Disabling Annoying Window-Opening Animation in Lion

I'm liking my new Lion install. Mac OS X 10.7.2 seems to run faster than ever, especially in terms of graphics. And I like Apple's choice to generally tone-down the colors and flashiness in the user interface. Apple heads in the opposite direction of Microsoft as Redmond continues to turn up the visual volume-knob on the in-your-face interface of Windows.

Unfortunately, Apple made one poor choice. Lion now has a subtle but annoying animation on every single window as it opens. A zooming rectangle grows from a central point outwards before the actual window appears. It serves no useful purpose. May sound like no big deal, but after working a long while and staring at the screen, all those window-zooms made me dizzy.

While System Preferences is ignorant of this feature, nevertheless you can disable this animation. Just copy-paste this single line in Terminal.app:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO

I found this useful tip in the amazingly thorough review of Lion by John Siracusa. I highly recommend that article when you upgrade to Lion.

Another animation to kill: the shrinking/zooming effect when triggering Mission Control. To disable:
defaults write com.apple.dock expose-animation-duration -int 0; killall Dock
To re-enable:
defaults delete com.apple.dock expose-animation-duration; killall Dock
If only we could kill the nauseating sliding of entire screen when using the shortcut (two-finger swipe on Magic Mouse) to switch between Spaces or full-screen apps.

Port Scanning

If you need to see if your Mac has any software currently listening on a particular port, you can run this at the command-line (in Terminal.app or Path Finder):

/Applications/Utilities/Network\ Utility.app/Contents/Resources/stroke 5432 5432

That example is looking for the default port to the Postgres database server. Another example would be Apache Tomcat and other web servers that default to port 8080:

/Applications/Utilities/Network\ Utility.app/Contents/Resources/stroke 8080 8080

Why repeat the port number? Because you can scan a range of ports. The first number is the start of a range, the second number is the end of the range.

And besides this command-line approach, you can use the Network Utility app bundled with your Mac in the Utilities folder:
/Applications/Utilities/Network Utility.app


Enabling JRebel

To use the current version of JRebel in Eclipse Indigo, you must make these settings in each project:

  1. Turn on Build Automatically from Project menu.
  2. Generate rebel.xml file by context-clicking the project name. 
For web work:
  1. When defining a server such as Tomcat or Jetty, set the Publishing property to Never publish automatically.
The JRebel configuration wizard says: For Web projects, JRebel expects to find the rebel.xml configuration file in the WEB-INF/classes directory in the target .war file.


New Web Site for 4D Plugins by Heubach Media

Heuback Media has launched a handsome new web site dedicated to their excellent 4D plugins. Spun off from their main web site Heubach-Media.de, the new hmPlugins.com web site focuses on their commercial plugins hmCal, hmReports, hmTAPI (phone integration), hmBarCode, and the handy free-of-cost hmFree.

Note that old links to the old home of these plugins are now broken.