Posted by & filed under Mac OS X, Mono. 5,589 views

“You can read about it for years, but until you’ve actually experienced it, you have no conception of what it’s really like.”

This ‘article’ (original here) is pretty typical of the new genre of Slashdot/O’Reilly/OSNews ‘jounalism’.

While this could be a great piece about Mac OS X application development with Steve’s opinion on the whole thing, it turns out to be a misinformed, short sighted piece that only has the merit of temporarily including an unauthorized email thread with our pal Steve Jobs.

If you ask “Can Apple do Better than Objective-C?”, please do mention viable alternatives (such as Mono, RealBasic, Python & Java Cocoa bindings), discuss the abandon of Java as a viable alternative to Objective-C and question Steve’s ludicrous assertions about .NET’s inherent slowness and the goodness of Objective C.

Interface Builder, XCode & Cocoa are solid tools and they are getting better with each release. However, today Mac OS X developers create great applications despite Objective-C but they don’t have much of a choice or at least don’t know of one.

They do

Update: Miguel elaborates on the merits of the Mono/CLI/.NET approach to solve some of Mac OS X’s shortcomings

Posted by & filed under Photography. 1,680 views

Thanks to Aperture, I’ve been able to unearth a few nice shots that I’ve never really shown anyone. I’d love your comments on them. Often, I find that the photos I took that people like are very different from the ones I like. Here’s the album, you can leave the comments in the gallery:


Posted by & filed under Linux, Mac OS X, Mono. 1,927 views

but sometime you say silly things. How incredibly misinformed is your latest assertion: “The only reason OS/X is at all relevant right now has nothing to do with software- it has to do with the little white things in millions of people’s ears“. Sure, iPods did contribute hugely to the Apple brand current buzz but its newfound desktop relevance has little to do with the white earbuds.

I mean let’s face it, many desktops nowadays (including Gnome) are modeling their ease of use, UI guidelines mantra after what the Apple crews devised twenty years ago.
Many applications on Windows and Linux are trying to be as useful and easy to use as iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie HD, Garage Band and iDVD but also NetNewsWire, QuickSilver, Omnigraffle.

So much that in fact, a lot of the open source and Gnome developers I have had a chance to meet in the last few years are closet Mac OS X users (I won’t out them. Hi Dave). Not only that but most will testify that they get their wife an iBook, their mother an iMac. Go to O’Reilly’s OSCON and you’ll see that more than half of the audience is sporting Powerbooks. And while the funniest thing a SuSE engineer said to me was: “You know you can install SLES 9 on your powerbook” (Why in hell would I do that, so it stops working properly ?), none of those people (nor I) are running Gnome (or KDE for that matter) on their shiny Apple hardware.

So, while the iPod is a great vector for Apple’s adoption, its relevance is due to hardware and software working together, applications being easy to install, working well and being simple.

What’s amazing is that even though Cocoa/Objective C has become somewhat irrelevant as a development platform, Apple is able to churn out amazingly useful and well targeted applications not only at the low end but also mid-range (Pages, Keynote, Final Cut Express, Logic Express) and high-end (Motion, Shake, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro and Aperture). Independent Mac OS X and open source developers do the same and hopefully they’ll adopt Mono to do so, some of them already are today.

But I am losing focus and starting to sound like a zealot. I’ll tell you though, if I were to think along your lines, I’d blindly declare: “The only reason Linux is at all relevant right now has nothing to do with the desktop but with all those J2EE & PHP applications deployed worldwide on Linux servers“. And while that might not be the truth sitting down at Flaptop’s Johny, it certainly is in the world’s homes and corporations.

Posted by & filed under Mac OS X, Personal, Photography. 2,385 views

I have tried a lot of different photo editing & photo management applications over the years. Photoshop is still very much the king when it comes to a full featured app to tweak or heavily modify your photos, a digital darkroom if you will. But my main problem over the last few years has been to manage my photo collection (tagging, sorting, organizing), keep my masters, create backups, …

Since I pretty much always shoot RAW (Why would I use only half of the color information I can get from my camera sensor ?), the tool needs to not only handle 16 bit formats (for my two cameras) but handle it well.

