Tuesday, October 19, 2004


PythonCard 0.8.1

PythonCard is a GUI construction kit for building cross-platform desktop applications on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The latest release of PythonCard includes over 50 sample applications and tools to help users edit and build applications in Python, plus many useful programs like the slideshow sample that you might want to use without ever bothering to do any coding. Check out the sample pages for screenshots and info about the samples. The more applications page has some info and screenshots on applications users have built with PythonCard.

New samples include floatCanvasTest, flock, gravity, testNotebook, and testSplitter. There is a new version of the codeEditor that uses tabs and will eventually replace the existing codeEditor. There is also an experimental reStructuredText and HTML editor in the codeEditor directory called restEditor.

PythonCard requires Python 2.3 or higher and wxPython 2.5.2.8 or higher.

The documentation page has links to installation instructions for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows that covers installing Python, wxPython, and PythonCard. The Linux instructions will be updated soon, but we're waiting for the RPMs to be built, so for now Linux users can just download and install from the tar.gz source archive. The documentation includes some walkthroughs, screenshots and info on using PythonCard and some of its tools such as the codeEditor, resourceEditor (layout tool), findfiles, and runtime shell.

There are many changes from the earlier PythonCardPrototype packages. See the migration_guide.txt file if you are upgrading from an earlier release. Check the changelog for a complete list of changes for release 0.8.1.

If you would like to contribute to PythonCard, the first step is joining the mailing list.


2:17:09 PM    comment []

  Wednesday, August 18, 2004


PythonCard 0.8

PythonCard is a GUI construction kit for building cross-platform desktop applications on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The latest release of PythonCard includes over 50 sample applications and tools to help users edit and build applications in Python, plus many useful programs like the slideshow sample that you might want to use without ever bothering to do any coding. Check out the sample pages for screenshots and info about the samples. The more applications page has some info and screenshots on applications users have built with PythonCard.

New samples include ataxx, lsystem, moderator, montyhall, mp3player, reversi, and twistedEchoClient. There is also an experimental reStructuredText and HTML editor in the codeEditor directory called restEditor.

PythonCard requires Python 2.3 or higher and wxPython 2.5.2.7 or higher.

The documentation page has links to installation instructions for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows that covers installing Python, wxPython, and PythonCard. The Linux instructions will be updated soon, but we're waiting for the RPMs to be built, so for now Linux users can just download and install from the tar.gz source archive. The documentation includes some walkthroughs, screenshots and info on using PythonCard and some of its tools such as the codeEditor, resourceEditor (layout tool), findfiles, and runtime shell.

There are many changes from the earlier PythonCardPrototype packages. See the migration_guide.txt file if you are upgrading from an earlier release. Check the changelog for a complete list of changes for release 0.8.

This is the first release targeted at resolving issues for a 1.0 release. If all goes well, PythonCard 1.0 will be out this winter after wxPython 2.6 is released.

If you would like to contribute to PythonCard, the first step is joining the mailing list.


12:48:30 PM    comment []

  Monday, August 16, 2004


At long last, wxPython 2.5.2.7 has been released. PythonCard release 0.8, which is dependent on 2.5.2.7 will be out shortly. Head over to the wxPython site or just follow the links below. If you are a Mac OS X user you should be particularly happy. I've been using wxPython 2.5.2.x on my PowerBook as my primary Python development platform for the last few months and it definitely looks and works well enough that I don't feel cheated anymore compared to wxPython on Windows. Kudos to Stefan Csomor, Kevin Ollivier, Robin Dunn and everyone else that have whipped WXMAC into shape.

wxPython 2.5.2.7 has been released, all users of 2.5.1.5 are strongly encouraged to upgrade. Please read the Recent Changes and Migration Guide for details.

A snapshot of the new style wxPython reference docs is available here. While most of the content is not yet present, the docs are still usable, and in fact helpful since they already accurately document what classes and methods are present in wxPython and what the parameter names are.

Robin's OSCON 2004 tutorial and presentation slides are available.


