implicit HIG: toys from others
As apparently have a number of other developers/bloggers, I've been reading and thinking about the implicit HIG since John Gruber spoke on the topic at the C4 conference. It seems the consensus thus far is:
1. Apple isn't likely to help.
Unfortunately, this raises the barrier to entry if you don't want Gruber to call you up with the words "2001 called. They want their UI back."
2. It would be nice if there were one place to go for example code for these kinds of things.
I'm relatively new on the Mac Geek scene and, given the personalities involved and some of the other fantastic resources already out there (links here to the various mailing list aggregations), am surprised that there isn't a community code repository for Cocoa programmers to post / retrieve solutions to common development problems like the implicit HIG.
So! Let's do something about this. With the above in mind, I've started keeping a list of links on del.icio.us where I've found interesting and/or slick cocoa widgets and frameworks using the tag newHIG. I'm hoping that other developers out there who have solved a common Cocoa development problem like this will be willing to share links and code. Once the number of newHIG tags I have hits a critical mass, it's time to set up a wiki / repository for this stuff. I'll do it. If anybody has any ideas or would like to donate some code, some time, or some beer, shout!
So far, I've tried only one of the solutions I've found and it seems "Batteries included" to me. The new ilifecontrols framework from Sean Patrick O’Brien simply rocks. All I had to do was embed the framework in my little test app, drag and drop the headers into IB, and set the appropriate classes for widgets and windows. Five minutes of work and my app is skinned iLife style. Odd how the visual change already makes it seem more fun to play around with this little app. I must be a fanboy now, huh?
You've seen the visualization I'm working on just a few times now.
No, it's not a pretty app to begin with; it's a test app. (By the way, the fps numbers are meaningless after the view has drawn. The framework did not slow anything down.) Hopefully though, this gives us an idea of what one can do in a hurry with the framework. Rock on Sean.
In the next few days, I'll start dropping others' widgets into my work to see how they look together. There are a bunch of nice widgets and little "here's how you do this or that" from Matt Gemmell, including an i-tunes 5/6 window style, that look awesome as well. There is a nice little "Gear menu" from RogueSheep's Bleatings (baaaaaah). Considering the above, it looks like our implicit HIG toolkit is well underway.
#for the developers who write code so I don't have to
for i in xrange(1000000):