The unlikely persistence of AppleScript

What makes it so surprising that AppleScript survived and remains a fully-supported-by-Apple technology today (including in OS X Mountain Lion) is that it was never loved by anyone. It was a fine theory and noble experiment, but it turns out that an English-like programming language didn’t really enable a large number of users to become programmers. And conversely, AppleScript’s English-like syntax often made (and to this day continues to make) things more difficult and confusing for scripters, not less.

Put simply, the number of programmers in the world who consider AppleScript their favorite language could fit in a very small car, or perhaps even share a bicycle. But, as noted, AppleScript was the only OSA scripting language that ever gained any traction.


Automator, Services, Applescript and it’s UNIX base which allows other automation sequences using UNIX pipes, is what i love most of Mac OS X, and why i currently consider it the best (( or at least the less bad )) current operating system.

Applescript is indeed hard to master because of its lack of resemblance with any sort of standard programming language but Automator very decently allows for a quick way of putting an automatized workflow in place.

Just hope that Apple not only not kills it with its iOS’ification but takes some time to make it stronger, correct its deficiencies and implement some other decent scripting language support, such as Python.

Valve on why they’re favouring Linux over Windows 8

“If you look at the way the world is going, where you see Apple completely in control of their system, and at least part of Windows 8 entirely controlled by the Microsoft App Store, Steam is going to be a little bit harder to do – both in the store aspect and in the content delivery aspect.”

That’s why Valve have turned. They want to make Linux the best little gaming platform it can be.

“We want to continue developing in open platforms and so we’re looking around, and obviously Linux has become a very viable alternate platform. So we are now looking into doing Steam for Linux and supporting as many of our Steam games for Linux as we can.”


Go for it, please! With Apple ridiculously high prices for desktops and Microsoft Windows complete descent into crazyville software, getting a decent gaming machine and putting Linux on it might be the perfect solution for most people that want a desktop machine but at decent prices and with decent software.

If Valve releases a couple of hardware specs and requirements to make sure all their software runs in Linux flawlessly I’m in! goes Mac

We’re bringing a part of our massive catalog of all-time classics to Mac, starting with an impressive 50 titles for Mac gamers to play and enjoy. 28 of the 50 titles, the best games in history, including Syndicate, Ultima series, or Wing Commander, will be playable on the Mac OS X for the first time ever–exclusively on The complete line-up reflects the diversity of available games unmatched by other distributors: classics like Simcity 2000, Crusader: No Remorse, Little Big Adventure, Theme Hospital mix with Anomaly Warzone Earth, Tiny & Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers, Botanicula, and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Speaking of monster-hunter Geralt and The Witcher 2, the Enhanced Edition of this award-winning mature fantasy RPG was released on Mac just today and is available on with a 25% discount (that’s only $29.99) for the next 48 hours.

We have also prepared a set of specially selected games from various genres that will be available 50% off for the next week: The Witcher Enhanced Edition, Crusader: No Remorse, Theme Hospital, Little Big Adventure, Postal Classic and Uncut, and Simcity 2000 are all available for 50% off–that’s as little as $2.99 for unforgettable classics.

Dear GOG,

How do I love thee, let me count the ways.

Dear Chrome, Slow Your Roll

Google, please stop doing that. I’d actually love it if you took features out of Chrome and brought it back to the original, clean builds that were fast as fuck. That’s all I care about in a web browser.

Instead, we’re at the point now where I cannot shut down my computer without force-quitting Chrome. And the browser is just about the only thing that can get my brand-new MacBook Pro to beachball.

I know it’s a crazy concept in the age of fast iteration on the web, but what if you just stop development on Chrome from a feature perspective? Continue to speed up and refine the JavaScript engine and underlying tech, but keep the browser itself as minimal as possible.

MG Siegler

Releasing Outside the App Store

Scary piracy

My perception: Apps will be pirated.

The reality: Yes, that will happen, no matter what you do. Guaranteed. Can’t stop it. Can’t prevent it without (unreasonable, for most cases) amounts of effort. It happens to App Store apps too, all the time.

Suggestion: Seriously, don’t worry about it. Most people don’t pirate stuff unless it’s trivially easy to do so, and/or you make legitimate purchasing unduly difficult or expensive (see The Piracy Threshold).

Just accept that it’s going to happen, and don’t lose any sleep over it. Take it as a compliment that hacknerds want your stuff. As long as enough people do actually pay for your software, what do you really care anyway?

How long it’ll take: To not worry it? Zero minutes. Do something fun instead.

Notes: Maybe read a book? Not a technical book. A novel. Or head to the pub for a while.

Matt Gemmell

This is probably the sanest thing about piracy i’ve heard in a long time. It’s gone happen, you can’t stop it, just make some minimum level of protection so that most honest/regular people can buy it and stop worrying about it.

The whole insane level of protection of big developer house games / software that makes you jump through 99 loops before you can play is not only insulting to honest buyers but mindlessly useless. If it can be built, it can be hacked and it will be. The only persons you’re inconveniencing are the ones that actually bought your game and didn’t got it already cracked from the web. Those who did got it cracked from the web, actually manage to get a better gaming experience, essentially due to the developers efforts to screw its paying customers. Does that make any sense?

For a personal anecdote, let’s say hypothetically that i once managed to get hold of one of those cracked games downloaded from the web somewhere… Let’s say hypothetically, that i loved the game so much that i went and bought the game in a promotion due to me wanting the full experience, the nice box and manual, and also so that i could give back to the developers. Let’s also say hypothetically, that the game had a CD verification system that required that i carried the optical disk all the time with me if i wanted to play. Let’s say hypothetically that this was somewhere in the last 4 years, where laptops are omnipresent and over the internet verification / activation where already the norm. Let’s also say hypothetically that it mainly wasn’t even an online multiplayer game but a regular single player offline game.

