Tag Archives: rands

Thank you Movable Type

10 years ago I switched this blog from Radio Userland to Movable Type. Looking back, it’s incredible how mature the software was at the time that it could last this long. I didn’t stay current with updates; the version I was running was ancient by any standard.

I’m planning some new blog-related experiments soon, so it was time to migrate to a new blogging app. While I still prefer static publishing, after evaluating a bunch of options I ended up going with WordPress. I don’t love it, but it has one feature that is more important than anything else: I’m fairly confident it will be around and well-supported 10 years from now. Rands recently made a similar choice.

I preserved every blog post URL from the previous version of the site so that links don’t break. This wasn’t trivial. For a time it had me lost into the darkness of writing WordPress plug-ins, which didn’t work anyway, before finally coming to my senses and writing a script to post-process all the Movable Type titles into custom slugs.

The RSS feed is also the same, but not the RSS item GUIDs. This means you’ll probably have a one-time “mark all as read” in your favorite news reader. Apologies, but it was either that or never ship the new site.

There’s a little bit of cleanup and design work still to do. The site already looks much better on mobile devices, though. I’m excited to get back into regular blogging.

Photo filters

Rene Ritchie has a nice comparison of black and white filters in iOS 7 and third-party apps:

“To create the comparison, I took the screenshots posted on Apple.com, isolated the unfiltered image, loaded it into the other apps, applied their filters, and then took screenshots of the resulting images.”

I’ve been working on an iOS 7 app that’s partly about photos, though not actually a camera app, and I always thought it’d benefit from a single great black and white filter. Not as one of a dozen filters, but as the only filter in the app — something strikingly different that would be noticed. iOS 7’s built-in filters and apps like Camera Noir have made me reconsider. Why reinvent the wheel when so much good work is being done on filters by other developers?

Related, the excellent mobile photo workflow by Rands.

Apology letters

Great essay from Rands on Scott Forstall. It’s one of the first I’ve seen to capture what made Forstall valuable to innovation at Apple:

“While I’d continued to hear about the disdain amongst the executive ranks about Forstall after I left Apple, I was still shocked about his departure, because while he was in no way Steve Jobs, he was the best approximation of Steve Jobs that Apple had left. You came to expect a certain amount of disruption around him because that’s how business was done at Apple — it was well-managed internal warfare. Innovation is not born out out of a committee; innovation is a fight.”

One part of this executive shakeup that had me puzzled was the rumor that Scott Forstall refused to sign an apology letter about iOS 6 Maps. We’ve had a few open letters from Steve Jobs, and now one from Tim Cook. It seemed out of character to have a VP do it, someone who’s lesser known to the general public.

But then I ran across this letter about EPEAT from Bob Mansfield again, posted just a few months ago. It is signed only by Mansfield. It starts:

“We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.”

In other words: we’re listening, we’re sorry, and here’s what we’re doing to set things right. And I think that’s Tim Cook’s Apple. Proud and passionate about the products they’ve built, definitely, but always sincere. Arrogance has no place.