Tag Archives: wwdc

WWDC 2015, basketball, and cartoons

Throughout the week I posted about WWDC to my microblog, but I thought I’d write a longer post with the week’s narrative. It’s useful to have these to refer to in the future when all the WWDCs blur together and I’ve forgotten which event was which. Where it adds any details I’ll link to a few of the shorter posts.

So let’s go back to Sunday morning a week ago when I arrived in San Francisco, ticketless but ready to learn and meet up with friends. What a great day. First burritos and coffee in the Mission, then to Oakland for the NBA finals, game 2. I had signed up on the Golden State Warriors mailing list a couple weeks earlier to get in on the pre-sale tickets. Excepting the nearby San Antonio Spurs, I’m almost never going to just coincidentally be in the same city as an NBA finals game. I couldn’t let that chance slip by.

Golden State Warriors

And it was an amazing game. Outwardly I was rooting for the Warriors — high fives to fans when the team came back to force overtime, wearing my new yellow shirt they gave everyone at the game. But inwardly I was also marveling at LeBron’s dominance and happy to see the series tied up. I want to see this thing go to 7 games.

Monday was the keynote and later the Cartoon Art Museum / NeXT fundraiser, with beautiful art on the wall from one of my favorite films this year, Song of the Sea. Tuesday I tried to catch up on some code at Sightglass Coffee, watch sessions at WeWork, and installed the iOS 9 beta on my retina iPad Mini. In the evening on this day and others there were parties, though I only attended a few.

The Talk Show

The Talk Show live with guest Phil Schiller was a great surprise. I’m so happy for John and his success. Developers who have only known Daring Fireball after it was already fairly popular may need this important reminder: John Gruber started a dozen years ago with a blog that no one read, just like the rest of us, and this week he conducted the best interview of a senior Apple executive I’ve ever seen. If you think it’s enough to just throw random quips to Twitter, it’s not enough. Blogging is still the best way to build an audience. (Don’t miss Marco’s post about the event and what it means for the new Apple.)

I have very little to complain to Apple about this year. Maybe the keynote was a little long, but the topics they hit and the new user features and APIs were exactly right. I’ve got Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan installed and will require it for my next Mac app.

Golden State Bridge

Toward the middle of the week I wasn’t feeling particularly great — not sick, but not really upbeat enough to get excited about new APIs. I escaped the city for the afternoon on Wednesday, visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum and then walking down to Crissy Field toward the Golden Gate Bridge. I stretched my arms out wide to catch the wind and felt refreshed in a way that the stagnant weather back in Austin this time of year can’t hope to provide. I remember this tweet from 2012 and it’s always true again, year after year.

Thursday morning I caught a session at AltConf before heading to the airport. Flights were delayed out of SFO because of fog, so it was 3 hours waiting in San Francisco, and another 3 hours waiting in Phoenix after a missed connection. But it’s all good. WWDC was a little weird for me — not because of anything Apple did, just because I was a little wistful, and distracted by email and non-WWDC happenings too.

Nevertheless I’m inspired by the week. The success of both AltConf and now Layers, not to mention all the other smaller events and keynote watch parties, point to a very strong WWDC for years to come.

Clever code and WWDC

In his 9th essay about avoiding crashes in your code, Brent Simmons writes about learning to be even less clever:

“But over the years I’ve come to think that I should write code that’s about 10% as clever as I am. And I’ve come to believe that true cleverness is in making code so clear and obvious that it looks like nothing at all.”

I’m in San Francisco for WWDC this week, but without a ticket again. I took some time this afternoon — miles away from the hotel and Moscone — to reflect on what I’m doing here and what I need to do next. I’ve been to WWDC many times; my first was in 1996. And it has taken almost all of those years for me to understand the truth of Brent’s statement about being clever.

