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Brent Simmons’s linkblog.



Mon, 17 Jun 2013 10:36:02 -07002013-06-17T10:36:02-07:00

Ranchero Software doesn’t have a new app — but Ranchero Software’s sister company Q Branch released Vesper. For iPhone.

This weblog on hiatus

Thu, 10 Feb 2011 15:21:17 -08002011-02-10T15:21:17-08:00

So I can simplify things for myself and make it more likely I’ll actually post to my weblog, I’ve decided to put this weblog on hiatus and post everything on

That little bit of friction — answering the question of which weblog to post to — was enough to make posting seem like too much of a chore. So now I don’t have to answer that question.

Hopefully that means I’ll post more often. I’d like to.

TapLynx iPhone + iPad sale this Friday

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 10:48:51 -08002010-11-22T10:48:51-08:00

Click on the picture of the FAMOUS BAND FROM THE NINETEEN-SIXTIES.

Today’s a day you’re never going to forget, ever.

Or, well, okay, maybe that’s not quite true — but maybe you’ll save some money, which is cool, too.

25% off 360 Mac Dev

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 09:17:14 -08002010-11-22T09:17:14-08:00

360 MacDev is the last Mac conference before the Mac App Store — and you can get 25% off. Details on my weblog.


Thu, 07 Oct 2010 20:29:18 -07002010-10-07T20:29:18-07:00

Somehow I missed this news last week (and maybe you’ve already seen it) — my friend Patrick Burleson (BitBQ head bit-barbecuer) released QueueUp (iTunes link) on the App Store.

It’s an app for quickly adding a movie to your Netflix queue. That’s what it does.

I’m not a Netflix subscriber — but, if I was, I’d get this app right away. I love iPhone apps like this, that do a thing, that make it easy to not procrastinate and forget — and that make it fun.

Tweet Library for iPad

Tue, 05 Oct 2010 20:29:28 -07002010-10-05T20:29:28-07:00

Riverfold Software — my friend Manton Reece — just released Tweet Library (iTunes link) on the iPad.

It’s another Twitter client, yes — but it does a bunch that the other ones don’t. It archives your tweets and provides filters and collections. Is Twitter important to you? You may need this.

There’s a website that talks more about it — with screenshots and an intro video.

One of the cooler features: you can publish a collection of tweets to Lately I’ve been thinking about web-based features like that for my own software — so it will be interesting to watch and see how it goes.

Congrats, Manton!

TouchUp for iPad

Tue, 05 Oct 2010 11:57:04 -07002010-10-05T11:57:04-07:00

TouchUp (iTunes link) is a gorgeous new photo editing app from my friends at RogueSheep. Introductory price is 40% off, just $2.99.

I love it. Totally fun app. I had seen betas, but hadn’t had the chance to use it much until just today. I’m impressed by their work, as usual — the attention to detail, to the sense of fun and delight, and to the generosity. The app even comes with screencast tutorials!

Before they released it, I figured the app would be $20 or $30. It’s worth it. (And part of me wishes they had priced it like that, but I don’t pretend to know their market they way they do, and so of course I respect their decision.) In other words — for $2.99, sheesh, just buy it.

Buy it even if you don’t have a big need for a photo editor on your iPad. If you’re an iPad developer, think of this is a tutorial app, like Postage (also from Rogue Sheep) — there’s a lot to learn from this app, and I’m actually going to sit down with it and take some notes.

Signed up for free HTML5 class

Sat, 25 Sep 2010 14:28:28 -07002010-09-25T14:28:28-07:00

In RogueSheep’s recent post on Scholarly Shepherding, Chris talks about the UW Extension course on Cocoa. Though I’m not one of the teachers, I’m on the board — and I’m hugely proud of the teachers and students and folks at UW who made the first year such a success. Year two is starting soon, and there are still slots open for the eastside class. (Westside is on waiting list.)

Chris also mentions Jake Carter’s HTML5 class. (Jake also does a lot of work on the UW class.) While I knew this was coming up, I didn’t know it was a free online-video course from O’Reilly.

I signed up!

As developers we know that the more well-understood tools we have in our tool belt, the better craftsmen we are.

But the technology world is always uncertain — which tools should I learn? Which languages, which frameworks? How do I stay current? What would be most useful?

You might have trouble picking between SproutCore and Cappuccino, say, or Cocoa and the Android SDK.

But one thing is a no-brainer: you need to know HTML. And HTML5 is the new one, and Jake’ll teach it to you. (And it’s free.)

