Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The bull is in your court!

The bull is in your court!, originally uploaded by shashankr.

So, this herd of buffalo ran wild on a highway somewhere! They were finally contained into a tennis court. As for me, I say "huzzah!"

Sunday, April 24, 2005

BlogPoster is born (barely!)

As you can see, the previous post is a test post from an OS X application that I am developing. Its called BlogPoster, and it will allow you to post to your weblog from your favorite mac, without actually opening the weblog service in a browser. I know, I know -- applications like these are retro, and they are a dime-a-dozen. But I am writing it to mainly hone my developing skills in Cocoa, Python, pyobjc, and to gain more familiarity with XML.

Interface Builder is an OS X application that lets you create Cocoa/Carbon based GUI applications quickly and intelligently. It also defines skeleton classes that capture the interaction between the various GUI compnents, leaving the user to flesh out the classes for functionality. It is especially suited for applications that follow the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern.

Python, as you might know, is the most kick-ass scripting/object-oriented/whatever language ever. Python rocks! Objective-C is an extended C, with, as the name implies, object oriented features. pyobjc is an extension of python that allows a developer to combine the features provided by both Python and Objective-C. Since its an extension of python, the syntax of pyobjc resembles that of Python.

BlogPoster is still in its infancy - I spent 6 hours reading others' code (isn't that the best way to learn?), and 2 hours writing my own - about a 100 lines of python code. So, the only blog to which posts can be uploaded is mine :) I want to make it complete, by adding the following features (in order of priority):

  • HTML Editing
  • HTML preview
  • Image upload
  • Support for all blogging services that provide an XML-RPC based API for developers

Screenshots, and source code will be posted (via BlogPoster :) ), once the project is in a respectable state. Not too many people are mac users, leave alone being mac hackers, but people - if you are not at least one of these, you are missing out on something sweet.
test from BlogPoster
hello, world

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Yahoo! vs Google

A friend and I were comparing Google and Yahoo! He loves Yahoo! and hates Google. He loves Yahoo! because it has a comprehensive suite of web-services, and comes up with pioneering revenue-generating ideas. He hates Google because the guys there act like they are "the saviors of technology", and because they front crap like "We are in it because we love technology", while "they are actually in it for money" (which, by the way, they are making tons of).

As for me, I hate Yahoo! and love Google. For pretty much the same reasons he hates them. Let me clarify: Sure, Y! has a suite of websites, but have you used them? They are stinking piles of shit. Y! Maps has been around for ages, and its probably the clunkiest web software around. Have you seen their homepage? Even after a (much-hyped) redesign, their homepage is cluttered with ads, and with no clear focus. And let's not even get into My Yahoo!

I believe that it is important to get things working. I concede that Yahoo! does that. But then, they sit on their asses doing nothing to improve things that are working. Especially when there is trememdous potential to do so. This is the very reason Google could enter and dominate the web search market that was once Yahoo!'s domain. There is no point in being a pioneer if you don't continually strive towards improvement.

As a Mac user, another thing that greatly ticks me off about Y!'s development culture is their absolute contempt, and lack of support, for non-Windows environments. It may be true that setting teams of people to work on developing software for the Mac might not reflect in financial returns, but then, why even bother? Their website features a half-assed Y! messenger client for the Mac that doesn't even anti-alias fonts, leave alone supporting audio/video. I would actually be willing to pay them for a decent OS X client.

I don't need to sing praises about Google here, since Slashdot already does that for me. But I do believe most of that praise is warranted. Have you looked at how prolific they are? My point is that it is not beyond most tech companies to do good stuff (Yes, even Microsoft). They just need to have the right mindset.

Any way, this whole rant was finally written because of my frustration using Yahoo! messenger for the Mac. So, I am thinking of writing a third party client for Yahoo! messenger that addresses all my frustrations. Yes, I want to go all the way, and provide audio/video support. I am not brave enough to write code from scratch. But it is going to be a challenge to even reuse components. Any way, in the meanwhile, I will start migrating away from everything Yahoo!, so that if I don't get around to developing my client, I can still survive.

Apple iChat, here I come.