Peteeckel's Recent Posts
It's been some time now since I last reviewed Xmplify, and I guess it's time for an update. I've been using the tool for the last few years now for almost every XML editing task on the Mac, and I keep being surprised by its great versatility, quality, feature-richness and stability. Of all the XML editors I came across this is definitely the one I like using most. Another thing, experienced again just today, is the great responsiveness of the author. I made a feature suggestion that turned out to be for a feature that was already there, and I got a friendly reply explaining the feature within minutes (where, to be honest, an RTFM would also have been in order :-)). There are lots of tools that are much more expensive and don't have even nearly that quality of support. So a 100% thumbs-up again for Damien and Xmlplify!
I've been using TeX/LaTeX for many years now (started with the Lindner TeX on Atari ST about 25 years ago), and I'm still using it for technical documentation, invoices, concepts - everything. For my use it is much faster than any so-called WYSIWIG tool, causes far less troble than e.g. Word, provides perpetual backward compatibility with ancient documents, and above all produces high quality output like you'll never it see from Word. LaTeX has a learning curve. But you'll go through that curve once, not with every major upgrade again and again. And at least for me it was much, much shorter than the one one goes though trying to master Word *properly* - which most people using it are far away from. With respect to TeX implementations, MacTeX is very close to perfection. Painless upgrading, a smooth installation and a complete set of tools, and all of this for free. Everyone using it should consider making a donation to TUG or another official user group (or better: join a group and start contributing), because that's what keeps efforts like MacTeX alive.
Though other comments on MU suggest otherwise, my impression is a rather positive one. BitTorrent works fine for my purposes, which can be summarised in 'download Linux distribution DVD images every once in a while'. I'm definitely not a BT power user, I'll grant that. But as opposed to the highly-famed Transmission, BitTorrent worked immediately after installation for me. I like the clean UI as well. Other clients may have more features (I did not check that out), but the bare-bones functionality of this tool is really all I need.
The new version 6.0 of the AirPort Utility is lacking all features whatsoever for - SNMP configuration - Syslog configuration - IPv6 configuration - 802.11x configuration - Log viewing That said, it's absolutely, utterly useless to me. But pretty, I have to admit. Version 5.6 also came out today, allegedly 'for 802.11g models'. It has the old interface, provides all mentioned configuration options and works fine with 802.11n airports as well. So I use that for the time being, while looking for replacements for my 4 Airport Express devices.
I just tried to convert a rather simple PDF that was created using pdfLaTeX to a Word document, since sometimes there are customers using that legacy format. Word, I mean :-) Unfortunately the result was not satisfactory. Page breaks are not preserved, the table of contents is distributed over several pages by column (first the chapter numbers, than the chapter names, then follow several dispersed dots, and the page numbers below them - looks quite scary), line breaks are inserted where none should be, line spacing is a mess, tables are lost entirely. The result is, unfortunately, completely unusable. Considering that this is Crippleware, not Shareware, and much too expensive for the development stage it seems to be in, I probably won't give it a second try too soon. Maybe in a year or so.
This is a very mature piece of software considering that it is a beta version. I especially appreciate that this is a native Mac OS X implementation, not a Java port - I don't really like the small differences between Java programs such as the other XML editors currently available and native Mac OS X programs. libxml2/libxslt is not exactly the bleeding edge of XML/XSLT parser development, which might make it the software's weak point. On the other hand, I do most of my XML development on exactly the same foundation, so it's perfect for me, and I pre-registered the software right away - at USD 39 it's a steal. I managed to crash it twice by entering syntactically invalid URLs in schema locations, but considering that it's beta (and recovered my files without any problem) I think that is acceptable.