Hi! My name is Cédric Bozzi, I make websites and iOS apps, and this is my blog about technology (mostly a Twitter archive, really).

30 October

Apple No Longer Rejecting Calculator Widgets From The App Store.” Of course it’s a good thing that the rejection was reversed, but the speed and unpredictability of Apple’s mood swings — and without any justification either way — is even more disheartening than if they’d stuck to their decision.

29 October

RT @youens: It feels like Apple disregards the investment of building features and apps. It’s an insult to indie developers.

RT @jamesthomson: Apple has told me that Notification Center widgets on iOS cannot perform any calculations, and the current PCalc widget must be removed.

28 October

Alienware’s GPU-in-a-box

If Dell can do this on PC, Apple can certainly make a proprietary external 5K monitor+GPU.

RT @BenedictEvans: Tim Cook: iPod Classic was discontinued because they couldn’t get the parts. And not worth designing a whole new one.

27 October

J’ai remis iMessage, sur l’iPhone et sur le Mac, et activé le SMS forwarding. Je le regretterai mais whatever, tout le monde le fait.

26 October

But if you’re gonna use a tool that auto-favs people to get you noticed, maybe don’t let the link linger above the fold on your profile?

Got an odd fav from a stranger. Checked his stream and found a link to an app that auto-favs tweets to “grow your social following.” Gross.

The Third Coming of Objective-C?

I’ve already written about how much I dislike Swift, and how much more I resent it for signaling the death of Objective-C: just like everyone could read the writing on the wall regarding Carbon and knew they had to port their apps to Cocoa as soon as possible, the Swift announcement seemed to make it obvious that Objective-C is now an evolutionary dead end that I will have to abandon sooner than later, despite my strong preference for nil messaging.

But John Siracusa’s digression on Swift in his Yosemite review suddenly gave me what could either be new hope or utter delusion:

The Swift compiler introduces another step and another intermediate form into the compilation process: Swift Intermediate Language (SIL). Here’s the process for compiling Swift code for an x86-64 CPU using swiftc. […]

It’s worth considering why SIL exists at all. […] Despite the obvious benefits of SIL in its current role, a syntax-independent, high-level intermediate form with its own optimizer definitely seems like a technology with some potential. It’s possible that the larger purpose of SIL has not yet been revealed.

How far-fetched is it to imagine that, a few years down the line, Objective-C code could be compiled into SIL? I’m sure Apple will want to get rid of the Obj-C runtime in a few years (or at least stop loading it in memory by default — which would make Obj-C apps second-class citizens that start up and run slower on future devices), but what if that legacy code was able to run on top of the Swift runtime?

Of course, there are integral, structural differences between Objective-C and Swift, which would make such a translation extremely complicated and costly in resources, but… wait, are there?

Despite its rich feature set, the Swift language itself is actually quite minimal. All the basic data types are not part of the language proper. They’re part of the Swift standard library that is loaded automatically by the compiler—and the Swift standard library is written in Swift [and named Swift].

Could Objective-C code be translated into SIL and linked to an “ObjectiveC” library? Could existing Objective-C binaries be translated into SIL, even, so that legacy apps from the Store would still be able to run on top of Swift?

I don’t know nearly enough about languages and compilers to have an idea of how complicated what I’m suggesting might be. But I understand that the engineers in charge of Apple’s compilers and development tools are a pretty smart bunch, so who better to do something like this?

Well, shit, all day long my podcast client was empty and I didn’t do any work, and now I suddenly have eight fucking unplayed episodes.

25 October

“We’re so upset about Twitter preventing us from trademarking Twitpic that we’re giving them the site.” WHAT. (Maybe he’s realized — or people have pointed out to him — that taking his ball and going home like a whiny brat was not a good look for the launch of his new startup?)

24 October

That’s funny: Photoshop CC 2014’s “Save for Web” dialog only beach-balls on PNG-24; all others formats work fine. Heh. “Funny.”

Photoshop is the opposite of iOS. If you think something should be possible, generally it is but you’ll never find how by yourself.

The Pocket app sends the current page’s URL to Yosemite with Handoff. Today I like the future.

23 October

It’s 2014 and I still can’t say to Siri, “Play me some upbeat songs.”

Having finally switched to a dedicated task manager this month, I can now attest, with all the newfound certainty of a reformed addict, that mixing tasks and incoming messages in your inbox may just be the worst possible thing you can do to your productivity. I understand the appeal — for years I was exploring solutions to manually add tasks to my inbox — but it is in fact the surest way to end up swamped under the combined weights of your task list and your incoming messages.

22 October

The iPad would be a better paperless solution if Apple emphasized (both in demos and in its own software) document scanning with the camera.

Est-ce que c’est parce que j’ai fait la connerie d’acheter une imprimante Samsung qu’il faut la rebooter entre chaque document ?

21 October

“Save for Web,” beach-ball, “OK,” beach-ball. Yeah, I guess I’ll go back to the older Photoshop CC then. Oh, Adobe.

Should I be surprised that Yosemite’s Finder still gleefully ignores the “Always open this folder in icon/list view” setting?

Just realized that I have two Photoshop CC installs in my Applications folder, and I’ve been using the older one for months. Oh, Adobe.

