Author Archives: manton

Jeremy Keith on Presentable and the IndieWeb

I know there are so many great podcasts that it’s difficult to listen to everything. I’m still making my way through all the commentary about WWDC. But I just finished Jeff Veen’s Presentable episode 25 this week and particularly enjoyed it.

Jeff talked to Jeremy Keith about his new web design book, and about the web industry repeating the same old mistakes, with a really great discussion about the IndieWeb. When asked about how people prefer to post on a social network, because maybe fewer people will find their own site, Jeremy said:

I always get frustrated when people talk about this as a reason not to do something. For me, that was the whole point of the web — that nobody was stopping you. You’re right, maybe nobody will read this thing that I’ve published, but I could publish it and nobody was stopping me. To see people stop themselves, to act as their own gatekeeper…

There’s much more that I can’t capture in a truncated quote. Highly recommend listening to the full interview in context.

Core Intuition 286

We just posted a new episode of Core Intuition. From the show notes:

Manton and Daniel compare notes on recent MacBook Pro repairs and the relative merit of purchasing AppleCare. They react to Tim Cook’s admissions that an Apple “car” project exists and is still underway. Manton looks on the bright side of “Planet of the Apps,” and Daniel looks on the dark side. Finally, they talk briefly about the controversy around an excerpt from “One Device,” by Brian Merchant.

There’s still a lot to cover from WWDC. It’s a good time to be a Mac or iOS developer.

I didn’t quit a great job 2 years ago to go work on something I didn’t believe in. If Instagram is cool with copying Snapchat, showing more ads, and never improving their API… Hey, welcome to Facebook. I’d rather work on things that I think matter.

→ 2017/06/14 10:47 pm

Interesting how much leeway we give to Instagram because their 1.0 was so great. API that doesn’t allow posting? Should be unacceptable.

→ 2017/06/14 9:41 pm

What’s happening

Because I don’t follow anyone on Twitter, about once a week I’ll randomly click through a few Twitter user profiles to see if I missed anything interesting. Usually the answer is no. If something important is happening, it’s also being discussed in more detail on blogs, and I’ll see it.

Yesterday I checked on the last tweets of a few developer friends who stopped posting either after the election or on inauguration day. I have a lot of respect for anyone who makes a quiet, peaceful stand on principle. It’s not easy to go against the flow.

The 2016 election was a disaster. It still hurts to think about it. I keep telling myself and others: heads down, keep working. I have to believe we can get through this.

Today another story exploded on Twitter: a shooting at a congressional baseball practice. If you had clicked through from the trending links on Twitter this morning you’d have seen the worst speculation, misinformed partisan tweets, and unhelpful “facts” before we knew what really happened. When we should all be striking a solemn tone for the injured, the tweets instead quickly turn dark.

For a service that prides itself on breaking news, Twitter is an absolute dumpster fire in times like this. The best of Twitter is the thoughtful tweets and discussion, connecting new friends and diverse opinions. When real news breaks, the service runs uncontrolled, in fits of nervous energy and hate. It’s a terrible place.

Micro.blog will never have trends, search, or even retweets until we can elegantly solve this. The world doesn’t need another platform with so much manipulative power.

Today’s update to Reeder for iOS includes initial support for JSON Feed. This is my default feed reader, so very happy to see this.

→ 2017/06/14 1:16 pm

Eyvind Earle’s painting how-to

When I was in San Francisco last week, I visited the Eyvind Earle special exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum. Eyvind was a background painter and concept artist on Sleeping Beauty and other 1950s Disney features. I love this series of small paintings he made to train his assistants:

Today, something like this would be done digitally in layers. In 1959, he had to paint each layer multiple times to fully demonstrate the technique. No shortcuts.

Whenever there’s a new Nintendo announcement at E3, I remember that I still own @wii on Twitter. No one knows why.

→ 2017/06/13 2:36 pm

I expect that iOS 11 will get developers excited about building universal apps again. I know it has for me.

→ 2017/06/13 2:09 pm

Apple podcast spec changes

At WWDC last week, Apple introduced changes to their RSS feed extension for podcasts. Before reviewing the session, I was worried that Apple would be moving to Apple News Format instead of RSS. That would’ve been a major setback for the open web, since Apple News Format is such an app-specific, closed format, controlled by a single company. Luckily the actual changes Apple introduced are pretty minor and shouldn’t upset the status quo much.

There are 2 sets of changes: support for supplementary episode types, like bonus content; and metadata for show seasons, likely influenced by popular shows like Serial, where people new to podcasts might be confused about where to start listening. There are a few new tags for these types of shows under the itunes RSS namespace.

