Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and software development
Atom protocol "features" extension
I try to follow the Atom community pretty closely, but sometimes I fall out of the loop. For example, I missed the discussion on James "Mr. Atom" Snell's important new extension proposal for Atom protocol features, which will enable blog servers to declare what features they support. For example, Roller could inform blog clients that you can enable/disable comments for each post, limit comments to N days on, "pin" a blog entry to to site's main page (if you are an admin) and more. Hopefully, we can get blog server developers to agree on a common set of features and blog client developers to support that set.
Publishing critical info with Atom
And I had to bookmark James Snell's excellent and important article Publish critical public warnings on the Web, with the sub-title "Atom publishing can provide a powerful and flexible way to distribute critical, life-saving information."
Sun Portal's blog porlet, powered by Atom protocol
This next Atom link comes from docs.sun.com. It's some documentation for the Sun Portal Server 7.1 - Blog Portlet. I did not realize that the Sun Portal blog portlet uses Atom protocol to enable publishing to Roller. It was developed and tested against Roller 3.1, so it probably does not conform to the final Atom protocol.
What to call Atom protocol?
And finally, folks are wondering what to call Atom Publishing Protocol. Is it APP or Atompub or Atom protocol? Ian Bicking says Iâve decided to make a conscious effort to call it Atompub from now on." I don't have a strong opinion, but I do think APP is to vague to be useful.
Lightweight image editors for Mac
I've got a copy of Photoshop Elements for the Mac, but I really hate to have to start it up when I want to crop or resize an image. So I twittered about it. Ryan Irelan pointed out ImageWell "the Free and Lean Image Editor". Rich Sharples recommended Skitch, a Web 2.0-ish desktop app that makes it easy to snap, draw and share images from your desktop. I'm on the waiting list for an invite. On my own, I found Seashore, which is a Gimp based open source image editor Mac, one that does not need X11, and it's pretty light-weight. I'm not ashamed to admit, I love the Gimp.
Whew! I've got a couple more links but my lunch break is over so there you go.
I used Firefox 2.0 for a while on my Powerbook without any major problems, but since I switched over to my MacBook last week, Firefox 2.0 been just as crashy as hell -- locking up multiple times each day. From this looks of this thread on MozillaZine, I'm not alone. I took some advice from a comment on this post at creativebits.org and uninstalled the Google Toolbar extension. So far so good.
I was tempted to switch away from Apple, but in the end I decided to take the easy route and buy another Mac laptop. When Apple updated the MacBook Pros a couple of weeks ago, I ordered one.
And I'm not kidding about the easy route. Transitioning from my old Powerbook to my new MacBook was amazingly easy, especially when you consider the fact that I moved from a PowerPC processor to an Intel. It was this easy: start up new Mac and when prompted hook old Mac to new Mac via Firewire cable, wait 2 hours and boom... all applications, settings, mail... everything... is perfectly duplicated and ready to on my new laptop. And yes, it's fast. As long as my battery doesn't explode and I don't get hit by random shutdown syndrome -- fingers crossed, knock on wood and all that -- I think I'll be a happy with my new Mac for very long time.
Before I started using the Powerbook, I had assumed that I would be using the same browser and mail programs that I use on Windows, Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird. When I got the Powerbook, I installed Firefox and Mozilla and found that they work well and look almost exactly as the do on Windows. Generally speaking that is a good thing, but I'm in the mood to try something new and I prefer applications that get the native look-and-feel perfectly right, so I switched over to the built-in default browser and mail programs, Safari and Mail.App. I've been using them for about a week now and they both look great and work great. I'll stick with them for now.
I've been experimenting with iMovie. I imported a bunch of video clips from my digital camcorder and found it very easy to compose a video, edit out the bad spots, incude transitions between clip, and add titles and text. iMovie works very well and, at this point, I don't think I'll be needing any other video editing software. I've also been using the OmniOutliner and the OmniGraffle drawing programs. I was surprised to find these applications included with Mac OSX and very pleased with both of them. I downloaded Voodoo Pad Lite the other day and found it so useful that within hours I was paying the the $19.95 registration fee for the full version.
There are some bad points, of course. For example, I have't found any chat software nearly as good as Trillian. Fire may eventially rival Trillian, but right now it's GUI is clunky and nowhere near as full-featured. Eclipse is usable, but the fonts are so big and the new Eclipse 3.0 M8 look-and-feel is a real put-off.
I'm not exactly pleased with the open source Java IDE situation on MacOS. Eclipse 3.0 M8 works and connects to SourceForge CVS/SSH just fine, but it is slow, looks obnoxious, and it just crashed while I was editing a Java source file. I hope that, by the 3.0 release, Eclipse will be usable on MacOS. Next, I tried Netbeans.
Netbeans 3.6 seems fast, fits in with the MacOS GUI, and even recognized the SourceForge CVS/SSH configuration that Eclipse left behind, but... when I attemped to login to CVS, Netbeans showed me a stack-trace. I decided to try using a real cvs client instead of Netbeans built-in implementation. I used Fink to download the cvs command-line client, configured it, and confirmed that it works with SourceForge CVS/SSH by doing an update on the Roller CVS. I configured Netbeans to use the command-line cvs client, but no luck. Netbeans says "Permission denied (publickey,password,keyboard-interactive)." I have CVS_RSH set in my .bash_profile and in Netbeans CVS environment variables... is there some other trick?
Anybody had any luck connecting to SourceForge CVS/SSH with Netbeans on Mac OSX?