Stream Update

I feel like I’ve been working on this app forever. 😀

But, I haven’t. It’s been a couple years of fits-and-starts. The last TestFlight build I sent out was, I believe, back in late February.

I only have a few new items to add then it’s all about bug fixes.

What’s left?

Import and Export OPML

I have the core of importing and exporting working fine. It’s what I worked on today.

The one stumbling block I have is where it fits in the UI, like it’s a little thing. I have some ideas, of course, but I’m not thrilled about any of them. I’ll probably pick the least icky idea and do that.

Once that’s done I’d imagine the Export feature will live next to it.

Sharing

This goes two ways. I’d like to add an extension that will allow someone to Add to Stream from a web browser and I’d like to allow folks to share out of the article view. This should allow folks to start a blog post of their own or post to their favorite social media site.

Nice to haves

Extra Icons

I have some beautiful icons to share with everyone and I really hope you all enjoy them as much as I do.

Tip Jar

I’ve struggled with this one a bit. Stream is going to be free. It’s not going to be something folks just gotta have. I did this for me. I wanted an app that was simple and felt more like a Twitter feed. I think it hits both marks.

The reason I’ve struggled with the idea of having a tip jar is I don’t want folks to feel like they have to pay anything for it. I would appreciate it but it’s not necessary.

Wrapping up

I have a few bugs I’m aware of, mostly around stripping of HTML tags.

Thanks for following along.

Two things I want to do today.

  1. Work on Stream
  2. Have Chipotle for lunch.

It’s a bold list. Let’s see if I can make at least one happen.

No real RSS reader has anything to fear from Stream. It’s something I wanted to do, something different. It’s intended to be overly simplistic, probably to a fault, but I’m ok with that.

I doubt many folks will install it. I just had to do it. It’s so close.

I need to buckle down and finish Stream. It’s been months since I last worked on it. 😟 Stream - dark mode.

Hire this Kid

Can someone please hire my daughter to do some kind of design work?

How to draw a face - 101

Rogan and Podcasting

Watch out! It's a blog fly!New York Times: “If you want to understand why podcasting is killing, he says, you first need to appreciate the world-changing, brain-rewiring transformation in how we consume information.”

I wonder if people understand the subtle difference between a podcast and content locked behind a proprietary format? Super subtle.

In a nutshell Podcasting is spoken word, published as a feed - RSS or other open type, in an open audio format, like MP3.

If I can’t subscribe to it in my podcast player of choice, it’s not a podcast.

Dear Facebook Recruiters

I’m not a good enough developer to work for you.

Even if I were, I wouldn’t want to work for you.

Thanks for asking.

My WWDC 2020 Wishlist

Time to get in on the action.

Here goes: Custom Watch Faces, iOS stability and performance improvements, and macOS stability and performance improvements

That’s it.

I’d really love to have a Dumbledore watch face.

The weather is conspiring against us. It makes working outside fun when all it does is rain all weekend. 😀

Camp COVID

I’m surprised some enterprising Trump Youth hasn’t had this idea yet.

Camp COVID is an exclusive summer camp. You pay $100,000.00, plus the cost of any hospitalization, to attend this all inclusive summer camp. We’re talking high end camp here. Not s’mores and hot cocoa by the fire. It’s all opulence, all the time, complete with Trump golden toilets and a lifetime subscription to Trump Steaks.

Here’s the catch. There’s no social distancing. You can do whatever your little heart desires. Want to visit the lake to do a little kayaking? Do it! How about drinks and dancing at the on site night club? Do it?

It’s two weeks, zero quarantine, and no pesky government telling you want to do! Bliss.

At the end of two weeks you are required to visit the quarantine center on site for the following two weeks where you’re tested daily. At the end of the two weeks you’re released.

If you test positive you’re put back into the Camp COVID grounds to fend for yourself. No staff on site.

You can, however, choose to call a friend or loved one to come pick you up.

Good luck and enjoy your stay at Camp COVID.

Folks talking about WWDC on Micro.blog? Zero. 🤯

Monetizing Apps

I’ve been thinking about models for making a little money from my iOS apps. I only have two at the moment and they’re both free on the App Store. Neither app has been downloaded in large quantities. RxCalc – a pharmacokinetics calculator – has around 10,000 users and Arrgly has a super tiny user base – I built it for myself and decided to share it. And, yes, I know the name and UI are completely goofy.

I’ve been working on a new application called Stream and I’ve gone round and round in my head about monetizing it; should it be FREE, free with in app purchase, free with tip jar, or up pay once up front?

