Feeds

Behind the scenes with Apple's media browser

Integrated advantage

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Mac Secrets Welcome my second “peek behind the scenes” for Cocoa developers. I enjoyed the responses to the first installment, both for and against, and especially the lively email exchanges, some of which I plan to pick up on in the near future!

For now, though, let me just emphasize a couple of important points.

First, this column is not for novice Cocoa developers. If you're new to Cocoa programming, then you definitely shouldn't be casually exploiting undocumented features of the platform. Instead, go check out some of the great Cocoa tutorials here.

Next, when working with undocumented classes and methods, be sure to bulletproof your code as much as possible. As one of my respondents said: “It's important to have your code fail gracefully if a wanted class/method doesn't exist, rather than... uhh... disgracefully!”

To put this in concrete terms, before calling an undocumented method, use the respondsToSelector: message to see if the method exists. Similarly, when checking for the presence of an undocumented class, use NSClassFromString to get a reference to the wanted class. If the returned reference is nil, then you know the class no longer exists.

You won't find these checks in my sample project because I don't want to obfuscate the basic intent of the code and we all have our own ideas about how error handling should work.

Things get slick

Having got the compulsory caveats out of the way, let's take a look at how to implement the so called "media browser" feature inside your own application. As the name suggests, a media browser is designed to let the end user browse for media - meaning things like photos, movies and audio files - before selecting a wanted item and incorporating it into their document.

Karelia Browser

Browse before selecting your media

At time of writing, a number of open-source media browser implementations exist. For example, type "iMediaBrowser" into Google, and you'll be pointed at various different projects. Heck, you can even buy a commercial implementation. The most popular browser, however, is totally free, includes full source code and it's available here. Once you've downloaded the code and looked through it, you'll see that it's quite a complex beast, using an extensible architecture to handle various different media types.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV
Alert system tips oblivious phone junkies to oncoming traffic
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.