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

1 March 2010

Why doesn’t my log file update?

Why doesn’t my log file update?

Why doesn’t my log file update?

Oh.

It switched to the next day’s log file.

I suppose someone has already made the joke about Blade Runner and captchas?

Don’t know why I bother backing up to Amazon S3; I’m pretty sure I’d never find the password back if all my local saves blew up.

Would you be surprised that Adobe AIR has made a mess of my OS X Keychain? http://twitpic.com/161tvw

2 March

I remember a demo once of QuickTime movies playing in the Dock. Why can’t a minimized Safari window show me when it’s done loading?!

P.S. Oh, it was in Tiger, and removed from Leopard.

Can’t believe the number of apps that add crap to System/Library/StartupItems, etc.

OS X should really not let apps modify System so easily.

“Coding error leads to uneven EU browser ballot distribution”

So there’s a very good chance that the issue here is an honest error. What is remarkable, though, is that it exists. This browser ballot, as simple as it is, has been months in the making. The decision to do the randomization client-side, where it depends on the web browser, rather than server-side, where it would be consistent for all users, is a little surprising. But most remarkable at all is that no one responsible for signing off and saying “that’s an acceptable response to the Competition Commission’s complaint” bothered to do this testing.

Or it would be remarkable if we weren’t talking about Microsoft.

Une promo oū tout internet doit venir ā 15h pile pour avoir des noms de domaines gratuits, comment imaginer que ça puisse planter.

“HTC feeling Apple’s fury over smartphone patents”

We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.

Of course, most of those are bullshit patents. Uh, I mean, software patents.

Gotta wonder what’s the ultimate motivation for this. I guess it still smarts Apple, and Jobs personally, that Microsoft was able to copy all it could from MacOS and, now that Apple has pretty much reinvented the smartphone and does own patents, it’s tempting to use them.

But the timing is weird, right after Nokia slapped Apple with the same kind of suit, and just about the same rhetoric. Is Apple bullying forward, going after the smallest possible actor of the field, the one who won’t have patents of its own to fight back with? Or could they think it will make them look more serious in their negotiations (or trials) with Nokia?

“Apple vs HTC: a patent breakdown”

The upshot of this whole thing — with patents covering very basic aspects of object-oriented operating system development — is that you can’t create a new operating system nowadays (or a phone, or much of anything) unless you have a portfolio of patents of your own so that you can force every other player in the field to sign a non-aggression pact with you, like Microsoft and Apple did back then.

Or you can stay in Europe. (For now.)

3 March

Ce qu’il y a de bien, avec l’extension .mobi, c’est que comment on sait que labanquepostale.mobi appartient vraiment ā la Poste ?

La frontiēre est fine entre “buzz efficace” et “ēnerver ā mort ses plus anciens clients.” #gandi

“Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Google’s SEO Report Card”

An interesting point that I don’t remember giving much thought about, even though it should be obvious: nobody cares about the <title> that’s displayed on top of a browser window; it should be 100% optimized for when it’s show in search results.

Also, the report mentions that you can go to Google’s Webmaster Tools and decide which variants of your URLs should be prioritized for which geographical user base; I have to check that out. Nah, it’s useless except for some very exceptional cases.

4 March

“Google Releases Gesture Search for Android”

Gesture Search is pretty straightforward: you open it up and then draw letters. Draw a M and you’ll get contacts, bookmarks, and apps that start with M. Draw an o and you’ll get results starting with “Mo,” and so on until you find what you’re looking for. Queries can also be erased by drawing a line left to right, while drawing right to left removes the last letter in the current sequence.

Want!

But for Apple to do that on the Spotlight home screen would mean to acknowledge that the software keyboard isn’t perfect, and I don’t see that happening.

“According to AT&T CEO: iPad will be a ‘Wi-Fi driven product’”

“My expectation is that there’s not going to be a lot of people out there looking for another subscription,” he said during a webcast of an investor conference, adding that the device would be a mainly “Wi-Fi driven product.”

