I forgot to share our big winner yesterday. Our winner was Mr. Chris Ledoux, congratulations Chris! The correct answer was…
Here’s a classic. I’d be surprised if you can’t guess it.
Ok, quick, what movie! Send your guesses here.
Well, here we are on the verge of Summer Blockbuster season. It always seems to sneak up on me.
Here’s my list for 2017. Enjoy.
|Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2||May 05|
|The Wall||May 12|
|Alien: Covenant||May 19|
|Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales||May 26|
|Wonder Woman||June 02|
|The Mummy||June 09|
|It Comes at Night||June 09|
|The Hero||June 09|
|Cars 3||June 16|
|The Book of Henry||June 16|
|Amityville: The Awakening||June 30|
|Spider-Man: Homecoming||July 07|
|War for the Planet of the Apes||July 14|
|Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets||July 21|
|The Dark Tower||July 28|
|Atomic Blonde||July 28|
|Baby Driver||August 11|
|Annabelle 2||August 11|
This Blockbuster season looks pretty darned good to my eye. Stephen King has two film adaptations of his books this summer, that’s awesome, but I’m really looking forward to It in September.
As always I’ll have to pick and choose which films to see because I can’t catch them all in theaters. Here’s my short list.
See you at the movies! Remember to get popcorn with extra butter and an extra large soda!
Last week Apple acquired automation workflow application Workflow. Of course there was a nice buzz around it and it was a big topic of conversation on various podcasts and websites.
Back in 2010 x-callback-url was created as a way to allow applications to call into each other and return results so you could chain together calls to build custom workflows. Apps like Launch Center Pro and Workflow took advantage of x-callback-url to let you build those workflows and execute them. Now we have a bonafide standard, without a standard. The app ecosystem found a way to support automation without Apple’s help.
I’ve used Launch Center Pro but until recently I’d never used Workflow, and it’s pretty amazing. The Workflow guys did an amazing job creating a drag and drop UI for building what amounts to a program. Well worth a look.
Allow applications to specify a Scripting Dictionary or Type Library as part of the application bundle, this should allow runtime creation of objects. I know this isn’t rocket science and it’s been done many times over.
Short of adding support to the OS it would be pretty sweet if an App like Workflow, Launch Center Pro, or Pythonista would standardize on a way to parse a URL Scheme into an Object Hierarchy.
That’s a good question. Here’s what I’m thinking. Since the Apps mentioned above all support URL Schemes we can derive an Object Hierarchy from them. Basically the beginning of a URI begins with a scheme. The scheme is the name. In the case of Evernote it’s evernote. Pretty simple, right?
Given the scheme name we follow that with a path. In the case of x-callback-url based URL schemes we will skip over that part and move to the second item in the path. This will be the action, or function, or the object we’re going to execute.
The above URL will tell Evernote to create a new note of type text with a title of “EC 3”. If we had a way to parse that in a runtime application we could present the user with an Object that has methods that take arguments, like this.
Let’s do a couple for Bear. First the URL Scheme.
Now translated into code
bear.create(title, text, tags)
Overcast URL Scheme.
And finally, my favorite, Arrgly URL Scheme.
Pretty simple to turn all of those into objects. When I say you can create a hierarchy it means you could, by convention, lump groups of actions into objects, or like the above examples have a set of actions that all live on a single object.
Here’s what a object might look like as a URL Scheme.
That would result in using it like this
Of course this need more fleshing out and it would require app developers to decide on a well known convention to make it work as expected, but it could be done with a bit time and effort. It could be these become an extension of the x-callback-url specification?
I haven’t thought about posting one of these for quite a while. There was a time when I posted a new movie line every Thursday for years on end. It was fun, but at some point I stopped doing.
Yesterday I heard from a friend on Twitter, he said he missed them. Guess it’s time to bring it back?
@Fahrni Nostalgia missing MLOTW
— John Marshall (@VisioMVP) March 22, 2017
Here’s the line, good luck!
I listen to a podcast called Accidental Tech Podcast. If you’re a Mac or iOS Developer you’ve probably heard of it or you’ve heard of one or more of its hosts. One of their ongoing topics of conversation is Apple’s apparent lack of focus on the Pro market. It’s true Apple has become very focused on more consumer oriented products, like the iPhone. I mean, who wouldn’t? When you look at the numbers it makes total sense.
When Apple announces results sites like Six Colors do a great job breaking down all the numbers and, in Six Colors case, they make really awesome charts! Just look at this one from January of 2015.
Who can blame Apple for spending most of their time on the iPhone? Look at those numbers. They’re stunning. It’s not to say the Mac or iPad are losers, they’re not. Most companies would give anything to have one product doing so well, Apple has at least four; iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Watch. Most likely someone will write in to let me know I’ve missed one, or I’m wrong about something, but you get the point. Apple is killing it, on multiple fronts.
