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{ Category Archives } iPhone

Intuitive is the Enemy of Good

In the previous instalment, I discussed an interview in which Alan Kay maligned growth-restricted user interfaces. Here’s the quote again: There is the desire of a consumer society to have no learning curves. This tends to result in very dumbed-down products that are easy to get started on, but are generally worthless and/or debilitating. We […]

Conflicts in my mental model of Objective-C

My worldview as it relates to the writing of software in Objective-C contains many items that are at odds with one another. I either need to resolve them or to live with the cognitive dissonance, gradually becoming more insane as the conflicting items hurl one another at my cortex. Of the programming environments I’ve worked […]

Garbage-collected Objective-C

When was a garbage collector added to Objective-C? If you follow Apple’s work with the language, you might be inclined to believe that it was in 2008 when AutoZone was added as part of Objective-C 2.0 (the AutoZone collector has since been deprecated by Apple, and I’m not sure whether anyone else ever adopted it). […]

Lighter UIViewControllers

The first issue of Objective-C periodical has just been announced: Issue #1 is about lighter view controllers. The introduction tells you a bit more about this issue and us. First, Chris writes about lighter view controllers. Florian expands on this topic with clean table view code. Then Daniel explores view controller testing. Finally, in […]

A two-dimensional dictionary

What? A thing I made has just been open-sourced by my employers at Agant: the AGTTwoDimensionalDictionary works a bit like a normal dictionary, except that the keys are CGPoints meaning we can find all the objects within a given rectangle. Why? A lot of time on developing Discworld: The Ankh-Morpork Map was spent on performance […]

Sideloading content into iOS apps

All non-trivial apps visualise content in some form, whether it’s game levels embedded in the app, data loaded from some internet service, or something else. In many cases the developer who’s writing the Objective-C code isn’t going to be the person who creates or prepares this content. In the case of embedded content, this can […]

On community

This is a post that had been boiling for a while; I talked a little about the topic when I was in Appsterdam earlier this year, and had a few more thoughts which were completely supplanted and rearranged by watching

The debugger of royalty

We’ve all got little libraries of code or scripts that help us with debugging. Often these are for logging information in a particular way, or wrapping logs/tests such that they’re only invoked in Debug builds but not in production. Or they clean up your IDE’s brainfarts. Having created these debug libraries, how are you going […]

Why we don’t trust -retainCount

I’m pretty sure @bbum must have worn through a few keyboards telling users of StackOverflow not to rely on the value of an Objective-C object’s -retainCount. Why? When we create an object, it has a retain count of 1, right? Retains (and, for immutable objects, copies) bump that up, releases (and, some time later, autoreleases) […]

On explaining stuff to people

An article that recently made the rounds, though it was written back in September, is called Apple’s Idioten Vektor. It’s a discussion of how the CCCrypt() function in Apple’s CommonCrypto library, when used in its default cipher block chaining mode, treats the IV (Initialization Vector) parameter as optional. If you don’t supply an IV, it […]