With TidBITS turning 20, we asked many friends and colleagues about their history with our little newsletter. The number and quality of replies has been overwhelming, and we're thrilled to share them.
Those of you who have been around for a decade or so probably remember Easy View, Akif Eyler's free text browsing utility. Easy View understood a number of text formats, including the setext format that we use for the text edition of TidBITS, and provided a three-pane view into TidBITS
Mac OS X 10.0.3 Released -- Just days after the release of Mac OS X 10.0.2 (see "TenBITS/07-May-01" in TidBITS-579), Apple has offered an update to version 10.0.3
This issue marks our ninth year of publication, and if anything, I remain all the more amazed that we're still publishing TidBITS. Flux runs rampant in the computer industry, and many Mac publications have come and gone
Do you support Macs for a living? If you do, you probably spend too much of your valuable time keeping track of software updates, time that otherwise could be spent using the updates or playing around with HTML
Easy View 2.6.1 -- Akif Eyler has released version 2.6.1 of his popular text viewing and cataloging application Easy View. In addition to being the pre-eminent application for viewing many digest and text file formats (including setext, the format in which TidBITS is distributed), Akif has added full AppleScript support and recordability, background searching, and command-click URLs (using Akif's Get URL BBEdit extension).
Using Easy View 2.6.1 with the Get URL extension, you can command-click URLs appearing in TidBITS or other files, including ftp, http, and gopher links, as well as the standardized file references appearing in the Info-Mac digest
The first issue of TidBITS is dated 16-Apr-90. I sit here, four years later, working on our 222nd issue, and think about all that has changed and all that has remained the same
The browser of choice for TidBITS has long been Easy View, Akif Eyler's simple setext browser for the Macintosh. That's not about to change any time soon, what with Akif's most recent update, Easy View 2.44, and those who enjoy TidBITS but read it on Windows or Unix systems might appreciate new programs that can browse setext files on those platforms.
Before I get into the new features and fixes in Easy View, consider some of the features it has long had, including the capability to search for a word or phrase and extract all the matching articles to a text file and the capability to decode the styles used in our setext format (including bold, underline, and separate body and headlines styles, all of which are user-definable)
I'm astonished. Two hundred issues is a lot, and I had no idea we would reach this mark, not because I ever planned to stop publishing TidBITS, but because I seldom think about the future in that respect
At Macworld Boston this past month, Akif Eyler's text-file browser Easy View won the 1993 MacUser Shareware Award for Text Tools, beating out Rich Siegel's excellent editor BBEdit and Mark Wall's DOCMaker
We received a number of well thought-out comments abut Roy McDonald's article on software acceleration in TidBITS #186. Although we don't have room for all of them, here are a few notes:
Larry Rosenstein and several others disagreed with Roy's statement that "OOP is an obvious formula for inefficient code." Larry felt that this is a myth, pointing at the fact that the System 7 Finder is a new program that hasn't been optimized, in contrast to the System 6 Finder, which had gone through several iterations that would help speed it up
Those of you who read TidBITS or other setext files on Unix boxes may wish to check out a prototype setext viewer now posted at for anonymous FTP as
This 13K program, sv-02, requires System 5 and the curses library
At first I thought of titling this "Info-Mac CD-ROM II: Economy Size," or even "Family Size" but I realized that those terms don't mean anything, and you only know that "Economy Size" is bigger if the bottle of ketchup so labeled is bigger than the one labeled merely "Super Big Bottle O' Ketchup." One way or another, the latest issue of the Info-Mac CD-ROM from Pacific HiTech is big, really big, and a lot bigger than the previous edition
With the help of several users, Akif Eyler tracked down and eradicated a bug with styles in Easy View 2.32 that had escaped detection throughout the beta test process
I recently uploaded Easy View 2.32, the latest version of Akif Eyler's free structured text file browser. Easy View recognizes the following formats:
setext, including TidBITS
Info-Mac, comp.sys.mac.programmer, or similar digests
Mail collections: Internet, Navigator, Notebook, etc.
Text with "simple" format
However, there's nothing new in that list - I just wanted to grab the interest of people who haven't yet come out from under their rocks to try Easy View