Thursday, November 29, 2007

System Spelunking

I got bored, so I started poking around inside OS X this week. Here's some of the interesting (to me) tidbits:

Time Machine

Used to be called Peabody? Hitting Time Machine with strings(1) shows three keys of the form* - This is (probably) a reference to Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine which allowed one to see what the past looked like. Another curiosity here, in the prefpane's Localizable.strings, we see FILEVAULT_WARNING_TIGER. Does this mean that Time Machine used to work on Tiger?

Screen Sharing

Perhaps this used to be called Liason? The icon name inside the app bundle is liason.icns. This is a little odd because the app controller is SSAppController. Maybe they just used their refactoring support there but didn't change the icon name. Also, there's an -isLeopard; selector in here - maybe this was designed to work on 10.4 as well? I might try grabbing the app and shifting it over to a 10.4 machine to see what happens. Liason is definitely a cooler name than Screen Sharing.

Probably not new, but interesting anyway:

  • Network Utility has "stroke" in its resources, it's a simple command-line portscanner. It's even nice enough to give you usage if you fail to give it sane arguments.

  • Apple is really inconsistent about their standards for shipping nibs. Boot Camp has classes.nib, info.nib, keyedobjects.nib, and objects.nib, but over in Address Book I saw keyedobjects.nib and designable.nib.

I've never noticed designable.nib before. It's XML text, and it looks like the new "xib" format introduced with IB 3. In fact, you can open designable.nib using IB 3 if you change the extension to xib and it'll work. locate(1) indicates a bunch of these scattered throughout the system. Does anybody know what these are for? There's one in my dev build of Adium, so I don't think it has something to do with using xib files, because we don't do those yet.