Apple Announces Darwin Open Source Project -- Last week, Apple announced it plans to make the source code for the foundation layers of Mac OS X Server available via an open source initiative called Darwin. Developers who agree with the Apple Public Source License can register with Apple to gain access to the source code, which will include Apple's enhancements to the Mach 2.5 microkernel in Mac OS X Server, plus several Apple technologies such as AppleTalk, the HFS Plus file system, and the new NetInfo distributed database. Apple says it plans to include additional software in its open source offerings, but don't expect to see source code for Apple's bread-and-butter technologies (like the current Mac OS, QuickTime, WebObjects, or the NeXT application layer) released as open source. Source code for Darwin should be available to developers in early April. It remains to be seen whether Darwin will be genuinely useful to developers, or whether Apple is merely surfing the open source wave. See TidBITS Talk for debate on the topic. [GD]
Open Files with Finder's App Switcher
Say you're in the Finder looking at a file and you want to open it with an application that's already running but which doesn't own that particular document. How? Switch to that app and choose File > Open? Too many steps. Choose Open With from the file's contextual menu? Takes too long, and the app might not be listed. Drag the file to the Dock and drop it onto the app's icon? The icon might be hard to find; worse, you might miss.
In Leopard there's a new solution: use the Command-Tab switcher. Yes, the Command-Tab switcher accepts drag-and-drop! The gesture required is a bit tricky. Start dragging the file in the Finder: move the file, but don't let up on the mouse button. With your other hand, press Command-Tab to summon the switcher, and don't let up on the Command key. Drag the file onto the application's icon in the switcher and let go of the mouse. (Now you can let go of the Command key too.) Extra tip: If you switch to the app beforehand, its icon in the Command-Tab switcher will be easy to find; it will be first (or second).
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