Much of the consternation from the ATP guys revolves around the Mac Pro. Who can blame them? Apple hasn’t shipped a new model since 2013. The hardware is now embarrassingly outdated and is due for a much needed refresh.
As a developer I can understand their need for Phenominal Cosmic Power! But they’re stuck with an Ity Bity Living Space. Not fun.
I’d love to see Apple pull together a great new piece of hardware that includes all the latest, greatest, internals and really appease the Professional Apple Workstation crowd. This would include filmmakers, photographers, designers of all kinds, the CAD folks, and, of course, Software Engineers of all kinds. On my list of nice to haves would be a box large enough to hold multiple multiple core processors (say 256 cores, why not? Windows can do it), tons of RAM, and a killer external bus system to allow folks to chain together external GPU’s. That would be a really great computer, don’t you think? Maybe the base configuration is the most popular, but it sure would be nice to be able to take a Mac and macOS to an extreme level.
Having said all of that, as a Professional Developer I’d prefer a really great Portable Workstation. What is that? Well, it’s a desktop replacement in a laptop form. Apple is obsessed with making everything thinner and lighter. I do appreciate that, I really do. My first MacBook Pro was a lovely 17-inch beauty, but it was big. Not only heavy, but it was long enough that it was difficult to find a decent backpack to carry it in. Let’s just look at the weight alone, it was 6.6 pounds.
I remember carrying that thing around my first WWDC in 2011. Early morning to late afternoon. Yes, I got tired of carrying it, but it wasn’t a hardship. I would happily trade a bit of weight for a super powerful MacBook Pro.
I read an article recently on the new Dell Precision 5520 on Windows Central. This thing is a beast.
“Besides the big Core processors, all of which are the last generation “Skylake” variants, there is the big kahuna with the Xeon E3-1505M v6. Introduced this year, this Intel Xeon is a quad-core processor with support for ECC memory, 8MB of cache (up from the usual 6MB in a consumer Core i7), and a slightly higher base clock rate of 3.00 GHz with Turbo up to 4.00 GHz. These specs make it one of the fastest mobile processors around, besting the Core i7-7700HQ found in the XPS 15 (9560) by 200MHz.”
Yes, you read that right. This laptop can be configured with a Xeon processor, not to mention 32GB of RAM. That is professional sized horsepower in a small package. This is what I’d like to see from Apple. A true high-end Portable Workstation. Oh, and do you remember the weight of that old 17-inch MacBook Pro I mentioned above? Yes, 6.6 pounds. This Dell weighs 4.56 pounds. Compare that to the new 15-inch MacBook Pro which weighs 4.02 pounds. It’s not that big a difference.
I’d love to have this kind of power wrapped in Apple’s design ascetic. Oh, it should only come in one color. Black.
New York Times: “Struggling to fill jobs in the Charlotte plant, Siemens in 2011 created an apprenticeship program for seniors at local high schools that combines four years of on-the-job training with an associate degree in mechatronics from nearby Central Piedmont Community College. When they finish, graduates have no student loans and earn more than $50,000 a year.”
What a great idea. Not all of us are cut out for college and finding a high paying job when you don’t have an education is next to impossible. This is a great alternative.
This morning I was creating a new branch to start work on a new feature and I use git flow.
To start a new feature you type…
git flow feature start FeatureName
After typing that and pressing enter git flow complained that it was initialized and I should run the command…
git flow init
I’ve been working in this same environment for two years. I know git flow is configured, but like a good automaton I followed the directions. Of course, you can guess what happened, right? Yep, git flow init says “Hey, you’re good to go!”
I wasn’t. My commands still failed with the same message.
Yep, that’s right, cd into the .git directory for that repository and remove all git flow references from your git config file. Then run git flow init. All better.
I just saw one of Intel’s new commercials. It claims 98% of the Cloud runs on Intel. I have no reason to doubt that, but it did bring me back to thinking about Apple.
With each passing year Apple introduces newer and faster A-Series processors. They’ve also introduced a new recycling program. When they receive phones, or other devices, through the program they take them apart. Why not use those old processors?
I know, all I do is ask questions, but it’s fun to ask these types of questions. Why doesn’t Apple go about building servers using older tech? That’s right. Take the components pulled from, say, an iPhone 5s and put them to use in a small blade server that accepts daughter cards with a few A7 chips on them?
Think about running a stripped down version of macOS, or a pumped up version of iOS, on these servers. We know the two OS’es share a common core. Build some experimental hardware that is scalable by adding more cores via daughter cards(blades?) and see how they perform when used as web servers. Could you still serve up expected performance? I don’t know, but I’d imagine most things are I/O bound, network bound, or bound by poorly written software.
I know Apple doesn’t really care about server hardware, and why would they, it would be another fun thought experiment to create something like this. Why not, Apple has the money to spend on some fun and potentially useful technology that is also good for the environment.