James Montgomerie’s World Wide Web Log

Support the Gorillas on World Usability Day

Silverback GorillaToday, November 11th, is World Usability Day. To celebrate, the good folks at Clearleft wil be donating all revenue from sales of Silverback, their Mac ‘guerilla usability testing’ app, to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Silverback’s a great app [full disclosure: I did some work on the latest version, but I’m pretty sure I would think this regardless] for performing quick, simple usability testing of your Mac app, web app or web site (or even Windows app with VMWare or Parallels!). It records what’s happening on screen, along with the user’s reactions using the iSight camera, and you can …


Using the Mac or iPhone's Built In Regex Routines

In which a convenient method of using POSIX regular expressions from Objective-C is presented.

It’s a common complaint that the Mac and iPhone platforms don’t have native support for regular expressions, but that’s not entirely true. If you drop down to the UNIX core, there’s an implementation of the old (and only partially busted) POSIX regular expression interfaces. Here, I’ll show a simple Objective-C wrapper class for them that lets you use them conveniently in Mac or iPhone apps.

Before I start, some preemptive remarks: There’s a lot wrong with POSIX regexes to modern eyes. Firstly, and most glaringly, the …


Syntax of the Future Past

There is a fair amount of complaining on The Internets at the moment about Objective-C and Apple’s choice to use it for the iPhone. Many newcomers to the ‘platform’ (if I can apply a singular name to Mac and iPhone development) are finding the language - and the Cocoa frameworks based on it - very confusing. Just how can a language with sooooo many square brackets! be at-all easy to use, after all?

This provoked some deja-vu. Hadn’t, my vague memories asked me, this complaining been done before? I seemed to remember some talk of an “alternate syntax” for Objective-C …