Translation: “We absolutely haven’t planned to provide the network capacity needed for people to use the 3G data plan we’re offering. And if you do start using it, we’ll have to slap a 500MB ‘reasonable use’ limit. Unlimited data for $30? Come on, if you believed we actually meant it, it’s your own damn fault for being so gullible.”

5 March

Merde, les bons Gandi ne sont pas applicables à des transferts de noms de domaine.

“Finger Fail: Why Most Touchscreens Miss the Point”

You’re not crazy, and neither are we: The touchscreen on the Apple iPhone really is more responsive than the screens on the BlackBerry Storm, the Motorola Droid, the Nexus One and many other phones, even though all of these devices use essentially the same touch-sensing hardware.

Though handset makers buy their touchscreens as components from the same select pool of suppliers, a good touchscreen experience requires more than just hardware. It requires a bit of design alchemy blending software, engineering and calibration for the perfect feel. Few smartphone makers have managed to get that balance right, say experts.

Followed by a long article correctly concluding that Steve Jobs’s perfectionism is to thank for this.

“HTC: Don’t Carry Your Nexus One In Your Pocket”

After being recommended by Google to speak to HTC’s technical support, Crave was told that “putting a phone in a tight pair of jeans and sitting down would usually cause the kind of damage,” and that “people sometimes forget that they don’t go in pockets.”

Nice.

Apple’s humidity sensors don’t seem so bad now.

“Microsoft’s Courier ’digital journal’: exclusive pictures and details”

That looks much smaller than it did in my head — pretty much an iPad folded in two. It better have a super-high-resolution screen if it’s gonna be of any use.

 

As we’ve heard, the interface appears to be pen-based and centered around drawing and writing, with built-in handwriting recognition and a corresponding web site that allows access to everything entered into the device in a blog-like format complete with comments.

Cool.

6 March

Just renewed my iPhone Developer Program for 79€, and now the Dev Center talks to me like I’m a complete stranger.

I can imagine a 50% chance that all my apps will have disappeared from the App Store tomorrow.

Voilà, c’est fait, dix noms de domaine gratuits. Je devrais en utiliser deux-trois pour faire du domain squatting sur un an, tiens.

Core Animation makes me want to kill myself.

I. Don’t. Get. It.

Ooh. Looks like my first follow-spam on Buzz / Reader.

8 March

Ambilight for <video>

I can’t believe this works.

Of course, it doubles or triples the amount of CPU power it takes for my Mac mini to play a video (haven’t even tried on the old iMac), and it’s not very pleasant to watch (do real Ambilight TVs lag so much?), but it’s a nice tech demo for HTML 5.

“Apple’s New Stance On ‘Cookie Cutter’ Apps: Add More Features Or Perish”

Between the developers I spoke to, the consensus was this: Apple doesn’t appear to be opposed to ‘app generators’ and templates per se, but in the last month or so it has started cracking down on basic applications that are little more than RSS feeds or glorified business cards. In short, Apple doesn’t want people using native applications for things that a basic web app could accomplish.

Nevermind the part about pulling the rug from yet another bunch of iPhone-based businesses, as it’s par for the course by now, but this particular rule is bullshit. Some sites have dedicated readers who want to have a shortcut or two on their Springboard — and most users don’t know, or want to know, about manually adding a shortcut from within Safari. They just want to click a link and download an app, because Apple has spent the last year emphasizing that “there’s an app for that.”

I understand, and support, the desire to remove those apps from App Store listings — but not banning them altogether.

If Apple wants to approve everything that can be installed on an iPhone (for security’s sake, let’s say) and doesn’t want to pollute the App Store, here’s a novel idea: just approve the apps in such a way that they don’t appear in listings and search but are only accessible by using the direct URL. Or are they also trying to cut down the in-house testers’ workload?

Failing to set the background color of your UITableViewCell? That’s because you must do it in willDisplayCell. Took a day to google that.