I also believe that a programming language can either encourage or discourage clever code based on the syntax it allows. I saw it with Ruby — programmers intent on fitting as much logic into a single line of code as possible. I think I see it with Swift as well, in operator overloading and maybe even a kind of rejection of Objective-C’s notorious verbosity. We’ll know for sure if we eventually see a Swift book in the pattern of JavaScript: The Good Parts.

Core Int 180 and Slack

We posted this week’s Core Intuition late last night. This episode is all about WWDC tickets, our plan for San Francisco, and when we’re going to adopt Swift.

We’re also trying something new for listeners, or anyone who wants to talk about programming, WWDC, and other Mac and iOS topics. You can get an automatic invite to our Slack channels for the show by visiting chat.coreint.org. Feel free to join in! I’ve been impressed with how well Slack works for this, and the great discussion that’s already happening there.

WWDC 2015 dates

WWDC will be June 8-12 this year, with a lottery for ticket selection. I’m not going to put my name in the hat for a ticket; I hope to save some money and let others have a chance. I’ll be in town for a few days to meet up with folks and attend AltConf, which looks excellent again.

The student scholarship page caught my eye this year. App submissions have to be written using at least some Swift:

“To be considered for a WWDC 2015 Scholarship, build and submit an app that showcases your creativity and technical skills. Your Mac app or iOS app must be written in Objective-C and Swift, or written entirely in Swift.”

I’m also starting to reset my expectations for a more full-featured, native Apple Watch SDK. I think we’ll see welcome improvements to WatchKit, but with the watch still weeks out from shipping, it seems too soon for a reimagining of the API by June.

Minimal UXKit

Brent Simmons reacts to the news that the upcoming Photos app for Mac uses a private UXKit framework. Instead of being the full UIKit-based replacement for AppKit that many developers want, Brent suggests it could be a minimal framework just to make some things easier:

“I could imagine a minimal UXKit that isn’t meant to replace AppKit but that can be used with both AppKit and UIKit. It might have UXColor, which would wrap UIColor and NSColor. Same with UXFont and UXImage. UXTableView could present a simplified superset of UITableView and NSTableView/NSOutlineView.”

Like Brent and many other developers, I started this same kind of compatibility work when porting Tweet Library to the Mac. I ended up abandoning the project because it’s a slippery slope to basically reinventing Chameleon. (Also, back in 2006 I ported parts of Microsoft’s MFC C++ framework to Cocoa and it was a lot of work. I’m not eager to repeat that process.)

I agree with Brent that we don’t necessarily need a completely new AppKit. I’d love to see Apple standardize the foundational classes which are nearly identical already — colors, images, and fonts, as Brent mentioned — as well as UI elements that could be the same without a real cost — views, buttons, labels, table cells, and maybe split views. These UX-prefixed classes wouldn’t do everything their UI and NS versions could do, but they’d allow developers to move more code into cross-platform layers of their app by sticking to the common properties and methods.

As tempting as it would be to throw in iOS-only classes like UINavigationController, I think that would be outside the scope of a minimal UXKit. Candidates should already exist in similar forms on both platforms.

WWDC 2015 is going to be fun if Apple attempts to tackle even a little bit of this. A minimal UXKit would strike a good compromise between the usual iterative improvements to AppKit and a more revolutionary change to the frameworks.

The third era of WWDC

“This is it,” a friend said to me as we were walking up Market Street with other developers, late at night as WWDC was winding down several years ago. The iPhone had hit. The conference was getting bigger. Apple was on the verge of becoming a giant in the industry and you could feel it in the air — a coming change that was obvious only from a distance because it disappeared as you reached for it, like San Francisco fog rolling over the bay. “This is the height of the conference and it’s never going to be like this again.”

Looking back it perfectly captured what I think of as the second “era” of WWDC. It was a kind of golden age for Mac and iOS developers, with a new generation of successful Mac indies and before the iOS race to the bottom was much past the starting line.

