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Part of CocoaDevelopersMostWanted (It would be cool to have a category “Most Wanted” or something, no?)

If you want any of these changes, please submit them to [ Radar]. Simply posting them here is great for discussion and raising awareness, but submitting them to Apple’s bug tracker is what will get them implemented. In addition, the more people submit a given issue, the more likely Apple is to do something about it.


*Smarter smart groups. (yea: 1 nay:0) The only options currently available are simple and regex filters on the file name. Spotlight should make it simple to create groups based on all sorts of things, such as: “All .m files in the project not modified since noon today” or “All image and sound files in the project.” You can do this easily enough in Finder, and since Xcode uses the same icon for smart groups that Finder uses for smart folders, I’d guess Apple might be heading in this direction. But I think of new ways to that I could use a feature like this in Xcode two or three times a day.

*refactoring tools. (yea:14 nay:0) Please! The primary advantages to using an IDE over a straight text editor are code-completion (which we now have - hooray) and refactoring (which we’re still waiting for!). Please add refactoring soon. “All the other IDEs are doing it!”

*Tabbed Editing. Good gods, tabbed editing. I work on a huge project, and switching between files requires way too much mousing. (yea:3 nay:1)

nay explanation: The files are already listed to the left in the main window and clicking one changes the file you’re editing in the main window. Even though the list doesn’t look like “tabs”, it’s acting like them - toss in grouping(etc) and the list is more functional too. So, forget tabs - edit (mostly) in the main window and use the list as a vertical tab bar - long live the tabs we already have.

“nay rebuttal: You rearrange your entire project in the order that you’re working right now, and only have like 3 files visible in it at each time? That seems like a lot of work. Tabs are neat to have because then you have only the file you’re working on right now and you have them accessible by just a key combo”

rebuttal rebuttal: Huh? I don’t have to rearrange anything. I have way more than 3 files visible at a time too - they’re listed right there under “Groups & Files”. *pointing I see what you’re really asking for though; key combos that’ll switch between files. You can ask for that without asking for tabs. But then there’s the back/forward button (cmd+option+left   right) that already (with limitations) does that - I think I use that more than the Groups & Files list. Anyway, I still don’t think tabs are a good idea because they take up too much room and would almost always spill over into a menu (yuck).*

*auto-synchronize method/function signatures between interface (headers) and implementation (yea:13 nay:1) (isn’t this just a specific use case for refactoring?)

*hide/reveal method bodies in normal source view (keeps me from having to use the pop-up menu to see my own methods) (yea:11 nay:0)

*why are there “executables” and “products” in the tree? Can these be merged or replaced with something more self-explanatory? (yea:8 nay:1) Some “products” like plug-in bundles are not “executables” this is for multi-target projects

new build phases: PackageMaker and dmg creation (with a GUI supporting all the features of the CLI tool) (yea:8 nay:0) *It’s not from Apple, but there are third-party tools for this. DropDMG is my favorite. There are free ones as well.

I would be perfectly satisfied with just getting the stuff that it has now to work properly. The thing crashes like no other, it’s ridiculous. Not to mention it has redraw errors in the text editor. Also, syntax coloring doesn’t work so well, case in point: comments. UGH. (yay: 10: nay: 0) *I’m just one yay, but I’m shouting it ‘I’m just another yay, but I’m screaming.’ ** – People should be ranting about this. It’s like Xcode was written by M$.** (Ouch, you should try actually using Visual Studio before saying things like this. It’s a fantastic IDE and contains virtually every feature people are asking for in this list, plus tons of other stuff) I’m holding out high hopes for TextMate.

*static code analysis/QA tools (yea:4 nay:0) <– MS Visual tools have some static analysis tools in the IDE. Java tools like Eclipse do too!

*Third-party language plug-ins (yea:4 nay:0) <– I want Eiffel…(oh there is… well make it better) – full python support! Hasn’t this already been done? Xcode can edit any filetype, so all you have to do is make a project that ends up being a template, and configure the build phases correctly. You can do shell scripts in the build phase so theoretically you could make your own compiler and call it from a build phase.

adorn variable names (color/font/style) to indicate extern/file/instance/local/undeclared (yea:2 nay:1) + class syntax highlighting What are some examples? *I don’t know if this is what was meant, but there’s AutoGraf

*some kind of meta-indexing or shared indexing: indexes for libraries/frameworks shared between projects, not re-generated for every project (yea:1 nay:0) <- not needed, see IndexTemplates

Xcode to stop disabling the damn build buttons and menu items, etc…, after finding one warning in my code (like an unused variable), and causing me to close the project and reopen it. (yea:4 nay:0) <- Don’t have to close the project: just make a build using the menu and the button will come back * So and friggin what. It’s a bug. They need to fix it, not to mention build train hangs. **<– Does anyone know if this has been fixed in the Xcode 1.2 beta (I dont have it)? ** Erm… I have never had this problem, even with Xcode 1.1. -RossDude

“flat views” of obj-c classes (shows all methods/instance vars… including those inherited) *I’d love to be able to use XCode as a general-purpose text editor, but can’t because it’s so bloody slow.


*Symbolic Tags- It would be great to have symbolic tags in IB. Take a look at this post on cocoa-dev: If you’re interested there’s some good discussion in the thread- this particular post is about a third down, but there’s good posts above and below

*Java Swing source code generator. Take a nib file and generate Java source code - for those that want to make cross platform app (native cocoa on MacOS X, java on other platforms). (yea: 5 nay: 4)

Why would this be part of InterfaceBuilder? Maybe an external, 3rd party tool, but I don’t think Apple should bother with this.