9 March

“Apple doesn’t back its Time Tunnel up”

Time Machine could have been named Time Tunnel, as noted on Patently Apple. That trademark, registered by Apple in late 2006, is now abandoned. (Time Machine arrived in Mac OS X Leopard in October of 2007.)

That interface makes a hell of a lot more sense now. Wonder if they switched it around because of copyright or because the swirly background made users sick.

10 March

Ungh. Il m’a bien fallu un mois pour réaliser que je ne pouvais plus accéder à mes sites depuis le Mini parce que PeerGuardian bloque OVH.

Panic Status Board

Obviously inspired by Panic’s dream setup that’s been making the rounds for two days. I can’t afford a 46-inch industrial screen (slurp), but I have a Mac mini with a web-based screensaver and I know JSON. (Actually, I didn’t, but that way I got to learn.)

It looks all gray on the photo because everything’s working right and there are no warnings. (Except for the chart of online users on No Pic No Chat, I need to fix the script.) And the photo’s not as cool as Panic’s because, hey, 46-inchers are photogenic, but it’s pretty nice in person.

WTF? I uploaded @unicodeapp 1.1 yesterday, and it’s just been approved.

11 March

RT @codinghorror: triple-tap and long hold aren’t exciting additions to a touch UI, they are warning signs.

“Amazon.com’s 1-Click patent confirmed following re-exam”

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is confirming Amazon.com’s controversial 1-Click patent following a re-examination that lasted more than four years.

That’s just depressing.

12 March

It’s great that my brain can switch contexts but still scary how inarticulate & illiterate I become when I’ve been programming for days.

“iPad mute switch magicked into a ’screen rotation lock’ overnight, a flurry of other tidbits emerge”

One of the quirkier details is that what was previously known as the mute switch on the iPad – similar to the one on the iPhone – is now known as the “screen rotation lock” on Apple’s website.

Every iPhone user will shout that it’s awesome, but there’s something very wrong about having the same switch perform two completely different tasks on two sister devices. Also, the iPad is gonna get push notifications (presumably), so it does have a use for a mute switch.

At least that means the OS is gonna support orientation locking and we might get a software switch on the iPhone (which still needs that functionality much more than the iPad ever will).

“iBooks list view”

The iPad ad shows the iBooks app has already gained a list-view button.

I found it funny and weird when people, earlier this week, debated the propriety of iBooks’ physical-metaphor view and how poorly it would scale to a well-furnished library — because I had never doubted for a second that there would be a way to switch to list view.

C’mon, they make UI mistakes sometimes, but not that bad.

I don’t care about Twitter outages or Facebook or even Gmail but I’m not gonna survive if Reader starts screwing up.

13 March

The iPad with 3G will have GPS — a real GPS. Are those chips and radios still expensive, or is it just petty?

Is QuickTime Player X specifically designed so that the controls get in your way if you want to make a screenshot?

14 March

Wow, Transmission’s integrated remote-control service over http is really cool.

Having a status board to monitor my servers’ load is stressful for no real benefit. Seems like it goes in the red at absolute random.

So why is it exactly that everybody posts shortened URLs on Twitter with http:// when www. would be shorter and just as significant?

You dumbasses have been clamoring for years the death of the www prefix and look what that brought you: three lost characters per tweet.

15 March

Not that I ever launch iCal, but where has my automatic birthday calendar disappeared? It’s enabled in the prefs.

“Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7 Series dev partners: Sling, Pandora, Foursquare and more (updated)”

Allowing graphics apps to hook into the Photos “hub” and provide photo-editing services is pretty neat; wish Apple had thought of that.

The third-party apps demoed here also tend to be prettier than most equivalent iPhone apps, just by virtue of following the platform’s visual codes — further proof that the iPhone OS’s default interface is really showing its age.

“Twitter’s Evan Williams announces @Anywhere feature at SXSW”

The feature lets sites embed key Twitter features without having to send users off to Twitter’s home page. By hovering the cursor on a name, for instance, viewers can see the person’s Twitter handle and how many people are following them and click a button to follow that person’s Twitter stream – without having to go to Twitter’s site. To see how a pop-up window could look, check out the screen shot on the left.

