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23.05 Letter from the Editor

Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 05
Column Tag: Letter from the Editor

From the Editor

by Edward Marczak, Executive Editor

May is a fine time to catch up on spring cleaning, get outside a bit more (well, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere) and to finish off projects that you've put off for too long. Like OS 10.5. The Leopard delay has been written about extensively at this point. Frankly, we're all thankful for this at MacTech. We'd rather see a better product go gold than one that got rushed out the door. October will be here before you know it, and MacTech will be covering Leopard when it ships.

Back in the present, we have enough articles to keep you in the know. I'm very happy to have an article introducing FScript, written by the author of FScript himself! Created by Philippe Mougin, FScript is a smalltalk-inspired scripting language that lets you poke around the bowels of your Mac, prodding live data structures and giving you nearly unrivaled control. Some commercial applications, such as Colloquy and Daylite, have even adopted FScript as a plug-in or internal scripting language.

José Cruz presents us with two (TWO!) articles this month. First, he shows us how to integrate perl 6 into XCode. Perl is such a useful scripting language, perhaps getting a little overshadowed by some of the newer languages, such as Python and Ruby, but it's still ingrained in many people's minds (and fingers). Of course, version 6 adds even more to the solid foundation that it already has. Switching scripting languages, José shows us a way to create an uninstaller using AppleScript and AppleScript studio. He brings solid reasons why you may want to do this, especially if your installer may not be built with Apple's packaging tools... or even if it is.

Check out Mike Harvey's review of 3Ware's Sidecar external SATA disk. He lays out why this is such a nice piece of gear. Having rolled this out at a client or two, it's a perfect fit between "Firewire isn't good enough" and "an Xserve RAID is too expensive".

Criss Myers returns with another article that hits the lower-level components of the system we use every day. As we work through the Intel transition, another major component has been replaced: OpenFirmware is no more, being replaced by EFI. Criss guides us to what's new, and what you need to know.

Last, but not least, we give our best wishes to author Ben Waldie who runs his last article in his column this month. However, it's not goodbye! Ben will still be doing what he does best: automate workflows using AppleScript. He'll hopefully have enough time to grace us with some more words of wisdom from time to time. He will continue to be found through his website at http://www.automatedworkflows.com. Thanks for many, many excellent articles, Ben!

Find this and more, including this month's MacTech Spotlight on Paul Kafasis from Rogue Amoeba, inside!

This issue is dedicated to everyone at Virginia Tech.

As we were putting the finishing touches on this issue, we learned of the recent tragedy at the school. With an institution that's so steeped in technology, particularly one that put together one of the first massive Macintosh based compute clusters, it's easy for us to think of the technology first. MacTech even had an issue featuring the Virginia Tech Cluster on its cover. However, this is clearly about the people involved, and everyone touched by this event. Our hearts and minds are with them.

 

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