See the problem here? If i wanted to play the legitimate legal copy of the game, i had to carry a CD and insert it, and spend battery just spinning the thing so that the game could start. (( also increasing the physical damage to the media disk. )) If i just went and played the illegal downloaded copy, i wouldn’t have such limitation and could just enjoy the game whenever and wherever i wanted. Let’s say hypothetically, that for the first months i didn’t even played the game because every time i remembered and had time to play, i wasn’t even near the physical media. Do you wanna take a wild guess how much time it took me to go back and just download the illegal copy again so that i could play the game when i wanted? (hypothetically, off course…)

The Future of ZEVO

“After the announcement was made that Ten’s Complement’s Don Brady is joining GreenBytes, we were overwhelmed with the volume of requests for clarity on the future of ZEVO. We wanted to take a few days to nail down the specifics, but we are happy to announce that beginning on September 15, 2012, GreenBytes will offer the ZEVO Community Edition as a freely downloadable binary!

As we approach the September 15th launch date, we will reveal more details about the functionality in the ZEVO Community Edition — and you should expect enhancements from the prior commercial version!”

GreenBytes Blog

Great! Waiting patiently for September then.

For those of you that don’t know what ZEVO is, ZEVO is the Mac port of the ZFS File System, a highly advanced filesystem which focuses on Data integrity and “magical” features as single-disk data redundancy (( which means that by reducing the “size” of a disk in half or thirds or more, you get several copies of the same file magically linked so that no error will make your data unreadable )) , multiple disks spanning logical volumes (( just add an additional disk and the “volume” grows in size without you worrying where stuff is placed )) and a gigantic maximum possible size. ((Zetabytes. Look it up )) Mac OS X was supposed to get this in Leopard and Snow Leopard but for some reason, we were left with HFS+ only, which has the same problems that any decades old file system has.

I have looked at ZEVO several times before, considering wether to purchase the cheapest paid product (which was meant for a single external USB disk) but if it is coming in September with full features and free, i couldn’t be happier.

The Review of John Siracusa’s Review of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

“The 10.8 review maintains Siracusa’s standard at approximately 26,000 words, an impressive feat given that the interval between 10.7 and 10.8 was much shorter than most previous OS X update intervals.

This is not a quick read, so it’s a good opportunity to try a read-later method such as Safari’s Reading List, which Apple invented completely on their own.”

Marco Arment –

This review of a review, done slightly in humoristic terms is lovely. But you would miss the larger joke, bold in the quoted paragraphs, if you didn’t knew that Marco Arment is creator and main developer of Instapaper, the original “source” for Apple’s reading list feature.

Growl’s response to Notification Center

“- Growl is not dead – Growl is alive and kicking – We are still actively working on shipping two future versions of Growl. Our understanding from press reports at this point is that Notification Center is only available to apps from the Mac App Store, which effectively locks out the entire class of applications that aren’t or can’t be in the store.”

Growl’s Blog

Seems reasonable. I hope they won’t go away but if the Notifications API ever goes “public” for all applications, AppStore or not, Growl will find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

How to use services in Mac OS X

“One of the little-known time-saving features of Mac OS X is services—hidden, single-feature commands that you can access from a special Services menu, or, sometimes, from a contextual menu. These features are generally provided by applications—built-in OS X applications or third-party programs—and let you quickly preform actions that usually require launching additional programs and taking many steps. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about how to find, use, and manage services.”

Working Mac – Macworld

One of my favourite things in Mac OS X. And if you’re geekish and bold you can even use Automator or an Applescript to define a workflow and set it up as a service, thereby avoiding you wasting your time doing some menial, time-consuming and repetitive tasks.

I strongly recommend that you take some time to read through the Macworld article. And stay tuned as the second part is coming soon.

Sustainable Softworks Blog

“The combination of application sandboxing and entitlements could provide a more elegant solution if it is applied carefully. Apple doesn’t need to solve the entire problem all at once, but it does need to recognize there are important applications beyond self contained productivity or entertainment, and begin thinking about how to include some of them in the Mac App Store.

To help get the conversation started, I’d like to suggest a rating system similar to the already familiar film-rating system:

  • “G” for General use or everyone

  • “PG” for Parental Guidance suggested (security implications should be noted, such as anything that installs a plugin)

  • “R” for Restricted (requires more extensive system access such as a backup or disk utility)

The point here is that Apple could offer a better user experience by allowing a broader range of integrated solutions to be offered in the Mac App Store.”*

Sustainable Softworks Blog

Yes. The one approach fits all is in itself a security risk as more and more users and apps opt-out of the Mac App Store (MAS) entirely or circumvent its restrictions. Add to this the updated delay for security bugs most apps have – comparing with the non-app versions – this might blow up in Apple’s face. But read the full post at the source to get a better view of what’s being criticized

I usually just try to use the non-MAS versions for these reasons as well. And i find the all “download dmg file -> open it -> drag the app to where you want it” not that cumbersome, but then again, i’m not the usual Mac user so my view is skewed.

But Apple needs to seriously consider the criticism being stated all around the developer’s internet. Switching Preference Panes for a Menu Bar icon is, on the long run, a dumb idea. What happens when people have more than 10 apps that require this “hack”? Stop buying apps at the MAS entirely?