TweetFollow Us on Twitter

From the Editor, April 2008

Volume Number: 24 (2008)
Issue Number: 04
Column Tag: Editorial

From the Editor, April 2008

"Best practices." It's a phrase that's been on my mind lately. A lot. Possibly because I've had interactions with what I can only consider "worst practices." However, I really dislike the phrase altogether - there's no such thing, really. At least, not in the way it's typically presented. The best practices applicable to any given situation change with the situation, as no two are perfect matches. There are ways to try to make processes more efficient and predictable. Those are the tools you need in your toolbox. Reach for them often, and understand how they work. That way, you can turn any situation into one using "best practices."

Speaking of which, we have some articles this month that fall right into this category. Philip Rinehart leads us through an introduction to afp548's InstaDMG, a more formalized way of creating full OS installs through packages. Deployment of systems in a large environment is a huge challenge, and OS X has all of the software built-in that you'd need. You just have to decide how to use them. This month's MacEnterprise column tries to make your image-creation process a bit more consistent, modular and automated.

Following this, Andy Sylvester presents us with an article on test-driven development using AppleScript. On one level, it's a methodology - line up your tests in software before you write the code. While this article is specific to AppleScript, the method sits at a higher level than that and is interesting in its own right. If you're an AppleScripter, this article can show you how to build larger, more well-tested applications.

Leopard brought developers and sys admins a lot of new toys to work and play with. Xcode 3 alone brought great change. One of the beautiful updates is that more scripting systems have templates built-in that even interact with Cocoa. Ruby is one such language, and Rich Warren starts showing us how to take advantage of that. Check out the great sample application and get your Ruby groove on!

Dave Dribin, our resident Cocoa master, brings us further down the road and teaches you how to write a GUI application. If you've been following along, this is the first time that we're breaking out the GUI while learning Objective C, Xcode and Cocoa. Dave shows you the secrets to Interface Builder and hooking up your code to the GUI. It's the next stop on The Road to Code.

Also in the "best practices" category: mistakes. We all make them, and we need a way to recover. End-users have come to expect undo support in their favorite applications as a way to return to a state pre-mistake. But not every application supports undo. After reading Marcus Zarra's "Grokking OS X's Undo Support," you'll wonder why. Marcus teaches the ins and outs of OS X's built-in Undo Manager, and how you can make it work in your application.

This month's Mac In The Shell continues to talk about PHP as a general scripting language, outside of any web use. This time, we specifically start to deal with database support and data manipulation. Moving data between systems, or even reporting on a data in a single database are common tasks. If you've been stymied by doing so in the past, read all about it here.

Last, but not least, the MacTech Spotlight shines on Eberhard Rensch, Founder of Pleasant Software. Before GarageBand, and before Podcast Producer, Pleasant Software brought us Ubercaster, a podcast producing "studio." If you're deep into podcast, well, you're probably already using Übercaster. If you want to get into podcasting, Übercaster is a great way to go. Pleasant Software also makes some other cool tools, but, more importantly, we get some insight from the founder and main developer!

Until next month, keep working on your best practices.

