Archive for September 12, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Betting Too Much on HTML5

Drew Olanoff:

Not only was this a big mistake with mobile, but Zuckerberg says that its biggest mistake period was the focus on HTML5. This is the first time that the Facebook CEO has openly admitted this, but things are looking good for the new iOS native app. According to Zuckerberg, people are consuming twice as many feed stories since the update to the new iOS app, which is great.

Exceptions as Fatal

Raymond Chen (via Kyle Sluder):

In Win32, exceptions are considered to be horrific situations that usually indicate some sort of fatal error. There may be some select cases where exceptions can be handled, but those are more the unusual cases than the rule. Most of the time, an exception means that something terrible has happened and you’re out of luck. The best you can hope for at this point is a controlled crash landing.

Just like in Cocoa.

The Skeuomorphism Rift Within Apple

Austin Carr:

“It’s visual masturbation,” says one former senior UI designer at Apple who worked closely with Steve Jobs. “It’s like the designers are flexing their muscles to show you how good of a visual rendering they can do of a physical object. Who cares?”

Inside Apple, tension has brewed for years over the issue. Apple iOS SVP Scott Forstall is said to push for skeuomorphic design, while industrial designer Jony Ive and other Apple higher-ups are said to oppose the direction.

Via John Gruber, who writes:

It’s the difference between a fad and true style. I think Apple’s skeuomorphic designs are a fad, much like the pinstripes and brushed metal of a decade ago.

Update (2012-09-23): Austin Carr:

Today, a former top Apple designer defends Apple’s skeuomorphic approach.

RetinaCapture 1.0.1

Matt Rajca’s RetinaCapture is a neat utility that can simultaneously take screenshots at 1x and 2x (Retina) resolutions. If you have multiple displays, both RetinaCapture’s window and the window that you want to capture must be located on the Retina display. I’ve also found that the menubar must be on the Retina display or else you can’t choose a window; hopefully that’s a bug that can be fixed.

Update (2015-01-30): Unfortunately, the 1x screenshots do not look the same as 1x screenshots taken by the OS. The text is not rendered in the same way and, especially with Yosemite, looks very jagged.

Acorn SDK

Gus Mueller:

This repository contains samples written in JSTalk, as well as in Objective-C. You’ll find various examples, as well as code for reading composites of Acorn images, as well as reading the layer information.

20 Years of OmniGroup

Ken Case:

We’ve seen a lot of changes over the last 20 years, as we transitioned from working on consulting projects to shipping commercial products, from a team of 5 to one of 52—and trying our best to contribute to the platform as it evolved from its humble (but ambitious!) NeXT roots to the wildly successful platform that is now Mac OS X and iOS.

Wil Shipley:

I’ve always felt a debt of gratitude to my supervisor’s supervisor Danny Raphael, who started my career when I objected to being let go over private e-mail. He said (paraphrased), “Wil, you’re bored here. You hate this job. You’re meant for bigger things. Go do them. If you really want this job, come back in three months and let’s talk.”


Uli Kusterer:

In Mac OS X 10.6, Apple introduced support for PNG-compressed icon data in .icns files. In Mac OS X 10.8, Apple introduced support for Retina icons and the iconutil command-line tool for generating icons from a folder of PNG files.

However, iconutil only knows how to generate PNG-compressed icon data, which means that you can't use it to create a Retina icon that will still display properly on Mac OS X 10.5.

He’s written some code that converts .icns files to use JPEG 2000 internally instead of PNG, which makes them readable on Mac OS X 10.5. Kudos to Kusterer for figuring this out, and shame on Apple for silently breaking compatibility.