Sunday, February 2, 2014

A New Mac Linux USB Loader

Hello everyone,

2014 is poised to be an interesting year. This is especially true because, as of the middle of last month, Mac Linux USB Loader has quietly been the subject of a complete, from scratch, no holds barred rewrite, with nothing recycled from before. The original program was designed when I didn't know much about the Cocoa framework, with which the program is written, and now with my increased knowledge I am able to design a much better application that is less buggy, more stable, and that will actually let you open an ISO more than once. Here's a screenshot of the new application's main screen:

The rewrite brings other beneficial changes as well. Mac Linux USB Loader can now set up persistence automatically - no Linux or command line required - making it even easier now to save data between sessions. I'm also working on enhancing Enterprise to detect persistence and enable it automatically on supported distributions, so you don't need to enter a secondary menu and enable it amongst a myriad of other technical options.

The new rewrite implements sandboxing for security purposes, and though it probably won't end up on the Mac App Store because of Apple's rules against mentioning other computing platforms, it would be nice if it did.

Technical changes aside, the revised application features a more "Mac-like" user interface, with greatly improved aesthetics, including icons from KDE's Oxygen and a new About window (with scrolling text!) that looks much cleaner than before:

I'm also grouping related options together. Everything from deleting an Enterprise installation to checking out installed distributions will be grouped under the Setup USB Device panel. And the Distribution Downloader, which will be making a comeback as well, will be greatly enhanced.

This new rewrite also has an important legal change - I've licensed the application under a 3-clause BSD license. This protects my rights to the program's name and likeness but allows liberal use of the code.

I've been working pretty hard on this, and I don't think it'll be ready anytime soon, so I can't give an ETA yet. Sorry.

What do you guys, the users, think of these changes? Drop me a line.

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