBerry (formerly Good... Read more
Wednesday roundup of early Black Friday Mac s...
Save up to $500 on a new Mac with these early Black Friday deals from Apple resellers, currently the lowest prices available for these models: (1) B&H Photo has all new Macs on sale for up to $... Read more
iPod nano on sale for $119, $30 off MSRP
Walmart has the 16GB iPod nano (various colors) on sale for $119.20 on their online store for a limited time. That’s $30 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale... Read more
Adorama Black Friday deals: Up to $400 off Ma...
Adorama has released their Black Friday deals for 2015. Save up to $400 on MacBook Pros, $200 on MacBooks and MacBook Airs, and $270 on iMacs. Use code RYBFDEAL during checkout to see these prices.... Read more
B&H Photo Deals: $200 off 12-inch 1.2GHz...
In addition to the B&H Photo Black Friday week sales we posted yesterday, B&H has lowered their price on two products to $200 off MSRP: - 12″ 1.2GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $1399 save $200 - 13... Read more
Best Buy Early Access: Today only, Up to $125...
Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $125 off MSRP and Apple Watch models on sale on their online store for up to $100 off MSRP with special codes through midnight CT tonight. Choose free... Read more

Jobs Board

Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - *App...
# Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - Apple Watch Job Number: 39380139 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Apr. 23, 2015 Weekly Hours: **Job Read more
Sr. Technical/Project Manager, *Apple* Educ...
# Sr. Technical/Project Manager, Apple Education Job Number: 36588557 New York City, New York, United States Posted: Jul. 30, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Merchant Operations Manager: *Apple* Pay -...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more than Read more
*Apple* Pay QA Manager - Apple Inc. (United...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more than Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.