BlueHarvest Fixes pesky ._DSstore and resource fork files

For those developing on a Mac in an otherwise non-Mac environment (Windows or Linux desktops and/or servers), you’ve undoubtedly run into the dreaded ._DSstore files.  These are resource files OS X creates for directories, and when connecting to a remote file system of another flavor, OS X will leave behind these files and cause you great torment from co-workers as you litter their machines and the servers with these files.  ._DSstore files are hidden by default in OS X, which is why you won’t see them until and unless you access the given directory with another OS.

The simplest fix for this comes from Apple itself.  In this support document, Apple describes a Terminal command designed to turn off writing ._DSstore files to attached network drives.  The command looks like this:

defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

We use a virtual Windows Server as our dev environment, and I run Win XP under Parallels on my Mac in order to access some Windows-only software we still use.  I found even with the above terminal command, I was still leaving ._DSstore droppings everywhere I went.
Fortunately I found Blue Harvest, a system-preference pane add-on for OS X 10.4 and 10.5.  The software is $12.95 but it is free to try.  In the words of the developer:

BlueHarvest allows you to keep your disks and servers free of Mac “trails” by:

  • Automatically removing DS_Store files.
  • Automatically removing resource forks (“dot underscore” files).
  • Automatically removing hidden folders such as “.Trashes” from removable disks.
  • Providing simple Control-Click Finder based cleaning of disks, folders and Zip archives.

BlueHarvest is fully customizable (via a System Preferences Panel) and is a Universal binary, supporting Intel and PowerPC based Macs. BlueHarvest 2 requires 10.4.x or 10.5 and later.

Blue Harvest Preference Pane

Blue Harvest Preference Pane

So far I could not be happier with Blue Harvest.  Apple appears serious about making inroads into the enterprise office environment with Snow Leopard’s upcoming native Exchange support.  Though I don’t wish anything bad for the developer of Blue Harvest, one cannot escape the conclusion that such functionality should also be native if Apple really expects wide-spread adoption of Macs into Windows networks in workplaces around the world.

MySQL forks reveal uncertainty about Oracle’s plans

Ran across this article on Zend.com about Drizzle, a lightweight fork of MySQL intended for “cloud” applications.  As we see more fork projects and groups take MySQL in their own directions, I continue to wonder what Oracle’s ultimate intentions are for the open source db now that it owns MySQL as part of its acquisision of Sun Microsystems.

Maybe tech and business industry types pointed out the painfully obvious fact that MySQL creates serious overlap with Oracle’s existing relational db product lineup.  However, it has not been emphasised that the two products really cater to different markets.  Yes, there’s some overlap, particularly in the low-cost rapid-application-development arena.  Are there low-cost small scale apps using Oracle? Yes, but I’m sure most are using the free “Express” version.  Are there huge enterprise scale apps using MySQL? Sure.  But, for the most part, I would wager that this overlap is negligible in comparison to the leverage that the gigantic MySQL installed base could give Oracle in terms of a gateway to new classes of potential customers for Oracle’s other products and services.

IE7.js a universal solution to IE6 craptastic-ness?

More thoughts on this later, but for now, just check out Dean Edwards’ IE7.js javascript library, which causes IE to behave like a standards-compliant browser. Eric Meyer has some great thoughts about IE7.js as well.  Note that both IE7.js and Eric’s blog post have been around a while, but this is still good stuff for anyone having to suffer with a large IE6 installed base (myself included).