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

2 June 2014

Le RSS ne va pas renaître de ses cendres ; à partir d’aujourd’hui j’auto-poste les articles de mon blog sur mes comptes Twitter principaux.

Blurrycam 10.10

Looks fine. Titlebars are miraculously non-white, and cloning Alfred / LaunchBar would be the most power-user-oriented new feature in years.

RT @dhh: Apple is in Oprah mode for competitors: YOU GET A FUCK YOU, YOU GET A FUCK YOU, AND YOU GET A FUCK YOU. ALL OF YOU GET FUCK YOUS!!!! #wwdc

Wouldn’t have expected iCloud Drive to support Windows. Now I’m not sure what to target for my hypothetical upcoming apps.

RT @janl: Handoff has been promised for 30 years. Finally. #wwdc

Yosemite looks great, except for the garish traffic lights — easily fixable in post. I’ve never been so tempted to install the OS X beta.

Not particularly happy with the new Messages app stealing Snapchat’s hold-the-button-to-do-stuff UX. (Nor self-destruct.) Push-to-video is fun for Snapchat’s target demographic, but you can’t ask grandma to keep her finger pressed on a virtual button while recording her message.

Fuuuuck I’m exhausted. Oh, my nerves. Somehow they did not over-promise the excitement of this keynote.

I don’t understand what the fuck Threes does at launch in order to still take so much time on my 5s even after extensive optimization.

3 June

Everyone in my timeline is fawning over Swift while I’m crying in front of the code samples. Am I just too old to be taught new tricks?

RT @siracusa: Swift was started in 2010: [nondot.org]

5 June

RT @mattgemmell: You think the iOS 8 Family Sharing icon is a man, woman, daughter and son. Look again. Gender neutral! 👍 [pic.twitter.com]

Apple introduces specs for Lightning-cable headphones. Of all the theories trying to justify the Beats acquisition, here’s the first one I actually like: Apple could quickly migrate half the Beats line to Lightning-only, and thus exploit the $300 headphones as a means to further lock buyers into the iOS ecosystem. Now that could be worth $3B.

Iovine said he had been asking Apple to buy him out for years. Guess what he would have answered when they tried to convince him to manufacture Lightning headphones.

Few people will use Instagram 6’s advanced options, but I guess hiding them is better than overcomplicating the UI.

On the other hand, Tinder’s new “Moments” (basically Snapchats shared automatically with all your matches) are a very interesting idea — could be an effective way to finally strike up new conversations. (Or dick pics.)

6 June

Damn, Airmail on the Mac would be pretty neat if it didn’t keep crashing.

Spent a day trying every Mac mail client under the sun and, once again, I don’t understand how all those Apple Mail haters manage to live.

7 June

Third time in an hour shouting “Fuck you!” at the WWDC session video that explains a new trick in Swift. Good thing I wasn’t in the room.

On Swift

As I taught myself Objective-C, each new detail I learned struck me as magnificently clever and elegant — even as I was struggling with (or drowning under) its memory management concepts, I understood the rationale behind them. Now Swift spits on all of that heritage and it fails to convince me that it has reasons beyond the personal taste of its designers. Where Objective-C was governed by pragmatism in the face of technical constraints, many of Swift’s syntax choices strike me as simply motivated by the urge to be cute and fashionable. I’m not talking about fundamental concepts here (except for one), but the basic syntax — Swift tries to cram Cocoa compatibility into the silhouette of currently popular functional languages instead of honoring the C and Obj-C legacy, for no other reason than it wants to.

We’re supposed to be impressed that the language was entirely designed by a tiny secret group (and even started out as a single person’s project), but isn’t it actually terrifying? As pointed out in this week’s Debug podcast, there is no bigger, more qualified community in the world of expert Objective-C / Cocoa engineers than the whole of Apple. Why on earth would you design the fundamentals of a new language (I know they’re reserving the right to change details, but you can hardly expect dramatic changes to the syntax) and announce it publicly without asking for that community’s input first? There is absolutely no advantage to secrecy for secrecy’s sake when it comes to an undertaking of this magnitude.

I’ll spare you the list of every little detail that annoys me (why “in”? what the fuck are closure parameters doing inside the braces? and so on) and jump back to the one profound implementation change I have a beef with: the disappearance of nil messaging (by default). Cocoa, in itself, was pretty much structured around the fact that you could link a long chain of method calls and the whole thing would harmlessly revert to “nil” if any individual step failed — and it was lovely. Now we have to wrap everything in question and exclamation marks because… it allowed people to make mistakes? Well, that’s ironic considering how illegible Swift will be when it falls into the hands of developers too clever for their own sake.

