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MacEdition ProNews December 5, 2000

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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WAP-ed upside the head

Leading off today is a fine piece from The Register, telling us about usability studies on WAP – you know, the Wireless Access Protocol. You know, the stuff stuffing Web stuff into an itsy-bitsy space – namely, cell phones. Well, assuming you can take time out from the Mac OS X interface wars to care, none other than Jakob Nielson says, “Companies shouldn’t waste money fielding WAP services that nobody will use while WAP usability remains so poor.”

Hmmm ... didn’t Tog recently sign on to that group? Wonder if he uses his cell phone to herd his sheep?

Eazel does it

What do you get when you take an underlying operating system that’s from a planet near Unix and stick an interface on it that mere mortals are supposed to be able to grok? That’s right! According to InfoWorld, Dell asked that very question, and got the answer pronto: Eazel. Not content to await the final release, Dell is reported to be readying product with Preview Release 2 of the Eazel environment (unfinished, but apparently usable), and decided to throw cash at the company as well.

Hmmm ... given a heritage like this:

Heading the design of the graphical environment is Andy Herzfeld[sic], who did the same for the Mac OS. Also on board is Bud Tribbble[sic], who managed the Macintosh software development team and co-founded NeXT with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and Mike Boich, now serving as Eazel’s CEO, who was the first software evangelist at Apple.

you gotta wonder ... just who will be the first to successfully put the Mac on top of a Un*x-like core?

CVS is not a drugstore...

Version control is something many people have never heard of. If you don’t write compiled code, the closest thing you’re likely to have run into is the “multiple versions” option in Microsoft Word. But version control can make your life easier if you have more than one person working on the same files in a project. Philip Greenspun (of ArsDigita fame put forth a description of version control in a real-world scenario, called Using CVS for Web Development.

Not a very catchy title, but the ideas behind it are important to any shop with more than one person (or looking to grow beyond one person). If you’ve never had your bacon saved by a revision control system (like when Bob the Intern decides he really doesn’t like working for “experience” two days before a major product launch, and makes his newfound displeasure evident in your source files), you just don’t know what you’re missing.

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