I’m really impatient to find out if they go the Facebook way and encourage their users to enter their password on any old third-party site that asks for it — with Twitter’s recent emphasis on OAuth as a more secure way to authenticate apps, there’s a chance they might be security-conscious enough to avoid that pitfall, but if they really want to go after Facebook Connect it’s not gonna be that simple.

16 March

“How Should Background Apps Function?”

Being able to do background processing is one thing the webOS is know for. So when 1.4 changed how background processes worked, developers took notice.  Absent from the list of 1.4 changes was an alteration that widely affected applications that work in the background. […]

Developers were the first to notice this changed with webOS 1.4. Now, after 15 seconds, applications without an active stage are automatically closed. Naturally this caused a bit of frustration; getting an active GPS location alone can take 30+ seconds, so how could a background applications get everything done in 15 seconds?

Oh, that’s nice.

At least iPhone apps that were released for the very first iteration of the OS still work (as long as they didn’t use restricted API calls). That’s because, you know, Apple planned ahead — and they focused on producing a device that works rather than a device that checks all the boxes on the marketers’ checklist.

And the worst part is that Palm isn’t even governed by a pointy-haired boss.

17 March

I was hesitant to pay $3 for a Wikipedia app, but the “pull down to lock orientation” just made me actually want to give money to the dev.

“Pull down to lock orientation” makes much more sense to me than Tweetie’s “Pull down to refresh” because it’s optional, for power users.

“Canon to begin acquisition of the “.canon” Top-Level Domain name”

Canon Inc. announced today that it will begin the acquisition process for the top-level domain name “.canon,” based on the new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) registration system.

Whoa.

No. No, no, no, no.

(But, of all the companies who could have been the first to announce that kind of crap, I can’t make much sense of it being Canon.)

18 March

“Canon First in Line for Its Own Top-Level Domain, .canon”

But after religious groups in the U.S. protested, the U.S. government threatened to keep .XXX out of the net’s root file, which would force a showdown over ICANN’s independence. (The Commerce Department approves the root file every day, though that’s usually a formality).

I had not paid that much attention to the .xxx fiasco, and had no idea the U.S. government had an influence that direct on the internet’s TLDs. It’s just unacceptable.

“Kindle for Mac”

Of course, it’s only for Intel Macs. Presumably because of all the CPU-intensive mathematical low-level libraries that are coded in assembler and would take too much time to get ported to something else than the Intel chips used by all PCs, recent Macs, and iPho… uh, wait.

Damnit, Intel-only applications piss me off.

A minuscule $.getJSON() call and I have my Twitter timeline sliding across my web-based screensaver. The Twitter API is indeed awesome.

19 March

So someone has reverse-engineered the iTunes Remote app’s protocol to make an Android client, but nobody’s made an OS X app using it?

Ah, so it’s a common issue that old iPhones 3G are losing their wifi capabillity (and it’s probably firmware). Damnit. http://bit.ly/cRCngG

“Amazon Playing Hardball With Book Publishers Over Kindle Pricing”

This publisher was told that if they switched to an agency model for ebooks, Amazon would stop selling their entire list, in print and digital form.

That’s not “playing hardball,” it’s playing Microsoft, and I’m pretty sure Amazon’s big enough that it’s illegal. Please tell me those publishers have been recording the phone calls in order to sue for abuse of monopoly.

I’d suggest you consider some kind of customer protest against Amazon, but (a) as unacceptable as their methods are, they’re trying to lower the prices of e-books, so it’s not the customers they’re screwing over, and (b) more importantly, Amazon is just irreplaceable for a French reader who enjoys English-language science-fiction.

Okay, that bit of optimization didn’t do much. Can anyone advise on switching my Apache to the worker MPM?

Apple “now accepting iPad apps.” Yeah, well, I’m now accepting iPads.

“Apple is now accepting iPad app submissions”

Upload your apps by 5pm, Saturday, March 27th, and the App review team will e-mail you with submission feedback about the readiness of your application for App Store distribution.