360 MacDev call for papers

Mon, 20 Sep 2010 09:35:55 -07002010-09-20T09:35:55-07:00

I’ve very much enjoyed the previous 360 iPhone conferences — and the first 360 Mac conference is coming up this December. There’s a call for papers — I’ll be there, and I’d love to see a great line-up.

One thing that excites me about this is that the Mac doesn’t have the restrictions that iOS development has. The Mac is the playground. It’s where we get to have fun, where we get to try things, where things like JSTalk and MacRuby appear.

The anarchist in me remains enamoured of the Mac platform, more so than ever, and I’m super-excited for the future of Mac software. The conference could reflect that — with your help.

Core Data and iOS and encryption

Wed, 14 Jul 2010 13:34:21 -07002010-07-14T13:34:21-07:00

My co-worker Nick Harris investigates data encryption on iPhones and iPads — a topic very important to the enterprise, and a topic that should be important to every developer whose app works with private data.


Wed, 07 Jul 2010 15:39:13 -07002010-07-07T15:39:13-07:00

It’s open-source sharing code for iOS apps: Twitter, Facebook, etc. I haven’t looked at the code yet, but I definitely like the idea. Good for the ecosystem.

Would be cool if it worked for Macs, too.

Mac app design: always the same (ish)

Mon, 28 Jun 2010 10:15:37 -07002010-06-28T10:15:37-07:00

Cocoa with Love: “But the classification of an application isn’t a simple tree structure — there are many different connections. And the connections aren’t simply of heredity — there are subclasses, view hierarchies, event hierarchies, control hierarchies and more.”

Sometimes when I just want something good to read I go through the Cocoa with Love archive. I even read articles I’ve read before.

On coding as if people are watching

Mon, 28 Jun 2010 10:01:54 -07002010-06-28T10:01:54-07:00

Jeff LaMarche: “The other day, I saw somebody wearing a T-shirt that said ‘Dance Like Nobody’s Watching.’ I’m not much of a dancer, but I like the sentiment. However, dancing is not coding. The worst thing you can do is code like nobody’s watching.”

Jeff makes a great point. I might sum it up as: do it right the first time, no matter what the pressure — it always pays off.

(I play a guest role in the addendum. The follow-on point being that code reviews — actually having people look at your code — are good too.)

At WWDC I called Jeff the “smartest guy in iPhone development.” If you’re a developer, you should subscribe to his feed. (But I bet you already have.)

iPhone multitasking explained

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 11:42:39 -07002010-06-21T11:42:39-07:00 “It’s no secret that ‘multitasking’ is one of the great new features of iOS 4. Unfortunately, many people have a misconception about what Apple has implemented.”

A Month of Mac

Sun, 20 Jun 2010 16:07:48 -07002010-06-20T16:07:48-07:00

Brad Feld: “Ross (my IT guy) bet me $100 that I’d beg him to ship my Windows desktop to me within a few days of getting to Alaska. Help me win the bet.”

On sucky app websites

Sun, 20 Jun 2010 14:16:36 -07002010-06-20T14:16:36-07:00

Matt Legend Gemmell: “Your customer doesn’t care about any of the other crap that you want to throw onto the product page. Get rid of it; put it elsewhere.”

Fast UITableViewCell with a UIWebView

Thu, 17 Jun 2010 15:05:13 -07002010-06-17T15:05:13-07:00

Nick Harris (my co-worker at NewsGator): “The problem becomes how you add hyperlinking to a UITableViewCell but keep the scroll speed as fast as possible.”

Nick’s solution is to actually use a UIWebView. Which works pretty well (to my surprise). He has some demo code posted — and lists a couple issues still to solve. Help appreciated, of course!

Reminder: make sure NetNewsWire is latest version

Mon, 14 Jun 2010 17:43:33 -07002010-06-14T17:43:33-07:00

We released new versions of NetNewsWire a couple months ago to make sure they work with an upcoming change in Google Reader. Most people have upgraded already. But not everybody! So this is a reminder to make sure you’re running the latest version.

There are more details on this post on the NetNewsWire website.

Extended NetNewsWire/iPad intro pricing an extra month

Wed, 02 Jun 2010 09:41:18 -07002010-06-02T09:41:18-07:00

Since the international iPad release is still in progress, and since even where it’s been released there are people on waiting lists, we decided to extend the introductory pricing an extra month, to July 8. More details on the NetNewsWire blog.

New file comparison app: Kaleidoscope

Tue, 01 Jun 2010 15:43:22 -07002010-06-01T15:43:22-07:00

I use Mercurial these days — and Kaleidoscope works with Mercurial. I’ll definitely check it out. (Versions, also by the Made by Sofa folks, is a great app, which I loved when I was using Subversion.)

Also see Colin Barrett’s blog post about Kaleidoscope.