Sunday, March 30, 2008

OOO: Possible fix for the command timed out error on Leopard

With a change in the way that X11 works on Leopard, the X11 version of has been giving an error message on startup saying "command timed out". With previous versions of Mac OS X, had to make sure that X11 was running first be trying to start

The following change should work for 2.4, 2.3.1, 2.3, and possibly earlier versions. Open the file in "Script Editor". (You will need to control+click the application icon and choose "Show Package Contents".)

Then replace the code block "on openSoffice(aFile)"...."end openSoffice" with the following:

on openSoffice(aFile)
if (atLeastOSXVersion(10, 5, 0)) then
-- if we have leopard, we don't need to manually start the X server first
set theCmd to "sh " & (quoted form of (POSIX path of getOOProgramPath() & "soffice")) & " "
do shell script theCmd & aFile & shellTerminator()
set theDisplay to startXServer()
if (theDisplay is equal to "error") then
end if
set theEnv to "DISPLAY=" & theDisplay & " ; export DISPLAY; "
set theCmd to "sh " & (quoted form of (POSIX path of getOOProgramPath() & "soffice")) & " "
do shell script theEnv & theCmd & aFile & shellTerminator()
-- logEvent("open CMD: " & theEnv & theCmd & aFile)
end if
end openSoffice

Please comment on how this works for you.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 2.4 on Mac OS X [Update: now available]

The release of 2.4 (X11 version) is a little behind the other platforms due to a lack of resources in the QA process, as many of the resources have been placed on the upcoming aqua version. It will be another few days to week before they are available on the mirrors and the Mac Port download pages will be updated at that point.

Until then the new smart download pages will continue to give the link to the 2.4.0 build which isn't yet available.

UPDATE: X11 2.4.0 for both Mac OS X 10.4/10.5 PPC and Intel are now available from the Mac Porting Download pages.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

ITV Catch Up through the browser on a Mac

Today was the first time that I looked at the ITV site for a while, as I had heard on Virgin Radio that the next series of Heartbeat was starting tonight.

ITV are now using Microsoft's Silverlight to allow cross-platform multimedia support. This is different from the BBC's iPlayer, as the BBC iPlayer uses Adobe's Flash player.

It now means that I no longer run Mac OS X without Microsoft software installed on it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Aqua Development Release

Head over to the Mac Porting web site for the latest development build.

This is the most stable build of running natively on Mac OS X that I have seen. I haven't yet had a crash with my basic usage. Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5 is required.

The improvements include:
  • Printing now uses an aqua native print dialog
  • Various bugs, crashes, performance, and cosmetic improvements
  • The native file picker should work now (though there are 2 unlabeled checkboxes)
  • The QuickStarter is now supported on Mac OS X
  • Copy and Paste now works in the Hyperlink dialog
  • Icons are no longer shown in the menus by default on Mac OS X
  • Extentions can now be installed through the GUI
  • Improved scrolling when using a scroll wheel
  • Real version number is shown in the Mac OS X Finder's Get Info Window.
  • The recent items list in the Apple menu is now populated
  • Faster loading and saving of files
  • New Start Centre
The downloads are on the extended mirror network, and BitTorrent. Please don'tdirectly link to any of the mirrors, please link to the Aqua download page instead. 2.4 (X11), is currently in testing. 3.0 will be Aqua only.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Apple's Developer Site has Crashed

With the news that Apple has released the SDK for the iPhone, their developer site is currently unavailable. It seems to be have exceeded Apple's expectations in terms of demand.

I'm currently wondering if there will be access to the Bluetooth in the SDK so that I can connect a bluetooth GPS and produce some nice mapping application for OpenStreetMap. With unlimited data, a fairly large (for a mobile device) touch display, it may well be an idea device to do the mapping in the field.

Hopefully I'll earn a bit more soon, so that I can afford the mobile contract.

Sorting Tables in a MediaWiki

I've noticed that a number of tables in the Wikipedia are sortable. Further research found that it is implemented through client side javascript, when a table has the class="sortable". It is available in MediaWiki 1.9 or later.

I have found adding the sorting to the Mac OS X Porting Roadmap really useful as you can now sort the table and easily see what is a high priority or already fixed. I wouldn't recommend it for full bug tracking. 

The next feature I'd like to see is row level editing of tables in the wiki, as I hate having to try and find the one or two rows in the table that I want to change.

If you would like to help the port by implementing one of the items on the road map, why not contact the MacPort team? Drop a mail to the mailing list (first subscribe by sending a mail to Or say drop by on IRC server on the channel #ooo_macport.

Monday, March 03, 2008

OSM cycle map of Shandwick Place, Edinburgh diversion

For the next five months Shandwick Place in the west of the centre of Edinburgh is closed for work to move the utilities for when the trams are going to be introduced in a few years time.

The council, TIE and Lothian Buses were quick enough to produce alternative routes for cars and buses, however their alternative route wasn't suitable for cyclists.

On Friday they provided some written instructions without any maps, which they had done for the car drivers and bus routes.
See below for a map with the council's route drawn on top of Andy Allan's rendering of the OpenStreetMap cycle data.