Google SketchUp for Mac OS X

First Mac release of Google’s free version of SketchUp, the acclaimed easy-to-use 3D drawing and modeling app, featuring integration with Google Earth.

A few notes, assembled with the help of Daniel Bogan:

  • You have to run an installer to install SketchUp, and even though the icon looks like a standard Mac OS X installer package, it’s actually a crummy installer from MindVision. It does not tell you what it’s going to install, or where, or why it requires you to authenticate. Looking at the installer log, it’s pretty innocuous: it puts the app in /Applications/ and a bunch of support files in /Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp/. I moved the app to ~/Applications/ and the support folder to ~/Library/, and the app still seems to work properly.

    Any installer that doesn’t offer you a list of everything it’s going to install sucks. The worst part, though, is that this app shouldn’t need an installer in the first place.

  • Poke around in the support folder and you can see that the plug-ins are all written in Ruby, and they’re doing useful things like dynamically the changing the app’s menu items. It’s a real Mac app, with its UI laid out in nib files, and appears to be written in Cocoa. But it looks like the Ruby plug-in API is cross-platform. Very cool. This is a serious Mac app, not a slapdash QT port like Google Earth.

Monday, 12 June 2006

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