10:48:34 AM    comment []

  Saturday, July 31, 2004


OSCON 2004 is over. I had a lot of fun along with the rest of the crowd; there were over 2000 attendees this year. Obviously I haven't blogged in a long time, but I'm sure other bloggers did a good job of covering events and sessions.

I'm off to the Python VanPy Workshop '04 in Vancouver, British Columbia where I'll be giving a talk on PythonCard Monday morning. The keynotes and sessions for the conference are looking good.

When I get back I expect to start posting a little more regularly. I've been working on release 0.8 of PythonCard and in particular paying attention to any issues I find on Mac OS X that need to be tweaked. I expect to make a release soon after Robin releases wxPython 2.5.2.x


9:25:37 AM    comment []

  Tuesday, March 23, 2004


HyperCard: 1987 - 2004

Well it finally happened, Apple removed the HyperCard sub-directory from the main Apple site and you can no longer buy HyperCard from the Apple store. Of course, HyperCard was never updated for Mac OS X and I'm pretty sure the last update to HyperCard was version 2.4.1 back in 1998. But the removal of the product from the Apple site is the final nail in the coffin.

If you want to upgrade your old HyperCard stacks and use an xTalk-style language, then your best bet is probably Runtime Revolution. If you want more info on HyperCard, then you might want to check out the HyperCard wiki page.

Meanwhile, the Open Source PythonCard project will continue to plug away at a worthy successor using the Python programming language that will run on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. We're finally going to make a 1.0 release later this spring and I plan to get back to work on a more integrated HyperCard-like environment for PythonCard. If you would like to help make that happen, I invite you to email me and join the project.

Rest In Peace HyperCard. You are not forgotten and your children live on...


11:22:40 AM    comment []

  Sunday, March 21, 2004


Panther, Python, and CoreGraphics by Mitch Chapman

Mac OS X Panther includes many updated developer tools. Among them is an enhanced version of Python 2.3 with its own SWIG-based bindings to the CoreGraphics library. Here's a look at the capabilities of the module and examples of how to use CoreGraphics to rescale and decorate images for publication on the Web.


9:43:31 AM    comment []

  Sunday, March 14, 2004


When I need to serve up a few files for friends or try out some CGIs, XML-RPC, etc. I generally just fire up the PythonCard webserver sample. However, I find the following single line at a command prompt to be quite appealing for an instant web server.

    python -c "import SimpleHTTPServer;SimpleHTTPServer.test()"

It works on any OS where you have Python installed and since you can cd (change directory) to the dir you want to serve files from before running the command you don't have to mess with config files or moving files before serving them up. If you alias the command or make a batch file you won't have to remember the whole line. Here's an example run on my Mac.

[solo:~/] altis% python -c "import SimpleHTTPServer;SimpleHTTPServer.test()"
Serving HTTP on 0.0.0.0 port 8000 ...
localhost - - [14/Mar/2004 09:27:09] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 -
localhost - - [14/Mar/2004 09:27:28] "GET /gingerbread.py HTTP/1.1" 200 -

[via insom.me.uk]

Note that this blog entry was revised after a discussion on Simon Brunning's blog.


10:03:59 AM    comment []

  Friday, February 06, 2004


iSeek

For years I've used a few apps that I created that let you send searches directly to Amazon, iMDB, the Python Cookbook, etc. The last app of this type I wrote is the searchexplorer sample included with PythonCard, which was a port of a Visual Basic (VB) app which I'm pretty sure was based on an even earlier HyperCard app, but I can't find the HyperCard version. The reason for such a utility is twofold: one it lets you easily find a cached search, so you can get to a page even if you are working offline, but the most important reason for me was that it saved going to the sites, finding the search box, specifying the type of search, etc.

Anyway, as of today I no longer need to use my earlier hacks. I found iSeek, which sits in the Mac OS X menubar, exactly where this type of utility belongs. iSeek comes pre-configured with setups for Amazon, iMDB, dictionary.com and most of the other sites I typically search; of course, it supports Google too, but that isn't as important since there is a Google search built-into Safari.

