Archive for September 24, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010


Jeff LaMarche and Daniel Jalkut discuss whether to set Objective-C ivars to nil in your -dealloc methods. LaMarche responds. Assuming reasonable quality code, I’m not sure that it makes a huge difference either way, though I tend to lean towards Jalkut’s “don’t mask symptoms” camp. Jeff Johnson makes an interesting point in a comment:

As Mac developers who distribute via the internet, we can get a crash report (from a user, not from Apple, grr!), find the bug, fix the crash, and release a software update all within an hour. Thus, we tend to favor not ‘coddling’ our code, as Daniel puts it. iOS developers, on the other hand, are hostages to the app store approval process. Of course, if your iOS app is crashing in production, one wonders how it got through the approval process in the first place or what the point is of the process, but in any case, your coding precautions may be different for that case.

This sounds like an argument for using macros so that you can easily change your decision based on how you are testing or deploying the code.

JavaScript Off

Michel Fortin:

I’ve been browsing the web with Javascript turned off more and more frequently lately. While to a web developer this might look like I’m crippling the user experience, to me most of the time I find it more pleasurable. Even though I’m on a Core 2 Duo, websites are noticeably faster with Javascript turned off.

I gave up on this some years ago. In practice, too many sites require JavaScript or work much less smoothly without it.

Apple Headphone and Camera Patents

Fast Company:

Apple’s beef is with the existing leaf-spring contact system, which is bulky due to the restrictions of the physical form of the connector itself. Basically, the complex plastic restraints and springy contacts themselves mean you can’t easily choose the size and shape of the socket. And that means you have limitations on the format of the audio device you’re building, including device thickness and placement of the socket on the motherboard.

The other patent application is for a flash with multiple directional light elements.

Grace Hopper Interview

YouTube has a great 1986 video of David Letterman interviewing Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, developer of the first compiler (via Joel Levin):

Letterman: “So how did you know so much about computers?”
Hopper: “I didn’t! It was the first one!”

Still sharp at age 79.