Episode type is the simplest change. It looks like
<itunes:episodeType>full</itunes:episodeType>
and can have values “full, “trailer”, or “bonus”.

For seasons, the episode number and season number can be split into separate elements. It’s compatible with the traditional RSS title, so there’s little downside except extra clutter in your RSS feed. Here’s an example:

<channel>
  <itunes:type>serial</itunes:type> <!-- or "episodic" -->
  ...

  <item>
    <title>S01 Episode 01: The First Episode</title>
    <itunes:title>The First Episode</itunes:title>
    <itunes:episode>1</itunes:episode>
    <itunes:season>1</itunes:season>
    ...
  </item>

</channel>

Jason Snell’s first reaction to these changes was positive:

I’m excited by these changes because, yes, some of my podcasts are seasonal and are best consumed from the first episode onward. I’ll be adjusting my own podcast feeds to take advantage of Apple’s extensions as soon as it makes sense to do so.

Ben Thompson covers the extensions briefly and then focuses his weekly article on analytics and podcast advertising:

The new extensions are a nice addition, and a way in which Apple can enhance the user experience to the benefit of everyone. As you might expect, though, I’m particularly interested in the news about analytics. Problem solved, right? Or is it problem caused?

After reading Ben’s take, I don’t think these changes are significant enough to have much effect right away. That should be a relief to all of us who love podcasts and don’t want a shake-up.

When designing JSON Feed, we resisted adding everything that Apple Podcasts needs to the official spec. Now that more podcast tools have adopted JSON Feed, I expect there to be a discussion among developers about the best path forward for podcast-specific extensions in JSON Feed. That discussion should now include support for show seasons, too.

San Jose is less crowded

On Core Intuition last week, I said San Jose was “more confined” than San Francisco. I meant that mostly as a good thing, although I do miss the open spaces in San Francisco: the parks and incredible views near the water. Gus Mueller has a post about how San Jose felt closer together and less crowded:

In San Jose you had a clear view of the sidewalks and you generally knew who was a developer and who was a local. And because it wasn’t so crowded, you ran into people all the time. You didn’t have to organize meetups, you just kind of went out and you knew you’d run into someone to hang with.

Gus was also a guest with Marco Arment on The Run Loop podcast. They talked a lot about the different feel of WWDC in San Jose. Seems a universal opinion that San Jose is a good fit.

Game 5

“We remember what happened last year and how it felt in that locker room. We used it and built on it. And got back here. It’s amazing. It makes last year okay.” — Tim Duncan, after game 5 in 2014

I said on Technical Foul last year that the championship wouldn’t mean as much to Kevin Durant if he won in Oakland instead of Oklahoma City. But there’s something I didn’t realize until these playoffs: maybe it’s not going to mean quite as much to the rest of the Warriors either, compared to if they had won without Durant. Compared to if they had come back with the same team again, as the Spurs had done in 2014 after letting the series slip away the year before.

Kevin Durant was the obvious finals MVP tonight. He was the reason — with help from Zaza Pachulia taking out Kawhi Leonard — that the Warriors coasted through the first few rounds of the playoffs. He was the reason that LeBron James could average a triple double for the finals and it still wasn’t enough.

It was a good NBA regular season. It was a good last few games of the finals. But the playoffs were disappointing to many people because it didn’t look like the Warriors were going to have to work very hard to win. It wasn’t the comeback story it would’ve been without Durant. I’m hoping next year will be different.

A little bummed that I also lost my IndieWebCamp sticker when Apple replaced my MacBook screen. Gotta attend another Homebrew Website Club.

→ 2017/06/12 3:30 pm

Short-lived experiment of using the iPad Pro exclusively. Picking up my MacBook Pro at the Apple Store this afternoon. Apparently the screen needed replacing too. Happy to have AppleCare on this one.

→ 2017/06/12 1:46 pm

10.5-inch iPad Pro resolution

Federico Viticci reviews the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro at MacStories. On the screen size:

While some had assumed that Apple would take the same 2732 x 2048 display of the 12.9” iPad Pro and condense it to a smaller size, the company has introduced a new resolution in the iOS device matrix – a decision, I think, made to hit 264ppi on a 10.5” panel while retaining UI elements that are large and comfortable to tap. Cramming the large iPad’s display in this model might have resulted in a richer multitasking experience at an even smaller scale, but I believe touch usability would have suffered.

I assumed until reading Federico’s review that when my 12.9-inch iPad Pro was ready for an upgrade, I’d downsize to the new 10.5-inch. That no longer seems like a good choice. While my MacBook Pro is getting repaired this week, I’m using the 12.9 as my exclusive computer. The extra resolution in split view is really great. I don’t think I’d want to give that up.