Archive for January 14, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Swiftifying Apple’s Framework APIs

Mattt Thompson:

And yet, after just a few months of working with Swift, Cocoa has begun to lose its luster. We all saw Swift as the beginning of the end for Objective-C, but Cocoa? (It wouldn’t be the first time an Apple standard library would be made obsolete. Remember Carbon?)

Andy Matuschak:

I don’t actually have insider knowledge here, so this is just speculation, but I think it will be a long process. At least when I was there, the teams spent the majority of their time not maintaining and improving frameworks, but really supporting market features like new screen sizes or support for new hardware. That’s what takes most of the time. So it will take a conscious decision to do anything non-trivial, and I don’t see that forthcoming.

Cocoa Thread Utilities

Todd Ditchendorf’s Cocoa Thread Utilities offers semaphores, bounded buffers, synchronous channels, thresholds, and triggers.

Switching From Core Data to Realm

Tim Oliver (tweet):

Tim Oliver, creator of the iComics app, gave a talk featuring Realm in his project at the Perth iOS Meetup. His talk covered gave a quick background of his transition to and experiences using Realm in place of Core Data, a switch he made in just one evening.


When I was working on iComics, I’d have problems when a background thread would import a comic, tell the main thread the comic imported, then send an object with entirely empty fields. When I tested installing a new version of the app over an older version, I found that Core Data’s auto-migration was corrupting half the database and making the app very unstable. A manual Core Data migration would have required a ridiculous amount of code, and I decided to switch to Realm.

Siri Improvements

John Gruber:

I’ve noticed over the past year that Siri is getting faster — both at parsing spoken input and returning results. I use iOS’s voice-to-text dictation feature on a near-daily basis, and it’s especially noticeable there.

Mostly what I have noticed is that Siri is a lot more reliable than it used to be. I had stopped using it because for years it would essentially throw away what I’d said. It was either unavailable (most of the time) or it didn’t understand me properly (less often). Now I regularly use it to make reminders while driving, and it pretty much always works.

Update (2015-01-17): Garrett Murray:

Watching Siri translate word-for-word as you speak give you the confidence to keep speaking and also makes it clear the moment she loses you. It completely changes the feature from “interesting tech demo” to “I’ll use this on a daily basis”.