Awesome Macness Comments

So John put me onto RCDefaultApp, and it seems to be a great, simple solution to a vexing problem with Mac OS: File type associations don’t stick. Whereas in Windows, all filetypes are regulated by the evil ruler, the Registry, in Mac files seem almost to be free-floating entities with no compass telling them how to open with what program. In Finder, you can get Info (Cmd-I) where you can assign what app a given file will open with. But then, what of the next file of that type you happen upon? Well, the solution should be as simple as setting the app for the current file and hitting the button marked “Change All…” but no, that would be too simple and straightforward. The gods of Apple in Their Infinite Wisdom, decided to bestow upon us a non-functioning button. (or at least extremely poorly-functioning one) Anyhow, only time will tell whether this new app will prove to be a pearl or just another grain of sand.

I also started messing with a few other Mac apps lately, namely iGTD and Quicksilver.

iGTD is a fast, keyboard-oriented todo list manager with priority and context switching. You can associate tasks with given projects, and it will also sync to external software/devices via iSync. I’ve now got my Treo syncing to iCal and iGTD via iSync. That iWorld video (if you didn’t follow the link on the Apple gods you owe it to yourself) had it right with the out-of-hand i-ness of Apple and Mac-tastic software. Developers need to drop the i and cross their Ts and move on with life. But I understand trends. *sigh* Anyhow, iGTD is freeware and works very fast once you get used to it. Let’s see how well it fairs in my daily usage routine. (I haven’t gotten used to seeing iCal pop reminders at me from stuff I put in my Palm yet. May have to disable the iCal bit. One alarm is enough, already!)

I have to say Quicksilver is immediately becoming my go-to app for anything in the world. (like TextMate is for quick coding as well as some power moves) I may have to look into writing some plugins for it, though, as immediately sending links from browser to buddies via Adium would be a great feature, and I was thinking of another one earlier that I just can’t recall now. (it is 4:35 AM) But Quicksilver is like Spotlight on meth: immensely faster, and smarter. It learns your nuances so that over time it retrieves the information you’re looking for faster. An example: I bring up the Quicksilver interface (Ctrl-Space) and begin my query by typing “text”. This brings up 6 results. Among these are a link to the Text Snippets site, TextEdit, and TextMate. As I’ve said, TextMate is quick becoming my weapon of choice for editing, so I see that as being my top choice after entering “text”. However, the Text Snippets link is top, for some reason. Perhaps it was indexed first. Regardless, after playing the search-and-run game twice and picking TextMate both times, Quicksilver has learned that this is my top choice. From there on out (assuming I never chose from among the other results) it will be safe to hit Enter, knowing that TextMate will launch.

But it’s smarter than that even. TextMate applies this preference-learning to shorter queries as well. So now, automatically it associates textmate with “t” for instance. It’s full of these things. The whole app was built on the philosophy of “acting without doing” and seems to achieve that lofty goal very well.

Speaking of TextMate, I’ve been playing a bit more. I like. Ctrl-Shift-Q runs a one-liner query on your localhost SQL db. Rad. Ctrl-Shift-A brings up a context menu with SVN actions. If you don’t know the keyboard shortcuts and triggers for a given bundle, hit Ctrl-Esc to bring up the menu you’d otherwise have to click for. (which I’ve been doing) So nice to have things so simple. One thing I keep wishing Eclipse had. For all of its power, Eclipse has no means for customizing its menus or adding buttons or even keyboard shortcuts for any menu actions. That’s just plain crazy. So in order to commit a file to SVN, you’ve got to right-click a file in Navigator or whatever file browser your editor uses (or alternately in an open document) and chose Team and then chose Commit, and who has that much time? Especially when Eclipse has 30-odd items bulging at the seams of every menu and submenu?

For more keyboard shortcuts and general usage on the included bundles, check this page of the online manual.

On an off topic, I’ve started writing my first WordPress plugin, Mobilator, which will generate a mobile version of your site and is fully configurable with custom stylesheet, number of posts visible on main index, number of comments visible on post pages, and custom header and sidebar options (these will have defaults and everything will be resettable) The plugin architecture is pretty cool, though I wish a few more functions were allowed to be overridden, or at least that their outputs could be filtered as well. Namely, I’d like to filter the entire contents of the header before it spits out a bunch of script tags which are wasting bandwidth on the precious (and not-so-spacious) CDMA connection from my Treo. I can already switch stylesheets by hijacking filtering on “stylesheet”, why can’t I filter the entire head? Anyway so to detect mobile devices I’ll be using the PHP Browscap class which I’ve played with before, but as of right now, it’s not identifying my Treo correctly. I’ve had brief communications with the author, and he has emailed me back already. Hopefully today (Sunday) I’ll have time to get in touch with him again and remedy the situation.

Also on an unrelated note, but simply to continue the tally (I swear I’m going to start scraping it directly pretty soon and build the Dowloads page for this site) my Cricket is at 3267 downloads. Awesome. And someone finally rated it! Yeehaw. Now to make the addition that’s been suggested.


  1. David
    Posted April 22, 2007 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Yeah. I’ve been using Textmate as my default editor per your suggestion, and I do much prefer it to either BBEdit or Textmate. I need to start exploiting those advanced features (snippets and whatnot), though.

  2. Posted May 3, 2007 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    I have to say I have /not/ been impressed with RCDefaultApp, as my files still open with whatever they damn well please. I have to manually reassign which app is set per file, as I always have done.

    It was a nice dream, though!

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  1. […] am totally subserviant to Quicksilver now. (see my post from a few days ago) So tonight when I sat down at my [slow, in need of RAM but not worth it] […]

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