December 14th, 2012
Swizec explains why founders shouldn’t be the developers:
There’s no getting around that, no matter how good a programmer you are, no matter how experienced, it’s just hard. Programming doesn’t require a lot of attention, it requires all of attention.
I agreed. As much as the founder wants to be the developer they shouldn’t be. I don’t think it means that they can’t do any development. But the responsibility of this task should not rest solely on their shoulders. They can dabble. They can mess around with ideas. Maybe even help put together new prototypes. But leave the production stuff to professionals.
December 14th, 2012
He also puts forth this worthy nugget:
In order to advance the state of the art, we have to be willing not only to try new ideas, but to retreat when those ideas prove untenable or when something better comes along.
Boy do I believe this! Trying new ideas should be something that we, as builders, and even entire companies, should make a priority. Try. Try. Try. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll learn.
November 14th, 2012
App.net has a new API feature called Stream Marker. Dalton Caldwell:
Multiple times a day, I switch between my laptop and my phone. It’s frustrating that I have to ask myself “have I seen this post?” as I scroll through My Stream. Today we’re adding support for Stream Markers to the API. This will allows clients to sync where you are in your stream, global, and even in individual threads between clients.
This is fantastic. Tweetbot for iPhone, iPad, and Mac have used either Tweet Marker (now called Watermark) or iCloud to do something very similar in syncing where you’ve left off in a stream between apps/devices. This is something that has never been built into Twitter’s API even though it seems like a no-brainer.
Great update to what is quickly becoming a far better API than Twitter’s.
September 28th, 2012
Because my work was cited as an inspiration for the Khan system, I felt I should respond with two thoughts about learning:
How could I possibly avoid linking to this?
See also: Inventing on Principle.
June 27th, 2012
Mike Rundle on Twitter:
And to everyone trying to build great mobile-web-in-a-native-shell iPhone apps, give up. Facebook couldn’t do it, and neither can you.
I agree with Mike. Mobile web applications that perform as fast or faster than native / compiled applications on iOS is simply not on the horizon. Could it happen? Could Webkit or another engine get so fast and efficient to make it plausible to build entire applications for mobile devices like phones and tablets? I think so. I just don’t see it happening in the next few years. Native applications are simply the best bang for the current buck.
Side note: Man I miss working with Mike. Hi Mike!
June 18th, 2012
A jQuery framework for ajax loading post content via Tumblr’s v2 API and rendering it in your document using customisable JsRender templates. See the demo.
Interesting. Works well and is a pretty great framework already.
June 13th, 2012
CodeIgniter 2.1.1 has been released. Looks like a pretty solid point release to sure up a few pain points. I use CodeIgniter to build Nilai so I’ll be working on upgrading this weekend.
May 24th, 2012
Coda 2 and Diet Coda are now available. 50% off until tomorrow. Just picked up my copy.
Take that Duke Nukem.
May 22nd, 2012
Justin Kan about his first experience using programming on the job:
A couple more hours of applied effort and I had a macro that looped through all the images in a directory tree and laid them out in Excel. I spent the next four days surfing the web and handing out files.
The first time I did any programming it was more than likely a “Hello World” script in ASP. However, I do remember doing something very similar to what Kan did to automate a process which a fellow employee spent hours a day doing.
I worked for a brokerage and each and every day a fellow employee had to take about 100 stock ticker symbols and run reports on them and input that data into an Excel spreadsheet. This was circa 2000. This went on for nearly a year before I caught wind of what they were doing. On a break or at lunch I was talking to this person and they explained to me what they did nearly every morning for two hours. I was astounded.
When I got back to my desk I fired up my code editor (EditPlus I believe) and in about an hour I had built a very simple PHP script to pull the relevant information for all 100 stock tickers using Yahoo! Finance’s CSV creator. Then a simple Excel macro formatted the data the way that this person had been doing. In all it took the script and macro about 45 seconds to run and create an email with the new data as an attachment.
It wasn’t long after I shared this workflow with my boss that the person that had been doing that job needed to figure out something else to do or they’d probably be of little use to the company. Whoops. Not my intention.
Another co-worker and friend at the time bought me a sticker from Thinkgeek and stuck it to the side of my computer. It read “Go away or I’ll replace you with a very small Shell script.” (Now available in T-shirt form.)
There has been a lot of hoopla lately about the fact that people believe that everyone should learn to code. Some are taking that quite literally to mean that everyone should learn how to build applications or websites. I don’t take it that way. I think everyone should learn the “languages” that their applications speak so that they too can take advantage of working smarter rather than harder. If you are tasked with using Excel all day become the very best at it you can be. And that means being able to program macros. If you are asked to use multiple applications on a Mac learn how to use Services or Automator to do some of your reoccurring tasks for you.
This type of programming won’t put you out of the job. It will free you up to get more work done. To use your time to do other things rather than the same thing every single day. If you do the same task more than once a week you should seriously consider learning how to automate it.
May 21st, 2012
Not-so-hot on the heels of my interview with Panic in September 2009 comes Coda 2 and its sister? iPad app Diet Coda – both available on May 24th. Coda 2 looks like an amazingly big update.
April 17th, 2012
PHP Simple HTML DOM Parser is a pretty great open source project for parsing the DOM using jQuery-like selectors. I recently used it on Nilai to parse recipes from the leading recipe sites. Worked great.
April 17th, 2012
Chris Granger about Light Table:
Light Table is based on a very simple idea: we need a real work surface to code on, not just an editor and a project explorer. We need to be able to move things around, keep clutter down, and bring information to the foreground in the places we need it most.
This project is inspired by Bret Victor’s presentation Inventing on Principal that I also mentioned Nilai is inspired by. Light Table makes for a very interesting demo. The most intriguing of the modes shown was the mode wherein you could see all of the related code while you were editing, say, a specific method in a class. This type of IDE wouldn’t just save time, it’d probably result in far better code.
April 13th, 2012
Interesting. WordPress.com now has an API. Which is slightly different than WordPress simply having the use of the decade old Meta-Weblog API. This opens up features on WordPress.com like reblogging, following, etc.
It will be interesting to see what comes of this.
December 22nd, 2011
I’ll leave the comparisons to other languages and frameworks out of this and just say that I’m happy to see that PHP 5.4 will have a built-in web server for doing things like local development without the need for installing Apache. Excellent.
December 13th, 2011
Hot on the heels of the Path app’s menu being reverse engineered into CSS3 and CoreAnimation is the Path app’s clock face that appears when you’re scrolling down through your timeline being reverse engineered by Florian Mielke.
December 5th, 2011
As I mentioned last week the new Path application for iPhone is arguably the best designed application on the iPhone currently. And when there is a great design, there are going to be those that begin to pick it apart and do neat things with it. The Path app is no different. People have begun breaking it down in various ways.
One of the distinct features in the Path app is the fly-out menu that allows you to share photos, comments, location, etc. Two developers took it upon themselves to build out that menu both in CSS3 and using CoreAnimation. Both open sourced their work and gave credit.
/via Mike Rundle on Twitter.
October 27th, 2011
How in the world is Codify only $7.99? Watch the video demo. Trés impressive.
/via John Gruber.
September 27th, 2011
Congratulations to all of my friends at Github for reaching the 1 million user milestone. Github is easily one of the very best services for developers on the web. If you don’t yet have an account and you are a developer; stop waiting.
September 12th, 2011
If This Then That is a web service that allows you to plug into a few other web services and trigger actions based on certain criteria. Example: If I take a photo using Instagram store it in Dropbox as well.
/via Kyle Neath on Twitter.