Thoughts and Ramblings

General things I find of interest.

App Disk Images

If you’ve ever installed Xcode via the Mac App Store, you know it can take an hour to install. The reason is not due to its size but the large number of individual files. What if it didn’t have so many small files? Could optimizations made here apply to other apps as well? Overview The idea is simple: instead of storing apps as a constellation of individual files, instead store a disk image with its own filesystem.

Redesign of Time Machine

It’s no secret that Apple’s Time Machine backup solution is clunky at best. For those who are unaware, it backs up a Mac to an HFS+ filesystem using directory hard links. The biggest problem with this is that HFS+ was an old filesystem when Time Machine was first designed and it’s gotten even older since. These days Apple uses APFS as their filesystem on computers and iOS devices but the Time Machine backup still uses the fragile HFS+ filesystem for its backups.

A Month with AppCode

Anyone who uses multiple IDEs along with Xcode recognizes just how far behind Xcode is compared to others. I would even go as far as to argue it is at least half a decade behind Eclipse. Features which I have long grown use to having are completely absent in Xcode. Then, about a month ago, I discovered AppCode and started using it for my Obj-C development at work. I could repeat the feature set mentioned on their website, but instead I’ll assume you’ve read that and outline the crucial parts.

What Objective-C Has Learned

In a few of my recent posts, I outlined some things which I believe that Objective-C can learn from Java, the most recent discussing error handling. In order to avoid the impression that I may not like Objective-C, I figured I should outline some of what I believe are the most important improvements Objective-C has made. Properties When properties were first introduced, I read several who described them as simply syntax sugar.

So Long Perian

By now, most of your are familiar with our announcement that the Perian team is retiring. It was a long time coming, but still a sad day none the less. I can see that the community reaction is that of disappointment as well. Perian was so quiet in its arrival that I never stopped to realize how loud its departure may be. So I decided to recount my history with the project, through its trials and its joys.