Editor’s note: The following review is part of Macworld’sSummer of Mac Gems series. Each business day until the middle of August 2008, the Macworld staff will use the Mac Gems blog to briefly cover a favorite free or low-cost program. Visit the Mac Gems homepage for a list of past Mac Gems.
Peter Borg’s Lingon isn’t a program that everyone needs. But if you’re someone who tinkers with the Unix side of OS X, it may be of interest to you. For years, the way to schedule tasks in Unix was through a scheduler known as cron. While cron is still supported in OS X, the approved method of scheduling tasks is a program known as launchd. Unfortunately, writing a launchd task is much more complex than writing a cron task—launchd requires a full XML plist file to set up scheduled tasks, whereas cron required a relatively-simpler text file.
Enter Lingon. Using a simple GUI, Lingon lets you easily create launchd tasks. You enter some information about your task, including the Unix program you’d like to run and the conditions under which that program will be run, click Save, and you’re done. If you desire, you can directly edit the XML by clicking the Expert Mode button—though I’ve never found a need to do so, at least with the relatively simple scheduling tasks I’ve used Lingon to create.