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Alternative V

OK, here’s the tl;dr before the jump:

  • I’m joining Apple full-time as a Software Engineering Author, starting Monday 7/23/18.
  • The Xcode Treasures book is now complete, with my having just turned in the last chapter to my editor.
  • Given corporate policies on outside activities, I won’t be blogging here anymore.
  • I also won’t be speaking at conferences.
  • Not sure about the livestream, which is on a Summer hiatus anyways. It might return, but in a very different form.

Obviously, you should unfollow me on Twitter right now, because I won’t be tweeting about development topics anymore, which means my posts will be nothing but anime and complaining about parenting.

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Xcode Treasures: Platform Specifics

The third update to the Xcode Treasures beta book went out yesterday, and this is a good one: it’s all about platform-specific features.

Table of contents for chapter 12

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Follow-up: How to Build an Xcode Project that Builds for Both iOS and macOS

Since I talked about making multi-platform projects like it was no big deal in my blog yesterday, I figured I should at least back that up.

macandiosbuilddemo (GitHub link) is an Xcode project that builds an iOS master-detail app and a macOS windowed app from the same code base. It’s fairly trivial and unpolished, just fetching a JSON feed from this blog, showing recent entries in a table, and letting you drill into one.

Side by side iOS and macOS apps, built from the same Xcode project

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Apple Didn’t Kill AppKit, Millenials Did

(yes, thank you for indulging my outrageous clickbait headline, which wildly misrepresents the contents of this blog post)

Two weeks after WWDC, and we’re all still talking about Marzipan, the de facto name for UIKit-on-macOS that was acknowledged in the keynote. Like, seriously, as I’m typing this Colin and Steve are arguing about it, so everyone who follows both of them gets to watch.

Craig Federigi showing diagrams of macOS/iOS app architectures

It won’t even be available to developers for another year, so we have lots of time to argue, and to enjoy the unintended consequence of Osborning macOS’ AppKit framework.

But… what if this is all sound and fury, signifying nothing? What if tasty Marzipan turns out to be a big Nothingburger? Because that could well be how it pans out instead.

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Xcode Treasures: Source Code Management

Another update to the Xcode Treasures beta has been released today. This one is all about Source Code Management.

Scm toc

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Xcode Treasures: Security

The first update to the Xcode Treasures beta release went out yesterday, and it’s a doozy: Security. Actually, in my original proposal and outline for the book, this was called Code-Signing Hell. Obviously, I knew I had to cover it, but was not looking forward to the experience.

Xcode treasures security toc

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Xcode Treasures Now Available

Announcement from Pragmatic Progammers today: Xcode Treasures: Master the Tools to Design, Build, and Distribute Great Apps is now in beta.

So, this is the book that I’ve been cagily dropping hints about on Twitter for months, and that I showed off at CocoaHeads Ann Arbor two weeks back. I’ve also started creating videos for it as part of invalidstream, where you can already check out demos from the Debugging chapter (parts 1, 2, and 3).

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The Final Conf-Down

I tweeted this morning that I was working on updating my spreadsheet of upcoming iOS / macOS developer conferences, which I use to maintain a page of conferences (and anime conventions, because me) over on invalidstream.com. I also got into this research to provide a segment for the sporadic CocoaConf Podcast (iTunes, Overcast) This post is going to be about the changes in that scene I’ve seen recently.

Spreadsheet of upcoming iOS & macOS developer conferences

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Video Killed the Prose Star

I’m always surprised by the popularity of video lessons. Personally, I prefer the density of books, but there’s clearly an audience out there that wants to see things done step-by-step on screen, while watching and listening to the presenter. Every time I get a royalty statement on the Core Audio book, there’s a little bit of activity from two videos I did for them while working on the book (one a studio-produced “live lesson”, the other a conference presentation from like 2012 or something).

Sort of as an experiment — and also because I needed ready-to-go content for my weekly livestream — I decided to go through the entire iOS 10 SDK Development book that I co-wrote with Janie, in 30 minute chunks at the beginning of each week’s stream, prior to getting into the fun stuff like the iPad let’s plays and the visual novels. The Xcode segment was fairly easy to prep each week, it got me back in touch with the contents of the book and what I do and don’t like about it, and being all in XCode, it was a different way of presenting the material than several paragraphs of thinky-think followed by a code listing.

Final Cut Pro screenshot while editing Xcode segment of invalidstream

Oh, and as a bonus, it allowed me to create a complete intro-to-iOS-development video course.

The Prags have been publishing links to each video as I get them up on Vimeo, on the book’s home page, and last week, I finished the book. So if you’re so inclined, you can start watching all 24 videos, even without a copy of the book. Heck, you can even download the code from the book’s home page.

And yeah, I know, it’s “iOS 10 SDK Development”. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised that nothing broke during our year away from the book. If I had to update it now, I’d want to cover the Safe Area in Auto Layout instead of just talking about margins, and of course I’d get in some iPhone X screenshots, but that’s about it. (There are other topics I’d want to cover, but what’s there now isn’t incorrect or anything.) We’re pretty lucky that we moved the book’s sample code away from Twitter and turned it into a podcast app instead, because all the Social framework stuff that we depended on for the iOS 6 through 9 books is gone in iOS 11. We totally dodged a bullet there.

SLServiceType constants deprecated in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra

So anyways, help yourself to the videos, either on the Prags page or invalidstream.com. I’m taking a couple weeks’ hiatus from the stream to speed up work on my next (unannounced) book, and to build up the content pipeline for another few Friday nights of Xcode work, non-F2P iPad games, and Muv-Luv Alternative (we’re almost to where it gets good!).

Buggy Whip Manufacturer Calls on Apple to Add Buggy Whip App to CarPlay

From MacRumors, National Association of Broadcasters Again Urges Apple to Add FM Radio to iPhones:

Following Apple’s clarification that iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models do not have FM radio chips or antennas designed to support FM signals, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has expressed some doubt about Apple’s statement and has called on the company to add FM functionality to its future iPhones.

[…]

In its blog post, the NAB appeals to Apple CEO Tim Cook, highlighting the number of hurricanes experienced in Mobile, Alabama, Cook’s hometown, since 1969, and calling on the company to introduce FM support as a way for customers to get news alerts during disasters.

If your concern is access to news during disasters, may I suggest concerned families simply buy a dedicated portable AM/FM radio? Among its advantages:

  • Such radios start at under US$10, and the product line as a whole is 1 to 3 degrees of magnitude less expensive than iPhones.
  • AM/FM radios last longer on a fresh set of batteries than iPhones do on a charge, and can be recharged indefinitely during a power outage, so long as more batteries are available.

It’s a sad scene between this and the FCC Chairman cluelessly calling on Apple to magically activate FM features that either aren’t physically connected or don’t exist at all.

It also speaks volumes that the NAB needs to rely on either national disasters or Federal bullying to get broadcast radio devices into the hands of consumers. Usually when consumers are forced to buy something, it’s a pretty good sign that what’s being sold is crap. Try listening to US terrestrial radio — dominated by ClearChannel bots playing the same songs over and over, and asshole blowhards going on hours-long conservative rants — and it’s little surprise that fewer Americans have any interest in the technology anymore.

No wonder the NAB wants to ride piggy-back on Apple’s popularity and the hundreds of millions of iPhones out there. But I think they ought to get their own house in order first, before they start talking crap about Apple.