One of the challenges that can crop up with deploying software packages can be repackaging metapackages, especially metapackages that don’t have the installers contained inside themselves. Good example of the latter is iLife ’11 and XCode 4.x, where the installer metapackage is small and instead acts as a master conductor to install other packages located in a separate directory.
To address this, you can use Iceberg‘s ability to add resources to a Iceberg-built package. Here’s an example, using an Office 2011 SP 1 installer metapackage and the Office 2011 14.1.2 Update.
I had an issue this week, where somebody (not saying who, but it’s not the user’s fault in this instance) tossed the Quicktime Player application from /Applications on a 10.6.x Mac. Since that’s an application that’s included with the OS, there’s not a separate installer for it. Fortunately, other folks have had this problem before, so I was able to use this procedure to reinstall Quicktime Player without reinstalling the whole OS:
1. Downloaded and installed Pacifist.
2. Inserted a 10.6.x install DVD (I used a 10.6.3 install DVD in this case)
3. Opened Pacifist and chose “Open Apple Install Disks” (this part can take a few minutes to run)
4. Searched for “Quicktime Player.app”
5. Selected “Quicktime Player.app” (in Essentials.pkg/Applications) and chose “Install to Default Location” with administrator privileges.
6. Once Quicktime Player X was back in /Applications, I then ran the 10.6.7 Combo Update to make sure that the Quicktime application was fully updated.
Following the Combo update and reboot, I was then able to open a number of *ahem* test files from http://trailers.apple.com/ without a problem.
Despite the fact that there wasn’t an IT track this year, I went to WWDC 2011 to learn as much as I could about 10.7. I’m really glad I did, as I picked up an enormous of amount of information (and met great people!) that I just would not have otherwise.
My takeaways from this year:
1. iOS and Mac OS X are converging. I don’t know where this train will end up, but Apple is betting on our computing becoming ever more mobile.
2. To go along with us becoming more mobile, Apple wants devs (especially its own) to focus on getting out of the user’s face. This is especially applying to the security model. Apple is simultaneously tightening “least privilege”, while also building the security to focus more on intelligent processing and less on asking the user about things the user may or may not understand in the first place.
An analogy used in the security session was that, right before a car crash, a little window does not open in the dashboard to ask if the driver wants to deploy the airbag. Instead, the airbag goes off because the pre-determined conditions for it tell the system that it must do so and save the driver.
3. Apple’s message about networking was “Assume that all the networks your app is connecting with are crappy, expensive (fee-based) and will disappear without warning. Build your app accordingly to handle those conditions gracefully and all your surprises will be pleasant ones.”
4. In a related message, Apple was also pushing “Power isn’t free. Enable only the computing equipment and/or radios you need to do the job.” That may not matter as much to a desktop- and/or server-focused developer, but it’s definitely relevant to a mobile device.
To meld those together: “Be out of the user’s face. Don’t display errors or ask the users to do things they don’t understand unless absolutely necessary. Build your apps to work invisibly and fail gracefully.”
As a person who gets called when “Hey, this popped up and I don’t know what means?” happens, I can only applaud the philosophy behind this.
I also posted some notes over in the Lion Dev Forums (ADC membership required for access.)
FileVault 2 – notes from Thursday’s Security lab: https://devforums.apple.com/thread/103697
Next Gen Crypto session and FIPS validation: https://devforums.apple.com/thread/104020
Updated FileVault 2 notes: https://devforums.apple.com/message/452262#452262
I had a question come up today, where one of my users asked how they could make their My Day application show only the calendar of the person they were administratively supporting. I did some poking around and here’s how you can set My Day to selectively show calendars:
1. Launch Outlook 2011.
2. In Outlook, select My Day under the Window menu
3. When the My Day application launches, go into the My Day menu and select Preferences
4. In the My Day Preferences, select Calendars. This will open the Events window.
5. In the Events section marked Show these calendars in My Day:, choose the Outlook calendars that you want to show up in My Day.
(Note: Only those calendars that you’ve previously added to your Outlook calendar listing will show up as selectable.)