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     Control issues
    Filed under: — David @ 2:42 pm

    I like the font panel because of all the features it lets you control, which I now have working in Icon Machine. The problem is, the application doesn’t get to choose which features the font panel presents to the user. Since I already have a color control, I’d like to disable the one in the font panel, but I can’t. There is a “document color” control which is always disabled, and there doesn’t seem to be anyway to enable it. Not that I want to for this case, but still.

    Oh, and the “oblique” bug still happens with ATSUI styles, so Helvetica and Courier Oblique can’t be selected. What happens is that the font selection message in that case doesn’t contain font data, only size.

    Filed under: — David @ 7:19 pm

    Ever start working on something that seems simple at first, but just keeps getting bigger as you go along? Switching to Carbon Events in Icon Machine has been like that.

    I have been using Carbon Events for certain things for a while. That’s the cool thing about Carbon Events: you can adopt them as partially as you like. But now I’ve decided to throw the RunApplicationEventLoop switch and go all the way. And what do you know, some problems popped up.

    The main thing is text input, which works quite differently when you go the Carbon Events route. It’s much more tightly integrated with Unicode and the Text Services Manager (like that floating window for typing in Japanese and stuff). In Icon Machine, this mainly affects the text tool. Now one benefit of switching to Unicode is it makes it easier to use Quartz text smoothing, which looks better than the QuickDraw method I’ve been using. I had tried switching to Quartz drawing once before, without going full-on Unicode, but that caused problems with Japanese text, and my Japanese customers are important.

    Switching over means I have to entirely redo my methods of storing and drawing the text, which means learning stuff like ATSUI. ATSUI actually pre-dates OS X, so I could have switched over a long time ago, but until now I didn’t have much motivation. The truth is the text tool is a lot of work for something that probably doesn’t get used very much, so I’m largely treating this as an educational experience.

    I also have to finally switch to using the Font Panel rather than the old Font/Size/Style menus. Well, I don’t have to, but it all fits together better this way. Actually I tried implementing this back when the Font Panel API was first introduced, but there was a bug: certain “oblique” styles didn’t generate events when the user selected them (if anyone from Apple is reading, that’s radar 3080506, filed 2 1/2 years ago). But maybe it’s fixed by now, or perhaps using the ATSUI stuff will let me get around that; it may only happen when using QuickDraw font specifiers.

    Another thing that hit me as I started converting to ATSUI is that I’ll also need to modify the preferences window to use the font panel instead of the current font and size popup menus. I’m tempted to redo the prefs window in Cocoa just for kicks, since bindings make prefs windows so easy. But that would mean requiring 10.3, and I’d like to make my system requirements as lenient as I can, since I’m already dumping OS 9. I don’t want to lose too many potential users.

    Edit: Actually, Mail uses a popup menu for selecting fonts in its prefs window, so maybe I’ll just leave it as is. I’d like to use a combo box for the font size, but again, the Carbon combo box requires 10.3.

     Fun moments in Onslaught
    Filed under: — David @ 6:27 pm

    I’ve been playing online a bunch recently, which I used to almost never do. I just thought I’d share a couple of fun moments from my games.

    Once, at the northeast node of Torlan, I got into a Hellbender duel with a member of the opposing team. For a second we were shooting skymines at each other, but then I remembered I could detonate his skymines instead. It doesn’t do a chain reaction that way, but that’s fine if I’m detonating the one he just fired. So he kept firing them, and I kept detonating them, and he blew up. I couldn’t believe it worked. I wonder if he realized what happened.

    In my last game today I got into another duel, and for some reason all I had was the mine launcher and the assault rifle, and my enemy even had shields. He managed to dodge my mines until I ran out, as I chased him from the north end of the canyon to the node by the dam. I kept after him firing my puny little assault rifle at him. My grenades totally missed him. Then my teammate ran him over in a Scorpion.

     Mac UT2004 patch 3355
    Filed under: — David @ 9:46 am

    I’ve created a torrent for the Mac version of the UT2004 patch 3355. For some reason it includes the ECE bonus pack content again, so it’s almost 90MB.

     Blogspot + spam + inaction
    Filed under: — David @ 11:07 pm

    All you BlogSpot users might want to pay attention here.

    A couple of weeks ago, there were some attempted spam comments on my blog, containing about a hundred (seriously) links to different sites (where “something” always includes the word “poker”) that are actually fronts for online casinos. I sent a sample to the BlogSpot people, and got this response:

    Thanks for writing us regarding this possible Terms of Service violation.
    We will examine it soon and take action as necessary.

