Monday, 19 June 2017

Airfoil Satellite support in Screensleeves

Following some recent updates to Screensleeves I had a request for Airfoil satellite support.

Airfoil Satellite running on your Mac allows you to stream music from another device. Happily the stream contains meta data and Rogue Amoeba (AS's developers) have made that information accessible, so adding support to Screensleeves was a breeze.

So Screensleeves can now display cover artwork, track name, album name and artist name (assuming that the information is provided by the original music source). This will all display within any of Screensleeves' themes. Unfortunately the progress bar and some other details aren't available via Airfoil Satellite at this point, but maybe that will change in future.

The basic Screensleeves and Screensleeves Pro are now available at version 5.4.0  which contains AS support.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A step forward with French localisation for Integrity & Scrutiny

The translator and I decided to take a phased approach to this project. We started with the applications' web pages, the next step was the context help within the app

I realise that it all looks a little 'Franglais' at the moment, but the buttons and labels are next.

(The localized context help for French speakers will be in the next point releases, Scrutiny 7.4.3 and Integrity / Integrity Plus 6.9.1)

Friday, 9 June 2017

Reminder - Scrutiny in current Bundlehunt app bundle

[Edit 14/6/17] this bundle has now finished.

A reminder that Scrutiny is included in the current bundle at Bundlehunt for a few more days only. For a fraction of the price of Scrutiny, you can obtain it along with 11 other Mac apps.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Where has Objective C gone in Apple's Documentation?

Today for the first time I noticed that I'm no longer able to choose Objective C as my preferred syntax
It's bugged me for a long time that these pages always appear pre-selected with Swift and don't remember my selection of Objective C.

To be fair, this isn't entirely unexpected. When Swift was announced, it was unlikely that they'd run the two languages in parallel for any length of time. I've been forced to learn another language in the past; my first dealings with Cocoa were in Java-cocoa (sounds tasty!). (Java was the first OO language I learned). Translating an entire project from the Java syntax to Obj-C when I could no longer compile the Java-Cocoa code was a PITA.

I felt the wind of change when I started to notice that the first solutions I found to problems contained Swift code rather than Objective C, and I either had to translate (easy if you're just looking for the best method to use, but harder if it's a whole block of example code you want to use) or keep Googling for another answer with an Obj-C code example.

I guess I'll have to find out how to use the built-in documentation and wait for the day that things are available in Swift but not Obj C.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

First thoughts on yesterday's announcements

With each year's announcements it's always a relief to hear that the Mac has at least another year of life. The convergence of Mac and iOS is taking many years to happen. Yesterdays talk of enhancing Sierra with efficiencies and switch to the Apple File System was pretty welcome.

I'm very curious about the VR and AR stuff, but more from a 'playing' perspective rather than seeing ways to incorporate them into what I do. But the machine-learning stuff I really can; I've been waiting for an API built into the OS for doing that kind of stuff.

I'd always expected the Mac to continue morphing into iOS but the biggest surprise yesterday was files / drag and drop / enhanced dock in iOS. (Meaning that the convergence is going to end up closer to the Mac than anticipated.) And as Craig demo'd all of this, his iPad screen looked more like the macOS than I'd ever expected.
I'm not that bothered about the home pad, I think the built-in intelligence is a lot of guff, and they're very late to the party with a voice-activated computer in the room, I guess they thought the advanced speaker stuff was an area that Google and Amazon had been neglecting.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Best viewed.....

This makes me laugh out loud... seen at the bottom of one of my favourite sites:
Thankfully the days of 'this site is best viewed in...'  are now largely confined to history - but I'm fully with anyone who doesn't want the ball-ache of spending days trying to make their site look half-decent in certain versions of IE.

routine update for Screensleeves

Yesterday Screensleeves (free and pro versions) received a maintenance update; some small updates, improvements and the odd little glitch fixed.

It's the first update in a while. But then if something's working pretty well, should it be important to do some work and release a new version? There are definite marketing advantages (exposure).

Over the weekend I had an app pulled from the App Store, on the grounds that it hadn't been updated for a while. I hate the Store and haven't supported it for a long while, and this is a minor app that I haven't sold a copy of for a long time and have been wondering whether to stop supporting anyway. When uploading apps is such a headache anyway, the obligation to do it regularly in order to avoid them dropping an app just seems like another hoop to jump through. But it did make me feel a little offended.

On the positive side, the Apple's policy does keep their store free of abandoned apps. I've seen users refer to apps as 'abandonware' if they haven't been updated in a couple of years.

Friday, 2 June 2017

routine flights to the moon, iPads and film processing

I'm thoroughly enjoying this read. I love the film but the medium of film doesn't allow for a lot of explanation, and Kubrick seems to go out of his way to *not* find clever ways to explain things, leaving quite a hallucinogenic experience.

Something I really love about old sci-fi (I recommend Metropolis, Solaris) is seeing the vision of the future from the past.

The film (2001 a space odyssey - 1968) famously contains images of what look like iPads. And just like today, the pads are sitting on the table while people are eating.

I was delighted to read the description of the 'newspad' in the book. It goes well beyond the physical description depicted in the film. Clarke uses far more words to describe the convenience of instant access to the world's news, up-to-the-hour if not the minute than the physical form of the pad.

Much is made of Clarke's accurate predictions, but in this book as well as others, the missed predictions are as delightful. Along with all sci-fi authors, Clarke predicts the future with his own world around him, thus the newspad needs connecting with a wire, and it's necessary to read a reference code on each news article and type the code into a keyboard to read the article, thus no prediction of wireless data, hyperlinks or touch-screens.

The best mis-prediction I've read in this book, is of pictures being taken by the moon colonists - and sent to the lab for processing!