Emacs Usability Problem

I recently put a rant on Twitter about how Emacs could be improved in the hand of Apple, not FSF. There was a response from a guy I don't know saying Apple would ruin Emacs with their "mousey" tendency. No this has nothing to do with mouse.

Emacs is a good software and like it a lot. I even have a lot of customization in .emacs and .emacs.d. Many of them are nice, but I think half of them shouldn't be there in the first place (e.g. heavy keybindings and usability customization, frequently used extensions). In this regard I think Emacs suffer from the same problem most Unix distributions face - highly customizable but barely usable (without customization). Users must spend time on and on customizing the thing just to use it. This explains why they failed, are failing and will continue to fail at the desktop market. Apple did a really good job here with Mac OS X.
Some people would argue that customization is fun. Yeah it is, and actually many geeks like it, just like some people like masturbation. It's not bad, but rather pointless (Stuart Halloway made this analogy with Java's bloated frameworks in this video about concurrent programming in Clojure).

I know giving Emacs to Apple might not be a good idea due to all this technology "politics". The point here is that FSF has something to learn from Apple about making usable stuffs.


"com.apple.boot.plist not found" error on multi-boot Hackintosh

I have a VAIO VGN-CS115J triple-booting Windows, Mac OS 10.5 and Ubuntu.

After reformatting my Windows partition as HFS+ (getting rid of Windows, yeah), I had the "com.apple.boot.plist not found" error. It seemed Disk Utility gave the newly created (reformatted) partition the "bonus" of being active (being boot partition).

The error message was actually given by Chameleon, who could not find the boot.plist file in the active partition (of course). So I simply pressed F8, selected the Ubuntu partition, booted into it, fired up GParted, flagged the OS X partition as"boot", restarted.

Multi-boot capability is a savior :) Without it I would have needed a live CD (which I currently don't have). And thumb down for Disk Utility!

A side note: After I moved a large amount of data to the new partition, ATSServer worked like crazy. I guess it's Spotlight indexing PDF files being moved (lots of them :|).


Firefox problem with Cappuccino

Today I played with Cappuccino and encountered a quirk with Firefox
  • If the app is accessed via http://, it works, but the debug console shows that Firefox attempts to fetch Frameworks/AppKit/AppKit.j and Frameworks/Foundation/Foundation.j, and of course gets 404.
  • If the app is accessed via file://, it stops at the loading screen with the spinning indicator. The debug console shows Firefox complains about not finding some AppKit/Foundation classes in search paths.
UPDATED: Other browsers on Mac work normally (Safari, Opera, Chrome, OmniWeb) except for Camino and Flock, so I guess this has something to do with the Gecko engine.