Why is that button gray?

As the author admits “We’re doing nothing mind-boggling here”, but the recommendation to provide a tooltip explaining why an inactive button or menu option is not available is certainly a good one.

Why is that button gray? « EclipseSource Blog.

GitX – a graphical UI for git on Mac OS X

Although I like the idea of git, I find that I don’t actually use it often enough to have internalised the command-line options. Perhaps the easy integration between Eclipse and subversion has made me lazy 🙂

I recently noticed some git-specific tools, which might go some way to making such occasional use more palateable. For example, GitX is a Mac OS X GUI tool which monitors a git workspace and supports easy selection, evaluation, and committing of changes. More details in the GitX User Manual.

After playing with it a little, I can see that it is helpful for managing a local git workspace and repository. However, what is missing is any support for the relatively common scenario of grabbing the contents of a remote repository, making a sequence of changes and local commits, then sending back some or all of those commits to the remote repository.

This omission seems common. I have not found any Eclipse tools to help with this, either, which leaves arguably the fiddliest and least memorable part of the process in the realm of poorly-documented command line tools.

Anyone found anything to help manage this?

Revisiting the Mythical Man Month

Fred Brooks’ “Mythical Man Month” is a classic book on software development, and its core message has been a vital part of project management for decades. With that in mind it’s somewhat surprising to find someone willing to challenge this prevailing view.

Andy Singleton of Assembla has written some interesting blog posts suggesting an alterative interpretation of Brooks’ data.

Time to Vanquish the Mythical Man Month

Mythical Man Month revisited, again.


Stop Mac OS X indexing a FAT32 external drive

This has been irritating me ever since I got my MacBook. I use lots of different computers with lots of different operating systems and the simplest way to transfer information is often to use a FAT32-formatted removable USB flash drive.

On my Windows and Linux machines this works great. I plug in the drive and the files are available. No problem. On my Mac I plug in the drive and it messes with it. It splats a bunch of “hidden” folders on the drive then locks the drive from being dismounted while it spends a lot of CPU cycles attempting to index it. All of which is completely pointless. And there’s no config or preference to switch it off.

Worst of all, it even does it to the memory cards from my camera. This is inexcusable.

Searching around I found a lot of people complaining about this, but no real solutions, until I stumbled on macosxhints.com – 10.4: Disable Spotlight on a FAT32 external drive.

Simply create an empty file at the top level of the drive named .metadata_never_index and the Mac OS X “Spotlight” indexer should leave it alone forever.