Bill Bumgarner


LaunchBar 4.0b1

LaunchBar 4.0b1 is out. It is rock solid, faster than version 3, has a bunch of new features, but remains focused on being a fast, habit learning, type style launcher.

One of the cool new features is Search Templates. With search templates, I can type [cmd-spc]goo[spc]MWI essentials[return] and up pops a Safari window with all I need to know about the scamming asses that charged my wife's credit card without her permission.

In the configuration window, it is easy (but not easy enough -- feature request filed) to add new search templates. Select Search Templates in the configuration list, name the template, and paste in the search URL. Replace the part of the URL that contains your search term with a '*' and LaunchBar shoves whatever you type as the search into the URL before passing it off to the system.

Simple. Elegant. Just works. I use it a dozen+ times a day without even thinking about it.

Some additional recipes (Thanks Ben, Patrice, and others!):

Amazon Books*
Amazon Music*
Epicurious -- Food*
Plants Database*
Python (Current release)*&version=current
WebTender Ingredients*
CocoaDev Wiki*

Books, plants, google, APIs, and drink recipes all one [cmd-spc]...[spc]...[return] away.

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PyObjC News

The PyObjC CVS repository has had a series of significant commits over the past few weeks. If you are using or considering PyObjC on Panther, I would highly recommend working with the latest from CVS. PyObjC has an extensive set of unit tests and a development team that is very good about running the tests before committing. As such, the latest CVS is generally very stable with the rare bit of blood loss.


A series of commits from Bob Ippolito and Ronald Oussoren have made it much less painful to use PyObjC with Distributed Objects, NSProxy, and in threaded environments. It worked before, but barely and inneffeciently. Now it is relatively stable. If this sounds a bit non-commital, it is because in-process DO, threading and use of NSProxy are all hard to get right, regardless of language of implementation. The word "easy" and the words "just works" does not belong here.

Donovan Preston has been actively working on the Xcode project template. It now uses Bob's main.m and, as such, should work with any dynamic library or framework install of Python on OS X. Better yet, it does so automatically. Bob's code also provides significantly better error handling during the startup phase of PyObjC based apps.

Finally, I am continuing to add PyObjC hacques to my Subversion repository. As well, ReSTedit continues to evolve and will be getting some pretty neat features fairly soon (I hope).

Overall, I have to say I'm incredibly impressed and proud of PyObjC. It isn't mine, per se, but I do feel a bit of ownership from simply having been involved on the project for so long. It has come a long, long way since 1994 (I wish I knew the original date it came into existance -- as it stands, I'm going to call WWDC the arbitrary 10 year anniversary of PyObjC).

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News in a Treemap

Newsmap offers a treemap style presentation of the headlines culled from Google News.

Newsmap is based on Flash. It loads faster, but is not as interactive as the Map of the Market.

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