Archive for July 13, 2018

Friday, July 13, 2018

Changing Rules for App Store Screenshots and Videos

Greg Pierce:

When did Apple decide you can put a flat-out TV ad in an app preview video? Used to be really strict only allowing the app in use.

Max Seelemann:

Can someone explain to me how Affinity got through with a cinematic app preview that essentially violates all the rules there are for app previews?

- humans

- devices

- plenty non-screen content


Can we all do this now?

Dan Counsell:

Apple appear to have relaxed the rules on App Store screenshots… they never used to allow such gratuitous use of devices like this afaik. Also that MacBook is sitting screen down with its keyboard in the air, wtf!

Previously: Affinity Designer and Adobe Photoshop for iPad.

Affinity Designer and Adobe Photoshop for iPad

Jeff Benjamin:

With the resounding success and universal praise heaped upon last year’s launch of Affinity Photo for the iPad, it was only a matter of time before its companion app, the popular vector illustration tool, Affinity Designer, was brought to the platform.

After publishing a teaser almost a year ago to the day, Affinity Designer is making its iOS App Store debut. To celebrate, developer Serif is launching the app at a special $13.99 introductory price, a 30% discount off the full price.

Like Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer brings desktop-class high-level capabilities to iPad users. After using it, I can say that it is unequivocally one of the most impressive iOS apps I’ve ever used. Serif has taken full advantage of the iPad’s multi touch gestures in a way that allows users to pull off all sorts of quick shortcuts without delving deep into the app’s deep menu set.

Michael Love:

I expect @affinitybyserif will have to switch to a subscription model eventually, but until they do, even a full-featured Photoshop for iPad is going to have a tough time competing.


No plans for subscription here!

Damien Petrilli:

Affinity Designer on iPad might be a life changer for my design process. I usually only did sketching and research, now I can consider doing the mockups too.

Pretty neat.

Mark Gurman and Nico Grant (via Steve Troughton-Smith, Hacker News, MacRumors):

The software developer is planning to unveil the new app at its annual MAX creative conference in October, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The app is slated to hit the market in 2019, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private product plans.


The new versions of the apps will allow users to run full versions of the programs on Apple’s iPad and continue edits on different devices, the people said. The moves are similar to ones Microsoft Corp. has made as part of its software and services-focused turnaround in recent years.

Adobe’s customers, particularly in media and entertainment, are increasingly working on tablets rather than desktop computers, and have asked the company for the capability to make “edits on the fly” to their creative projects, Belsky said.

John Nack:

It remains unclear that anyone wants full Photoshop or similar on iPad, and I’d expect more of a Lightroom CC/Rush play (stripped down, rethought). We’ll see.

Update (2018-07-18): See also: Dominik Wagner.

Guido van Rossum Steps Down as Python BDFL

Guido van Rossum (via Brian Gesiak):

Now that PEP 572 is done, I don’t ever want to have to fight so hard for a PEP and find that so many people despise my decisions.

I would like to remove myself entirely from the decision process. I’ll still be there for a while as an ordinary core dev, and I’ll still be available to mentor people -- possibly more available. But I’m basically giving myself a permanent vacation from being BDFL, and you all will be on your own.

I can’t thank him enough for all he’s done.

PEP 572:

This is a proposal for creating a way to assign to variables within an expression using the notation NAME := expr. A new exception, TargetScopeError is added, and there is one change to evaluation order.

I’ve written a lot of Python code that would have benefited from that.

Update (2018-07-15): See also: Hacker News.

Update (2018-07-19): Jake Edge (via Hacker News):

The discussion around PEP 572 (“Assignment Expressions”) is quite probably the worst offender in the history of Python. It spanned multiple enormous threads, on two different mailing lists (python-ideas to start, then to python-dev once it was “ready”), spawned two separate polls (neither of which were favorably inclined toward the feature), and seemed, at times, interminable. Perhaps the most irritating part of it was its repetitive nature; the same ideas were brought up time and again, no matter how many times the PEP’s authors (originally Chris Angelico, who was joined by Van Rossum and Tim Peters toward the end of the process) and others repeated the arguments against them. It was clear that many were just reacting emotionally (and sometimes histrionically) to the proposal: not reading the PEP or any of the discussion, then loudly proclaiming that their opinion was clearly the only sensible one.


Much of what has been discussed is the PEP decision-making process and how that will change. Prior to his resignation, Van Rossum was the final arbiter of PEPs, except where he delegated his power to a BDFL-Delegate. Many see the role of the “Python Council of Elders” (PCOE) or the “design stewards” (two of the more popular names for the governing body) as largely finding the right person to delegate to for the decision on a given PEP. That group would also be the deciding body of last resort if consensus on a decision is not being reached.

But there is also the question of how long people serve on such a body. Some are calling for “lifetime” appointments with an understanding that folks can stand down at any point, while others would like to see people rotate out of those positions over time.

Update (2019-07-19): Andrea Daniele (via Hacker News):

More recently, van Rossum spoke with the people of the TFiR podcast about the origins of the programming language and the reasons why he decided to leave the reins of the project that he created, and the hints that some developers launched on social networks were a important factor for him to make that decision.

Apple’s 4-Pronged Media Strategy


Eric Young works in research and strategy for NBCUniversal. His understanding of Hollywood and the media landscape along with his strongly-held views on Apple made for a great conversation about Apple’s media strategy across music, video, news, podcasts and more.

macOS 10.14 Mojave Removes Subpixel Anti-aliasing

seelus (Hacker News, Reddit):

For anyone who wants to see whats coming when Mojave gets released without subpixel AA, I made a few comparison screenshots on a non-Retina display[…]

Peter Ammon:

Subpixel antialiasing is obnoxious to implement. It requires threading physical pixel geometry up through multiple graphics layers, geometry which is screen-dependent (think multi-monitor). It multiplies your glyph caches: glyph * subpixel offset. It requires knowing your foreground and background colors at render time, which is an unnatural requirement when you want to do GPU-accelerated compositing. There’s tons of ways to fall off of the subpixel antialiased quality path, and there’s weird graphical artifacts when switching from static to animated text, or the other way. What a pain!

This seems like a good engineering trade-off: simplify the code and testing, since the future is Retina. I say this as someone using an external 1x display. However, I’ve never liked seeing the colored pixels. I think text looks better with “Use LCD font smoothing when available” off and “Increase contrast” on. The worst part was that, no matter whether LCD font smoothing was enabled, there were always inconsistencies between different windows (even within the same app). That should no longer be a problem now.

Previously: Removed in macOS 10.14 Mojave, Mavericks Font Smoothing, Layer-backed Text Rendering, Anti-Aliasing in Leopard’s Menu Bar.

Update (2018-07-16): Colin Cornaby:

No idea what they did, but text does seem improved on Mojave B4. I can’t tell if it’s as good as subpixel AA, but it’s no longer offensive to my eyes.

Update (2018-11-12): Steve Sande:

Depending on the Mac’s display and your personal preference, you may find that text looks “better” to you when font smoothing is disabled by unchecking the box, or vice versa. The enabled setting provides a somewhat more bold-looking font with more anti-aliasing (smoothing jagged edges on curved lines and diagonals).


This last method provides a manual way to change the strength of font smoothing settings in macOS. Depending on whether you wish to have light, medium or strong font smoothing enabled, enter one of the following commands in Terminal, press Return, and then log out and back in or reboot the Mac.