• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 7. Changing Interface Elements > Getting Ready to Hack

7.2. Getting Ready to Hack

You're about to do some truly appalling things to your Terminal application. The Terminal provides a near-ideal platform for hacking interfaces because it reads its NIB (NeXT Interface Builder) files each time it creates a new window. This allows you to make changes to the NIB files and test them immediately by opening a new window, without having to relaunch the application. (To be truthful, there are times that it helps to relaunch, particularly when you change image assets, but these times are relatively few.) Here are a few steps you'll need to take before you begin your exploration of interface adaptation:

  1. Make sure you've installed the Xcode Tools on your Mac. The easiest way to see if you have the Xcode Tools installed is to open a Finder window and click on your primary hard drive's icon in the Sidebar. If you see a folder named Developer, Xcode is installed. If not, you'll need to install the Xcode Tools.

    The Xcode Tools can be found on a separate disc that comes with Mac OS X Panther. You must install the tools to add the developer environments, documentation, applications, and utilities, all of which gets placed in the Developer folder.

    If you can't find the Xcode Tools CD (also called the Developer Tools CD), the tools are freely available from Apple's developer web site: http://developer.apple.com/tools/download/. The Xcode Tools download is about 350 MB, so you'll need a fast connection and a little bit of patience to get it all down.

  2. Open a new Finder window and go to the Utilities folder (Shift--U gets you there the fastest), and then select the Terminal application.

  3. Create a copy of the Terminal application by choosing File → Duplicate (-D) from the menu bar. This creates an exact duplicate of the Terminal application and saves it as Terminal copy in the Utilities folder. You'll need this copy to restore the Terminal to its original version once you're done with this chapter.

  4. Launch Interface Builder (/Developer/Applications). Part of the Xcode Tools, Interface Builder is used for designing the user interface (windows, dialogs, etc.) for an application.

  5. If needed, read through any release notes and then close the release notes window. (Release notes only appear the first time you launch the Interface Builder, or after you trash Interface Builder's preferences: ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.InterfaceBuilder.plist.)

  6. Open Interface Builder's preferences window by choosing Interface Builder → Preferences ( -,).

  7. Click on the General tab to select the General preferences pane. Make sure that all the items shown in Figure 7-1 have been checked. Some of these choices will not go into effect until you quit and restart Interface Builder, so close the preferences window (-W), and then quit (-Q) and relaunch Interface Builder.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint