Archive for May, 2004

PyObjC evolves.

Monday, May 24th, 2004

If you are using PyObjC, the version in CVS has evolved considerably over the last few weeks and is rapidly approaching a 1.1 release. The reverse chronological list of NEWS entries is quite telling, but about two weeks out of date as I write this. Most recent changes include better Xcode project templates and fixes for the way modules are initialized such that everything works as expected even in the face of various DYLD configuration options.

As always, using an additional framework in PyObjC is as simple as creating an NSBundle and invoking theBundle.principalClass(). This works fine for grabbing access to the ObjC API within the framework, but will not make any of the functions, constants, or globals available in PyObjC. To do that requires building a new python module. The easiest way to do this is to copy Lib/WebKite and Modules/WebKit to new directories within Lib and Modules (named appropriately). Then, remove the CVS cruft, rename the files, open the files and find/replace WebKit with the name of your framework. Finally, modify the root level and the Scripts/CodeGenerators/ scripts. Again, the easiest way is to find all mentions of WebKit and copy the code, changing WebKit references to refer to your framework.

Eventually, I could definitely see this process being refined such that it is both easier and the resulting module does not have to be built in the context of the PyObjC project itself.

Occasionally, I’ll get an email asking if PyObjC is for real? It is. You really can build full featured Cocoa apps with it. And now there is an example. The new version of the BitTorrent client is written using PyObjC.

1 year later…

Thursday, May 20th, 2004

A year ago today was my first day as an Apple employee.

Definition of free range

Saturday, May 15th, 2004

The USDA defines free range and free roaming (the two are synonymous) as:

Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.

Quite literally, the requirement to slap a free range/roaming label on poultry product can be fulfilled by opening a door to the hen house (or cow stall) once a day for a few minutes. Whether an animal actually sets foot outside of its cage/stall/barn/room/shelf/etc is completely irrelevant.

In other words, the only difference between the hunk o’ beef labeled free roaming and the one next to it without the label could be the price.

Upate: Peter Larson pontificated that buying organic was a better indicator of the quality of the food. Or, more specifically, buy foods that are produced without hormones or antibiotics.

He is absolutely right. Overall, it is the hormones and antibiotics in the food that could have an incredibly deleterious affect upon the health of the consumer.

According to the USDA standards, Products labeled as “100 percent organic” must contain (excluding water and salt) only organically produced ingredients.

A just plain “organic” label drops the requirement to 95%. “Made with organic ingredients” drops it down to 70%.

So, an organic label does not actually imply anything about drug or hormone exposure. 100% organic might, but there aren’t any published standards that I could find.

IP more sacred than life?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

I found this post from Richard Perlman to be particularly poignant. In context, it is in response to the arrest of a software developer in Japan that authored P2P file sharing technology that includes stronger privacy protection.

So, let me understand. In Japan if you develop software that MIGHT be
used to violate copyright laws you can be charged with a crime and be
arrested. Yet, in the USA, if you manufacture guns that MIGHT be used
to kill someone you are essentially immune from criminal prosecution
and, based on recent court cases, even from civil action — and if the
congress has its way, you will soon be fully immune for any liability
from the uses of your products.

We do indeed live in strange times in which intellectual property seems
to be more sacred than human life.

Strange times, indeed.

Hope & Civil Unions

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

Over the weekend, I attended a wonderful bbq with friends, a set of their parents and some friends of the family.

The friends are a couple who moved to the United States specifically to escape the life threatening attitudes of their countrymen. Being different sometimes makes one the target of brutality. In their case, they are a gay couple who found each other and were persecuted for following their hearts.

So, they came to the United States with the hope that they would be accepted for who they are and their love for each other for what it is; a genuine bonding of souls that any couple would envy.

Living in the bay area, the couple of took advantage of San Francisco’s brief enlightened state and were legally married. They told the whole story and it was rather extraordinary. While most have heard of the the grassroots effort to send flowers to couples who were waiting to be married, the kindness and generosity did not stop there.

During the 7 hours that the couple stood in line, there was food and drink distributed freely and many people stopping to offer congratulations. Not only that, but the city government staff volunteered to speed many long hours over a holidy weekend working to fulfill the desire of the thousands of couples that showed up.

It was a moving story. Alone, it gave me hope that Bush and Ashcroft cannot destroy open mindedness no matter how hard they try.

The story did not end with the civil ceremony. They were also able to arrange for a religious ceremony on short notice. The mother of one was able to attend– was coincidentally in the area traveling– and reluctantly did so. She had not accepted her child’s life choice or partner. However, upon attending the ceremony and seeing the outpouring of love and support from their friends, the church and the community, she embraced her child’s partner and not only accepted the partner but asked that he take care of her son no matter what might happen.