You can try out iSeek for free and/or watch a movie of iSeek in action. A license costs $15. Of course there is still the need for this kind of utility in the Windows task bar for the rest of the world that doesn't use Mac OS X, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Now I just wish GameFAQs and a few other sites would support GET style search requests instead of requiring a form POST.


2:47:27 PM    comment []

Outlook2Mac

Last September I bought a 15-inch PowerBook and started working with both Windows 2000 and Mac OS X day-to-day. On Windows, I still use Outlook 2000, mostly due to sloth, but slowly and surely I'm moving most of my daily computer activities to the Mac. The most difficult transition besides all the PC programs that of course don't run on the Mac - more on that later - are email and contacts. Somehow I needed a simple and reliable way to move half a gigabyte of mail, notes, contacts, etc. So, I looked at what Outlook could export and the Mac apps could import. I did some searches to find out what Apple and Mac enthusiasts recommended. I thought this would be a top question of the Apple Switch program, but apparently somebody forgot to cover that part about switching contacts and email. Note to Apple, most people at home don't use Exchange server.

After chasing down various Google threads I finally took a chance on a program called Outlook2Mac made by Little Machines. Here's a partial feature list:

  • Exports Your PC's Microsoft Outlook Email, Email Attachments, Contacts, and Calendar Appointments to Portable Macintosh-Compatible Files You Can Import Into Apple Mail, Address Book, iCal, Microsoft Entourage, and Other Third-Party Programs
  • Compatible with Microsoft Outlook 97, 98, 2000, and 2002
  • Creates Industry-Standard mbox, vcf (vCard), and ics (iCal) FormatsEasy-to-Use Wizard Lets You Choose Folders to Export, Export Options and Filters, and More
  • Attachments Can Be Saved into Emails, Separately as Detached Files, or Stripped Out Entirely
  • Preserves Disk Space Attachments Can Be Filtered Out by File Type and/or Size
  • Performs Incremental Exports Specify a Date Range of Emails or Calendar Items to Export
  • Details of Each Export Are Clearly Captured to Log File
  • Compatible with Stand-Alone PCs or PCs Using Microsoft Exchange Server

You can download a trial version and export a few emails and contacts to see how it works, but the program only costs $10 so I went ahead and bought it. It did a fantastic job, so all I had to do was move the exported vCard and mbox files over to the Mac, which I did in one big zip file, and then I was able to import the data into the Address Book and Mail apps. Outlook2Mac worked like a champ and now even more of my daily life is spent on the PowerBook.

In short, Apple should just license Outlook2Mac and make it available as a free download to PC users as part of their Switch campaign.


10:49:08 AM    comment []

  Thursday, February 05, 2004


Safari Tips

Ever since I started using Mac OS X and the Safari web browser the underlines on hyperlinks have been driving me crazy. It turns out to be pretty simple to get rid of the annoying little underlines. Simply create a .css file - I named mine no_underlines.css - that contains the following line:

a:link, a:visited { text-decoration: none; }

Now open up the Safari Preferences dialog and choose the file you created as your Style Sheet under the Advanced tab.

If you want to enable the Debug menu in Safari, then open up the Terminal and type:

defaults write com.apple.safari IncludeDebugMenu 1

The next time you startup Safari you'll have a Debug menu.


9:15:20 PM    comment []

  Wednesday, July 30, 2003


Python 2.3

Python 2.3 is done and available for download. The quotes in the press release are great, so go check them out along with the highlights, and complete release notes. In particular, this is the beginning of Python playing a much larger role at Apple and in Mac OS X development.

"The combination of the open source Unix-based core of Mac OS X running on PowerBook G4 high-performance portables has attracted a large number of developers using open source scripting languages like Python," said Bud Tribble, Apple's vice president of Software Technology. "Python 2.3 provides greatly improved support for existing Mac OS X users, and with the upcoming release of Panther, Apple will provide Python 2.3 developers direct access to APIs for the PDF-based Quartz graphics engine and QuickTime image formats."

Congratulations to everyone involved!


8:50:40 AM    comment []

  Wednesday, July 16, 2003


PythonCard 0.7.1

PythonCard is a GUI construction kit for building cross-platform desktop applications on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The latest release of PythonCard includes over 40 sample applications and tools to help users edit and build applications in Python. Check out the sample pages for screenshots and info about the samples.