This exists:

Well, for those of you who still want this, download GenericToolbar, a free and mostly bug-free IB palette written by me to address this problem. Also, any news from Tiger users on this issue? –JediKnil.

It’s in Leopard. –Amorya

*Applescript support for creating/editing objects/Applescript Info (yea:1 nay:0)

*Context sensitive help for controls. There are times (especially when new to Cocoa, but not only when new) when it would be nice to get 1-click access to a summary of a control’s features and attributes (as well as some basic how-to info, supporting OS X version(s), and so on). (yea:2 nay:0)

*Custom cell/control designer. I’m bored of the standard widgets and want to make new ones by taking existing ones (image cells, textfield cells, button cells etc) and making composite cells. Such composite cells would be a great alternative to generic tables, which only give you a single layout – horizontal rows. Lots of programs already have primitive attempts at such a thing, either by special case classes or even using view hierarchies interior to cells (eugh). Given a generic class design and a means to specify layout, a single composite cell class could suffice, especially if it supported a recursive hierarchy of instances and a variety of simple layout rules which could also be applied recursively (rows, columns, boxes; left-, right- or centre-horizontal aligned; top- bottom- or centre-vertical aligned, etc.) Well maybe I’ll get around to it myself one of these days. (yea:1 nay:0)

*(2004.09.30) Hide or disable GUI items in the Palettes window (and attributes in the Info window) if they aren’t available for your “Oldest [OS X] Target.” If necessary, make this switchable via a preference. (yea:1 nay:0)

*Ability to cut and paste controls (e.g. to move them between tab views) without losing their connections.

*Ability to right click to make connections (With a mighty mouse, for example). (yea:1 nay:0)


There’s binding for JavaScript - []. I believe there are perl bindings out there too.

A selection of OSA language components: []

Apple Event Manager bindings for Perl: [], Python [] and Ruby []. There are also Tcl bindings, but don’t think they’re as advanced. – has



A simple icon editor (yea:2 nay:3) [There already is one: Developer/Applications/Utilities/IconComposer] �No, this is not an editor, just an importer. *How to make a simple editor for 128x128x32 icons with alpha? Might as well just use Photoshop. As the naysayer, I just want to say that graphics design is simply beyond the scope of software engineering. I second the photoshop comment. Sure, $650 is reasonable to make a bloody icon. Not. Iconographer is a pretty nice alternative for small icons, but if you want a good-looking 128x128 icon, a full-out graphics editor is the way to go (i.e. Photoshop).

Re: the $650 comment - So use GraphicConverter ($35) or the gimp ($0). The point is, for OSX icons the only difference between an icon editor and a general purpose image editor is canvas size.

Because of both the resizable nature of OSX icons, and the general look and feel that seems common to them all, I think it’s easier to at least start by copying the paper sketch of the icon design in a vector package anyway.

Speaking of vector packages, is there an equivalent of the gimp or GraphicConverter for that kind of thing? I’d love to buy an Adobe thing, but I just shelled out for Elements (for other reasons than icon-making). There’s Intaglio [] and Create [] And nobody’s mentioned the $15 Iconographer [] Doh. Nevermind. Someone did mention it. But they didn’t post a link, so I’m leaving my comment.

“For Open Source vector graphics, there’s Inkscape. There’s a Fink package. It’s oriented towards SVG, and works nicely with SVG-based KDE icons.”

Ultimate free pixel pusher: Pixen

New feature - dropping a folder onto’s icon should open a terminal window to that folder. *It already does, just hold command-option while you drag to force it to accept the drop.

You might want to try (nightly builds from ). It looks very like but does support multiple tabs, and dropping files if not folders. You can also use it on other Unixes if you find yourself missing there. (That was one of the reasons we wrote it.)


Refactoring Tools


Now we NEED this, with Dashboard and all. HTML is easy, but for any decent interface-d widgets? One of the reasons IB is better than simply editing code is design. Which do you prefer? Coding-then-checking or an actual, productive environment. Dashboard would then be a first-class citizen in the Tiger world. In my mind, right now it isn’t. No XCode project, even! Alright, well that’s not too bad, but it sort of shows how much apple cares about it…

Amen. And an easier way to add Cocoa UI to widgets would be nice as well – presumably this would be included.

If you know how to code why would you want to develop a Dashboard thing? It’s not a first-class citizen; it’s a way for the code-challenged to write stuff, like HyperCard was. And I think the Dashboard guidelines specifically recommends against using Cocoa/Aqua widgets. It would be better to do a separate IDE for Dashboard, instead of trying to glom stuff onto IB

You mean like Dashcode?

Yes. Dashcode, ( ) is a simple development environment for Widgets.

How about a Cocoa version of Nvu, like Camino is a Cocoa version of Firefox? - Pietro Gagliardi,

You know what? I think I’ll try it. I already did in Objective-C and it was a pain. I feel more comfortable with Java. So I will give info on my website when I get to it. Java won’t work, looks like it’s off to Objective-C school for me! - Pietro

The likely reason why there is no cocoa version of Nvu is that such a project would be too much “design up front”. Also, most of the people capable of writing such a tool are happily using Vim or Smultron and have itch to scratch.

I would guess that a cocoa CSS editor would be a better bet.

Also, see Sandvox (the Sandvox site doesn’t have a page that focuses on this project)

I vote we separate out the requests that are implemented in Leopard to a separate page.