Category Archives: development

April 23rd is Download Day

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I seem to be downloading a couple of Gigs of stuff this morning.
First off is
Ubuntu 9.04,
which was released today.
I am grabbing both the “desktop” and “server” editions.
I plan on using the server edition when I rebuild Tnir.

Next up is
and this time there are Cocoa, 64-bit Binaries for Mac OS X
(last time, with 4.5, you had to compile it yourself to get 64-bit goodness).
But you have to dig around to get them.
Here are the links to save people some trouble.

If you want to debug, you should get both the normal and debug libraries.
And the debug libraries are huge compared with non-debug.

Why Qt 4.5 is a really big deal

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Okay, this will be a post about software development, but I’ll try to avoid using jargon in explaining the impact of yesterday’s release of Qt 4.5.


So first of all, what the hell is Qt?
Well, it’s a software library that allows programmers to easily write programs that run on Mac, Windows, Linux and even cell phones.
If a developer want their code to run on all these platforms without using something like Qt, it often means man-years of work, and platform-specific oddities can arise, such as Adobe not having a 64-bit version of Photoshop on the Mac (because they use Code Warrior’s PowerPlant on the Mac, which is no longer supported except as an open source project).
Qt is also an extremely powerful and fast library, which is not often the case for these kinds of things.

Ok, so what’s the big deal with version 4.5?
Until yesterday, if you used the Qt library, you had to either:

  • release your application’s source code to the public under the “Gnu Public License” (GPL), making it Free Software, or..
  • pay a lot of money (thousands of dollars) annually for the Qt “commercial license”

But yesterday for the first time, Qt is available under the terms of the “Lesser Gnu Public License” (LGPL).
This license allows developers to use Qt, and not release the source code for their program, and not have to spend thousands of dollars a year.

That’s enough for now. My compile is finished. I may come back and add more later.

gdb_stl_utils for Mac OS X

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Oh ya, this will have a wide audience..

There’s a very useful little utility for debugging
and it’s called

However, the Makefile that comes with it doesn’t account for multiple architectures like Intel/PPC on the Mac. So I updated the Makefile and posted the whole thing on
I’ve mailed the new Makefile to
the person who most recently updated it
in hopes of helping others use this very useful tool.


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Today’s SourceForge newsletter mentioned a project I hadn’t heard of before,

A quick trip to the OpenProj SourceForge page later,
and I realized another big Microsoft app had an open source replacement: MS Project.

it’s written in Java, and there is no Mac-specific distribution, so I grabbed the
OS-independent zip
and just double-clicked the .jar file, which worked fine.
Apparently it can read and write MS Project files too.

I didn’t do much more than create a document and save it, but I’m hoping this will be a useful tool for free software projects all over.

Going Native – iTerm 0.7.8 Intel build

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Now that I’m on my Mac Pro full time, I’m on the hunt for native Intel apps.
Mostly I’m finding my main tools are already Universal (a side benefit for waiting for the Mac Pro before jumping on the Intel bandwagon).

However, one app I use almost 24/7 was problematic: iTerm, a terminal program.

Now, iTerm has been universal (meaning it has both native PPC and Intel code) since version 0.8. However, I have found all versions after 0.7.8 to be buggy and not well-behaved.
I tried downloading the latest and greatest stable version, but i started getting rendering errors (blocks of black showing up) and the main text was over-bold for some reason (I was able to tone it down by setting the colour to a very drak grey instead of black).

Well, I’ve had enough.
iTerm is open source, so I checked out the version of iTerm that was current as of 0.7.8 (which has a modification date of Mar 11 2004) and built it as an Intel binary (not universal – maybe later when I have copious amounts of spare time).
This wasn’t rocket science – zero coding was required.
Indeed, I didn’t even have to change **anything**.

You can grab it here:
iTerm 0.78 intel

Here’s all I did:

cvs -z3 co -D 2004-03-11 -P iTerm
open iTerm.xcode

Xcode proceeded to update the project and somehow magically set the target architecture to i386.
I clicked on “Build” and away it went.

When it was done, lo and behold there was an Intel version of iTerm sitting in the “build/Development” folder.
I double-clicked it and, booya, it ran fine.

Now the development version is not for distribution so, okay, I changed *one* setting:
I changed the popup that said “Development” to “Deployment”.
Another click on “Build” and there sat another iTerm in build/Deployment

I hope this is of use to someone other than me.
I’m I the only one who finds iTerm 0.8 and later frustrating?

Still no Mac Pro

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Despite recent stories about Mac Pros shipping if they had been ordered with the Radeon X1900 XT, my order — which I made Aug 8 — is still languishing.
I guess Canadian orders are at the bottom of the heap.

Mac Pro order status

… still waiting …
(click for larger image)

Mac Pro price drop

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I just got a letter from Apple r.e. the Mac Pro I ordered on Aug 8th:

To Our Valued Apple Customer:

Apple is pleased to announce a price drop for the Mac Pro you recently
ordered. We have automatically adjusted your order to reflect the new price.

For up-to-date information on your order, please visit our Order Status
website at
Once your order is shipped, you
can also obtain tracking information on this site.

Thank you for your interest in Apple products.

Apple Store Customer Support

I checked and my before-tax price went down by $96. Huh.