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Mac Newsletter: First Edition

July 20, 2001

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Dear Mac Reader,

Over the past seven months, I've had a great time working on the
Mac DevCenter. Clearly, we're not as big as MacCentral Online, 
nor will we ever be. Our technical articles on Mac OS X, open 
source for the Mac, Cocoa, and Java just don't appeal to as
broad of a Mac audience as traditional Apple content.

But these topics do appeal to you, and that's what counts 
around here.  And to enrich that experience, we're launching 
our companion newsletter that will publish twice a month. This 
is an "opt-in" publication only.

As a technologist, the Mac is one of my stronger fields. Yet 
over the last few months I've been impressed, and sometimes even 
humbled by the intelligence of our Mac audience. These experiences 
come to me primarily via the TalkBacks that we include at the end 
of our Mac articles.

Thanks to TalkBack participation, we've been able to constantly 
adjust our content to better suit your needs. Plus, they make great 
reading.  As a result, I'm going to include a handful of TalkBacks 
at the end of each newsletter, complete with the links to the original
articles. This will help you stay in touch with the opinions of your 

I'll also list the Top Five Mac articles from the last couple of 
weeks. I find web statistics fascinating, and by listing the top 
five recent articles, I can feed some of that data back to you.

Finally, this publication is the only place where I'll announce 
new features coming down the pike. In that spirit, my first 
announcement is one that I'm personally excited about: our Open 
Source Directory for Mac Software. We're putting the finishing 
touches on it now and should have it ready for you within a couple 
weeks.  This will be a directory that I know you'll use time
and time again.

So, that's the plan. I'm open to your suggestions and comments 
because I consider this a living document. And I hope you consider 
yourself an important part of its growth.

Until next time,


Derrick Story, Managing Editor
O'Reilly Network

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*** This Week's Features ***

Jobs' Keynote Steady, But No Sizzle
There wasn't much in the way of news at Steve Jobs' Wednesday 
morning Macworld NY keynote. Jobs previewed the Mac OS 10.1 update, 
which will be available as a free upgrade in September, and 
announced solid hardware improvements.


Installing XFree86 on Mac OS X
XFree86 is an open-source implementation of the X Window System 
GUI for Unix. Even though XFree86 was originally intended for 
x86-based architectures, it runs great on Mac OS X. Here's how to 
install it.


Disc Burning with Sony's Digital Relay
Apple's Disc Burner software has quietly rolled on to OS 9 desktops 
everywhere ... but what can it do? Here's a complete Disc Burner 
tutorial using Sony's cool Digital Relay.


Introduction to 3D Rendering for Aqua Icons
Apple has specified camera angles and lighting techniques for its 
Mac OS X icons. This week, Alan Graham helps you understand those 
guidelines and shows you some of the tricks of the trade to create 
compelling Aqua icons that have 3D effects.

*** O'Reilly Network Mac DevCenter Top Five Articles Last Week *** 

1. X on X 
Because Mac OS X is based on Darwin, it's possible to shut down 
Core Graphics and install XFree86 to access your X11-based programs. 
Here's one BSD user's experience. 


2. Strings in Cocoa, Part 2 

A detailed look at NSString's path manipulation tools, and NSString's 
subclass, NSMutableString, which allows us to create strings with 
content that can be edited after their creation -- something not 
possible with NSString alone. Part 2 of a two-part series on strings 
in Cocoa. 


3. Running Java Applications on Mac OS X 
You can easily create double-clickable versions of Java applications 
for Mac OS X using MRJAppBuilder. Daniel Steinberg shows you how. 


4. Installing XFree86 on Mac OS X 
XFree86 is an open-source implementation of the X Window System 
GUI for Unix. Even though XFree86 was originally intended for 
x86-based architectures, it runs great on Mac OS X. Here's how to 
install it. 


5. The Objective-C Language 
In this third installment of Programming With Cocoa, Mike Beam 
explains how to send messages to objects, as well as other basics 
of Objective-C authoring. 

*** TalkBacks ***

Strings in Cocoa: Part I
Subject: Pretty Good Basic Coverage, couple points
Date: 2001-07-04 18:29:51
From: BigBoyToddy
As a 10+ year vet of ObjC programming, 15+ of OO, I can say he did 
a nice job, a bit wordy but inviting to the newbie. Very nice to 
see. Mike does make a few errors, obviously accolades given to ObjC 
the language for method/selector names, which has nothing to do 
with 'Range' in a name, it has to do with authors/creators of the 
Frameworks/Cluster/Classes. Which brings up a side issue, and likely 
more important. ObjC is not pure OO, and it still shows. It never 
claims to be, just working hard to shed it's C ancestry. ST which 
ObjC is based upon, syntax mostly, and some garbage collection ideas, 
on the otherhand doesn't burden the user with the issues of types, 
macros to make things easier, and also having types defined in a
method/selector name. Just a point, and Mike may want to reconsider 
why he really likes types, if he is an OO expert writing about OO in 
the first place.


BBEdit 6.1 for Mac OS X
Subject: Listing a folder or volume.
Date: 2001-06-19 20:09:18
From: brouse
One of the cool little things that I discovered about BBEdit (even 
after having used it for a long time) was that you can just drag a 
folder or hard drive volume into an open document window and get a 
complete hierarchical listing of the contents. Nice!


A Stroll Through the Apple Store
Subject: Apple Store Expectations
Date: 2001-06-18 13:00:34
From: foxxx333
To say that Apple can increase public awareness of its products 
through its entry into the retail market place is not without 
merit. It depends on the execution. To judge by the article 
describing the author's Tyson's Corner experience I have to say 
that Apple has made a good start. Should new Apple stores be 
faithful to the model of the first Apple store, one can expect an
increasing public awareness. It is hard to measure the "word-of-mouth"
factor, but Apple's marketing team should make the effort to find 
out what consumer reaction is. A tie-in between favorable user 
experience and Apple's institutional advertisements may provide 
impetus to convince a broader public to venture within the confines 
of the Apple Store. The Genius Bar may replace the coffee bar as 
THE place to congregrate. Time will tell, but it appears to this 
observer that Apple may be able to leverage favorable customer 
assessments of the Apple Store experience into increasing market

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