12 Apr 2001 wsanchez   » (Master)

ApacheCon was, as expected, excellent. We had a special "Hackathon" event before the conference (something we started doing at the London conference). I had volunteered a very cool space in the Apple campus for the Hackathon before I left Apple, and some folks at Apple we very cool to make sure we still were OK to use the room. The Hackathon is a great thing because the ASF contributors work together primarily via email, and the opportunity to get everyone in one room to hash out architectural and other issues is invaluable. A lot got done in those two days.

While at the conference, I finally had the time to commit some of the Darwin patches into the PHP repository. Still some work to be done there, but it was good progress. I also put some work into httpd 2.0. The first Beta release went out last week, though (despite the press release) it does not build on Darwin/Mac OS. I do have it building now, but Darwin lacks pthead_sigmask(), which means that signal delivery in the threaded MPM is still wonky.

I recently released an app called DropScript. DropScript is a little application that I wrote as a demo for the BSD in Mac OS talk I gave at WWDC last year. Basically, it lets you drop any program onto it which takes files as command line arguments and creates a new application from that program. Generally, these programs are scripts written in sh, perl, etc. So you can now write a shell script like so:

gzip -9 "$@"

Then call the script "GZip.sh", drop that file onto DropScript, and out pops DropGZip.app next to GZip.sh. When you drop files onto DropGZip, it compresses the files for you.

DropScript is one of my favorite hacks for two reasons. First, it's pretty cool functionality, and very easy to use. Second, it's a shockingly simple program. Check out the source code for yourself. It's a great example of how you can use Cocoa (the Objective-C application framework in Mac OS X) and use that to provide BSD functionality to users without making them use the relatively arcane command line, which is why it was a good demo for my talk.

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