FuzzyCom :: Using DTrace for javascript debug on OS X in firefox

Vincent Hellot over at FuzzyCom teaches how to use dtrace to trace javascript problems on a Mac (using a specially compiled Firefox binary for OSX). He hints at being able to do it with Ruby on Rails as well. Haven’t tried this, but can’t wait to do so.

This post aims at introducing the DTrace debugging tool in the scope of a javascript application. It won’t get too deep in the wide field of DTrace functions but I hope it will give you an overview of how DTrace can help to solve performance and debugging issues in your javascript applications

[From FuzzyCom :: Using DTrace for javascript debug on OS X in firefox]

Alan Kay, Computer Literacy and Romance

Found this on my “fortune” program today:

“Computer literacy is a contact with the activity of computing deep enough to make the computational equivalent of reading and writing fluent and enjoyable. As in all the arts, a romance with the material must be well under way. If we value the lifelong learning of arts and letters as a springboard for personal and societal growth, should any less effort be spent to make computing a part of our lives?”

— Alan Kay, “Computer Software”, Scientific American, September 1984

Fantastic!

Ruby Appscript – Sweet automation

Yesterday a coworker pointed me to ruby’s appscript. I have found it nothing short of amazing.

I love my Mac, and many of us like the idea of automating our software, until we try to use AppleScript to do it. To say that Applescript is professional developer unfriendly is an understatement. I like ruby but to make ruby and applescript talk requires sending strings to osascript in just the right way and getting the output from osascript back. Not a lot of fun at all.

Enter appscript. Appscript is a ruby library that interfaces with applescript seamlessly.

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Quick and stupid: Don't set unlimited on the buffer size of Terminal

If you’re a developer and use Terminal.app, don’t set “unlimited” on the buffer size. After a day of using it heavily to review logs and whatnot your computer will be *really* slow. It’s Terminal.app keeping in RAM what you did yesterday. Stupid and Obvious, but still figured I’d write it down.

Bindings, Outlets, Target+Action across multiple NIBs

I’m a total troublemaker. For my first Core Data app I decided to do something nontrivial (multiple windows referring to a single document). Of course nontrivial means that the Interface Builder can only help me so far. So now I’m stuck trying to get things to work out right. Luckily Patrick Geiller has put together a good explanation of how you can share multiple nibs across an application. Now all I have to do is apply this same data sharing technique to the NSDocument instead.

When using multiple NIBs, we need a common object that will share data among them. That object will hold bindings, outlets, target/action shared across NIBs.

[From Bindings, Outlets, Target+Action across multiple NIBs ]

Creating a Git project for XCode/Cocoa apps

You can always count on somebody to have figured things out before you.. Chrisopher Roach’s blog has a nice quick setup guide to get your xcode project in a git repo (gitignores, attributes and basic git push capability).

Whenever I setup a new Xcode project, the first thing I do is initialize it as a Git repository and add some configuration to the project that will make using Git with Xcode a bit less messy.

[From christopherroach.com ]

And of course debate has already started on the merits of treating certain things as binary to avoid merging nightmares. <sarcasm>Don’t you love XML syntaxes?</sarcasm>

Some of my thoughts on Git

Git is the version control system I am using now. I find it useful for my needs in particular since I do at least a part of my work on locations that don’t have network access. Git uses a federated model – you have all the repository history, and you can commit even while you’re not connected.

If this sounds attractive to you, read on to see how you can use git as the sandbox for your svn repository and to learn about the features of git.

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Ruby, Folder actions and full automation

I routinely scan my documents as PDFs so I can keep them in a virtual filing cabinet (you know, the whole “paperless office” thing). I use my HP all-in-one software running on a Windows VM inside a Mac (sorry, but the Mac scanning software on HP is complete garbage in my opinion).

What bothered me about this was that all the files scanned always end up named “scan12345.pdf”. Because of the way I file, I like having my things as “year/company/year-monty-date.pdf” instead.

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BernieCode » How to debug JavaScript with Visual Web Developer Express

Among the things we all have to do (even those of us with Macs) is debug Javascript for Internet Explorer. The JS Engine is quirky and dumb, and other than memory management and garbage collection, they have done hardly anything to the annoyances of their particular implementation of the language. But they are the big gorilla, so sites have to run on it. I was using the Microsoft Script Debugger but apparently there is a way to use Microsoft Visual Web Developer express for the same purpose, provided you do the workaround Bernie outlines on his site.

Microsoft have released an excellent free edition of Visual Studio for web development called Visual Web Developer, but among the features reserved for the professional edition is the ability to connect to a process. Hence when you get a JavaScript error in a web page, VWD won’t appear in the list of possible debuggers.

[From BernieCode » How to debug JavaScript with Visual Web Developer Express]

I just wish I didn’t need 1.7Gb of Hard Drive Space just to run a debugger. Darn white elephant.

Note taking applications: Evernote vs Journler


I stopped doing GTD. And I totally shouldn’t have.

I have determined that the problem was the lack of an “always there” todo list and note taking device. I write too slowly and am not organized enough to use my moleskine (never mind that I also tend to forget it), and my lifestyle is too mobile to just use a laptop.

I tried iGTD and Omnifocus. Ominfocus was too heavy on the resources, though by now I should probably try it again (maybe when they come up with an iPhone rich client). I also used Circus Ponies’ Notebook, which was pretty nice but didn’t do spotlight with enough granularity. Then I tried Journler (for journaling, never used it for GTD) and now I’m trying out Evernote. So how does Evernote compare?

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