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Diversity in Swift
I'm so happy to see this:
The mission of Diversity in Swift is to foster an inclusive Swift community by creating more pathways for a diverse group of developers, increasing the engagement and retention of those developers, and helping developers of all backgrounds establish leadership and technical expertise within the community.
Led by a rotating group made of up of members of the community, and with two community groups launching now, I hope this is the start of a long-running and successful initiative.
Depressingly, and predictably, the Swift forum thread about the announcement has already been closed and locked, and I wish I could say I was surprised. Those forums are awful and have been for a long time. There is no clearer demonstration of why this group is needed than that announcement thread.
I have opinions about the Swift forums, which I might be brave enough to share one day. There's a reason I avoid contributing there at almost all costs though, and I'm a white male who is a reasonably well-established member of the community.
App Clip Codes now available
I was a little confused when I first saw this headline as you've been able to create App Clips for your app since the release of iOS 14 back in September. The clue is right there in the title though! This isn't about creating App Clips, but the "QR-style" codes that can automatically open an App Clip. There's more information available if you're curious about what exactly you can store in them. Also, if you haven't built a clip yet, here's a good set of resources from Apple to get you started.
App Store Connect holiday schedule
I'm not sure I even need to link to this these days, the holiday shutdown has kept the same schedule as long as the App Store has existed. However, just in case you were thinking of submitting an update on Boxing day, you'll need to adjust your plans. You've still got a few days before the 23rd if you're on the brink of a new release, though.
How many times have you searched the web for "base64 encode string" and pasted text into some random web page that's full of advertising? How about HTML entity encoding/decoding? JSON pretty-printing? All of those tasks and more are part of this app from Tony Dinh. It's open-source if you'd like to build it yourself, or you can pay for a pre-built version.
For full disclosure, Tony sent me a copy of the pre-built version so I could check it out.
I could have picked many reasons to link to this new SwiftUI tutorial from Apple. I could have said that it was well-paced, which it is. I could have said that it covers more ground than their previous tutorials, which it does! Or, I could have picked the fact that you'll build an app called Scrumdinger. 😍 I'll leave you to guess why it's here. 😂
How expensive is DateFormatter?
For as long as I can remember, I've "known" that
DateFormatter is an expensive class to create, and that you should make a shared copy that you set up once, and use multiple times. But do I really know that? Or did I see someone else do it, and assume they had tested it? Sarun Wongpatcharapakorn takes no one's word for it and tests it for himself.
A performance-focused animation library from Adam Bell? That has to be worth checking out. Building on his work with Decomposed, this library takes it to the next logical level, a full-blown animation framework.
Business and Marketing
I linked to Barter last week, and after doing so was reminded of Kyle Hankinson's app that I first linked to back in Issue 275 that has also been updated with widgets! There are widgets everywhere you look these days!
Up to Speed
How to solve problems with bitwise operators in Swift
Natascha Fadeeva with a great article that should get you up to speed on the how, and the why of option sets in Swift.
This new course from Ben Scheirman isn't the cheapest way of learning Combine, but as you'd expect from the creator of NSScreencast, the video lessons are fantastic. Clear explanations with screencast style demonstrations as you go. It's good.
For full disclosure, Ben sent me access to a copy of these videos so I could check them out.
Practical Core Data
If you enjoyed Donny Wals' take on Combine earlier this year, then you might be interested to hear he's working on a follow-up about Core Data. This pre-release copy includes the first few chapters, with the rest following in the new year. There's a lot of out of date information on the web about Core Data, so I'm happy to see someone have a go at a comprehensive, modern guide to this technology.
For full disclosure, Donny sent me a preview copy of the book.
iOS Developer @ SpareRoom – Want to work on an app repeatedly featured by Apple? One that’s received tens of thousands of 5-star ratings? Come and join us at SpareRoom, the UK’s best-known flatsharing business. We’re looking for an experienced, passionate developer to lead the development and delivery of our iOS app, at a really exciting time for the team and business. Get in touch! – Manchester UK
iOS Developer @ Doximity – Doximity, the medical network used by over 70% of US clinicians, is hiring passionate iOS engineers (remote friendly!). You'll get to be part of an amazing product team and work on an app that is constantly evolving. Use your skills (Swift, MVVM, FRP) to be an integral part of our newly launched telemedicine feature. Apply today! – Remote within the US, or San Francisco CA
Mid-Level/Senior iOS/tvOS Developer @ Berlin Phil Media GmbH – Join the team working on the Digital Concert Hall of the Berliner Philharmoniker – the leading international video streaming platform for classical music concerts. You will be working on our highly visible iOS and tvOS apps. Development is fully native with fast adoption of the newest Apple technologies. Your contribution will shape a unique global service together with a small but powerful team. – Berlin Germany
This raises interesting questions. Would this be a real-world or digital purchase? don't think the US government would qualify for the Small Business Programme, so they'd almost certainly need to pay the full 30%! 😂
I think it’s fair to say that this year has been exceptional, for all the wrong reasons. 😬
Yes, our industry has fared better than most in 2020, and we should all be grateful for that, but that doesn’t mean it’s still not been full of stories of hardship. No matter which way you spin it, 2020 has been tough for most people.
But we can also look forward with hope. With multiple viable vaccines on the horizon and some countries already starting to administer doses, there is hope that at this time next year, the world will again be a slightly happier and safer place. We’re not out of it yet, but it feels like we’re starting to see the first glow of sunrise.
But before you write off 2020, I’d spend a minute thinking about what you have managed to achieve this year. I actually surprised myself a bit when I did. My 2020 started with the Community Survey Results, and then the (re)launch of the Swift Package Index as an open-source project just before WWDC, and then the build system a couple of months later. I also completed a six-month contract, and still managed to find time to press send on this newsletter every Friday. I’m pretty proud of that, given all the challenges.
This year has been very challenging for me, and I’m sure it has for you too. But it’s important to remember it’s not been a complete washout for any of us. Take a few minutes to look back at your own year. I bet there are more positives than you first think. Don’t just think about work either. Life is about more than iOS development.
As always, I’d like to thank you all so much for sticking with me and continuing to read and send feedback on what I write here. I truly appreciate that you consider this worthy of your attention.
I normally take a week off over the holidays, but in recent years I’ve been using that week to do a round-up of the best “And Finally…” links of the year, which kinda negates the whole “week off” thing… 😬 So this year, I’m going to take an actual week off meaning no issue at all next week. The following week will be the round-up of “And Finally…”, which will be waiting for you in your inboxes on the first day of 2021. That should take the sting out of returning to work!Dave Verwer