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Sat 20 Nov 2004
Postfix Enabler in Objective-C
Category : Technology/PFEinObjC.txt
I've been building a version of Postfix Enabler on Objective-C. What started out as a peek into Tiger to see how quickly I can get Postfix Enabler to run on it got diverted into a challenge - to see how quickly I can take the Postfix Enabler nib (Interface Builder) file and wrap Objective-C code around it, rather than the AppleScript I was using.
How did I get to Objective-C? Must be the effect of all those WWDC DVD's I sometimes run in the background while working, especially those about Core Data. If it works the way it's supposed to, and Apple continues to build on it, it's going to be something we cannot afford to ignore. It'll make the Mac an even better platform to build business applications on. And, if it doesn't? Well, we still have Java.
I've developed an AppleScript Studio course around Postfix Enabler because, if you take a look at it again, you'll find it covers most of the interface elements you're likely to want on a Mac-based application.
There are drawers, sheets, pop-up menus, check boxes, radio buttons, alerts, tables, data sources, progress indicators, password fields, interfacing with Unix, an ability to launch web pages, and checking if you're an admin user. Once you know these, you can build any application. (OK, maybe not any - I don't do graphics or music or 3-D).
So, by the end of this exercise, I will have an Objective-C application that covers most of the same interfaces, and more (e.g., I've always wanted to be able to read the output of the Unix job asynchronusly - so that I can show the user what's going on, as it happens, and not only at the end of the job, as in the current AppleScript version of Postfix Enabler. With NSTask and NSPipe, I've finally been able to achieve that). This will be just right to be used as the basis of a "Cocoa Using Objective-C" course. Objective-C is really so fun.
Put your Mac to Work