Buggin' My Life Away

Musings of a Mad Mac Maven

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  • Blog Post: The Glaring Hole in the NSTextInputClient Protocol

    The fine folks at Apple generally do a pretty good job of designing the programmatic interfaces, "protocols" in Objective-C speak, that the system and applications use to communicate with each other. I mean that most sincerely. Designing programmatic interfaces is hard, because you have to anticipate...
  • Blog Post: Craig's Bug

    One of the things I love about this job is tracking downinteresting bugs.   It’s like readinga good who-done-it, complete with plot twists, multiple potential suspects and a fascinating array of characters.   Late last September, Craig Eisler submitted a bug that had all of these elements. Now, when...
  • Blog Post: There Comes a Time

    In every project, there's a point where you have to stop tweaking this and touching up that little bit of behavior and focus on just fixing bugs. If you don't, then you never ship. Nadyne gave some of the details over on mac mojo . Well, we're getting close to that time with Mac Office 12. In honor...
  • Blog Post: BBEdit 8.5

    MacWorld has a decent review of BBEdit 8.5 , but it fails to mention a new feature that is of particular use to programmers. One of the features of CodeWarrior that I'd missed was the syntax highlighting that the IDE applied to symbols that were defined within the project. In fact, I hadn't realized...
  • Blog Post: What's Wrong with this Code: The Answer

    Bjarne Stroustrup is a brilliant man, which means he's very good at defining programming languages. It also means he's not very good at writing books about the programming languages he's defined. His writing goal is concise precision. Unfortunately, for those of us who have to read what he writes, that...
  • Blog Post: What's Wrong with this Code?

    A while back, Erik Schwiebert wrote about some of the travails of moving our build system from one using CodeWarrior to one using XCode and GCC. Erik mentioned the huge number of errors and warnings we've had to resolve, but, in reading some of the reactions around the web, I'm afraid that some people...
  • Blog Post: Compound Statement Macros

    I had thought this was a rather well-known trick, but, after reacquanting myself with Alexandrescu's Modern C++ Design , I've come to believe that it's not at as well-known as I thought. So, I thought I'd share it here for posterity. It's common to write a macro that looks like a function call, yet...
  • Blog Post: Got Frontier and MacBird Experience?

    Dave Winer is looking for a Mac developer with knowledge of Frontier and MacBird to work on his latest project: an OPML editor. According to Dave, the Mac version is stalled. If I didn't just get a load of work heaped on me, I'd be sorely tempted to toss my hat in. It'd be a great, and really fun...
  • Blog Post: Flipping Out

    I've seen quite a few people comment in blogs that the endian issue I mentioned yesterday won't turn out to be much of an issue. Well, you can't say I didn't warn you about drinking the Kool-Aid, but it you still have some lingering doubts that there isn't a significant number of developers out there...
  • Blog Post: The Beginning of the Endian

    So the rumors have been true. Apple is moving to Intel processors, which, in some ways, makes sense. At least it does from Apple's point of view. The Kool-Aid has never really affected their ability to figure out what's right for Apple regardless of the direction they've taken. For users, the transition...
  • Blog Post: C++ Function Objects

    C++ provides us with a number of ways we can shoot ourselves in the foot. If you work as a developer on any sizeable software project, there is quite likely a set of rules about limitations as to the C++ language features you’re allowed to use: no memory allocation in constructors, no operator overloading...
  • Blog Post: Subtle Bugs

    It wouldn't surprise me for people to wonder how it’s possible for reasonably competent programmers to introduce bugs by making seemingly innocuous changes to some program’s code. The short answer is that we’re often too clever for our own good. We’ll employ little tricks that...
  • Blog Post: MPW C Error Messages

    Those of us who've been programming the Mac for a few years have some fond memories of the old Macintosh Programmer's Workbench (MPW). It was very much like the Terminal Window on OS X, but had a few quirks of its own. Among those quirks were the error messages that the C compiler would give you for...
  • Blog Post: Hungarian Notation (Again)

    Cyrus is having difficulty parsing out the example given in Simonyi's original article on the subject. I've blogged about this before , but it's worth reiterating the main point of my earlier post. It's somewhat unfortunate, because the example that Simonyi chose happens to be a rather bad example of...
  • Blog Post: AppleScript and VBA: the Story of Sid and Nancy

    In the few spare moments I’ve had over the past several weeks, I’ve followed some discussions of Word and AppleScript both in the comments to my earlier post and in the Microsoft newsgroups. A particularly good discussion, with input from both Matt Neuburg and Paul Berkowitz, can be found...
  • Blog Post: Anatomy of a Software Bug

    Anatomy of a Software Bug Chris Mason is the person who hired me to work at Microsoft. By the time he hired me, he’d already spent a great deal of time looking into the issue of general software quality, and had written a memo (known as the “Zero Defects” memo)...
  • Blog Post: UI Design

    Eric Raymond posted a rant about the CUPS installer. Then John Gruber commented on the rant, and Don Box talked about Eric's idea of "The Luxury of Ignorance." I'd seen Eric's rant earlier, but found John's response via Don's post last night. Today, Eric Burke said, " Creating good user interfaces...
  • Blog Post: Coding Tricks and Interviewing

    Coding Tricks and Interviewing My post on stupid coding tricks elicited some interesting responses, both in the comments to the post and in a discussion held in the forums over in Joel’s web site. Some of the responses, like Eric Albert’s , focused on the interview...
  • Blog Post: Stupid Coding Tricks

    Stupid Coding Tricks Normal Rick Schaut 9 2004-03-06T18:46:00Z 2004-03-06T20:24:00Z 1 107 611 Microsoft Corp. 5 1 750 11.0 125 During a lunch interview, my interviewer wrote the following line...
  • Blog Post: Hungarian Notation

    My dad always used to say, “Call me anything you want. Just don’t call me late for dinner.” If variables and functions in computer programs were sentient beings, I wonder if they’d say the same thing. As religious wars go among computer programmers, wars over naming conventions...
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