Monday, May 24

New Fonty Goodness

Vollkorn, by Friedrich Althausen
Just a quick update to note that I’ve changed this blog’s header and title to use Vollkorn, a new font from the Google Font Directory.

Installation on Blogger is straightforward if you’re up for Edit HTML (and the consequences of forking your template). It would be pretty silly, though, if we didn’t make it a bit easier one of these days…

Tuesday, May 11

Not blogging on account of iPad

I posted recently about my disappointment in the available iPad-compatible blogging solutions. This has hampered my own blogging in two significant ways:
  1. Since the iPad is still the shiny fun toy I want to play with, I haven't wanted to pull out my laptop in order to blog.
  2. I've been spending a good deal of time and attention trying to rectify the problem by building a native client of my own.

This isn't anything official, and I might not even finish it, but for now it's been a fun way to develop Cocoa Touch skills and get some experience in engineering a client app in something other than JavaScript or GWT.

Things I like:
  • I can make apps that run on the iPad, which is, as previously noted, shiny.
  • The challenge of figuring out a new system and getting it to work.

Things I miss:
  • Java, Eclipse, and static analysis. The tools available for Java just seem to be able to do more: easier (in some cases real-time) refactoring, auto-filling of methods (e.g. to satisfy an interface), and syntax highlighting of uses and errors come to mind.
  • Open source everywhere. When a library is behaving curiously, I'm used to being able to Control-click in and poke around to see how it's doing things. Not so with Cocoa, and I've already been bitten by two bugs in the frameworks that have required trial-and-error workarounds.

Things that are annoying:
  • Indentation to line up colons. Really? The aesthetic value of this escapes me, especially when coupled with the maintenance hassle.
  • Xcode groups not matching the filesystem. More maintenance. If decoupling these is even ever desirable it should be an option, not the default.
  • Categories. I haven't seen how these are particularly useful in practice, and currently seem to do little more than fill up the auto-complete menu with random, out-of-context methods.
  • The thesaurus. Maybe I'm just not used to the terminology, but the API authors like to use verbs that are a bit on the flowery side, which keeps me from ever remembering them. Modal views are not "shown" or "hidden," but "presented" and "dismissed." Okay, it has more character, but at a not-insignificant learning cost.

Things I couldn't live without: