Archive for July 13, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mailbox Names via IMAP

Bron Gondwana:

So IMAP supports arbitrary hierarchy separators. In practice only / and . appear to be common, though I’m sure there are still systems out there using \ which brings its own special hell in C-like programming languages which use \ as an escape character (as anybody who’s ever programmed for Windows will know).

Some operating systems use case significant file systems, others don’t. So on some systems, README.TXT and Readme.txt are the same file, but on others they aren’t. Of course IMAP chose to leave case sensitivity up to the implementation... sort of.


I spent a lot of time workshopping our options, and in the end the RFC requirement that ALLCAPS INBOX had to match LIST and the fact that every other server always returns it as INBOX in that case convinced me that the folders really had to be subfolders of ALLCAPS INBOX, rather than using Inbox as the name. Also, any other spelling of INBOX needed to not be allowed at the top level, because of the case insensivity rule.

Apple Faces Patent Lawsuit Over iPhone’s Battery Technologies

Joe Rossignol:

Somaltus, LLC has filed a complaint against Apple today in an Eastern Texas district court, accusing the iPhone maker of infringing upon its 2010 patent related to complex battery technologies. The small Frisco, Texas-based firm also filed lawsuits against Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba over the same patent.


Specifically, it appears that the infringement claim at least partially relates to the iPhone’s process of charging in fast-charge mode until the battery reaches 80% capacity, and then adjusting to trickle-charge mode above 80% capacity.

Wasn’t Apple doing that with PowerBooks in the 90s?

Swift Playgrounds Aren’t HyperCard

Adam Banks:

HyperCard, “like a software erector set,” would crystallise computing into building blocks that any user could snap together to implement the functionality and user interface they had in mind. That’s not what Swift Playgrounds does today, however. Apple’s newest attempt to democratize coding presents a very inviting experience to the budding developer, but it insists that you code. And even after having done so, you still don’t get a deliverable app—only a work in progress.


Keith Martin, a senior lecturer at the University of the Arts London (UAL) with a long-term interest in interactive development, also wanted Apple to think beyond code. “Swift Playgrounds seems to be a tacit admission that Swift is not easy. The trouble is, it doesn’t actually address the fundamental issues, it just tries to show stuff in a cutesy form.” The difficult concepts that made learning Objective-C (Apple’s favoured language before Swift) feel like “banging my head against a wall” are still unavoidable.


Yet while hypertext went everywhere, programming without coding went nowhere.


As [Douglas] Adams recognised, HyperCard didn’t dumb down; it simplified up. The way it shoehorned objects and classes into a mundane Rolodex metaphor made advanced principles concrete, so users could bash them around and see for themselves what they achieved instead of having to learn dry theory before they could even start on syntax.