In between midnight summer nights and dark winter days

FolderGlance and Snow Leopard Thu, Sep 03 2009 21:52

So Snow Leopard is out, and of course a number of applications and essential system add-ons stop working. One of those add-ons is FolderGlance, which I'm the author of. Starting with Snow Leopard, three major things have changed that all impact the degree to which FolderGlance can continue to work:

  1. Almost all apps are now 64-bit by default, which includes the Finder where FolderGlance operates. Since Snow Leopard doesn't support mixed-mode binaries, 64-bit apps can't load 32-bit plug-ins and vice versa. At best, a recompile is all that is necessary. Often, though, additional changes to the code are required.
  2. In Snow Leopard, the Finder has been "re-written" in Objective-C and Cocoa. (I'm putting re-written in quotes there, because the past few days of reverse engineering have taught me that while a substantial part of the Finder is now Cocoa-fied, large swaths of legacy Carbon code remain.) For a plug-in like FolderGlance, which relies heavily on the Carbon menu and event frameworks, this presents a challenge.
  3. Finally, Snow Leopard removes all support for Contextual Menu Items for 64-bit processes. Oops. That means that even if the two above issues could be solved, there still wouldn't be a way to actually have FolderGlance do its magic, since there simply is no way to modify the Finder's contextual menu.

Luckily, there are ways around all of these issues. FolderGlance has no 64-bit issues at all, which is nice and refreshing. (I'm patting myself on the back here.) Further, I'm currently in the process of re-writing FolderGlance in Objective-C. This task is not as large as it sounds, as most of the existing code - the guts of FolderGlance, as it were - is being reused. I hope to have something release-worthy available soon, even if it may only be a beta.

Finally, and most importantly, I have found a way to handle the problem of Contextual Menu Items not being supported in Snow Leopard. I'll be writing a blog post about that topic when the first Snow Leopard-ready version of FolderGlance is out; in the meantime, I'll leave a teaser screenshot here showing FolderGlance browsing my local disk.

FolderGlance running on Snow Leopard. As an added "feature," FolderGlance now puts the Finder's context menus in a menu of its own, under the Finder submenu. My disk, fourlights, appears twice since I also have it in my list of custom folders.

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About me
My name is Daniel Stødle. I live in Tromsø, Norway, at 69.66° North. By day, I work as a researcher at the Northern Research Institute in Norway; by night, I run my company SCSC. I do most of my development on and for Mac OS X. My research is geared towards interaction with and visualization of geospatial data. Read more on my personal page.


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Recent posts

Jul 28: Running iTunes in a debugger (gdb)
Jul 25: The /Volumes/MobileBackups directory
Jul 20: FolderGlance 3.0.1 supports Lion
Mar 03: Quick tip: Speeding up Xcode compilations
Mar 02: FolderGlance 3.0
Jan 07: Making Universal Back Button work on 10.6.5 and later

Sep 03: Creating pthreads in C++ using pointers to member functions
May 31: Quickly open URLs in Terminal
May 31: Snow Leopard and automatically submitted Crash Reports
May 27: Universal Back Button released for Mac OS X
May 22: The 22 Megapixel Laptop
Feb 09: FolderGlance on MacUpdate Promo

Sep 28: FolderGlance 2.5.3 is out
Sep 21: FolderGlance 2.5.1 adds features and fixes bugs
Sep 16: FolderGlance 2.5 released!
Sep 10: Intriguing: Snow Leopard ships with the iPhone's multi-touch API built-in
Sep 03: FolderGlance and Snow Leopard
Mar 15: Fixing Keynote '08 and '09 to work with the Scripting Bridge
Feb 26: A website in an image
Feb 09: Display wall multi-touch

Feb 19: Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces.. retires
Feb 08: How-to: Reverse engineering the Dock to fix Spaces
Jan 25: Interacting with wall-sized displays

Dec 20: Interesting Finder bug
Dec 06: Developing applications for the iPod touch (and the iPhone)
Nov 15: Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces.. and 10.5.1
Nov 15: Thread creation using pthread_create() on Leopard
Nov 13: Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces..
Nov 07: FolderGlance, Leopard and the More... menu
Nov 06: FolderGlance and Screen Sieve now also on Leopard!
Sep 16: Mysterious window server hangs


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