So I bought an iPad mini 2

After the iPhone 6 Plus’s introduction, I caught myself wishing I’d soon be able to buy an iPod touch of the same size, which was completely idiotic and led me to realize that the device I really wanted already existed, and was called iPad mini. As it turned out, the 5.5-inch iPod touch hasn’t happened yet, but Apple did launch a new iPad mini and, more importantly, discounted the older one to almost iPod touch prices, so… here I am, happy owner of an iPad mini 2.

For some reason I had spent the past two years thinking that the “proper” iPad was the 10-inch model, everyone using the smaller tablet was fooling themselves, and they were missing an essential part of the experience. Well, I guess I was the fool. The Mini is (slightly) more comfortable to hold, (slightly) easier to carry, and does everything just as well as an iPad Air. Even drawing and landscape typing are pretty comparable. The only real difference is for reading full-page comics and scanned magazines, completely unthinkable on the Mini — but it wasn’t a great experience on the 10-inch screen either, so that’s not much of a selling point for the bigger iPad.

That means my iPad Air is now for sale, and I suddenly understand much better why the Mini didn’t get a CPU or design upgrade last week: offering an iPad mini with the same components as the Air, and just as functional as the Air, but selling for $100 less even though there was no way it cost $100 less to produce, was obviously unsustainable. Just look at Apple’s results for last quarter: the problem isn’t so much the stagnating unit sales (the iPad was never going to enjoy the same numbers as the iPhone, for a number of reasons) but the average selling price in free-fall ever since the iPad mini’s introduction. That’s a curve that Apple needs to correct.

Maybe a better strategy would have been to discontinue the 10-inch iPad altogether two years ago, replacing it with the Mini at or around the same price (because “this is what the iPad was always supposed to be”), while introducing a 12-inch iPad Pro at an inflated price point. That’s now off the table, and Apple is taking the opposite approach, aiming the now cheaper iPad mini squarely at the iPod touch’s customer base. There’s still no good reason to buy the newest iPad Air instead of either of the Retina Minis (end users don’t, and shouldn’t, care about the more powerful processor), so I guess the average iPad selling price is going to fall further — but maybe this time they’ll make it up in volume.

And there’s still the option of launching an iPad Pro next year. (And me buying it.) But, if that ends up happening, the lower end of the range didn’t need to see its prices fall so low.

Anyway, I don’t know why this post ended up sounding like one of those asshole analysts’ lectures. The original point was, the iPad mini is great. It feels more like a giant iPhone than a netbook running iOS, while doing everything an iPad can be asked to do, and I wish I’d bought it last year.

20 October

Oh FFS. After a major OS upgrade, I’ll tolerate it, but the 8.1 install re-enabling iMessage and FaceTime against my will is unacceptable.

Désactiver les images dans Chrome pour en faire son browser dédié à Wikipédia.

Damnit, how is it that Yosemite’s dark titlebar isn’t black but gray—even if you disable transparency? That was the whole point, Apple!

19 October

RT @stroughtonsmith: Interesting psychology: Pebble lasts a whole week, but I feel more annoyed charging it than I do something I charge every night.

RT @maxime: Fun fact: Apple fixed the “Utah” typo from their Keynote in the official recording. [youtube.com]

18 October

Plus je file de fric à Apple, moins chaque achat me rend heureux. Pas par désensibilisation mais par culpabilisation.

UX is a funny thing. I could have spent the whole summer in a park with my iPad, but until Instant Hotspot I just couldn’t be bothered.

RT @DanielEran: Can’t wait for Apple Beta season to end. Maybe 10.10.3 and 8.1.4. And then I can buy an Apple Watch and start over with Photos 1.0.

17 October

RT @billlabus: So sad that iOS 7 has destroyed UI design expectations from Apple to the point that Yosemite looks good to most people by comparison.

Instagram updated for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Phil Schiller might wanna call them to point out he’s officially endorsed the iPad as camera.

I’ll surely be raging later at the disappearance of some function or other, but I’m not hating iTunes 12’s UI. Might be Stockholm syndrome.

So convenient. Every time you google “Is such and such software compatible with Yosemite?” all you get is “We don’t support beta OSes.”

16 October

RT @harrymccracken: The most tangibly exciting things in this Apple event were the two brief 3rd-party iPad demos. Apple should do a whole event of ‘em someday.

RT @shawnblanc: Normally I’m not a fan of scroll hijacking, but this is clever:

[apple.com]

RT @elkmovie: Then again, this could be a clever way to move the Mini downmarket without admitting it. (“no, that’s last year’s model”)

And I don’t want to get the cheaper version with… no Touch ID… wait, the ONLY difference for $100 is Touch ID? The fuck?!

Well, I don’t know. I’d been thinking of buying an iPad mini, but getting the previous generation’s CPU at that price is disheartening.

The screen’s damn tempting but it’s mind-boggling that they didn’t seize the opportunity to retire the aging aluminum iMac design.

The Dyson fan of umbrellas

I love that the voice-over guy didn’t bother to fix the googletranslatisms.

Will.i.am’s smartwatch is basically traced from the most popular Apple Watch concept renderings you could find on the web before September. Which, all things considered, is not a bad choice — nor an ugly device. It’s still dead in the water, though. Comically so.

Ce moment où tu finis de refaire tout le back-office de ton client en Ajax et tu te dis que ça aurait été tellement plus simple en iframes.

Archives

2001 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2002 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2003 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2004 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2005 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2006 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2007 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2008 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2009 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2010 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2011 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2012 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2013 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

2014 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12