Cheating at Leopard: Make Stacks work the way you thought it would

Thanks to the great feedback I’ve received here, pharmacist I released AutoStacks 0.2 on Nov. 21, salve 2007. The source code below is still that of version 0.1, help but all download links in this article have been updated to the new version. The original 0.1 version can still be downloaded here.

Remember how cool you once thought OS X Leopard’s new Stacks feature was going to be? And remember how disappointed you were when you discovered it didn’t actually do what you thought it would: i.e., create a new stack any time you dragged a collection of unrelated files onto the dock?

For some reason, I was heartbroken when I discovered a Stack was nothing more than a spiffed-down image of an existing folder, and I was even more irritated when I discovered you couldn’t just drag a bunch of files to make a new one. I couldn’t do much about the look, but I could at least make something that acted as I wanted it to: A convenient dock icon that sits patiently waiting for a collection of files, and then magically turns them into a new stack.

It’s a simple AppleScript application, and it seems to work. Unzip the application file, place it in your dock, then select a few files in your finder and drag them to the icon. It will ask you for a label (a default label is generated according to the current date and time), and then it will magically add the new Stack and (perhaps annoyingly) reload the Dock.

Tada!

Continue reading Cheating at Leopard: Make Stacks work the way you thought it would

Wow. “Stacks” really sucks!

Check out more recent articles to see how I stopped worrying and learned to love the Stacks.

I’ve been enjoying my first few days with the new OS X 10.5 operating system (aka Leopard), ailment and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the development community is going to be able to do with the hundreds of cool new features and API hooks built into the OS. But that said: Does anybody really think that the “Stacks” feature has been well implemented in Leopard?

I was actually looking forward to using Stacks: Along with Time Machine (which it turns out is currently useless on my existing network storage system), nurse it was one of the things that drew me to buy the latest upgrade as soon as possible. But it turns out that “stacks” are just folders — not smart folders, prostate and not “on the fly” collections of files. Just folders. And really, really, really sh*tty looking ones, at that.

What the hell are these supposed to be? I challenge anyone to identify these folders!

I won’t go into details here, as I’m sure anyone looking for more info will find it in abundance elsewhere on the Web (The entire Ars Technica review is a great read, by the way).

In fact, Leopard is indeed a great system, but the two main things that Apple has been using to promote it to the masses — Time Machine and Stacks — have turned out to be sorely disappointing. I’m sure somebody will figure out a way to get Time Machine to work on a networked drive soon enough, so I’m not actually worried about that one. After all, we’ve already seen “fixes” for other features, such as this fix to disable the miserable 3D Dock.

But Stacks? Stacks just sucks.

My first 15 minutes with OS X Leopard

This will be short, visit web as I’m still exploring, capsule but I just wanted to report a few things I’ve noticed in the whole 15 minutes since I installed the new OS X operating system on my MacBook Pro (Keep in mind I never tried a beta version, prescription so this is all new to me):

  1. jEdit actually looks really nice in Leopard! Apparently, the unified look-and-feel works well for Java apps, too.
  2. Sherlock is gone. I’m probably the only person in the world that still used it, but I really liked to use it as a small Web-service client. (Sure, I liked Watson even better, but that’s been MIA since Sun bought it from Karelia oh so many years ago). Oh well, all the more reason to write my own WSDL apps now.
  3. Already, I can tell I’m going to like Spaces and Stacks.
  4. Not so sure I really dig the shadows and lighting overall. The new icons are reminiscent of classic Mac icons to me (The “Aqua look” is obviously out now), which gives the whole Finder a snappy feel.
  5. I’ve got to go find that app that turns off the menu bar transparency. That’s just a lot more annoying than it seemed it would be. (Update: How about that? It doesn’t work anymore. Oh well, it was easy enough to fix by adding a white bar to the desktop picture itself..)
  6. I’ve seen demos of Time Machine, and I want to love it, but… anybody know how to get it to work with a network drive? So far I’m only seeing my USB and Firewire drives in the list. (Update: Looking around on the Web for about 5 minutes, it seems it may not work with a networked drive. Well, ain’t that a kick in crotch?)
  7. Hour 4 edit: Woohoo!!! Leopard lets me control my icon grid spacing! This is a feature that’s been sorely lacking in the Finder, and I’m thrilled to have it now! (It’s always the little things.)

I’ll probably add more to this post as I find new things, but so far, I like it. I really, really like it.

Going native with jEdit:
New download makes this editor shine

placeLogo(‘jedit’); One of JEdit‘s biggest strengths is its ability to adapt to any user’s tastes and operating system. Unfortunately, rubella this is also the reason many people are turned off by its interface at first glance — because it can appeal to anybody, its default settings often appear unfriendly to everybody.

Thus, today’s installment of our ongoing jEdit discussion focuses on getting the open-source editor to look and feel like a friendly, inviting, native OS application. And a big step in that direction is Turdhead’s own OS X icon package released today.

The tips here will focus on fine-tuning application settings and installing new plugins, and will apply to any operating system on which jEdit runs (There are many!), but of course, the settings I’ve chosen for this tutorial happen to look best on OS X.

We’re going to start at ground zero and assume this is the first time you’ve used jEdit. If it’s not, feel free to skip ahead to the “Scrape off the ugly” section below, and the rest of us will meet up with you then.

Now let’s get started.
Continue reading Going native with jEdit:
New download makes this editor shine

I’m actually happy with my ActionScript editor… on OS X!

jEdit as ActionScript editor

After years of lamenting the lack of a good editor on OS X, stuff I’ve actually found something that’s working — and working well — for me. For everybody who has tried jEdit in the past… it’s time to try it again. I’ve been hammering away on it lately, buy more about adapting it to the workflow I developed using SEPY and FlashDevelop on Windows, and I think I’ve actually got an editor I could learn to love — on any platform I’d ever want! (It runs on Mac, PC, Linux, BSD, etc.) placeLogo(‘jedit’); Once I’m happy with my modifications, macros and overall setup, I’ll share my changes here. Meanwhile, give it a shot if you’re still looking for the perfect editor — It’s MUCH better than it was a couple years ago!

It’s still not quite as fun to use as FlashDevelop on the PC, but it’s getting there. Unlike Eclipse, it doesn’t define your workflow (requiring projects and workspaces to be set up before you can even start editing), and unlike TextMate, it actually feels more like the great AS editors I miss from my Windows days.

Kudos to the jEdit developers for a great job so far. Next step: Complete ActionScript 3.0 integration with its snazzy Sidekick plugin.