Next question: How do you set the selected text in a textarea in Mac MSIE 5 using JavaScript? Supposedly it's impossible. That doesn't mean it can't be done. After all, getting the selected text was supposedly impossible, but there was a way.

Setting the selected text in a textarea is needed to get the JavaScript HTML Editor working that Windows MSIE 5 users already enjoy.

Manila Express for Mac IE 5 has been released. Thanks to everybody who helped test and posted feedback to the discussion group here.

Here's how I did it.

Other Manila-related bookmarklets: Manila Clipping from Duncan Smeed, ManilaPad from Ken Dow.

Check out Bookmarklets.Com for lots of general-use bookmarklets.

Late last night I did some recreational programming. Not programming exactly but investigation. I downloaded and installed Python for Macintosh. I wanted to see what it was like. (I've used Python a little on Linux, and already knew I liked Python -- it's like Frontier in some ways.) Python for Macintosh is very nice! There's a mini-IDE. You can make double-clickable applets. There are a bunch of Mac-specific extensions. Etc.

I would expect Python -- with its emphasis on readability, with the Python community's emphasis on education and teaching newbies to program -- to gain ground on Mac OS. Perhaps even more so on Mac OS X, which will probably run the UNIX version of Python. (I hope it comes bundled with OS X.)

AppleScript rules the roost. My personal difficulty in learning AppleScript comes from the difference between actual human language and a syntax that appears human, but isn't. It's a temperament thing, different people's brains are wired differently. This is by no means a general criticism of AppleScript. But it does mean that there's room for more than one newbie-friendly scripting language on Mac OS.

A cool thing happened: I went to check out the Mac Python links on dmoz. As I was reading one of the pages linked to, I suddenly realized that I was reading a page on a Manila site. Hey -- that Members box looks familiar! Sure enough, it was an EditThisPage.Com site with a HowTo on Mac Python and Tkinter. I like it when I end up at an ETP site when I'm not expecting to.

linuxpower.org: What's New in GNOME 1.2. Main thing: I hope it's faster.

29 May 2000