A few weeks ago there was an extended discussion on the future of Objective-C and I linked to a couple of different stories on it. This week Jason Brennan posted a follow up to his original article. He argues that we're not thinking big enough by just considering a replacement for Objective-C and that we need to think of a bigger picture on how we build software in a more modern way. It's a lengthy article but certainly one worth reading, and looking back on in 5 years.
As a user, I really appreciate when an app takes the time to add a keyboard accessory to form filling UI to make it easy to move between fields, but it doesn't come for free. Roland Leth takes us through what it might take to automate it in this post. It strikes me that nextKeyView could be useful on iOS after all.
Vlas Voloshin with an interesting exploration of a few private ARKit APIs that allow recording of session data. The best case for these APIs is that they weren't quite ready for iOS 12, and were pushed out to next year. The worst case is that they were developed for Apple's internal testing, and they'll stay private. Either way, as long as you don't ship code that uses them you can still use them in your internal testing!
I was a fairly late adopter of Apple technology. At the start of 2006, I was a pretty frustrated manager leading a team of ASP.NET developers writing HR software. As part of that job, I headed over to San Diego to attend O'Reilly Etech 2006. It was an amazing conference and I saw Kathy Sierra, Bruce Sterling, Kevin Lynch, Ray Ozzie, David Heinemeier Hansson and a whole host of other amazing people talk. That conference, and the people I met over the next few months also changed the course of my career.
I remember two things stood out from the first few hours in the convention centre. A lot of people were using Mac laptops, and they all seemed to be using a text editor called SubEthaEdit to collaboratively take notes in real time during the talks. No faffing about with network settings, the laptops just found each other (I didn't know about Bonjour at the time) and a new cursor representing a new user would pop into the file. I was there with my Toshiba Tablet PC 🙄 and I felt like an absolute dinosaur. I had been thinking about buying a Mac for a while, but that was the final push I needed. That evening I went straight from the conference to the Apple Store, bought a MacBook Pro and never looked back. I quit my job a couple of months later and started a company.
So why am I writing about this? When I saw the SubEthaEdit announcement this week it brought back all those memories and reminded me of why I fell in love with the Apple software ecosystem. Innovative software, crafted with love primarily by small, independent developers. It was unlike anything else in computing that I had ever seen. That feeling continued, and in fact got even stronger with the early days of iOS development. In my opinion, some really rapid advancement of personal computing happened during those years. It's a real shame that SubEthaEdit didn't find commercial success, but it definitely found a place in my heart.
These days, the reality of having two very popular mobile platforms, and the difficulties of creating a sustainable business on the App Store means that we see less and less software that really cares about innovating with the platform in the same way it did in the early years of OS X and iPhone OS. It does still exist though and it still makes me smile when I see it.
So, thanks to Dominik Wagner for this new release, and for being part of the reason I'm even here doing this today. I hope you all go and build amazing software in the spirit of what I first saw in that San Diego convention centre.
Try not to get lost in this and emerge smiling an hour later like I did.
One thing I heard repeatedly last week was people saying "What are we going to complain about now?". I was pretty confident that we would all find something suitable to fill the void now that Christmas came early, Justin Williams kicks us off.
"I'm sorry I didn't pick up your call, I forgot my dongle."
Great idea from Craig Hockenberry. I suspect that many of us have suffered from the situation of trying to ship a bug fix and receiving a rejection for something completely unrelated (I know I have!). I guess it's very slightly open to abuse, but I'm not sure it would be a big issue as your app would need to take care of the problem for its next release. As usual, I won't be holding my breath though.
Always remember to take off your watch before murder. 😵