Monthly Archives: July 2012

What’s a software architect?

After a discussion on the twitters with Kellabyte and Iris Classon about software architects, I thought I’d summarise my position. Feel welcome to disagree. What does a software architect do? A software architect is there to identify risks that affect … Continue reading

Posted in Responsibility, software-engineering | 2 Comments

On free apps

This post is sort-of a follow-on to @daveaddey’s post on the average app; although in reality it’s a follow-on to the response that comes out every time a post on app store revenue is written. Events go like this: Some … Continue reading

Posted in AAPL, Business | Comments Off on On free apps

Inheritance is old and busted

Back when I started reading about Object-Oriented Programming (which was when Java was new, I was using Delphi and maybe the ArcGIS scripting language, which also had OO features) the entire hotness was inheritance. Class hierarchies as complicated as biological … Continue reading

Posted in code-level, OOP, software-engineering | Comments Off on Inheritance is old and busted

On Null Objects

I’ve said before, NSNull is an anti-pattern. It’s nice that we have the nil object, which allows us to have a stand-in for any object that doesn’t do anything. Unfortunately, it’s not a universal stand-in. You can’t add nil to … Continue reading

Posted in code-level, OOP, software-engineering | 3 Comments


In addition to being a mildly accomplished software engineer, I’ve done some studying and armchair research in the field of ancient languages and palaeography. What happens if we smoosh those fields together? In a very slight way, art historian and … Continue reading

Posted in advancement of the self, books, code-level, documentation, PCAS, software-engineering, UI | Comments Off on Illuminative-C

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

Posted in AAPL, advancement of the self, books, Business, iDeveloper.TV, iPhone, Mac, NSConf, OOP, Responsibility, software-engineering, Talk, WebObjects | Comments Off on On community

Password checking with CommonCrypto

I previously described a system for storing and checking credentials on Mac OS and iOS based on using many rounds of a hashing function to generate a key from the password. Time has moved on, and Apple has extended the … Continue reading

Posted in Authentication, code-level, Crypto, password | 1 Comment

Sound bites considered harmful

Knuth said: premature optimization is the root of all evil. Only, what he actually said was: There is no doubt that the grail of efficiency leads to abuse. Programmers waste enormous amounts of time thinking about, or worrying about, the … Continue reading

Posted in software-engineering | 1 Comment

How people learn

Don’t you hate those times when you go to a talk or article that says “you should be doing this”, but then doesn’t explain how to do that? I just wrote one. In “Coding. Standards.” I explained that what software … Continue reading

Posted in advancement of the self, books, Talk | Comments Off on How people learn

Coding. Standards.

I just realised that this month marks the 10th anniversary of my first payment for writing software (on, of all the weird things to be writing software on in 2002, a NeXTstation)! What have I learned from those ten years? … Continue reading

Posted in advancement of the self, Business, code-level, OOP, software-engineering | 2 Comments