Archive for December, 2007|Monthly archive page

Apple Releases Java 6 Developer Preview

Apple just released a Java 6 Developer Preview after an almost 7 week period of complete silence since Leopard came out.

Unfortunately it is still a developer preview so that means it is full of bugs and incomplete in certain areas. You cannot run Eclipse on it for example.

Also, it only works on 64 bit intel machines. Which means everybody with PowerPC or original Core Duo or Solo machines is left out in the cold. There is no clue to be found whether there are plans to support these ‘older’ system. This is a bummer not just for developers but also for end users who depend on software build on top of Java 6.

Unfortunately the future of Java on OS X is, again, a highly doubtful area.

It is completely beyond my imagination why Apple is so extremely secretive about Java on OS X. Although the Java 6 Developer Preview was announced on their public web site and even though everybody can download it though a free ADC account, it is FORBIDDEN BY THE ALMIGHTY STEVE to discuss anything related to it in a discussion forum that is not approved by Apple. Of course THERE ARE NO APPLE-APPROVED FORUMS anywhere to be seen. You’re allowed to report bugs though. Whoopiedoo.

It is time that Apple’s poor efforts are being made irrelevant. Landon Fuller’s SoyLatte port of Java 6 (which amazingly performs equally well as Apple’s implementation and DOES work on BOTH 32 and 64 bit Intel platforms), and the beginning of OS X support in OpenJDK (Java 7 and beyond) are good signs of that wish coming true.

Sun has made a large effort to open source Java and build a large community around OpenJDK. Ports to all kinds of systems are happening. Apple should just dissolve their own efforts and participate in OpenJDK.

Maybe then they can claim to have the best Java platform again. Which is a big fat lie at the moment.

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Permission Denied on Coding Headstarts

Bugs and screw-ups are unfortunately not limited to just Leopard. It seems Apple’s developer web site team is competing with the OS team.

Here’s why.

On the developer site there are a bunch of Coding Headstarts available. These are short tutorials for some new API functionality available in Leopard. They come with a completely useless video and a more useful written tutorial and sample code.

Yesterday Apple send out an email to announce a bunch of new Coding Headstarts. These can all be found on the before-mentioned web page. Unfortunately all the download links for the Headstart archive (with the sample code and tutorial) result in a big fat Permission Denied error.

It seems that the complete lack of testing is not limited to just Leopard. They just announced broken links to tens of thousands developers through that email. I just don’t understand this. Why does nobody take two minutes to actually test this?

Quality goes down in all departments. It’s beyond lame.

The Forgetful Leopard

Leopard just forgot the (self-signed) SSL certificates that I approved for my mail servers and also all my web passwords and cookies. Gone. For no reason. Not very useful.

Mail Activity View – What is the point?

Leopard’s Mail.app now has an activity pane in the lower left corner. I like that because I like to see what Mail.app is doing without opening that old modal Activity window (under Command-0).

The thing is .. I’ve never seen anything interesting happen in this new Activity view even though Mail.app is doing all kinds of stuff worth mentioning. Here is a good example:

mailactivity.png

WTF. Mail.app is doing at least 20 things but that Activity view does not show anything? What is the point of this view?

This looks like another half-baked feature that was never implemented fully.

iTunes can’t be hidden with option-click

I just noticed something odd: I frequently push applications invisible to the background by option clicking on the desktop or another app. That will activate the app you clicked in and hide all the current app’s windows.

For some reason this does not work anymore for iTunes. It just deactivates it’s window and switches to the other app.

Hmm. Command-H (Hide iTunes) also does not seem to work. Lame. They were probably too busy porting the iTMS to the iPhone.

External Display on a Leopard MacBook Pro Issues

I move from office to office and I usually connect an external screen and keyboard & mouse to my MacBook Pro. Leopard has several annoying issues with this:

  • Windows don’t move to the new main screen – When I connect a nice 23″ display to my MacBook Pro I usually make sure that that display becomes the main one. Leopard remembers this and it correctly moves the menu bar from the built-in display to the external display. What it does not do is to move all windows to the new main display. They are still waiting on the built-in display. I’m pretty sure Tiger did this correctly.
  • Applications dont recognize the new main display – After I connect the external display and have for example dragged Mail.app from the built-in to the external display (because of the above bug) it starts doing something weird: when I open a message the new message window is opened on the built-in display, not the external display that is now the main screen! I thought Mail.app might be confused so I quit and start it. But it still happens. Same with Terminal.app. New terminal windows appear on the built-in non-main display.

I’m pretty sure these issues are new to Leopard. I’ve never had these frustrating things with Tiger.

Windows File Sharing Disabled But Still Running

Interesting. I just sat behind the iMac with the 100GB Samba log file. In the Sharing preferences panel I have ‘File Sharing’ turned on. But when I click on Options the ‘Share files and folders using SMB’ checkbox is UNCHECKED.

How can Windows File Sharing be turned off in the GUI while I still the the SMB daemons (nmbd, smbd) running???

Turning File Sharing off and on made the SMB daemons go away.

This stuff is flakey. To say the least.

Broken Windows File Sharing Logging

My iMac with OS X 10.5.1 just ran out of disk space. about 100 GB of space was missing in action.

After some command line magic I found it back:

# ls -lh /var/log/samba
total 205596456
drwx------  4 root  wheel   136B Oct 27 19:25 cores
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel    18K Dec  1 18:23 log.nmbd
-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel    98G Dec  2 10:49 log.smbd

Wow. Almost 100GB log file for Samba, which is used for Windows File Sharing.

This log is filled with 584.807.562 entries that say:

open_sockets_smbd: accept: Too many open files in system

It seems Apple forgot to:

  • Properly test Samba (Windows File Sharing) – This iMac is mostly sitting idle on my Desk at the moment, so I have no how too many files can be open. I don’t even have any samba clients connected to this Mac!
  • Properly rotate the log files – The first entry was from a week ago. Why are these log files not rotated like the rest in /var/log? Seems they missed the smb logs.

Lame. Not tested well enough. Feels like beta software.