Swift was announced as “Objective-C without the C” and I’ll never agree with that premise. C works, C is legible, C is consitent. Pretty much everything Swift brings to the table could have been integrated into a descendent of Obj-C — the most important additions, the ones that will actually make our daily life simpler as app developers, were already available in C# fifteen years ago. Speaking of which, I’d have happily taken proper exception support over all those new compiler-enforced “safety features.”

But then, I guess I’m just an old fart.

8 June

I absolutely love that my Retina MacBook Pro remembers to change the integrated screen’s resolution when I unplug the external monitor.

Oh. La 4G gratuite jusqu’à la fin de l’année, je m’en fichais pour les downloads mais je ne m’attendais pas à l’upload Instagram instantané.

Je cherche un truc dans mes vieux cartons, je tombe sur des cassettes audio deux titres et des disques SyQuest.

9 June

RT @monkbent: Twitter adds new email options checked by default. Meanwhile, DM links still limited to “prevent spam”

Harder and harder to cheer for them

Never had headphones fail so suddenly and irrevocably. Not a hiss before, not a sound after. The EarPods are magical, even in death.

A peine arrivé, vite vite rebrancher le MacBook… pour pouvoir recharger le téléphone #priorities

10 June

RT @gte: Headers are not repeating yourself! Get over your lazy ass typing fetish. Headers are your promise to other programmers. Respect your pals.

RT @gte: Let’s be as Expressive* as possible!

*Expressive overloaded to mean fewer characters typed.

11 June

I still dislike how every Quicksilver descendent (except mine) makes you pick the action (e.g. “IMDb search”) before entering the object.

I intend to do something about “The Wire.” Google it? IMDb it? Wikipedia it? How about all of the above, without having to type it again.

Mettre Ubuntu sur une Dedibox. Ne pas pouvoir m’y connecter parce que j’ai donné un mot de passe trop long à la web-interface d’install.

12 June

“Swift Is Not a Functional Language”

It just wants to look like one because all the cool kids are doing it.

Why doesn’t Tweetbot have a unified inbox for mentions? (Can’t believe it’s taken me so long to realize it needs one.)

Tesla pledges its patents open

Wow. I can’t imagine Musk isn’t gonna regret — or recant — this. I’m afraid it’s not gonna improve EV adoption rate significantly — it’s just gonna bite Tesla in the ass when EVs are finally popular.

13 June

Programme d’échange des adaptateurs secteur d’iPhone A1300 : il faut un microscope pour voir le numéro de modèle.

14 June

To anyone having trouble with Apple Mail: I think I’ve now used Postbox enough to recommend it. Thunderbird’s engine in a nice, modern UI.

RT @cabel: During a dream last night, a notification sheet came down over my field of dream-vision with an incoming tweet reply. I’ve hit rock bottom.

16 June

The horrible mess that is Swift’s named parameter syntax

Also note that you can NOT change the order of parameters in a call. Oh, scratch that — you can, but only with parameters for which a default value is defined. Because fuck you that’s why. (I guess because implementation details of the parameter not being part of the function’s signature anymore.)

“Bitcoin security guarantee shattered by anonymous miner with 51% network power”

Researchers from Cornell University say that on multiple occasions, a single mining pool repeatedly contributed more than 51 percent of Bitcoin’s total cryptographic hashing output for spans as long as 12 hours. […] So-called 51 percenters, for instance, have the ability to spend the same coins twice, reject competing miners’ transactions, or extort higher fees from people with large holdings. Even worse, a malicious player with a majority holding could wage a denial-of-service attack against the entire Bitcoin network.

That article must be making incorrect simplifications, right? I’ve never “believed” in Bitcoin, but they can’t seriously have designed a crypto currency with this kind of liability and thought, “eh, that’s fine, it’ll never happen”?

17 June

Je vais économiser 200 € par mois, mais le stress d’appuyer sur le bouton “Restituer mon serveur dédié et tout effacer”…

From the buzz around Slingshot, it sounds like Facebook fell into the “MySpace is successful so people must enjoy bad UX” trap. How ironic.

18 June

Adobe’s Line and Sketch apps aren’t bad at all. Not quite as nifty as Paper, but Paper doesn’t have a seamless “Send to Photoshop” button.

“Fab buys a furniture company.” The second internet bubble will really be about startups that don’t produce anything but pivots.

RT @fraserspeirs: Again and, as always, do you want your phone to be a pocket computer, a billboard or a vending machine?

Amazon Fire Phone

Fancy lock screens are great for demos, but otherwise the 3D UX seems as awful to me as expected.

And Mayday strikes me as untenable. The Genius Bar’s queue is a feature: it forces users to try and think by themselves for a minute first.

