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Posts Tagged ‘mac os x’

Even Apple Messes Up Sometimes

January 29th, 2012 joconner No comments

You have to respect Apple. They have excellent products that are known worldwide for their quality and ease-of-use. Part of that ease-of-use comes from their commitment to producing internationalized, world-ready products. However, even the best companies and employees make mistakes.

Recently I purchased a new iMac 27″ computer for my family. Of course, they don’t believe it is for them since I spend the most time using it. But I’m going to stick with my story…it’s the new family computer. Anyway, I immediately noticed that Apple is pushing their iCloud service. During setup and first run of things like iPhoto, I was prompted to choose whether I wanted to use iCloud for backups, etc.

Of course, I had to try out the iCloud service, so I entered all my personal details — name, account id, etc. The service works as expected, and I have nothing interesting to report on that.

To make iCloud clearly available and visible, Apple puts the iCloud service settings into the System Preferences application.

icloud settings

Clicking on the iCloud icon brings up the iCloud settings of course. Again, not much to say there. You have all the typical iCloud-able apps to choose from: Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Photo Stream, etc. However, I did quickly notice that iCloud had a little trouble with my name. Instead of showing my full name as John O’Conner, the iCloud app prominently displayed it as John O'Conner. Oops.

Icloud name

I admit that this is not the first time I have seen my name displayed in this way. Web forms sometimes mistakenly store my name using character entity references. Apparently the apostrophe sends bank and medical systems into fits of confused stupor. However, I’m surprised that it trips up Apple in this way.

It just goes to show you that even some of the best companies can make mistakes with how they handle and display text data. It’s common to normalize text when putting it into a database. However, I don’t think a character entity reference is the right thing to put into your db. If you do, you certainly should remember to decode it when you display it to your user.

 

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Recently installed Java 7 on Mac OS X

August 20th, 2011 joconner No comments

I recently installed Java 7 on my Mac OS X system. Although the installation went smoothly, I did run into one problem that might not be a big issue for you.

I didn’t go through the hassle of compiling it for myself. Instead, I opted to grab a precompiled JDK from here: http://code.google.com/p/openjdk-osx-build/downloads/list?q=label:Featured

Specifically, I chose the OpenJDK 1.7 universal (32/64 bits) from Mac OS X branch download. Then I ran the /Applications/Utilities/Java Preferences.app to 1) pull both 1.7 versions to the top of the list, and 2) select those 1.7 versions, and 3) unselect the 1.6 JDK I also have installed.

NetBeans seems to run just fine. I’m able to create a new target JDK for the IDE, etc.

Now the problem: I tried running jrunscript from the command line to do some simple tests of new functionality in Java 7. I have found the simple jrunscript JavaScript interpreter to be an excellent way to quickly access Java classes for simple tests, confirmation of APIs, etc. Oddly, the tool didn’t run correctly despite being available in the JDK’s bin directory. Here’s the output of my attempt:

$ which java
/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.7.0.jdk/Contents/Home/bin/java
$ which jrunscript
/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.7.0.jdk/Contents/Home/bin/jrunscript
$ jrunscript
script engine for language js can not be found

Anyone ever see this before? Find a solution? Thanks in advance.

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Categories: Java, Mac OS X Tags: ,

Omnigraffle and UML?

August 9th, 2011 joconner No comments

Umlstencil

Some coworkers recently recommended Omnigraffle to me as a UML diagramming tool. After installing a copy, I discovered that although UML “stencils” are available, the tool is not in fact a dedicated UML tool at all. Ahem…obviously I should have read the description a little better.

Now that I have Omnigraffle, however, I will need to use it at least until I find something better for UML diagrams. I have found a few stencils — stencils are pre-made template objects that can be used in your diagrams. So far I’ve found these:

  • Bantik UML — not really full featured but certainly nice looking. It’s not a reasonable choice because it just doesn’t have a full set of UML diagram types.
  • UML 2 — again, just not nearly a full set of diagram types.
  • UML 2.1 Collection — has practically everything I need for now. Best set of diagrams I’ve found. The only trouble I had was that the unzipped stencil wasn’t properly named. When I finally added the .gstencil extension to the unzipped file, Omnigraffle recognized it.

If you know of a better set than the UML 2.1 Collection above, let me know. Until I find something better, that’s what I’m using. I feel a bit silly for using OmniGraffle in the first place. It isn’t exactly a UML tool, but it can be forced into it as needed.

Since I started using NetBeans again recently, maybe I’ll check out the plugins available for it. Surely someone has created a UML plugin. I’ll check that out tomorrow and let you know what I find.

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Categories: Mac OS X, Tools Tags: ,