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 the needs of different system components. Sometimes, you have…

Steve Jobs

There’s a lot being written about Steve’s passing, but I’m afraid there’s so much of it that truly misses what Steve really did for our industry. For example, Matt Yglesias asks, “Why so view?” I posted a brief comment there, but I think the point deserves a good bit of elaboration. Steve’s contribution to the…


Usability and Styles

According to Pierre, I’m too ossified to discuss this subject. On the other hand, when Pierre uses the word “usability,” it’s very much like the way Vizzini uses the word “inconceivable” in The Princess Bride, and I’m often moved to quote Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what…


Managing Shared Code

Brent Simmons has some thoughts on managing shared code. Those ideas are a good start, the most important being that this code needs to be under some kind of source code management tool, preferably one with good branching/merging facilities. There are a couple of other ideas to keep in mind.  Brent’s further bifurcation of code…

UX Design: Context is Everything

Well, that didn’t take long, did it? My second post after a lengthy hiatus, and I end up on the front page of Daring Fireball. Clearly my talent for stirring the pot hasn’t waned in the least over the past couple of years. I’m also amused at a number of the comments on that post….


John Gruber Makes a Mistake

Over on DaringFireball, John Gruber points out an annoyance he has with icons used for “Save”. Specifically, he doesn’t like the idea of using a floppy disk as the icon, and he, rather snarkily, suggests using “S-a-v-e” to mean “Save”. Couple of problems with this. First, the question is about icons, not labels. In the…


Am I Back?

OK, so Nadyne, after posting a nice article about using PowerPoint on Mac Mojo, spilled the beans, so I suppose I should say something. Though, the fact that I wanted to title a blog post with, “Use the Right Tool for the Job and You won’t become One,” is probably more than ample evidence that I…


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 your general manager submits a bug, you don’t necessarily…


What the Hell is That?

Seattle.  Middle of January.  Nothing in the sky but this huge, yellow thing.  Looking at it hurts your eyes.  In that context, read this transcript. “Don’t put your lips on it!”   Rick Currently playing in iTunes: Afternoon by the Pat Metheny Group


Trading Fours

I’ve had quite a bit of positive feedback on my last post, so I thought I’d do another musical post. “Trading fours,” or “trading eights,” is a jazz term that refers to one or more soloists taking turns in a solo.  The idea is for each musician to pick up where the previous one left…