Friday, June 12, 2015

GitHub is Not Your Resume

Your resume is your resume. 

Your released apps are your resume. 

Your released sites are your resume. 

Your published blog posts are your resume.

Your contributions to widely used open source software, some of which might be hosted on GitHub, are your resume. 

Your public repo that you're the sole contributor to and isn't a shipping product is not your resume

Hiring managers screening applicants don't have time to pull 3+ repos, attempt to compile them, and then read the source to see what a 10x dev/rockstar/ninja/special snowflake you are.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Cocoapods use_frameworks! Means A Bridging Header Not Required for Objective-C Pods in Swift

TL;DR Use standard "Import Framework" in Swift instead of the Obj-C bridging header for Obj-C Cocoapods with use_framework! in your Pods file
Versions: OS X  10.10.3 Xcode 6.3.1 iOS SDK 8.3  Cocoapods 0.36.1

This just wasn't obvious at all. I've been using Swift & Cocoapods < 0.36 since Xcode 6 shipped. While versions < 0.36 did not work with a Swift framework like Alamofire, you could use Objective-C pods and let them get compiled as a static library as long as you used the Objective-C bridging header to import the header(s).

With Cocoapods 0.36 and above, you can have Swift frameworks as Pods. To make that work, you have to put the use_frameworks! keyword in your Pods file. My brain misunderstood Use frameworks instead of static libraries for Pods because it automatically inserted for Swift before the Pods in that sentence. 

Took me a couple hours this morning to work out all my Pods might be framworks. I'm not the first person to figure it out, just a few days ago, Johannes Luderschmidt published a blog post with the solution which put on the right path. All Pods using use_frameworks! are frameworks, not just the Swift pods. A problem like this is where experience with Xcode can really work against you. You start tweaking Header Search Paths,  Framework Search Paths, User Header Search Paths, and the Always Search User Paths (docs: disabling it is strongly recommended) settings in desperation because that's usually where these problems lie. Especially when the first compiler error in your project after putting use_frameworks! in your Pod file is that the header for come Objective-C pod can’t be found.

But that’s totally down the wrong rabbit hole. I’m using the Obj-C MBProgressHUD Pod. What you need to do is:

  1. Remove the #imports from your bridging header
  2. Add Import MBProgressHUD into every Swift file that needs the class.
  3. Fix the enums

You're now using bona fide frameworks, so your enums have moved in flight! You might have a line of Swift that was fine with the bridging header like this:

progressHUD.mode = MBProgressHUDModeIndeterminate

That now has to become this:

progressHUD.mode = MBProgressHUDMode.Indeterminate

Not to big a deal, but the pile of errors might lead you astray that you have a bigger problem than you do if you’re using a lot of Obj-C enums.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Deleted my Instapaper Account, Here are Some Stats, and Why the Service Didn't Work For Me

TL;DR 645 Unread 25 Archived 1 Starred

I've had an Instapaper account since 2008 when Marco Arment launched the service until now. I haven’t been using the account for most of the last 2 years, with my last save in June 2014, the only one the whole year.

So I deleted my account. Finally!

The idea never really worked for me, even though I was very excited about it. I’ve always been a news junkie. My routine is daily RSS reader, hourly Twitter timeline, Facebook News Feed mostly on weekends, and daily manual reading of a number of sites. The idea of a service that could generate a newspaper like thing for me to read later seemed great. But I realized that after I went through my usual news reading routine, my attention was exhausted. 

Instead, I used Instapaper as a bookmarking service for “important stuff”, longer form deeper think pieces I thought I absolutely had to know and would get to later. That also turned out to be untrue. Out of the 671 links I added to Instapaper, how many did I actually read? 26! 3.8%. That’s way lower than even I expected.

I’ve been using the Reading List feature built-in to Safari on iOS and OS X, but it’s where links kind of go to die for the same reasons as Instapaper, I just don’t go there, does’t fit into my routine. Bookmarks are a similar story, only the Bookmarks on my favorites bar see any action.

What I think I might need is something to save links grouped by research topic, not just one big list. Bookmark Folders kind of serve that purpose, but it’s not really an elegant or searchable tool.

I’ve also kind of become one of those people on a desktop browser that just leaves a browser window open per topic with tabs for each site until I’m ready to deal with it. Safari does an excellent job of keeping this state at the ready in my Dock on OS X.