Ed Marczak,

Executive Editor

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Airmail 3.2.9 - Powerful, minimal email...
Airmail is an mail client with fast performance and intuitive interaction. Support for iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP3, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com. Airmail was designed... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.39 - Connec...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more
Posterino 3.3.7 - Create posters, collag...
Posterino offers enhanced customization and flexibility including a variety of new, stylish templates featuring grids of identical or odd-sized image boxes. You can customize the size and shape of... Read more
Airmail 3.2.8 - Powerful, minimal email...
Airmail is an mail client with fast performance and intuitive interaction. Support for iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP3, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com. Airmail was designed... Read more
WhatRoute 2.0.21 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router... Read more
Airmail 3.2.8 - Powerful, minimal email...
Airmail is an mail client with fast performance and intuitive interaction. Support for iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP3, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com. Airmail was designed... Read more
WhatRoute 2.0.21 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router... Read more
iFFmpeg 6.3.5 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a comprehensive media tool to convert movie, audio and media files between formats. The FFmpeg command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does all the hard... Read more
Opera 45.0.2552.812 - High-performance W...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Microsoft Office 2016 15.34 - Popular pr...
Microsoft Office 2016 - Unmistakably Office, designed for Mac. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote provide the best of both worlds for Mac users - the familiar Office... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Honor 8 Pro, a great choice for gamers
Honor is making strides to bring its brand to the forefront of mobile gaming with its latest phone, the Honor 8 Pro. The Pro sets itself apart from its predecessor, the Honor 8, with a host of premium updates that boost the device’s graphical and... | Read more »
The 4 best outdoor adventure apps
Now that we're well into the pleasant, warmer months, it's time to start making the most of the great outdoors. Spring and summer are ideal times for a bit of trekking or exploration. You don't have to go it alone, though. There are plenty of... | Read more »
Things 3 (Productivity)
Things 3 3.0.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $7.99, Version: 3.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Meet the all-new Things! A complete rethinking of the original, award-winning task manager – with a perfect balance between... | Read more »
Oddball mash-up Arkanoid vs Space Invade...
In a move no one was really expecting, Square Enix has put forth an Arkanoid/Space Invaders mash-up aptly titled Arkanoid vs Space Invaders. The game launched today on both iOS and Android and the reviews are actually quite good. [Read more] | Read more »
Arkanoid vs Space Invaders (Games)
Arkanoid vs Space Invaders 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: LAUNCH SALE: GET THE GAME AT 20% OFF! Two of the most iconic classic games ever made meet in Arkanoid vs Space... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
Things got off to a bit of a slow start this week, but as we steadily creep towards Friday a bunch of great games have started cropping up. If you're looking for a quality new release to play this weekend, we've got you covered. Here's a handy... | Read more »
No Stick Shooter (Games)
No Stick Shooter 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Happy Robot presents a fresh take on the classic retro-arcade shooters we all know and love. Featuring 30 levels of non-stop... | Read more »
Chroma Squad (Games)
Chroma Squad 1.0.85 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.85 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Old Man's Journey (Games)
Old Man's Journey 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A heartfelt game about life, loss and hope. Old Man’s Journey is a soul-searching puzzle adventure game about life’s... | Read more »
Beholder (Games)
Beholder 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Welcome to a grim dystopian future. "Beholder is stressful on a moral level, but as a game, it’s simple and entertaining" - Game... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Five To Six Million 10.5-inch iPad Pro Tablet...
Digitimes’ Siu Han and Joseph Tsai report that upstream supply chain shipments for Apple’s new 10.5-inch iPad Pro have been increasing, with monthly shipment volume expected to hit 600,000 units by... Read more
Georgia Tech Students Win Toyota and Net Impa...
Earlier this year, a team of students at Georgia Tech realized that there was a critical gap in transportation services for people who use wheelchairs, and wondered if the solution could be in the... Read more
13-inch 2.0GHz Space Gray MacBook Pro on sale...
Amazon has the 13″ 2.0GHz Space Gray non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MLL42LL/A) on sale for $1299.99 including free shipping. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s currently the lowest price available... Read more
Roundup of 15-inch MacBook Pro sale prices, m...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro (MJLQ2LL/A) on sale for $1849 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $150 off MSRP. Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for $100 off MSRP, save...
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for $100 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1399.99 $100 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off... Read more
Groupon Survey Finds Families Will Spend One-...
With warmer weather finally arriving in most parts of the country and the school year winding down to a close, Groupon (http://www.groupon.com) asked 1,000 U.S. parents how much time their families... Read more
Panasonic Anounces Toughbook 33 2-in-1 Rugged...
Panasonic has announced the U.S. availability of the Panasonic Toughbook 33, claimed to be the first fully-rugged 2-in-1 detachable laptop that features a 3:2 display. Inspired by the hard-working... Read more
9-inch 32GB iPad Pros available for up to $10...
Amazon resellers are offering new 9″ 32GB iPad Pros for up to $101 off MSRP, starting at $498, including free shipping. Colors may be Space Gray, Silver, Gold, or Rose Gold, depending on the reseller... Read more
Back in stock: Apple refurbished Mac minis st...
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

Jobs Board

Director, *Apple* Program - ERP & Cloud...
…make a real difference. Come, shine with us! Astellas is announcing a Director, Apple Program - ERP & Cloud Platform Architecture Lead opportunity in Northbrook, IL. Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**508102BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000511-Athens-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** At Read more
*Apple* Media Products - Commerce Engineerin...
Apple Media Products - Commerce Engineering Manager Job Number: 57037480 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Read more
Geek Squad *Apple* Master Consultation Agen...
**500444BR** **Job Title:** Geek Squad Apple Master Consultation Agent **Location Number:** 000103-City Of Industry-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Geek Read more
Security Engineer, *Apple* Retail - Apple I...
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 Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.