RT @BenedictEvans: With no innovation on price, hard to see the Fire Phone changing the market much. Lots that’s nice but nothing game-changing

19 June

I’m not good enough at math to do it myself, but I sure hope we get a third-party keyboard for iOS 8 that just lets you draw the letters.

RT @chockenberry: In the next 4 months there will be folks who release kick-ass updates to products OR become experts in a new language.

Choose wisely.

“The Art of Fiction No. 211, William Gibson”

We could conceivably go extinct and our creations would live on. One day, in the sort of science-fiction novel I’m unlikely ever to write, intelligent aliens might encounter something descended from our creations. That something would introduce itself by saying, Hey, we wish our human ancestors could have been around to meet you guys because they were totally fascinated by this moment, but at least we’ve got this PowerPoint we’d like to show you about them. They don’t look anything like us, but that is where we came from, and they were actually made out of meat, as weird as that seems.

20 June

RT @tyler_hedrick: I wrote an app called Hodor because Hodoring someone is so much cooler than Yoing someone. #yo #hodor #got [pic.twitter.com]

I’m consistent. I want the biggest iWatch, the biggest iPhone, the biggest iPad and the biggest MacBook Pro. Size matters.

This week’s iMore podcast makes me want to use IFTTT integration in Launch Center, but I can’t think of anything useful to me.

So in the meantime I’ve set up a geofence to turn my screen’s brightness down when I leave home (to conserve battery).

It’s odd that no third-party client has ever implemented Markdown (as far as I know) — RT @FarshadNayeri: Twitter wish: italics/emphasis.

21 June

RT @ndfred: How Slingshot came to be [businessinsider.com]

Air Stylus turns your iPad into a small Cintiq. I want to play with this a lot, but not to the tune of $20. I can’t draw well enough to justify the cost; the iPad will never really be great for this as long as it’s stuck with only a capacitive touchscreen; most importantly, the demo video fails to convince me that the (inevitable) lag is bearable.

Hey, by now there should be cheap secondhand Surface Pros around, shouldn’t there?

22 June

RT @BenedictEvans: Posit: as celebs’ emotional maturity is fixed the day they become famous, so startups’ view of their space is fixed the day they’re bought

23 June

25 June

It took ages, but Android L finally looks pretty, rather than tolerable. I may even like it slightly better than the stock iOS apps’ look.

Android has a great new “only Google can do it” with search result links directly opening the relevant app instead of a web page.

Android Auto looks much nicer than iOS CarPlay. And I can’t quite imagine an iWatch could do much more / much better than Android Wear.

RT @reckless: Why do Chromecast and Android TV feel like completely separate products instead of a product family?

I’ve never watched a Google I/O keynote before so I lack comparison points, but the Android UI/UX announcements looked pretty strong to me.

I strongly feel that any Apple geek who finds Android Wear uninteresting is having wildly unrealistic expectations of iWatch.

26 June

27 June

Another (semi-)pro first-party Mac app bites the dust. Why would anyone still invest in Final Cut or Logic and expect them to last?

28 June

Actions

After a day of playing with Actions for iPad to organize my workflows (and giving up because, no matter how excellent the app is, I still find it a bit inconvenient to get my hands off the MacBook Pro and reach the iPad every time I want to trigger an action), here is my latest “productivity” setup:

BetterTouchTool lets me define triggers for gestures such as “three-finger tap” or “two-finger swipe down from the edge of the trackpad”; those gestures emulate an obscure keyboard shortcut I set to activate a DragThing dock that’s full of scripts (and for which I spent a couple hours designing the icons in Photoshop because I’m a Mac, not Linux, nerd), and place the mouse pointer in the middle of that dock. It’s crazy how many things BetterTouchTool allows you to do — I’ll need to devote another afternoon to exploring what else I could achieve with it.

Those scripts: open a bunch of sites I check regularly (for which I had previously set up inconvenient hotkeys); pause and rewind Downcast (I never got around to creating keyboard shortcuts for that one because I had run out of easily accessible keys); lock the screen; activate Fantastical; etc.

So far it’s working pretty well. I’m not sure why I felt the need to write it up, though — either in order to thank the relevant developers for making it possible, or just because I’m bored and I’ll seize any excuse for procrastinating.

We’ve all internalized the lie that our only choices are a ringtone disturbing everyone or a vibration you can’t feel in your pocket #iwatch

29 June

30 June

3nder

“This conversation window will lock in 3 days” is a pretty good idea that Tinder should steal back.

I gave up on my iBeacon / Launch Center experiment after a few days— it was completely unreliable. Guess I have to try again in 7.1.2.

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