TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacTech Spotlight: Brian Webster, Fat Cat Software

Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 09
Column Tag: MacTech Spotlight

MacTech Spotlight: Brian Webster

Fat Cat Software

http://www.fatcatsoftware.com


What do you do?

As the owner and sole proprietor of Fat Cat Software, I write Cocoa applications for OS X. My two products for sale are iPhoto Library Manager, which lets you shuffle photos among multiple iPhoto libraries, and PlistEdit Pro, an advanced property list editor for developers and power users. I've mainly come at the business from the programming perspective, but of course, I handle all the other various things that need to be done as well (website, marketing, etc.)

How long have you been doing what you do?

I first started programming for the Mac back in high school. I took a programming class they had there, then my brother lent me his copy of Macintosh Revealed, and I was hooked. I started programming using the Mac Toolbox and Think Pascal, then eventually worked my way up to C and C++ with CodeWarrior, and so forth. I picked up on Cocoa as soon as the Apple-NeXT merger happened, and started doing Cocoa programming professionally in 2002. I decided to venture off on my own in the fall of 2006 and have been coding away ever since.

Your first computer:

We first got a Mac Plus back in 1987, when I was about 9 years old. It was purportedly to be used for schoolwork, but ended up spending most of its time running Dark Castle and Wizardry.

Are you Mac-only, or a multi-platform person?

I've been Mac only pretty much my whole life. I didn't even really know what PCs were until late high school. I have also learned a fair bit of UNIX, first in college then of course using Mac OS X, so I can be fairly comfortable there as well.

What attracts you to working on the Mac?

The frameworks are definitely what makes programming on the Mac attractive, with the Cocoa framework leading the way. Openstep, then Cocoa, was built with a primary goal of trying to minimize the amount of code the programmer has to write, so they can get right down to implementing the meat of their program without having to fiddle around writing boilerplate code over and over again. With each iteration, Apple seems to add a whole new layer to the framework that lets you actually delete code from your program, which is surprisingly satisfying. They were also designed from day one to work with tools like Interface Builder, which makes for a much more well-integrated GUI builder than most other similar tools out there.

What's the coolest thing about the Mac?

The "it just works" factor. Computers can often be enigmatic and frustrating, but the Mac platform sets the bar higher for user experience. On other platforms such as Windows, programs often seem to be written under the theory that as long as the functionality exists somewhere in the program, then it can be called "done", and you can check that checkbox off of the list.

When you're working all day on a Mac, you get used to using programs that have good interfaces and ideas, and doing so affects your own application development. You can have something working OK, but still have it not "feel right", because you haven't gotten it to the same level where the apps you use every day are. If you used Windows every day, those kind of details might not catch your eye nearly as easily.

If I could change one thing about Apple/OS X, I'd:

Ease back on the whole super-double-top-secret attitude, especially when it comes to developers. I appreciate that Apple is usually developing some very cool new stuff and doesn't want to have their ideas stolen. However, when it gets to the point where developers can't get basic, straightforward answers about Apple's plans for the future, I think that does them harm, both in terms of giving developers the information they need to make the best Mac apps they can, and also just maintaining developers' goodwill.

What's the coolest tech thing you've done using OS X?

It's not exactly whiz-bang, but I'm pretty proud of the underlying Apple event handling code in iPhoto Library Manager that lets it do complex operations with iPhoto while maintaining a good level of performance.

Where can we see a sample of your work?

All my work can pretty much be found at my website, http://www.fatcatsoftware.com

The next way I'm going to impact IT/OS X/the Mac universe is:

My next project will be a similar product to iPhoto Library Manager, but for iTunes instead of iPhoto. This has been my number one customer request, so I figure I should give the people what they want. :-) Its feature set will be different, though, since the needs of iTunes users are different in many ways from those of iPhoto.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

FileZilla 3.23.0.2 - Fast and reliable F...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. Version 3.23.0.2: Bug Fixes and Minor Changes Speed up icon... Read more
PDFpen 8.3 - $74.95
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
TunnelBear 3.0.8 - Subscription-based pr...
TunnelBear is a subscription-based virtual private network (VPN) service and companion app, enabling you to browse the internet privately and securely. Features Browse privately - Secure your data... Read more
Safari Technology Preview 10.1 - The new...
Safari Technology Preview contains the most recent additions and improvements to WebKit and the latest advances in Safari web technologies. And once installed, you will receive notifications of... Read more
Ableton Live 9.7.1 - Record music using...
Ableton Live lets you create and record music on your Mac. Use digital instruments, pre-recorded sounds, and sampled loops to arrange, produce, and perform your music like never before. Ableton Live... Read more
BetterTouchTool 1.963 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
NeoFinder 7.0 - Catalog your external me...
NeoFinder (formerly CDFinder) rapidly organizes your data, either on external or internal disks, or any other volumes. It catalogs all your data, so you stay in control of your data archive or disk... Read more
Coda 2.6 - One-window Web development su...
Coda is a powerful Web editor that puts everything in one place. An editor. Terminal. CSS. Files. With Coda 2, we went beyond expectations. With loads of new, much-requested features, a few surprises... Read more
PDFpenPro 8.3 - $124.95
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Create fillable forms and tables of content... Read more
File Juicer 4.51 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. In computer... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

