Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica, Season 3 starts Friday, October 6.

To get your juices flowing, The Sci Fi channel is releasing ten new “webisodes”: Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance

!– function open_window(url) { mywin = window.open(url,”win”,’toolbar=0,location=0,directories=0,status=0,menubar=0,scrollbars=0,resizable=0,width=350,height=500′); } function open_window2(url) { mywin = window.open(url,”win”,’toolbar=0,location=0,directories=0,status=0,menubar=0,scrollbars=0,resizable=0,width=300,height=420′); } // –>

Watch Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance, ten exclusive webisodes chronicling the events on Cylon-occupied New Caprica from just after the season two finale until the season three premiere, only on SCI FI Pulse. New webisodes will be posted every Tuesday and Thursday leading up to the season premiere on Friday, October 6, at 9/8C.

I can’t wait.

iPod Games

iPod Games: now this is an interesting business opportunity.

The Mac games market may be small, but the iPod market is huge. I wonder how open Apple will be to selling independent iPod games through iTunes.

So, Apple where is that iPod Games SDK? Can I use Objective-C or do I need to use Java?

Update (Sept. 13, 2006):

Erica Sadun of MacDevCenter found a few hints as to what makes up an iPod game.

Update (Sept. 14, 2006):

Dan Dickinson has a very deep look inside multiple games that reveals more interesting details in Dissecting iPod Games. Apparently, they are simple .zip files containing some sort of ARM executable that does not appear to be Java-based.

Ben Sinclair uncovers more information on What’s Inside an iPod Game. Ben even went as far as contacting Apple to get their input on when an SDK would be available:

Thank you for contacting the Apple Developer Connection regarding developing for the iPod.

Please know that, at this time, we have no plans to offer an SDK for the iPod.

iTunes 7 Preferences

The internet is a buzz about the new UI in iTunes 7. There are many changes, some good and some bad. Many will probably vanish with iTunes 8 or Leopard’s release.

Who knows, but I’m starting to get tired of the abrupt changes with every new version and trying to figure out how the heck to implement them in my software. It’s hard enough to follow the “standards”, much less all the UI “innovations” coming out of Apple these days.

What did grab my eye with iTunes 7 that turns me off and scares me a bit for the future is the new design for the iTunes Preferences window. I circled the two things that immediately caught my eye:

The window is modal, which is unlike other OS X application panels. It doesn’t have the standard candy coated window buttons at the top left and it has very Windows-like “OK” and “Cancel” buttons at the bottom right.

I don’t understand this at all. It’s modal with no window control buttons; so why isn’t it a sheet? Or better yet, why isn’t it like the old preferences window? Now, I have to worry about what “OK” and “Cancel” do to the settings I have made. The old preferences panel saved the changes immediately, I didn’t have to worry about it.

What happens now if I make a change on one pane, say the “Playback” pane, then change to the “Advanced” pane. Were my changes saved when I switched? If I click “Cancel” is everything reverted to the old settings before I opened the Preferences Window? Or does the “Cancel” button just cancel the current pane?

Yuck!

What really gets me is that this very morning I was watching the old 2005 WWDC sessions and happened to see some discussion on improving UI. One of the “bad” examples had an “OK” and “Cancel” button. To improve the UI, the buttons were removed. The same session argued that modal windows should be replaced with sheets.

Maybe this is all for the benefit of Windows users. After all, they are very used to this design. But, couldn’t Apple display the Preferences window appropriately for each platform? Now we have Windows UI patterns bleeding onto OS X from, of all sources, Apple!

Posted in Mac

DMG Image Design

Roustem Karimov examines the approach of several companies to DMG Image Design.

This is a great comparison of several top software products’ digital distribution package for the Mac.

There are several reasons why this is so important for your product:

  • First impressions count; especially for shareware products.
  • Minimizing customer support issues. Directions on how to install your product avaiable right when your customer needs it most.
  • Branding. Burn that company and product identity into to your target audience immediately.

Bullfrog Mystery Feature Revealed

In my last entry, I announced that the Bullfrog 1.2 release was delayed due to a new “critical” bug and a new super secret feature I have decided to implement for this update.

The “critical” bug has been squashed and all that remains is the new mystery feature.

This morning I finished up a rough and dirty prototype of a new Online Scoreboard. I thought it would be fun to have a little friendly competition between Bullfrog players of the world.

So, I’m officially announcing the big feature of Bullfrog 1.2: the Online Scoreboard.

When a player achieves a personal high score, Bullfrog will optionally check the online database over the internet to see how the score fairs against all other submitted scores. Players will be able to recheck their global rankings at anytime to see if anyone has out done them. Scores will also be viewable via your favorite web browser from a link on the Bullfrog product page.

If all goes well, this shouldn’t push this release out too much further.

Unfortunately, my weekend diversion has taken a bit more time out of the LicenseKeeper development schedule than I had originally planned, but I should be back on track shortly.