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

How To Use the Spock Live Long and Prosper Emoji on iOS 8.3 & OS X 10.10.3

Versions: OS X  10.10.3   iOS 8.3
Despite the date, this article by Jason Snell at Six Colors about the Spock Live Long and Prosper hand gesture, referred to as Raised Hand with Part Between Middle and Ring Finger, is not an April Fool’s Joke.
iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3 can display the emoji, but it isn’t in the standard Emoji keyboard on either OS yet.
To be able to use the emoji on OS X, you can create a text replacement macro to use it now:
  1. Copy the emoji from here: Raised Hand with Part Between Middle and Ring Finger (Blogger keeps double-encoding the emoji and makes it unreadable).
  2. Go to System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Text tab.
  3. Click +.
  4. I used LLAP in the Replace column and the emoji in the With column.
  5. That’s it!
Now when you type LLAP on OS X, you’ll get prompted to use the emoji.
Now on iOS:
  1. Copy the emoji from here: Raised Hand with Part Between Middle and Ring Finger
  2. Go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts.
  3. Tap +.
  4. Paste the emoji into Phrase.
  5. Type LLAP into Shortcut.
  6. Tap Save.
Now when you type LLAP on iOS, you’ll get prompted to use the emoji.
Live Long and Prosper!

Friday, April 03, 2015

With Autocompleted Methods & Functions, I Wish Returned Values Came After the Call In Swift

We’ve been calling functions or methods on objects the same since at least C appeared in 1972. You declare & call a function like this:

int main(void) {
    printf("hello, world\n");
    return 0;
int value = main();

To define, the return type is declared before the name of the function. On call, a variable is declared to hold the return value of the function call.

In Swift, you declare a function with a return type like this:

  • func printAndCount(stringToPrint: String) -> Int {


        return countElements(stringToPrint)


I loved this change to the C convention. IMHO, the information importance follows the order you declare the function: name, parameter type(s), and return type(s). However, you still call that function like this:

  • let count = printAndCount("Hello, playground")

This feels like a job half done, a little bit like the tail wagging the dog

I nearly always know the name of a function or method I want to call before I know its return types.

Wouldn’t it be great if the language was fully adapted to the pervasiveness of autocomplete?

Imagine the amount of time you’d save if you could start typing the name of the function or method first and let autocomplete show & then fill in the return types?

Proposing Post Call Return Value Assignment

I’m proposing that variables that are assigned the return value of a function should come after the function call using a return arrow. It would look something like this:

printAndCount("Hello, playground") -> let count

With methods, it would look like this:

someObject.printAndCount("Hello, playground") -> let count

The actual syntax is up for debate, but I’m excited by the idea. I don’t know of another language that does this.


  • Far fewer trips to documentation to lookup the return types of a function you know the beginning of.
  • Far less typing of return types of any kind
  • Far less (no?) typing the object, autocompleting the method, then fixing up the return types to variables you want.


  • Return variables harder to “find” when reading code
    • Listing for completeness, I don’t see it being materially wrong, just different from the norm
  • Imagine the style debates because the existing way stays in the language.

I’m betting the pros would outweigh any cons, and this feature would greatly increase the usability of the language and editor together.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

iOS MPMoviePlayerController Crashes when prepareToPlay is Called Without Adding to a View

TL;DR Call something like [self.view addSubView:moviePlayer.view] before [moviePlayer prepareToPlay]
Versions: OS X  10.10.2 Xcode 6.2 iOS SDK 8.2 

I just inherited some code previously compiled against iOS SDK 6.0, ran fine through iOS 7, but crashes on iOS 8.x. Here’s the crasher:

NSURL *url = [NSURL fileURLWithPath:[[NSBundle mainBundle] pathForResource:@"impact_of_needs_goal_planning@1x" ofType:@"mp4"]];
self.moviePlayer = [[MPMoviePlayerController alloc] initWithContentURL:url];
self.moviePlayer.shouldAutoplay = NO;
[self.moviePlayer setControlStyle:MPMovieControlStyleNone];
[self.moviePlayer.view setFrame:CGRectMake(0.0, 0.0, 1024.0, 748.0)];
[self.moviePlayer.view setTag:7];

[[NSNotificationCenter defaultCenter] addObserver:self selector:@selector(movieDidLoad:) name:MPMoviePlayerLoadStateDidChangeNotification object:self.moviePlayer];
[self.moviePlayer prepareToPlay];

App was crashing on the last line, [self.moviePlayer prepareToPlay]; every time it was called.