The documentation page has links to installation instructions for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows that covers installing Python, wxPython, and PythonCard.

This is largely a bug fix release, but I'm happy to report that the resourceEditor allows you to actually drag components on Linux and Mac OS X now. Check the changelog for a complete list of changes for release 0.7.1.

I expect that as a result of some conversations at OSCON last week and new developers added to the project that activity on PythonCard will pickup again. If you would like to contribute, the first step is joining the mailing list.


12:25:18 PM    comment []

  Saturday, February 01, 2003


PyObjC is interesting, but not relevant to me

I don't expect I'll be using PyObjC much myself because I'm committed to writing cross-platform applications. That is why I'm using Python, wxPython and PythonCard to write apps that run on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. I don't know Objective-C and I really don't have any interest in learning a single OS API such as Cocoa anymore than I want to invest a lot of time in .NET that only works with Windows.

Yes, .NET may someday run on the Mac, but I'll bet it won't ever work on Linux. I think the Mono project is deluding itself if it thinks that someday it won't get crushed by the MS lawyers, so that isn't an option for .NET compatibility. I'll be very pleased if Mono does succeed, but I won't consider investing time even looking at C# and .NET for a couple of years. I'm very happy with Python and libs for Python.

I've changed my primary operating system many times in the past and I expect that I will again, so cross-platform, open source languages and libraries are the thing for me. In fact, all of the PythonCard code that I've written in the last year and half is now working on my G4 tower.


11:16:45 AM    comment []

PyObjC

Introduction to PyObjC is now available. This is the first article in a series on PyObjC by my friend Bill Bumgarner. For doing Mac OS X specific applications, PyObjC looks like a great solution because you have direct access to Cocoa and can use Project Builder and Interface Builder as the Integrated Development Environment (IDE).


11:08:16 AM    comment []

  Friday, January 31, 2003


Irony of the day

The original Mac came with MacPaint. Windows 2000 (how about Windows XP?) comes with two paint programs, MS Paint and the Kodak Imaging. I was surprised to find that Mac OS X doesn't come with a paint program.

If all you want to do is save an image file in a format other than TIFF you can use the Export option in the Preview application. It would be nice if Preview exposed its Export option via the Services menu.


10:22:27 AM    comment []

  Monday, January 20, 2003


PythonCard 0.7

PythonCard is a GUI construction kit for building cross-platform desktop applications on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The latest release of PythonCard includes over 40 sample applications and tools to help users edit and build applications in Python. Check out the sample pages for screenshots and info about the samples.

The documentation page has links to installation instructions for Windows that covers installing Python, wxPython, and PythonCard. Check the changelog for a complete list of changes for release 0.7.


10:22:53 AM    comment []

  Monday, October 28, 2002


PythonCard 0.6.9

PythonCard is a GUI construction kit for building cross-platform desktop applications on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The latest release of PythonCard includes over 30 sample applications and four tools to help users edit and build applications in Python.

The documentation page has links to installation instructions for Windows that covers installing Python, wxPython, and PythonCard. Check the changelog for a complete list of changes for release 0.6.9.


9:08:19 AM    comment []

  Friday, June 14, 2002


PythonCard 0.6.7

PythonCard is a GUI construction kit for building cross-platform desktop applications on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The latest release of PythonCard includes over 30 sample applications, new additions include chat, webserver, pictureViewer, slideshow, and webgrabber, a sample to download web sites. The webserver sample comes ready to run XML-RPC server scripts. This release also supports the new wxPython 2.3.3 preview for Mac OS X.

Four of the samples have been promoted to tools status: codeEditor, findfiles, resourceEditor, and textEditor.

The documentation page has links to installation instructions for Windows that covers installing Python, wxPython, and PythonCard. Dan Shafer added an extensive resourceEditor overview for this release. There is a new set of Wiki pages for "in progress" documentation and to supplement the main web site. Check the changelog for a complete list of changes for release 0.6.7.


8:38:31 AM    comment []