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A Third Day At The Beach With Mavericks Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This


Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Days Later...

6 November 2013

When we spoke about the complexity of our OS X environment yesterday, we had just scratched the surface. Reconfiguring Apache to run PHP and recognize our virtual hosts locally was a nuisance but not rocket science. Testing a few critical applications was rewarding if a bit inconclusive. But today we rolled up our sleeves.

Some of the following is roll-your-eyes-back-into-your-head boring detail. But it illuminates what we mean by "complexity."


It's really a shame that a utility like ImageMagick, for all its faults, is so difficult to install on Mac OS X. To put it simply, it can automate a lot of what you do with Photoshop or Lightroom. And just as well.

We had it installed for Lion but Mavericks installs over the Lion installation of Perl and that wiped out the PerlMagick interface to ImageMagick tucked into one of Perl's standard directories.

We could have simply reinstalled just PerlMagick but since we were updating the operating system, we thought it would be prudent to update its utilities, too.

That involved a number of dependencies, though. And each of them seemed to have some little hitch when it came to Mavericks.

We use Homebrew, for example, to manage the ImageMagick installation. It can manage a lot of installations (for the stuff you need that Apple didn't supply) but sometimes little helpers like this are more trouble than they're worth. Fink and MacPorts come to mind. But Homebrew does intelligently insulate these packages from the operating system, so we've stuck with it for the more troublesome installations.

Unfortunately the current version of Homebrew relies on an older version of Ruby (1.8) than what Mavericks installs (2.0). Once you realize that, it's an easy fix. Just point brew in /usr/local/bin to the older version:

   #/usr/bin/ruby -- not for Mavericks

There's a nice new Homebrew formula for installing ImageMagick and it makes it compatible with PerlMagick, too. That wasn't always the case.

But you still have to install PerlMagick, downloading it separately and installing it with the make utility. So you also want new Xcode command line tools installed.

Cambi. Running under Mavericks now.

With PerlMagic installed Cambi, an update to our Resize utility, ran flawlessly, even with its dependence on CocoaDialog to display a progress bar and a results window.

Dependencies are the bane of rolling your but it's always been worth it to us.


We're happy to report that Phil Harvey's ExifTool was undisturbed by the update. We have a lot of Perl and AppleScripts that tap into that.


We continued our discussion of text substitution with Bare Bones. As we reported earlier, TextWrangler, TextMate and Brackets all fail to expand text substitutions whether from Spell Catcher (whose author passed away last year) or Mavericks' own text substitution feature. InDesign, TextEdit and Aquamacs all did work, however.

Operating system text substitution requires applications to conform to their requirements whereas utilities always accommodate applications. So it will take a lot of individual revisions for applications to conform to Mavericks.

Meanwhile, though, Bare Bones recommended Typinator for text expansion. There are a lot of utilities in that game from aText to TextExpander and including Grammarian and TypeIt4Me, just to name a few.


Just getting our basic (if complex) setup running has taken a couple of days. We'll be exploring imaging applications next, moving some of our review work to Mavericks.

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