Well, so much for the very sensible speculation that Apple might wait until developers had been able to play with their iPads for a couple of weeks before the iPad App Store actually opened.

Actually, the announcement e-mail is so vague as to when and how the “grand opening” will take place that I wonder if they’re going to look at the quality of the apps and then decide when they’ll be ready to open — estimating when the apps can be good enough not to embarrass them.

Interestingly, though:

Only apps submitted for the initial review will be considered for the grand opening of the iPad App Store.

It’s really kind of a tortuous process. Upload your app now and we’ll tell you how far you are from the mark. But if you don’t upload your app right now and wait until you get your iPad, well, you’ll miss the grand opening. Because we emphatically want to see how well you people are doing. Now. Hurry. We wanna know.

 

Meanwhile, another sensible speculation is denied: I took a look at iTunes Connect, and applications that work both on iPhone and iPad will definitely be one single binary.

I haven’t installed the iPad SDK, so I have no idea if some mechanism makes it simpler for applications to switch context depending on which platform they’re launched on, but I suspect that there’s no such mechanism and you gotta handle it all by yourself.

Which isn’t the most horribly difficult thing with OS X development, but still a hurdle — and a good reason, or excuse, for developers to offer the iPad version of existing iPhone apps as separate downloads… that you’ll have to buy again.

(But then, if the iPad version is actually well designed, it might not be dishonest to ask you to pay for that amount of work.)

20 March

“Taking the Windows Phone 7 Series emulator for a test drive”

I can’t wait to redo the No Pic No Chat mobile interface for Windows Phone 7. I just enjoy that look. (There’s no rush, though, so I’ll just install the SDK when I get a new Intel Mac. Drive space is at too much of a premium on my Mini.)

22 March

“iPad Wallpaper Template”

If you provide a 1024x1024 image, it will be cropped to 768x1024 or 1024x768, depending on the orientation.

Cool.

“Shiny Droplets”

Basically, shortcuts to your editing applications that you can place in your Finder’s toolbar — but with pretty button-icons that fit with the Finder’s look.

Simple, and I’d use them if only I ever used the Finder in its full-chrome mode.

23 March

You can now gift iPhone apps on the App Store, and nothing says love like the gift of @unicodeapp.

No?

Oh, well.

We Apple fanboys tend to forget that it’s not the normal outcome for businesses that focus on quality to succeed.

“Fifth Ave Apple Store is NYC’s fifth most-photographed location”

…on Flickr.

And nobody would care to mention that maybe that statistical sample is just a little bit biased toward geeks? Goddamnit, I hate the modern media.

<godwin>Congratulating Google for having the guts to quit China is like commending Hitler for committing suicide.</godwin>

24 March

Bouh, on dirait bien que, même si je développais comme un malade avant le 27, je ne pourrais pas avoir @unicodeapp sur le store iPad.

Can’t believe I made that motherfucking import script work. Pretty sure I had to copy-paste thousands of Excel cells one by one 5 years ago.

25 March

Ungh, developing iPad apps on a single 1280x1024 screen is a hassle.

Okay, porting an iPhone app to the iPad is way too easy — even if I make the grand opening it’s gonna be too crowded to be worth anything.

“Prevent iTunes web previews from opening iTunes automatically”

I went into the URLs section of RCDefaultApp (which is a preference pane), and disabled the following protocols: itms:// (this seems to be the most prevalent in my limited testing), itunes:// and itmss:/

It works. Hallelujah.

(That issue was particularly grating as I do my web browsing on my iMac but run iTunes on the Mac mini, so I have zero interest in having iTunes load up on my iMac when I’m reading web pages and following unlabeled links from a tech blog. But I can’t uninstall iTunes on the iMac as I need to sync my iPhone’s address book once in a while.)

26 March

I’m so excited by having almost finished the iPad version of @unicodeapp in less than a day that I can’t go to sleep.