PINE GROVE (Games)
PINE GROVE 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A pine grove where there are no footsteps of people due to continuous missing cases. The case is still unsolved and nothing has... | Read more »
Niantic teases new Pokémon announcement...
After rumors started swirling yesterday, it turns out there is an official Pokémon GO update on its way. We’ll find out what’s in store for us and our growing Pokémon collections tomorrow during the Starbucks event, but Niantic will be revealing... | Read more »
3 reasons why Nicki Minaj: The Empire is...
Nicki Minaj is as business-savvy as she is musically talented and she’s proved that by launching her own game. Designed by Glu, purveyors of other fine celebrity games like cult favorite Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Nicki Minaj: The Empire launched... | Read more »
Clash of Clans is getting its own animat...
Riding on its unending wave of fame and success, Clash of Clans is getting an animated web series based on its Clash-A-Rama animated shorts.As opposed to the current shorts' 60 second run time, the new and improved Clash-A-Rama will be comprised of... | Read more »
Leaks hint at Pokémon GO and Starbucks C...
Leaked images from a hub for Starbucks employees suggests that a big Pokémon GO event with the coffee giant could begin this very week. The images appeared on Reddit and hint at some exciting new things to come for Niantic's smash hit game. | Read more »
Silent Depth Submarine Simulation (Game...
Silent Depth Submarine Simulation 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Enneas Saga lets you lead your own demon...
Defend the land of Enneas Continent from the forces of evil in the new fantasy MMORPG from Lyto Mobi: Enneas Saga. Can’t wait? No problem. It’s available to download now on Android devices. | Read more »
Great zombie games in the spirit of Dead...
Dead Rising 4 arrives tomorrow, giving enthusiasts a fresh chance to take selfies with zombies and get up to other ridiculous end-of-the-world shenanigans. To really get into the spirit of things, we've gone and gathered the best zombie games that... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon 4 Guide: Advanced tips a...
Amateur Surgeon 4 is still tackling the competition at the top of the App Store charts, so if you haven't tried it out yet, you should probably do that right away. If you've been at it for a while, though, perhaps you're ready to start expanding... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon 4 Guide: Become the worl...
It's time to wield your trusty pizza cutter again, as Amateur Surgeon has returned with a whole fresh set of challenges (and some old, familiar ones, too). Starting anew isn't easy, especially when all you have at your disposal is a lighter, the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Back in stock: Apple refurbished Mac minis fr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Twenty-Five Years Of Apple Laptops – A person...
Among many other things, the often tumultuous 16th year of the new century marked the 25th anniversary of Apple laptop computers, not counting the optimistically named 16-pound Mac Portable of 1989.... Read more
Landlordy iOS App Adds Support For Appliances...
Riga, Latvia based E-protect SIA is releasing major update (version 1.8) to its Landlordy app for managing rental business financials on the go. Landlordy is iPhone and iPad app designed for self-... Read more
Holiday sale, Apple iMacs for up to $200 off...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
Holiday sale: Mac minis for $50 to $100 off M...
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $629 $70 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini: $899 $... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP, ref...
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3699, $... Read more
12-inch WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up t...
B&H Photo has 12″ WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up to $50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749 $50 off MSRP... Read more
9-inch Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $20-$...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $20-$50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 256GB WiFi iPad Pro: $779.95 $20 off MSRP... Read more
Apple refurbished 2015 15-inch MacBook Pros a...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available starting at $1699. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro... Read more
Back in stock! 13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook...
Apple has Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pros (MF839LL/A) available again for $1099 including free shipping. That’s $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Philade...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- San Ant...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Products Tester Needed - Apple (Unit...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
SW Engineer *Apple* TV Frameworks - Apple I...
The Apple TV team is looking for a software...create features that reflect the look and feel of Apple TV. Description: Were looking for someone who is Read more
Hardware Design Validation Engineer - *Apple...
The Apple Watch team is looking for a Hardware Design Validation Engineer. This person will be part of the Apple Watch hardware team with responsibilities for Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.