Jul 2009

NetNewsWire 3.2b6 - public beta

NetNewsWire’s app iconNetNewsWire 3.2b6 — with Google Reader syncing, a new send-to-Instapaper command, and a new app icon — is up on nnwbeta.com.

Remember that it’s a beta — it’s unfinished. There are bugs and incomplete features. But if you’re willing to help, we totally appreciate it.

See nnwbeta.com for more about what’s new and how to report bugs.

Mac/iPhone Developers: help raise money for cancer research

Ars Technica: “If you are a Mac or iPhone developer, consider donating some of your software to help support the Jimmy Fund. The organization is well-run and, at the very least, you’ll get some great publicity.”

Developer Color Picker

Wade Cosgrove’s color picker is “designed specifically for developers. Makes getting colors out of Photoshop/Acorn mock-ups quick and easy. Currently supports NSColor, UIColor, CGColorRef, CSS and HTML styles.”

Totally needed. We’ll wonder how we ever lived without it.

No promo codes for apps rated 17+

Marco Arment notes that apps rated 17+ can’t give out promo codes.

Which, well, whatever, right?

But just about every interesting app that I know of allows unfiltered internet content — and all such apps are supposed to be rated 17+.

I agree with Marco: this should be fixed.

Update 10:12 pm: More from Marco: Serious doubts.

Dev Diaries

www.devdiaries.net: “Interested in what a developer gets up to during the day? Follow one of the Twitter dev diaries below to find out.”

Very cool. Of course, often it’s what a developer gets up to during the night as well.

3D Transforms

Surfin’ Safari: “WebKit on Mac OS X now has support for CSS 3D transforms, which allow you to position elements on the page in three-dimensional space using CSS.”


Daring Fireball: “I’ve tried a slew of iPhone note editing apps, and not only is Simplenote my favorite, it might be my favorite third-party iPhone app, period.”

App Store ratings and apps that display web content

Marco.org: “In other words, every app that allows users to see unfiltered internet content must be rated ‘17+’.”

In theory, all four apps in the bottom bar — Phone, Mail, Safari, and iPod — would be rated 17+. As would Messages. What about if you can create or sync adult content? That would mean Photos and Camera would also be 17+.

iPhone and Cocoa Development Certificate Program

UW Extension, Seattle: “Learn the language, framework, processes, and skills to develop quality applications for Apple’s iPhone.”

Local Very Smart People have put this together and will be teaching.

1.5 billion apps

The Loop: “Apple sold its 1 billionth app on April 23, 2009 and at that time it had 35,000 apps in the store. That took nine months. In the next two and a half months it sold 500 million apps and almost doubled the amount of apps available for download to 65,000.”

A simple, extensible HTTP server in Cocoa

Cocoa with Love: “On the iPhone, since there are no APIs for data synchronization or file sharing, embedding an HTTP server is one of the best ways to transfer data from your iPhone application to a computer.”

Pinboard - antisocial bookmarking

It’s “social bookmarking for introverts.” By Nine Fives Software.

Fix My App: Sirius XM Satellite Radio

Justin Williams: “I was inspired to provide a few examples of how I would rework some existing applications to remove the tab bar and improve the user experience.”

Pukka 1.8 (Delicious client) adds search, scripting

Code Sorcery Workshop: “Among many user experience improvements, the major new features are fast bookmark search and full AppleScript access to all of your bookmarks.”

Looks pretty cool. It works with NetNewsWire, by the way — you can choose Pukka as your “Post to Delicious using...” app.

How to follow NetNewsWire development

It only took me seven years to getting around to doing a page for people who want to follow NetNewsWire development. ;) This will be linked-to from the Help menu in NetNewsWire/Mac 3.2.

Do Little Things First

Alex King: “A funny thing happens when you want to be working on the store but take the time to clear out the little forum requests first — your brain has switched modes and is already working away on the store problem.”

Excellent advice.

Subversion Client Issues

Michael McCracken: “I like to write log comments while looking at (and scrolling through) the diffs for the files I’m committing. This means I want a text field for writing log comments on the same screen as the diffs, that isn’t modal, and doesn’t stop me from moving around between multiple diffs.”

The Words You Wear

Rands In Repose: “We’re cynical because we don’t trust fashionable words. They sound important, but over the years we’ve found they obfuscate our product’s capabilities, they portray our development process as trivial, and they create productivity destroying expectations elsewhere in the building.”

Google's Microsoft Moment

Anil Dash: ”...it’s a useful milestone in marking Google's evolution towards becoming an older company with a distinctly different culture than they used to have.”

(Via Buzz Andersen on delicious.)

Ten Mac Apps That Make Windows Users Drool

Fast Company: “Used to be that Windows users could admit the Mac was easy to use — they just complained there wasn’t any software for the platform... Below, the apps that Windows users can only wish came in .exe.”

