Archive for July, 2006

Customize Mac OS X with Automator

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Some days ago I wrote about the Automator dillema and the fact that Automator needs more attention. Today I will give Automator more attention.

What makes Automator really helpful and powerful is the possibility to integrate a workflow with the OS. You can store a workflow as a plugin for Finder, Folder Actions, iCal Alarm, Image Capture, Print Workflow or for the Script menu.

With Automator and these plugins everyone can add new functions to prominent places of the OS. You are missing a ZIP and Mail menu item in the context menu of Finder? No problem with Automator.

I made two simple workflow (Archive PDF Printouts and Create Source Bundle) that show the possibilities of Automator. (more…)

WWDC sessions speculation

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

The descriptions for most of the WWDC sessions are online since a couple of weeks. The calendar has a lot of slots called “Session to be announced” of course. This slots will get their title right after the keynote.

Today I took some time to make my preliminary schedule. When I checked out the sessions and the empty slots I thought about what could be extracted from that information.

So here are my - most speculative - results.


Remote Control mess - Apple please help!

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

It becomes a mess and I probably have contributed to that. Sorry!

More and more applications are being released that take advantage of Apples Remote Control. A good thing at the first glance.

When I released the first version of the Apple Remote Cocoa Source back in march I wrote about missing guidelines and a missing application switcher. The way the source interacts with the Remote Control is an exclusive one. Only one application can interact with the Remote Control at a time.

With any new application that supports the Apple Remote Control chances are getting higher that a user has at least two applications that want to use the Remote Control. (more…)

Ant for Automator

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Ant is a well known tool to build java applications. I use it for any Java project.

The task of deployment does not end with building a software. In my case I have to send an email with the new build to the provider with informations about new features and instructions on how to update. Also most of my Java projects depend on other Java projects so I have to build them in the right order.

Therefore the workflow to release a new version of the software looks like this: (more…)

Automate out of this

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Mac OS X Tiger shipped more than a year ago. It shipped with a technology called Automator that enables the enduser to automate things by doing drag and drop programming.

Automator uses Actions as building blocks for creating a workflow. Automator ships with a lot of actions but while there are more than 1000 Dashboard widgets for download there are only 165 Automator Actions listed on Apples download site.

Innovation dilemma?

Automator does not have the popularity of Dashboard. That seems to be the effect of being innovative. Users need time to play around with new technologies. They need to develop usage patterns. Articles, examples and tutorials help to spark interest in technologies. (more…)