For many applications, I am perfectly happy with the open source alternative or a low-priced commercial solution. As far as photography goes, I am not and none of the tools I tried, from Capture One to f-spot did the trick. This week-end I had an opportunity to try Apple’s Aperture and I must say it is without doubt the most amazing piece of software I have seeen in a long time. If you don’t believe me, head out to your local Apple Store and try it out for yourself.

As soon as I get a job, Apple will get $450 of my money. I fanboy Aperture.

Posted by & filed under Linux, Mac OS X, Mono, Personal. 3,419 views

After not having looked for a job in nearly 10 years, it’s no surprising how in shambles my resume had gotten, pure code rot. But it’s ready for public viewing now.

So if you know of any open source, commercial or enterprise software engineering manager or product manager position that you think I’d be a good fit for, please grab my resume and forward it to the right person !

Posted by & filed under Mono. 2,175 views

Interesting interview of Otee’s CEO on TUAW. Otee uses Mono for scripting in their Unity 3D game engine, that’s the JavaScript feature they’re talking about. Developers can also use Boo and C# for game scripting, thanks to Mono multi-language support.

On a side note, if you can’t decide whether to go see Serenity or not, please do go. I saw it early summer with jbz, Naresh and Dan and I recommend it. I’ll go see it again this week, with the final score. I saw it before I watched the TV show and as is, it’s a fantastic movie with an endearing cast and limitless universe. You’ll want to grab the DVD of the TV series next.

Posted by & filed under Personal. 3,135 views

Please Mr Steve Jobs, will you introduce new ipods this week ?


  • I got a speeding ticket on Saturday for $250
  • As I came home decided to not use my car anymore, I realized my bike had been stolen
  • As I walked to my car this morning, I realized someone had gotten in and stolen my ipod (I had forgotten to lock it, I am stupid, obviously).

For some reason they decided to not steal my iPod Shuffle. Not sexy enough for you, punk ? You prefer to steal a full ipod with a 35 minutes battery life ?

Update: They also stole my Shure e3c headphones (which go really deep inside your ear canal). I hope I have some sort of brain disease that doesn’t affect me and oozes through my ears and will cause their own brain to rot away.

Posted by & filed under Personal. 2,184 views

(we’ll see if JBZ gets that one)

Today, my dad turned 86. The man is my hero.

He never drank nor smoked but had plenty of fun. A model of health, my dad played tennis until he was 78 or so. He learnt it from the best, before he fought that war that tore Europe appart. Mind you, he’d still best me everytime we played or at least until I discovered his short game wasn’t what it used to be after he turned 70 or so. I was 16.

He’s on IMDB and thanks to him, so am I. Even you have to admit, it’s pretty cool. Though I was never interested in the moving image as much as he is, he might have given me an eye for things.

People say I look much exactly like my mum (who is, incidently, my heroine), others say I am a spitting image of my dad. In any case, I think I got a lot from him including his view of the world and life philosophy. Oh and I know how to piss off my mum which is something he taught me, obviously.

People often ask me if I miss home, France. I don’t, really. I can find Tome de Savoie, Nutella and croissants here. Also, there is plenty of rude people in New England so I don’t miss Paris all that much. I do miss my south, my forest and my parents. I get to go for five days, next week. I am psyched.

So today is about my dad. I wish I had a photo handy to post here but it’ll be for later.

Happy birthday dad (oh and he doesn’t read this, no decent internet access where I am from).

HTTP Client testing

I wanted to mention that we’re looking to hire someone to write a dummy HTTP server (not a real HTTP server) to run through all possible permutations of HTTP responses (good and bad) to perform regression testing on our Mono HTTP client API. If you think you could do the job or know of an existing framework, test suite to do so, let me know.

A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

I bought a robot kit yesterday and started putting together the structure for the sample robot. I think it’ll be a lot of fun. Fejj, Rodney and I have a plan to build a pirate juggernaut boat. Fejj is in charge of the flamethrower and Rodney said something about ball bearings for canon balls. We might be able to claim the Charles river and sink a few RC sailboats in the process.

I wonder how many robots it would take to stop Dan Mills on his scooter. Permanently.

(couldn’t find much of an internet community arounds those Vex kits, do you know of any ?)