So many choices.

My initial thought was FREE with an In-App Purchase Tip Jar. This would allow me to, hopefully, make a few bucks from it and I could reward users with additional icon sets and color schemes.

Then I happened across Ko-fi. It looks like a nice way to make a few bucks off of my hard work and not give Apple 30%. On the flip side I wonder how much I’ll lose because folks have to visit my site to tap on the Ko-fi button to support my apps.

If anyone reads this, and knows a little about Ko-fi, could you let me know if it’s something I could, or should, use to support my apps?

Just send email to rob.fahrni@gmail.com.

I was back in Seattle in my dreams. I was interviewing at Visio, the company, not the app. The job was moving Visio to Windows UI 3.0. Great dream.

Apple iBook

Will we get an ARM Mac? Probably, maybe? Who knows? /shrug

I’m pretty certain I’ve opined about this before, but my weblog is a mess at the moment and I can’t find the reference to it.

What if the ARM Mac is really an iOS based laptop? Seriously.

Think of the 12in MacBook. Some folks really loved the thing. It was teeny tiny. Just imagine the 12.9in or 11in iPad as a laptop. The darned thing could be super thin and light. It could even have the same square design or Apple could adopt the curved edges of the current MacPro lineup. It doesn’t really matter.

Think about this. It could be slightly heavier than an iPad Pro but lighter than a MacBook Air. That is a class of computer I think a lot of folks would really love.

What if it had a crazy long battery life because they could pour battery into the top and bottom cases? To that end they could move around where everything lives in the computer. They’d have all kinds of space. Full keyboard, full mouse, beautiful display, full touch, and pencil support. Add to that four USB-C ports and you have a potential winner on your hands.

And for the cherry on top I can see Tim Apple stepping out on stage proclaiming “And we call it, iBook.”

The virtual crowd goes crazy.

Selfish Man

It’s sunny outside today as I write this. Sitting on the deck, in the shade, birds chirping, and I’m miserable.

Backing Up

We moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, in November 2019. Yes, another wild adventure. This time we did it to be closer to our daughter, granddaughter, and son-in-law. Being in California with our first granddaughter out on the east coast just wasn’t going to cut it. So, we moved.

I took a gig with WillowTree in Charlottesville and we packed up the house – no easy feat – and started for Virginia. It was a whirlwind of selling home a home and buying another, quickly. We cut out of Exeter, California, Sunday, October 27 at about two in the afternoon and arrived in Virginia Friday, November 1. Three adults, three dogs, and four cats – yes, we’re absolutely insane.

Since we arrived in November the weather was changing. Cool, crisp, mornings and rain, lots and lots of rain. That’s OK. We wanted to live in a place with actual seasons. California is a paradise. Most days are sunny. We were up for a change.

We got change. In January we had our first snow. It was glorious. But mostly we had a lot of those crisp mornings with rain. That’s ok. It’s part of the winter and spring season here. As spring approaches the temperatures go up but you still have plenty of rain mixed with bursts of sunshine.

As we rolled into February the Coronavirus pandemic hit. Seattle was hit hard. By the end of February things were getting serious. I left work on March 12 slightly before WillowTree declared all employees should work from home. (Seriously, that was in March? Feels much, much longer ago.)

As I started writing this yesterday – May 2 – I was in a terrible state of mind. With the world in chaos I was only thinking about myself. I was pissed off it was a gorgeous day outside. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I was stuck at home. Nothing to do but yard work.

You see. When we got here and the weather had changed to we and rainy I was looking forward to spring. We live in an area rich in history. I love history. I wanted to explore Virginia. Back to D.C. to see the National Archives. Back to Gettysburg. Back to Monticello. We live five miles away from Monticello.

I’d like to explore Virginia Beach and Carter Mountain here in Charlottesville, enjoy the Monticello trail system. Visit the beautiful little towns all around us. So many things to do and see.

But no. Here I sit, at home. Beautiful Saturday and I’m having a pity party. I expect the earliest we’ll be able to get out and explore is in the spring of 2021.

How dare I. People are dying all around us. I need to pull my head out. Consider others. It’s not about Rob Fahrni. It’s about my loved ones, my friends, and my fellow human.

I’m sorry. I’m an idiot. I’m selfish.

I’m gonna work on that.

Stay safe. See you next spring.