The iPhone’s distinctive dozen

Macworld: “These are the programs that, a year into the App Store’s existence, give us an overview of the state of third-party development for the iPhone.”

App Store Year Two

Craig Hockenberry: “As we approach the first anniversary of selling things on the iTunes App Store, I’d like to take the opportunity to look at where we’ve been and where we’d like to go. A lot of good things have happened since last July 11th, but there’s still much room for improvement.”

Meet Mercurial screencast

Hivelogic: “When I started researching Mercurial, I was surprised to discover just how elegant and straight forward of a system it is. In many ways, it’s just as easy to use as Subversion, while still offering most of the same features I’d come to love about Git, just without the additional complexity.”

Postage 99 cents on App Store - CFO taken by UFOs

Inside RogueSheep: “A series of mysterious flying objects began regular fly-bys during our evening analysis of iTunes sales data... The anomalous events somehow triggered a change in our pricing data. Postage is now set to retail for a mere $0.99!”

99 cents!

Just go get Postage: it’s a work of art.

And an Apple Design Award winner. It’s not just me who likes it. :)

John Gruber on Chrome OS

Daring Fireball: “It’s certainly interesting and ambitious to state that the entire application platform will consist of web apps. If anyone was going to build such an OS, it’d be Google.”

Big ol’ bag of drivers

Ted Dziuba, The Register: “So now that Chrome will actually be a full-fledged operating system, let’s see what the experts have to say.”

Hilarious and delightful.

Also don’t miss Fake Steve Jobs from yesterday: “To put it another way, have you ever met anyone who said they’d really like to try out that Interwebs thing, but they’re just put off by the low-quality operating systems and browsers that are available at this time, so they’re sitting it out for now?”

Passing around a NSManagedObjectContext on the iPhone

Marcus Zarra, Mac Developer Network: “The idea behind this section is the issue of rigidity. Ideally, each view controller should be an island on its own. It should not rely on its parent, nor should it rely on the Application Delegate. Once a view controller is pushed onto the screen it should ideally be its own master.”

VoodooPad Pro 4.1 Review

VoodooPad iconMacworld: “It’s a garden for your thoughts — a place where you plant ideas, cultivate and develop them, link, tie, and combine them, and grow them into something real. After a couple of weeks playing with VoodooPad Pro 4.1.2, I’m pleased to say that’s not just a pile of marketing hooey. In fact, it may even be an understatement.”

We use VoodooPad here in the lab — we keep our brains in it.

Google Unveils a PC Operating System

NYTimes.com: “In a direct challenge to Microsoft, Google announced late Tuesday that it is developing an operating system for PCs based on its Chrome Web browser.” (Via @glennf.)

Google OS coming soon?

Ars Technica: “Two separate sources — one inside the company and one outside it — have confirmed to Ars tonight that Google plans to launch an operating system built in some fashion around its new web browser, Chrome. One source says that the new OS will be launched soon, perhaps as early as tomorrow.”

Setting Paste and Match Style as default

thaweesak.com: “One of the most annoying things about Mail.app application in Leopard is its paste with formatting feature.... There’s already a simple fix for this however.”

Great tip.

Delicious Library for iPhone removed from App Store

Due to Amazon’s new contract, Delicious Monster has removed Delicious Library from the App Store. Wil Shipley on Twitter: “Delicious Library for iPhone isn’t coming back as long as we’re using Amazon’s APIs, unless they decide to make an exception to section 4e.”

Section 4e of the Amazon contract reads:

You will not, without our express prior written approval requested via this link, use any Product Advertising Content on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device.

Wil also says, “I already did ask for permission, Amazon said no permission is being given right now. So, that’s that.”

I think this sucks, by the way.


By Dan Benjamin: “Enter two Twitter usernames to see how many followers and friends they have in common.”

Jerky email sent to Marco

Marco Arment: “Most of the emails I get are very nice, but occasionally one slips through that makes me question what, exactly, convinced someone that writing and sending it would be productive.”

Love that “if you want to be a bitch” part. That’s what gets developers up in the morning — the idea that today might be the day that someone finally credits us with being the bitches we try so hard to be. Sure.

Getting Pretty Lonely

Daniel Jalkut suggests “that the GPL does more to harm collaborative development than it does to help it.”

Daniel is brave.

When kvetchers kvetch

A person complains that Fraser Speirs has the “audacity” to charge for his software in this “age where social networking comes free of charge.”

Fraser’s reply is great — polite and succinct but unsparing. It’s a model for how to handle these situations.

Screencast: iPhone Tab bars and Navigation bars together

O’Reilly, Elisabeth Robson: “Combining a tab bar with a table view and navigation bar isn't very difficult, but it took me forever to figure out how to do it properly.” Her screencast shows how.


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