Archive for August 16, 2021

Monday, August 16, 2021

Switching Xcode Versions Without a Password

Keith Smiley:

sudo xcodebuild -runFirstLaunch

This works fine locally, but when updating remote CI machines, entering the password can be troublesome. Furthermore if you want to support having CI machines automatically switch between Xcode versions when testing upcoming changes, you may not have the opportunity to be prompted at all. Lucky for us, the sudoers file format, which configures the sudo command, allows us to skip password entry for specific commands with a bit of configuration.


  1. We specify just the xcode-select binary, using the absolute path. This allows all subcommands handled by xcode-select to be run without a password.
  2. The xcodebuild command also contains the one subcommand we want to be able to run without a password. Limiting this is important because otherwise you could run sudo xcodebuild build without a password, which could execute malicious run scripts or do other terrible things.

Working on Internet Explorer 3 and Google Chrome

Hadi Partovi:

25 years ago Microsoft released Internet Explorer 3.0, its first real salvo in the “Browser Wars”. This launch taught taught me how a giant corporation could move at the speed of a startup.


To motivate us more, I plastered the hallways with quotes from Netscape’s founder, Marc Andreessen: “Netscape will soon reduce Windows to a poorly debugged set of device drivers.” It reminded us that this new startup threatened to destroy all of Microsoft.


The Internet Explorer team was the hardest-working team I’ve ever been on. And I’ve worked at multiple start-ups. It was a sprint, not a marathon. We ate every meal at the office. We often held foosball tournaments at 2 am, just to get the team energy back up to continue working!

Sadly, there were divorces and broken families and bad things that came out of that. But I also learned that even at a 20,000-person company, you can get a team of 100 people to work like their lives depend on it.


This wasn’t a toxic pressure cooker of working against one’s will. The leadership worked hardest of all. Most of us were in our early twenties and it was a launch point for many careers.

Every member of this team considered it a highlight of their career.

Aaron Boodman:

Chrome was delivered without any sprints at all. The team came in at 9 and left at 5 (figuratively, people actually kept their own ~8h schedules) every workday for a couple years like clockwork. No drama. No broken marriages, no broken families.


How did chrome-team manage to deliver high quality software without death marches?

Funny you ask... Turns out that software projects actually benefit strongly from having senior technical leadership deeply involved.


Software engineering is engineering. Like other kinds of engineering, it’s a skill you develop over a lifetime, not a decade.

When I joined chrome-team I was in my early 30s. And I was on the junior side.

Most of the core team had already worked on one or two browsers before!

Having strong technical leadership has lots of advantages, but one of them is it naturally leads to a healthier cadence. These folks typically have to be home for dinner, and they’re old enough to know that death marches don’t work.

Update (2021-08-18): See also: Hacker News.

Twitter’s Chirp Font


Today, we released a few changes to the way Twitter looks on the web and on your phone. While it might feel weird at first, these updates make us more accessible, unique, and focused on you and what you’re talking about

Derrit DeRouen:

In the history of the company we’ve either relied on someone else’s typeface, from SF Pro and Roboto, to Helvetica Neue in our brand.


So, that brings us to “Chirp”, our first ever proprietary typeface.


Rounded tittles and punctuation introduce a humanist character. The result is a versatile, contemporary family (82 styles across Standard and Display!) with international sensibilities. It accomplishes exactly what we need and it has made itself the hero of our refresh.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper (via Hacker News):

Almost immediately, users began to complain -- with many saying the new font gave them headaches. (This writer is getting them too.)


Like seriously though how do you look at this and not see it in sPoNgEbOb tExT? It’s just bouncing a pixel up and down at random with every letter. I recognize some or this may be some kind of bad interaction with the Android font renderer but: I use Android!

Nick Heer.

After spending a some time in the official Twitter app today, I think I like Chirp in use. It reminds me of Franklin Gothic — a good version — and, at the weight and size I have set it to, engenders a feeling of precision and clarity that Twitter frankly does not deserve.

Update (2021-08-18): Jeffrey Jose (via Ashley Bischoff):

Twitter’s new font “Chirp” appears to be white-labeled GT America.

Update (2021-08-21): Jeff Johnson:

OMG I just discovered that “Reduce motion” in Accessibility System Preferences disables the Twitter Chirp font.

This also works on iOS!

iOS Dev Jobs

Dave Verwer:

Say hello to iOS Dev Jobs version 2.0! 🚀 It’s entirely new, and it now has native apps! 🎉


Whether a position is remote or on-site is by far the most important factor affecting whether you’ll consider it, so you can now filter by that. Then, you can set preferences on the time zones you’re available for remote work and what countries/states are convenient for on-site work. The complete set of filters look like this. You’ll only receive an email when jobs match where you’re able to work.


For companies, pricing for listing your job opportunities remains the same. You can post standard job listings for free and featured job listings for a reasonable fee.

Cheap MagSafe-Like Adapters for USB-C

Adam Engst:

Apple’s desire to move to a single jack that could do double-duty for power and communications was the beginning of the end for MagSafe. USB-C offers those capabilities with a generally well-designed connector that is both slim and bidirectional. The only thing USB-C is not is magnetic.


Magnetic charging nubbins, which are readily available on Amazon from a variety of random Chinese manufacturers, have two parts. A tiny USB-C nubbin sticks out slightly from the side of the laptop, and an L-shaped magnetic connector connects to your existing USB-C charging cable on one side and grabs onto the nubbin with the other.


In all honesty, the user experience with the magnetic nubbin isn’t as good as Apple’s MagSafe. Either the magnets aren’t quite as strong, or the “outie” design of the magnetic nubbin means that it’s more readily subjected to shearing forces that break the connection. The old MagSafe ports were “innies,” which made their connections a bit more secure. The other problem is that the standard Apple USB-C charging cable is thicker and less flexible than the old MagSafe charging cable. That makes it a little harder to connect successfully since the magnetic connector has to align perfectly with the nubbin, and it’s more likely to be disconnected by movement.

But, overall, he recommends them.