Tuesday links and observations

by Giles Turnbull

Why is video chat between Windows and OS X so hard? Jason Levine is asking a very reasonable question.

Desmond Elliott is coding for Camino this summer, and he wants your thoughts on how to improve its tabs. Let your imagination run riot - what tab features would you like to see most? (Personally, I'm pretty happy with Camino's tabs so I hope Desmond doesn't change too much. Automatic tab saving between sessions would be welcome though.) There's a related thread on the Camino mailing list you can keep an eye on.

Meanwhile, Andy Matuschak thinks many Mac OS X apps could do a better job of updating themselves, and his Sparkle module is attempt to do something about it: "Sparkle is a module that developers can stick in their Cocoa applications (five-step install!) to get instant self-update functionality. By that, I mean that your app will be able to update itself, not just check for new versions: it'll read the update information from an appcast on your server, download, extract, install, restart, and even offer to show the users release notes before they decide if they want to update."

Matt Neuburg on DEVONagent 2.0. He says it's a mixed bag: "Here, you are not shown just what plugins this Search Set uses; instead, there's a list of all 130-plus plugins, and you must hunt for which ones are checked - not easy, because the plugins are arranged hierarchically, so you have to keep opening disclosure triangles, manually. But you still don't know what each plugin actually does, because DEVONagent provides no interface for displaying this information. Instead, you must open the DEVONagent application bundle and read an embedded XML "plist" file. These files are the heart of DEVONagent's functionality; yet the program gives you no interface for viewing and understanding them!"


Desmond Elliott
2006-05-30 14:05:03
Thanks for linking to my project Giles, it really is important that we get as much community feedback about improvements that can be made to the existing tabbed-browsing experience.

This brainstorming phase will be used to see if people can come up with any ideas that are closely related to what I am already scheduled to work on, or of people can come up with some totally amazing ideas that Camino just cannot do without by the time it reaches 1.2 in the autumn.

If you are interested in my project, please check my original proposal at http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/~s0128959/SummerofCodeProposal.html or my blog.