Archive for the ‘Ranting’ Category

WWDC 2013 Wishlist

April 25, 2013


Apple’s platform has gotten…   well..   a bit stale.    Here’s my list of things that Apple could announce at WWDC which would reinvigorate the iOS platform for me personally.


  • Homescreen widgets SDK
  • Make Siri actually understand me more than 20% of the time (being generous)
  • Siri Integration for apps (Assuming above gets fixed)
  • GameCenter Chat support.
  • OCR SDK that doesn’t suck for input. – Tesseract is fickle.  The tech is out there… make it mainstream for input.
  • Fix iCloud & Open it up to other platforms   Or at least a Web Platform.
  • UI Theming / Skin Support.
  • Open up Spolight API so app content can be searchable in Search homescreen.
  • Customizable Spotlight Search Options.   Why can I still not search the appstore from Spotlight?
  • iCloud Repsonsive Web Support
  • iCloud Web app platform


Ok.   WWDC isn’t really ever about Hardware Anymore, but when new bizarre things get added to hardware it stimulates the app market for new and interesting mash ups and uses that people hadn’t thought of before.

  • More Phone Sensors (Track Eye Movement, Near Field Communications, Temperature)
  • Failing more sensors… Peripherals with more sensors (iWatch, Glasses)
  • Peripheral Platform and SDK in support of 3rd party wirelessly linked gadgets.
  • Loosen up on the MFI (Made for iPhone) program.     – Currently this just isn’t open to anyone without retained legal council.  Period.
  • Camera Improvements.  UV InfraRed Camera sensitivity  Optical Zoom (fluid lenses?)

Apple’s iPhone Unit Tests Less that Stellar

February 9, 2011

It’s Like jUnit, but even less intuitive.    It’s as if a first year intern was in charge of integrating OCTest into XCode.    It sucks because:

1) It showed up late.   WAY LATE.   What percentage of app store apps actually have unit tests, since most were out before Unit Testing was available?

2) It uses a Shell script during the build process to call it’s executable code.  That’s Hacky.

3) No stepping through the test Code because of 2.

4) Build Output requires 2 keystrokes and 2 clicks to get to because of 2.

5) Crashes in Test don’t give you a stack trace because of 2.

6) Build = Run.   Huh?    Yes clicking build does not just compile, but also RUNS the code in the test.   Very intuitive. NOT.

7) Build Errors do not stop said shell script from being run. Perhaps had they not hijacked the Build phase, this wouldn’t be an issue but they did.

8) Default instructions Say nothing about linking requirements, to an existing project.   They just have useless asserts on Foundation methods. (Conveniently already Linked.)   Methinks they’re using the Google Framework internally, but can’t redistribute that for obvious reasons.  (Like admitting that testing was an after thought.)

9)  Perhaps it’s time to checkout Google’s Test Toolkit.     Could it suck more?   Probably not.

10) Test rig ‘${TEST_RIG}’ exited abnormally with code ${TEST_RIG_RESULT} (it may have crashed).   how about telling me WHERE it crashed?

How can Apple be so considerate of the user and so inconsiderate of the developer?    They should license VSTFS.  Developer Environments is about the only thing that Microsoft gets right.

Excel Cell Double Click Shenanigans

April 1, 2010

For some inane reason last fall, I bought the latest version of Microsoft Office for OS X.   (2008 is it? )    Anyways, I was disappointed by iWork’s flakiness in Numbers (Apple’s spreadsheet) and Pages (import from Word is lossy), so I thought I’d pony up and buy the office “standard” used world round.

Now it’s like I’m back in 1990 running the spreadsheet on the Mac SE.    Seriously.    It feels like all UI development stopped on Excel decades ago.    The interluding years have been devoted to developing lots of features I don’t need, and window dressing it up to make it look like maybe it was updated for Aqua circa 2001.

I don’t think any convincing thought has gone into this program since the development of the laptop trackpad. Case and point: the most annoying thing in Excel seems to be that double clicking on a cell to edit it half the time scrolls the spreadsheet unpredictably.     After a few weeks of annoyance, and many unsuccessful searches on the web, I finally intuited the Google search terms to find others griping about the issue, and then a comment on the post with the fix.
That post is here:  Betalogue

Thanks the images and the fix in the comments…    (can’t get the cursor in the mac screen shots anymore.)

Contrary to my whining so far this post is more about the fix than the gripe.

HONEST.      So the thing I didn’t notice initially was that that is that the cursor changes from the Excel “+” cursor to the Excel “Hand Cursor” immediately before the offending scroll to the bottom of my thousand row spreadsheet.

Archaic Excel Plus Cursor

Archaic Hand Cursor
Aside from the fact that the Cursors are the exact bitmaps from 1990, the main problem here is that you get about 5 pixels in the middle which can be used to double click the cell.     Double clicking on the Macbook trackpad invariably skips to the bottom of the column, because the act of clicking moves the pointer enough to cause the cursor to change.
So to fix:
Search on “Drag”  this will highlight the “Edit” tab
Uncheck “Enable fill handle and cell drag and drop”  (OBVIOUS! NOT!)

The Offending Setting

Now it’s nearly usable again.

Now If I could just make =a+b realize I’m trying to do math without having to set the column format to number, then edit and click return again.