February 17, 2009

The [cable] is in the mail

Thanks to everyone who responded that all I needed was a FW 400/800 cable. I did actually know that. My main complaint was that I shouldn't have needed it in the first place. The Time Machine restore should have "just worked" using the mounted drive over the network. The Migration Assistant also failed miserably, it should have been able to migrate from the backup. The cable, however, is now on its way from Amazon, though I'll continue to back up Jo's laptop over the network (since she is totally lacking any Firewire). For the curious, it ended up only costing me about $17, instead of the $35 that Apple wanted to charge me.

I do so enjoy (read: loathe and despise) the comments from the digerati on the Interwebs. It fills me with happiness (read: night-sweats) whenever I read what people take time out of their busy day to post to forums and blogs. They're always so witty and insightful. It's part of living in a fishbowl, I guess. I alternate between moments of peaceful calm and understanding, and wanting to chase these self-proclaimed experts around with a bat. It's a very big bat. Their head and kidneys will never be the same.

Even in the past couple of days, things in Chromium are working much better. Avi landed the "sad tab" page and fixed many of the scrolling, resizing, and redraw issues. Tabs now take on the title of the page they're rendering and typing in the url bar no longer creates a new tab when you hit return. Um, duh, it's not done yet. There will be plenty more of these "how could these Google morons have released this with XYZ being so sucky!?!?!?" That's exactly why we haven't released it, but it's absolutely moving forward.

This experience reminds me why it's important to release early and release often. It's about demonstrating progress so people will want to get involved. We've already seen an increase in interest and involvement in our Mac effort since I first blogged. That's great!! We want you to get involved and help make this a better app. At the end of the day, we want to build more than a product, we want to build a community! We also want to work hand-in-hand with other open-source communities, such as WebKit and Mozilla, as a lot of the work we're doing (separating the renderer and plug-ins) can make those products better too. They may not use any of our code, but maybe they'll use some of the ideas, and designing everything out in the open helps them figure out the right questions and answers for their own product.

Of course, this is all just my own viewpoint. I don't speak for anyone but myself.

Posted by pinkerton at 6:36 PM | TrackBack

February 13, 2009

More fail

As if the trail of hardware failures plaguing my existence isn't long enough already, my AppleTV now seems to be fritzing. It wants to constantly reboot itself and a couple of days ago I found it locked up entirely. I reset it back to factory settings to see if that would help, but that sets it back to the 1.0 software. Several attempts to run the system updater resulted in "The download is unavailable at this time, try again later". Gor!

Adding to the fail, it appears Mac Rumors has picked up my screenshots, and along with it, a trail of haters of everything Google and not Safari. Don't they get that we're helping make WebKit better too?

Fail, the third: Time Machine. My new MacBook Pro finally arrived and it was time to restore my life from the Time Machine backup drive, a FW400 external. Well, the MBP has no FW400. I had reasonable luck backing up Jo's MacBook over ethernet to a drive mounted via FireWire on my work Mac Pro, so I did the same hoping that Time Machine on the MBP would see the remote drive. Nope. There's even an option to browse other Time Machine volumes. Nope. Nada. Zilch. Zero. The MBP would not see the backup on the network volume. I ultimately got Time Machine into a mode where it would show me that there were backups in the time line, but they were grayed out, presumably because I didn't have permissions. They're my files! It's my account, just on another machine! I didn't even get the option of authorizing to access them.

So I figured I'd copy everything over by hand, since I could still see all the files. That half-worked. The problem is that it's full of ACLs and incorrect permissions. iPhoto and iTunes had a beast of a time trying to do anything with the databases when not even I had write permissions to update them. That took many, many hours to resolve. In the end I resorted to chmod -R 777 *, which made me sad. The files all still have an ACL on them, which I doubt I'll ever be able to remove, and will probably screw things up in other ways. In the end, I'm happy I had a backup, and Time Machine made it easier to make backups, but what good is it if the new machine doesn't recognize the backup and fights its permissions?

I know I'd still be doomed if these were PC's, but I can't help but wonder in what scenarios they expect people to use this stuff. Oh, and by the way, the interwebs tell me I don't make compelling products either, so I'm allowed to wonder.

Posted by pinkerton at 12:31 PM | TrackBack

February 12, 2009

Aw Snap

Avi just came through with the "sad tab" page when a tab crashes.

Posted by pinkerton at 6:40 PM | TrackBack

It's Alive!

Over the last couple of months, the group working on Mac Chrome (myself included) has shifted gears from layout tests and WebKit compatibility to getting the application user interface up and limping. That also means getting the separate WebCore renderer processes to communicate over IPC to the browser.

Last week, while I was in Cali, the entire team made a tremendous amount of progress getting the cross-platform model and controller classes scaffolded, topped off with a Cocoa UI (with similar strides on Linux using Gtk). We were at the point where you could create new windows and tabs (and close them too) using the shared code, which would spawn/quit associated renderer processes. It was pretty exciting to watch them come and go in Activity Monitor, knowing how close we were to getting bits on the screen.

This week, everything came together and we can now load web pages in the renderer processes and display them in tabs. Here's a screenshot of the very first time I ran Mac Chromium and loaded a webpage:

Now mind you, clicking doesn't work, and the renderers crash like nobody's business, but the other great thing is that the user interface stays running even if they do. Just open a new tab and keep going! It's important to point out that's part of what's taken us so long to get to this point. The WebKit that ships as part of Mac OS X can't run this way -- it took a lot of work to marshall it to do so. In addition, the UI clearly needs much love, but it's an indicator of the clean and simple direction we're heading.

If you can't tell, I'm really excited. We've got a very very long way to go (don't dare ask me to predict a date -- I won't), but it's progress indeed.

Posted by pinkerton at 5:23 PM | TrackBack