This is a guess (because installing an iOS 7 simulator is taking forever), but it looks like iOS 7 and below didn't care because the app was working fine. iOS 8 crashes.

The solution is adding the moviePlayerController to a parent view before calling [self.moviePlayer prepareToPlay];, like this:
[self addSubview:self.moviePlayer.view];

Given this is The Right Thing To Do™, I'm actually surprised it ever worked!


Turns out this was not the cause of the crash, which I have yet to nail down. This change did seem to temporarily solve the crash, but alas it is something to do with NSNotifications :’(

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Reminder: iOS's UICollectionView Added an Item Property to NSIndexPath

TL;DR Use the item property on NSIndexPath for UICollectionView instead of row from UITableView 

Just realized I littered a UICollectionViewController with calls to indexPath.row when I should have been using indexPath.item. I didn’t see any bad behavior, but should use the right property for the job!


NSIndexPath UIKit Additions (Web)

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Workaround for iOS Simulator Not Sending Current Location to Your App

TL;DR Click the Debug -> Location -> Apple menu.
Versions: OS X 10.10.2 Xcode 6.1.1 iOS SDK 8.0 iOS Simulator 8.1 (550.3)
iOS Simulator Debug Location MenuI often reset the iOS Simulator to quickly wipe out installed apps, settings, keychain items, etc. After a reset maneuver, the simulator often refuses to deliver the the users current location. I usually have a Custom Location (as pictured in the screenshot to the right) configured to get back to the same place every run.
When the simulator gets stuck, a quick workaround is to change the location to a pre-defined one, e.g. Apple. It kind of feels like Han Solo smacking the Millennium Falcon to get it to power on in Empire Strikes Back!
Just click the Debug -> Location -> Apple menu.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Reason Why Your Storyboard Defined UICollectionViewCells Are Blank on Run

TL;DR Remove the / do not add a call to... self.collectionView.registerClass in viewDidLoad
Versions: OS X 10.10.2 Xcode 6.1.1 iOS SDK 8.0
Blank Collection ViewWhen you run your app to see your collection view, does it look like this? 
This isn’t your first rodeo, you’ve implemented UICollectionView before, but maybe it’s been a while.
You want to do it The Right Way™, using all the modern stuff like Storyboards, and then this happens!
What's gone wrong?
You have what seems like a reasonable line of code in viewDidLoad that UICollectionView is choking on!

How You Could Have Got Here...

Let’s say you created a UICollectionViewController in a Storyboard or a UICollectionView in a plain old UIViewController. You’re confident, not cocky, but you know Apple’s pattern on this pretty well, so you go ahead and customize the first cell, nothing that requires code, and then add a second cell that you expect to set properties on, so it might look like this:
Screen Shot 2015 02 27 at 7 44 19 AM

Best Way To Add Code for Storyboard?
Back in the day when Interface Builder was a separate app (pre Xcode 4), there was an option to auto generate class files right from within the UI. If memory serves, this would create the class file as mostly what you wanted and connected to IBActions and IBOutlets.
Since Xcode 4, you can drag actions and outlet into your source code, but the source files have to already exist. If you want to create source, the only way I can find is from the process on the left. There's some typing & option choosing which are needless because you already made those choices in your Storyboard. Worse, the source is not customized in any way from the changes you already made in the Storyboard.
Anyone have a less manual way? Let me know, I can't seem to find one.
Now you think it’s time to add code for the view controller you created in the storyboard, so you go through the File -> New -> File (or ⌘N if you do this a lot) dialogs like in the screenshots below: (your mileage may vary with different Xcode versions)
 Screen Shot 2015 02 27 at 8 00 03 AM Screen Shot 2015 02 27 at 7 56 17 AM


The code template that's used for a UICollectionViewController seems like a reasonable starting point. It adds the following line to viewDidLoad:
Obj-C [self.collectionView registerClass:[UICollectionViewCell class] forCellWithReuseIdentifier:reuseIdentifier];
Swift self.collectionView!.registerClass(UICollectionViewCell.self, forCellWithReuseIdentifier: reuseIdentifier)

If you've customized the stock UICollectionViewCell in your Storyboard, the cell with the matching reuse identifier in code will cause UICollectionView to load an empty UICollectionViewCell! If you went full steam ahead and added a bunch of custom cells with matching reuse identifiers and registerCell calls in viewDidLoad, you, ah, might not figure this one out for a while.