“My” Snow Leopard Feature

30 May, 2009

While I doubt that I was the only one to recommend this, one of my submissions to Apple (see “Spotlight and the Finder“) seems to have been heard.

If I’m in my Documents folder and I start typing in the Spotlight toolbar item, I’ll want Spotlight to start searching within my Documents folder, not throughout my whole Mac. If I want to do that, I’ll either go into the root directory or search from the menu bar.

The following screenshot is taken from a now-removed YouTube video depicting Snow Leopard’s Finder preferences:

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Thanks for the new feature, Apple!


Reflections on GNOME’s Sociological Research

20 May, 2009

I took a look at GNOME’s recent sociological research, which set out to organize information about worldwide GNOME users and to get some ideas about who uses GNOME, what they use it for, and so on.

To start off, I found the relations between countries and languages to be extremely interesting. From a developer’s point a view, this is great for knowing which language localizations should be more of a priority than others, what languages the project development or support team should have a basic hang of, and of the general future of the GNOME-using community. The number of Chinese users is almost the same as the number of American and European users combined.

It’s also easy to see that the GNOME community is being led by students and learners worldwide that want to know more, distribute more information, and have access to more information. The vast majority of users are currently attending a university or college, wish to learn more, and use GNOME not only as a work environment, but also for pleasure. This shows that it’s nice that GNOME is succeeding at reaching out to both sides of the spectrum.

Most of the users are connected to the internet, mostly with high-speed DSL or better. A lot use Windows as well and, by a small margin, tend to prefer desktop computers to laptops for working with GNOME and Linux. Many however, answered they’d like GNOME to follow in some of the steps of OS X: most notably, they want to be able to search for menu items within each program.

The GNOME team itself summarized a few important points, such as (just to name a few): more “professional” applications need to be written for the Linux desktop, GNOME should head for the cloud (integrating internet activities more prominently into the daily use of the desktop), the panels should be redesigned, and finding things (be it files, applications, etc) needs to be easier.

I hope GNOME 3.0 turns out to be an awesome release when it comes by, and that all the information gathered can be put into good use.


Learning Lisp

8 May, 2009

I’m about to venture off into the world of I consider to be less explored languages, and ones that I find have a great potential to be famous programming languages. I plan on learning Prolog, LISP, OCaml, and perhaps Eiffel.

I became interested in these languages when I read about a few of them on a post entitled “A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages” that was on the Reddit front page today. I took my first step with SICP, which gave me a broader idea of what Scheme/LISP looked like, and now I’m planning on following Practical Common Lisp (link, as well as to other useful online programming books, can also be found on my sidebar).

Wish me luck on my new adventure!