Modern Interview Prep

Brent Simmons: ”In production code, if a problem like this came up, I’d ask “How the hell did we get here?” and try to backtrack and figure out what insanity caused this, because it’s just not right.”

This mirrors my experience when I was interviewing back in 2014. Heck, I managed to get an interview at Google for an iOS development job – I can’t remember if it was on Maps or Chrome – and I was blown away by the interview process. I was sent a list of things to study. Not one had to do with iOS development. It was all about algorithms. I was given a month to prepare and a contact at Google that was meant to be a tutor to help me prepare.

Needless to say. I canceled the interview.

Brent is a thoughtful, battle hardened, Mac and iOS developer. He built one of the most beloved Mac applications ever built; NetNewsWire

But to most companies today, this means very little, if anything.

Xcode for iPad?

MacRumors: ‘because it “opens the door for ‘Pro’ applications to come to ‌iPad‌.“’

Red sock.I picked that bit of a sentence from the article because it’s complete B.S. If folks want to bring Pro apps to the iPad they have the means to do it today on their Mac. Having Xcode on an iPad won’t magically make that any better. The Mac is the perfect tool for building Professional Mac and iOS apps.

Xcode on iPad would be fine. I can’t personally see using an iPad as my primary development machine. Mainly because I like using a bigger display for development. My 15in MacBook Pro display is about as small as I’d like to use.

If I could set the iPad on a stand of some sort, hook it up to my full size keyboard, mouse, and 24in display? That is something that may work.

We’re getting closer to that day, we’re just not quite there.

Not all nerds carry the latest iPhone

Do all Apple related podcasters believe every nerd carries around the latest greatest iPhone?

I’m a professional iOS software developer. Have been since 2009. Prior to that I made my living writing Windows and Linux based video viewing workstations. Prior to that I worked on a an extremely popular Windows desktop drawing and diagramming software. I’m approaching 30-years as a pro.

I carry an iPhone 7.

The sad state of my weblog

Last week I wanted to send a link to someone for a piece I wrote in 2014 about my fear of public speaking, which was really about the pressure I feel during interviews.

I searched for the title of the piece, found it, and when I clicked the link it 404’d. Why?

A few months back I mentioned moving to Micro.blog as my blogging service because I wanted static publishing and I just didn’t want to manage Hugo or another tool. Anywho, when I did the import from WordPress to Micro.blog if failed at some point so I only had a partial import. So I tried again and thought it ran to completion. I was wrong. It failed again.

After poking around I realized I only have posts from 2019 and the archive page is broken.

I am frustrated by this but willing to accept this shortcoming if I can eventually get my entire blogging history pulled into Micro.blog. Heck I’m even considering importing my entire Blogger history from 2001-2009 just to have it in a single repository.

I’m going to give it another go soon and see if I can get it pulled in. If that fails I’m going to see if Manton has any further ideas about how to get my WordPress content in a form I could push into Micro.blog. Even if I have to convert the WordPress export file to something better for Micro.blog I’m willing to give it a go. It would be really nice if I could put it into a JSON format Micro.blog would accept as an import format it can deal with.

Anyway. That’s the sad state of my blog today. Hopefully I can get it fixed, soon.

If I can’t get it sorted I will consider moving back to self hosted WordPress and call it good enough.

Welp, it’s only a matter of time before my wife switches back to an iPhone SE. It’s smaller and uses Touch ID, which she’s a fan of.

Someone forgot to tell Spring it’s time to come out. I’m a west coast boy so this snow in April stuff doesn’t compute. ❄️

Made our first ever pizzas last night. They were great! 🍕

I’m an impostor

Today is one of those days I question my ability or usefulness as a software developer.

It seems like 10-year olds are creating stunning applications and web sites and here I sit, two year old simple RSS reader that hasn’t shipped.

I’m struggling with the idea of not shipping the Mac version so I can start work on the application I’ve wanted to write for years and years. I’ve put that app off for so long I probably could’ve shipped it if I’d been dedicated to it for the last ten years.

I started Stream because I wanted a simple project to work on. Simple. Two years later. Still not finished.

I’ve predicted it’ll take at least 10-years to complete the thing I really want to do.

Another point to make. I’m so happy and excited to work on my own projects. It’s the type of excitement I had as a youngster. I couldn’t wait to get to work. I’d arrive about 6:30AM and work until 4PM. Day in and day out.

If only I had that kind of time for my personal projects.

I now have OPML import and export code in Stream. My big challenge now is where to put it in the UI?

Selfie I took 19-years ago in Oslo, Norway.