    That was two weeks ago. I checked a couple of those poker “blogs” again today, and they’re still there. Hmm.. that’s one crack anti-spam team they’ve got there.

     Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
    Filed under: — David @ 3:38 pm

    My graduation present came today. I was thinking I wouldn’t be getting any deliveries, since it’s a holiday.

    Optimus comes in robot mode in the box, which makes sense since that’s what they really want to show off. Also, interestingly, the inside of the box is printed with images of the inside of the original trailer. The Japanese version, I have read, comes in a box that can actually be turned into a trailer; this one just sort of hints at it.

    I have become familiar with Hasbro’s twist-tie method of packaging Transfomers in recent years, and I finally decided not to waste time untwisting them. I got some scissors and just cut them.

    You can read the customer reviews on the Amazon page to get all the details, so I’ll just cover my own impressions and discoveries. My favorite details are the vents on the shins (which open when you press the feet in), and the pistons on the ankle and elbow joints.

    At first, like any Transformers fan, I tried to figure out how to transform it without looking at the directions. I made some headway, but soon gave up. The transformation is quite complex to achieve the cartoon-style robot mode, and I soon found that there are some things I never would have figured out on my own, especially the way you’re supposed to twist the feet around.

    Another favorite detail is the way the hands extend and retract. Most toys like this would have a sliding lever on the forearm, but this is much classier. A hinged panel opens (don’t confuse it with the “communicator” panel) and effectively becomes the sliding lever. After sliding it, you fold it back the other way, and it becomes all but invisible again.

    The energy axe is cute, but I wouldn’t have cared if it were left out. It was only used in one episode of the cartoon, and I always thought it made that scene a bit silly. Anyway, the key thing about it is that it is not a solid piece of plastic, as you might at first think. It can twist, which is good because the way it shipped was at a 90° angle to what would have actually looked good. I was trying to figure out how to attach it at the desired angle until I discovered the joint.

    Another key which took me a minute to discover: when you’re collapsing the legs for truck mode, you have to push in those barrel things, and the key is to push on the lower ends of them.

    The main disappointment is the short smokestacks. I had read that they were shorter than the Japanese version, but they really are stubby - shorter than in the pictures. I kept re-checking the box for some extensions to snap on. But it doesn’t bother me that much, since the rest of the toy is so darn cool. This is my fourth Optimus, after the Power Master, Robots in Disguise, and Armada versions. I’m tempted to pick up the G1 re-release just to complete the set.

     False advertising
    Filed under: — David @ 8:50 am

    Verb the noun and get a free iPod!!!

    Don’t you hate those? I do. Not only are they visually distracting, but they’re false advertising. Have you noticed that verbing the noun doesn’t get you a free iPod? You have to join their MLM scheme or some junk. They even hide the actual requirements in the fine print.

    I ran into the most annoying one yet on both MacNN and AppleInsider. “Swat the fly” it said this time, complete with a buzzing fly. Ads should never have sound on by default. There was no mute button, the Flash contextual menu didn’t have a mute option, and reloading the page to get a different banner ad didn’t make the sound stop. Stupid Safari.

    And speaking of AppleInsider, I am among the apparent majority (based on posted comments) that thinks Bonjour is a stupid-sounding replacement for the Rendezvous name.

    I got this response after complaining to MacNN:

    Thanks for your note. I have made the request to have that ad removed from our third-party affiliate network. This may take up to 24 hours. I regret the problems and am working to have that “annoying” ad (as well as other future audio ads) removed as soon as possible. We hope you come back to MacNN ;)

    Filed under: — David @ 6:54 pm

    I finally got Icon Machine to build as a Mach-O binary. It wasn’t pretty… I had to hack several MSL files to keep them from fighting with the stuff in /usr/include.

    Why did I go to the trouble? Because I want to move this thing forward, and at the moment that means changing from the old WaitNextEvent to the new RunApplicationEventLoop. In order to use the new way of updating the mouse cursor, I either write some gunk to access those routines from CFM, or switch to Mach-O. I’ve done the CFM glue thing before, but since I’m going to keep running into this I figured it was time to stop fighting the future.

    At first I wast trying to get the app to build in XCode, but gcc and PowerPlant (or at least, CodeWarrior 8’s PowerPlant) just don’t mix well enough. One of these days I hope to dump PowerPlant altogether — especially since I don’t plan to upgrade to CW9 — but that’s going to be a slow transition, and there’s a lot of stuff I need to add to ACCELA to replace various PP features. Speaking of which, I really do need to post a new ACCELA package. For those who have downloaded the last package, I’d recommend using CVS anyway. I keep that pretty well up to date… because it’s easier :)

    This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

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