“Apple Rejects Snowtape for iPhone, But Doesn’t Provide Any Specific Reason”

I got a call from Steve Rea of iPhone Developer Relations telling me that they can not approve Snowtape for iPhone. Effectively he said that Apple can not publish an app that records audio from an internet stream and store it permanently on the iPhone

Linking to this just because I love (well, not love-love) that Apple has apparently taken to calling the developers when they don’t want their rejection e-mails to be quoted verbatim on blogs.

Uploaded @unicodeapp for iPad. As usual with OS X, the porting process isn’t completely intuitive, but it’s so elegant once you master it.

Of course, trying to make a good iPad app without ever touching an iPad is bullshit, but the opportunity of being there day-1 is too good.

Oh, c’est mignon, j’ai un “Palette Netscape.gif” dans mon dossier de trucs utiles pour quand je développe des sites.

28 March

The usual: a whole day racking my brain to find possible domains names, three hours stuck on the one that’s a perfect fit but already taken.

Google Reader no longer opens a folder when you drag a feed into it. Hallelujah.

29 March

Wow, I’m so proud of living in the country that completely aped the design of whitehouse.gov. So classy and professional. Just. Wow.

“Microsoft Office 2011 [for Mac] Screenshots Emerge”

Funny: from a UX perspective, I find those Outlook screenshots to make absolutely no sense whatsoever at first glance.

When I look at it more closely, I realize that the main culprit is the awfully poor way of communicating the hierarchy between the mini-ribbon and its tabs, but there’s still something mind-boggling about the small list at the bottom left whose items look like they ought to be the top-level tabs that change the whole interface’s focus.

30 March

iPad mockups and demos all around

Yup, it’s gonna be iPad week (if it wasn’t already last week), and the first official screenshots and demos are coming up. Let’s get our drool on!

Apple guided tours: those aren’t really replicating the magic of the iPhone’s first guided tours; in fact, just like the January keynote, it only really starts to get interesting when you reach the iWork demos — which is unfortunately too late for the nay-sayers who will stop at the first couple of videos (if not earlier).

I hadn’t realized that Videos was a separate app from iPod; that’s interesting. I also hadn’t realized that the iPad is replacing the iPod touch as the perfect home stereo solution for the filthy rich. And, coming back to iWork, I’m confused as to why the iPad doesn’t display the next slide under your fingers when you’re running a presentation on an external screen; I thought Keynote was supposed to do such useful things.

The Yahoo app looks uncharacteristically sleek. Well, it’s not so uncharacteristic when you consider their iPhone app; and seeing as that is just a rebranding of Inquisitor, which they purchased, you can see how the same developer-designer might be at work here. (Gotta love the iPhone OS for bringing back the one-guy shop.)

Bento (there were more screenshots somewhere else at some point, I think) is a perfect fit for iPad, but who’s gonna need it when Numbers has forms?

Twitterific is doing it wrong; enlarging a single timeline view is not functional. But then, Twitepad is doing it worse — so much worse. Which makes me wonder what Seesmic will look like on the… no, it’s not gonna look too good either. Well, what I’m really wondering is why Tweetie’s developer hasn’t said anything about an iPad update, as far as I know. It looks like he’s been focusing on the next Mac version and will probably wait until he can play with an iPad for a while before he starts developing for it, which is perfectly sensible and so frustrating for the users.

And a bunch of stuff: iMockups is a concept that will speak to any designer, but it’s rather ugly and doesn’t look very functional. SketchNotes is okay and I’m certain there will be better implementations of that simple idea. You can barely make out the “2x” button at the bottom of the BuzzVoice demo and the geniuses at Mashable write that “it looks very similar to the iPhone app.” Kobo has some nice touches, but what’s the point when you’re going against both Apple and Amazon on the e-book market.

I could have embedded small screenshots, but if you’re interested in the topic you’ve already watched all the videos.

And I really need to start making videos for my own apps.

Yes! iPad app pre-approved, with no changes required.

