A note about performance


Posted by Jaime | Posted in Coding | Posted on 02-08-2013

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On a multi-core Mac, running 10.8, I ran a test to compare the speed differences of incrementing or decrementing a value with no-locks, atomics and finally, a mutex lock.

The no-lock is the baseline, and here is the difference in speed with the later 2 items:
Atomics: 3X slower on the same thread
Mutex: 7X slower on the same thread


Spaces, where are you?


Posted by Jaime | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 31-08-2012

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I took me long enough to figure out how to do this, but MacLife on has it all spelled out.

Vector drawing programs


Posted by Jaime | Posted in Review | Posted on 26-07-2012

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Matt Inman made a video where he discussed how he does his illustrations for his website: www.theoatmeal.com.

If you haven’t seen any of this stuff, I would recommend that you only do it while you are home because his site is a big productivity killer.

Anyway, it got me very interested in doing illustrations again, but I’ve usually only do that by hand and I didn’t feel like spending $800 on Illustrator.

Off to Wikipedia!

Wikipedia has a listing vector programs available; some good, some bad; some just ok. I have been using Inkscape for a while, but I’m not too crazy about it.

Then I found Sketch by Bohemian Coding.

This program fits the bill!

It’s affordable, filled with a lot of features and actually works… which unfortunately most other programs don’t do.

My only gripe with Sketch is that it cannot open SVG based drawings or Illustrator files, but that I something I leave to Inkscape to do… though I would really love Sketch to do that instead.

So if you are looking to do vector based drawing at a reasonable price, check out Sketch.



Posted by Jaime | Posted in Coding | Posted on 06-07-2012

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This is a little old, but I wanted to share the link any for those looking for CPUID on the MacOS; download-maccpuid/

“Selectively Disable Warnings” with clang


Posted by Jaime | Posted in Coding | Posted on 04-04-2012

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Kick ass compiler!

I saw this demo done at WWDC on how to turn off warnings, only when truly warranted, while compiling with clang:

#if defined (__clang__)
    #pragma clang diagnostic push
    #pragma clang diagnostic ignored "-Wunused-value"
#endif // defined __clang__

void ImAUselessLittleFunction ( int pleaseUseMe )
    pleaseUseMe; // Nope, you are not going to be used
#if defined (__clang__)
    #pragma clang diagnostic pop
#endif // defined __clang__

I thought this should be shared with you… You’re welcome 🙂

File managers


Posted by Jaime | Posted in Review | Posted on 11-11-2011

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For the longest time, the only file manager I used on the Mac was the Finder.

I was fine with that and I never thought of needing another program.

My co-worker though uses a program named PathFinder by CocoaTech. After seeing it in action, I thought it would be a great tool for organizing my project files and it does make finding files faster and easier.

So, when I started doing more PC work for my current project, I wanted something similar to PathFinder cause the Windows Explorer is only so-so.

Well, the closest I got to PathFinder was a program called xplorer2 by zabkat.com. It’s actually very useful, and my current file organizer on my workstation.

Although it is very helpful, I wouldn’t say that it’s complete: it’s missing a few features that I like in PathFinder, like right-clicking on a file and being able to copy the full path. However, for everything else, it’s better than the Windows Explorer.

Running AppleScript commands from the Terminal.app


Posted by Jaime | Posted in Coding, Tip | Posted on 30-06-2011

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I found some pages on the web on how to run an AppleScript from the terminal, but this seems to be the only one that works in my situation:

echo 'tell application "Google Chrome" to quit' | /usr/bin/osascript

In my case, my keyboard stopped working so I wanted to safely shut down the programs via ssh before I rebooted the workstation.

More fun with symbols


Posted by Jaime | Posted in Coding | Posted on 27-06-2011

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I found some very useful environment variables you can set on the application you are debugging when you need to see what symbols are being recorded by dlopen when it opens all of the libraries in your application: click on me, click on me please!

So, from your Xcode project, double click your debug app:

Double click the debug app to get to the environment variables

Now, set the following variables to YES, or NO, depending on what info you need:

There are more details on the Apple developer site

You are going to get a ton of information in the debugger console, which is very useful when trying to figure out if there are any offending symbols that could be tripping up your project.

Here is a rundown of the variables:

  • DYLD_PRINT_LIBRARIES – Logs when images are loaded.
  • DYLD_PRINT_LIBRARIES_POST_LAUNCH – Logs when images are loaded as a result of a dlopen call. Includes a dynamic libraries’ dependent libraries.
  • DYLD_PRINT_APIS – Logs the invocation that causes the dynamic loader to return the address of a symbol.
  • DYLD_PRINT_STATISTICS – Logs statistical information on an application’s launch process, such as how many images were loaded, when the application finishes launching.
  • DYLD_PRINT_INITIALIZERS – Logs when the dynamic loader calls initializer and finalizer functions.
  • DYLD_PRINT_SEGMENTS – Logs when the dynamic loader maps a segment of a dynamic library to the current process’s address space.
  • DYLD_PRINT_BINDINGS – Logs when the dynamic loader binds an undefined external symbol with its definition.

Symbol visibility in Mac OS libraries


Posted by Jaime | Posted in Coding | Posted on 22-10-2010

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I was having a nice coding day. Xcode was behaving nicely and all of my code seem to behave like I wanted to … then …

Crash. Okay. I can handle a crash. But. Looking at the call stack from the crash, something didn’t look right.

In the call stack there was a reference to the std::string class. But the function where the crash is happening doesn’t have any references to std::string.

What. Is. Going. On?

Okay. Time to pull up the debugging console and see what is going on.

I type “bt” in the GDB console… nothing unusual… other than the call to the phantom std::string.

So now I switch the debugger display to show both the source code and assembly code.

Nothing looks unusual stepping through the code… but… I don’t understand how std::string is being called.

I copied the Hex address where the crash is happening and back to the GDB debugger and I typed:

info shared 0X0SOMELONGHEX

To my surprise, the code had jumped to some other library that had nothing to do with my function.

Hold on here. Is this doing what I think it’s doing?

It seemed that during my application startup, one of the other dylibs that was loaded first had a reference to the same function my dylib was using, but an earlier version of the code. Both dylibs had the code statically linked in, but, they were both exposed.


Well, that shouldn’t be too hard to fix. Just set the symbols to hidden:


Well that should have fixed my problems but I still had a lot of cleaning up to do. RTTI information was no longer easily accessible and libraries that depended on that accessible code no longer saw the symbols during the linker portion of compiling.

So, it seems that if you don’t hide your symbols, on the Mac that is, the dlopen app will match up symbols from two different libraries and pick the first one, even if they are private to the file and not exposed in any headers, causing a nice crash that produces a call stack that doesn’t make sense.

Oh. Kay. Lesson learned.

How to detect what SDK you are building for in Xcode


Posted by Jaime | Posted in Coding | Posted on 18-10-2010

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I recently had to build a file for multiple operating systems and had to figure out a way to enable a feature that is only available on Mac OS X 10.5 and greater, and Windows.

Here’s how I did it:

#if (MAC_OS_X_VERSION_MAX_ALLOWED >= MAC_OS_X_VERSION_10_5) || defined (_WIN32)
   #include <omp.h>

Now, technically there is no harm with including omp.h with your Mac project, I’d like using that as an example as opposed to using Cocoa.h/Afx.h.