Archive for April 15, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Overlaying Your GPS Tracks on Google Maps

Matt Neuburg:

I don’t know when Google Maps acquired the capability to display a KML/KMZ file. But it can now do so, and that’s why the earlier link in this article works. You, too, can export a waypoint or a track from your GPS tracking device, hand it to Google Maps, and provide your friends (or the whole world) with a link they can click to see that information in Google Maps.

This is great—previously I had been firing up Aperture to view tracks. Google Maps also works with GPX files, but the GPX format is verbose so sometimes it gives me an error about the file being too large. My GPS logger uses the NMEA log format, but I was able to use GPS Visualizer to convert to the compact KMZ format.

Scaling Pinterest

Todd Hoff:

When you push something to the limit all these technologies fail in their own special way. Started dropping technologies and asked themselves what they really wanted to be. Did a massive rearchitecture of everything. […] Now on sharded MySQL, Redis, Memcache, and Solr. That’s it. The advantage is it’s really simple and mature technologies.

Corrupt iCloud Data Causes iOS SpringBoard Home Screen Crash

Dave Hamilton:

This crash was happening regularly, sometimes as often as every 10 minutes. The Apple Store first recommended we wipe the device of all data and NOT restore from a backup. Problem still happened. Then the Apple Store replaced the device, and again we did not restore from a backup, and again, the crashes quickly resumed.

No restore from backup. Brand new hardware. Same crash. Diagnosing this just got interesting.

It turns out that Apple’s TextInput service uses Core Data and iCloud to store user dictionary entries such as shortcuts/abbreviations. His database became corrupt, which caused SpringBoard to crash. iOS doesn’t have any way to clean out this data, but he was about to do so from a Mac by digging into the Mobile Documents folder.

Drafts 2.5.7

Dr. Drang notes some nifty features that Drafts has for appending or prepending to text files stored on Dropbox. It’s not really a Dropbox text editor, though. The main syncing is based on Simperium, the engine behind Simplenote, which was unreliable when I used it a few years ago.

Quartz Composer Lives

Troy Koelling (via John Siracusa):

No, this must have been a mistake. Quartz Composer is not deprecated, and still fully supported in Mountain Lion. The bug reporting system, as you all are aware is like a game of telephone and although I do not know how this could have happened, I apologize for any confusion it has caused.

I was pretty sure I had seen an official notice that Quartz Composer had been deprecated. Glad to hear that’s not the case.

Core Data and SQLite FTS

Apple has yet to bring full text searching to Core Data, or even Search Kit to iOS.

Justin Driscoll:

I wrote a simple sample app in order to see what kind of performance gain I might see from using a separate full text index in SQLite. The app loads 1682 text files from textfiles.com (where else?), that’s about 42mb of plain text, into both Core Data model objects and an SQLite database. I then timed how long it took to find a single word using both a full text query and a core data fetch request. For one query running on the main thread on slowest device I have (a 4th gen. iPod touch) the Core Data fetch took 9.34 seconds while the SQLite query only took 1.48 seconds.

Simon Wolf:

It appears that the version of SQLite that ships with iOS 6 and OS X 10.8 actually have FTS enabled, are compiled to be threadsafe and have the more advanced searching enabled by default. Therefore it is not necessary to include your own custom build of SQLite in your application.

Apple: Unfortunately, No Longer the Underdog

Cabel Sasser has a nice piece about no longer being fringe:

If Apple can find that comfortable middle, we’re set. With keynotes still watched closely, but constant flying-car expectations mellowed out. Innovating constantly, but at a possibly more relaxed pace, so that those innovations can truly stand out. Still pushing the industry, but still with something to prove.

“So that those innovations can truly stand out” is my new favorite euphemism.

If all else fails, Apple, take solace in this inarguable fact: We—the nerds—will always be there for you. As long as you don’t dump too much DRM in our dingles, or donate all your proceeds to dolphin-harvesting, we’ll buy every new thing, and hang on every word.

I was surprised that Sasser ended his article this way. If the Amiga and Mac users of yore were teenagers today, would they really choose iOS?