“Daring Fireball: WSJ’s Lame Entry in the iPhone Rumors Game”

And they have no actual details of the next-generation iPhone. Nothing. Not the A4-family CPU system-on-a-chip. Not the 960 × 640 double-resolution display.

I’ve been expecting the double-resolution (technically, quadruple-) since January, but the way the iPad shows existing iPhone apps has changed my expectation of how that’s going to work, and not for the better: I’m suddenly afraid that it’s just gonna do pixel doubling on existing apps, and it will be up to the developers to update their apps and handle the new resolution.

Which annoys me because that means some apps would in that case not get the extra-sharp typography you’d expect from the new device. Or at least not right away — but that’s still frustrating.

I’d really, really like it if iTunes and QuickTime made sure to get the hard drive spinning before they try to start playing a video.

31 March

RT @wilshipley: Honestly, Microsoft’s Courier looks a ton cooler than the iPad. But, then, owning my own dragon also seems cooler than an iPad.

“Facebook Revealed Private Email Addresses Last Night”

I’m not sure whether Facebook, as an entity, is suicidal, or it’s just so big that at any given time it employs a bunch of disgruntled developers eager to plant nasty easter eggs in the code before they leave.

By the way, just a hint (since comparable stuff is bound to happen again, and again, and again): if you find that Facebook is revealing your e-mail address to the public, and you care about keeping it secret, then maybe you shouldn’t post about it on Twitter (or Facebook status, as I’m sure some people also did) until after the bug has been solved?

“Amazon’s new patent could make returns harder”

U.S. patent number 7,689,465, which was unearthed early Tuesday by blog TechFlash, outlines a process wherein the company films outgoing packages being boxed up.

Unless they applied for this fifty years ago, no, that shouldn’t be patentable either.

“Preparing Your Web Content for iPad”

If you’ve specified viewport settings for your webpage in Safari on iPhone, verify that these same settings are suitable for Safari on iPad. Specifically, if you want the width of the viewport to match the width of the device, you should use the device-width constant instead of a hard-coded pixel value.

Safari on iPad uses the same <meta name=”viewport”> setting as on the iPhone — which means that, if you have set a viewport size for your blog, as I have, to optimize reading on an iPhone without having to make a completely separate version of the site, the iPad uses the same setting and ends up zooming your contents way too large.

What’s worse, my viewport size assumes that the site is displayed with the iPhone-specific CSS, which is set by media=”only screen and (max-device-width: 480px)” and is consequently not loaded on the iPad. So the viewport size on my blog ends up actually being too small for the contents, because the big vertical image on the right isn’t hidden. (And that’s a problem of its own as this image is set to position: fixed, which doesn’t work on iPhone OS.)

In the end, since I absolutely don’t want to sniff for the iPad’s user-agent string, I have to choose between removing the viewport size altogether, along with the custom CSS that went with it (and ultimately having to fake the position: fixed with Javascript, since the image isn’t hidden anymore), or having my site look horrible on the iPad — because Safari still ignores my html, body { width: 650px; }.

If you don’t have the standard 900-pixel–wide layout of every other news site, there’s no right way anymore to optimize the way it’s displayed on an iPhone, no other solution than to make an iPhone-specific version.

This sucks.

“Apple’s iPhone 4.0 to support multitasking via Expose-like interface”

Those familiar with the design of iPhone 4.0 said that the user interface will resemble Apple’s desktop Expose feature, in that a key combination — reportedly hitting the Home button twice — will trigger an expose-like interface that brings up a series of icons representing the currently running apps, allowing users to quickly select the one they want to switch to directly. When a selection is made, the iPhone OS zooms out of the Expose task manager and transitions to that app.

I expected something more complex — such as letting apps start specific background processes that wouldn’t be allowed to interact with the interface. This description looks nicer, sure (although there ought to be interesting advantages to my idea), but the reason I’m nonplussed about the concept is that there’s no way it will be available for my old iPhone 3G: not enough RAM and CPU.

But then, there’s always the possibility that OS 4.0 could be completely unavailable to older iPhones anyway.

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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