From my perspective, learning Mac development in the mid 90s, there are three distinct eras of Apple’s WWDC. My first WWDCs were at the San Jose Convention Center. The developer base was small enough that you consistently ran into everyone, companies like Metrowerks and even Adobe seemed to have an influence on the conference, and Apple frequently showed off new APIs that might not actually ship soon or ever. It was an exciting time to be a Mac developer but the rest of the world didn’t care. This was the backdrop for the failed Copland project, for Steve Jobs coming back, for the clash between Carbon and Cocoa, and the acceptance of Mac OS X.

The next era was at the move to San Francisco. The conference was getting bigger but Apple attempted to keep the events and themes that made WWDC the same, even for a while busing attendees to the beer bash in Cupertino. This is the time when the iPhone SDK arrived and the conference exploded. I think most developers will always look back at this time as something amazing. It’s the backdrop for that walk up Market Street and a dozen similar conversations.

Now we’re in the third modern era of WWDC, with one undeniable characteristic: a small percentage of developers can get a ticket to the conference. The community, however, is as strong as ever, and there’s still a desire to have WWDC be that “one place” that developers can meet each year. It’s a need that smaller, regional conferences, no matter how important they are, just can’t fill.

I like this post from James Dempsey because it starts with the assumption that not getting a WWDC ticket is the new normal:

“Once something changes from being dependably available to rarely available, you begin to form alternate plans and take alternate paths.”

He’s right. Since it’s likely that Apple will continue to iterate slowly instead of making major changes to grow the conference, we’re better off adapting. By adapting we can focus on preserving the community aspects of WWDC that are arguably just as important as the technical tracks.

And change comes slowly to WWDC. I realized while watching (https://developer.apple.com/tech-talks/videos/) recently that Apple just doesn’t see a big problem. John Geleynse described a situation where only one person from a team is at WWDC; the rest of the company is back at the office watching videos and sending questions to their coworker at the conference to ask in the labs. Getting videos out the same day makes the conference more useful for both those without a ticket and actual attendees (and their team) too.

(I still have complaints about how WWDC tickets are distributed and why Apple doesn’t attempt to grow the conference a little more, but the lottery is an improvement over last year. See Core Intuition episodes 132 and 133 for a full discussion.)

I’ll be in San Francisco for a few days next week — at AltConf, at the Cartoon Art Museum fundraiser, catching up on session videos, waiting in line for coffee, hiding in my hotel room writing code, and getting some good food and drink with fellow developers. WWDC means something different now, but it matters just as much as it always has. Hope to see you there.

Why we built Sunlit


You have that feeling when hanging out with friends — everyone snapping pictures of their surroundings, of people, events, food, anything — that photo sharing should be better. That years later, you should be able to go back to that time, to see the best photos collected together from several people. And not just photos, but maps of where you were, and text to describe its significance.

One afternoon before Çingleton in 2012, this subject came up as Jonathan Hays and I were taking photos around Montreal. It seemed remarkable and disappointing to us that there was no easy way to put those photos together. And I liked the idea of buildling a new app around photos, with the same themes of curation and preserving past events that are so important to my other Riverfold products.

So we let the idea sit in the back of our minds, and later we wrote a little code as time allowed. At the App.net hackathon before WWDC 2013 we dove into the project in earnest, figuring out how it would sync, then over the summer took some more time to think through the user experience.

Sharing a single photo has been done a hundred times on iOS. Instagram was an important app to nail the timeline UI, and Favd is currently my favorite way to post and browse new photos (it’s really great). But hardly anyone has even attempted to tackle photo curation, group sharing, and publishing, let alone gotten it right. Sunlit 1.0 is our first pass at this and we couldn’t be more excited about trying to solve a new problem with photos.

They say you should spend money on experiences — on memories, not things. Sunlit helps you put those memories together, share them as a group, and rediscover them when it matters. The first version will ship tomorrow. I hope you like it.

5 years of Core Int

Today is the 5th anniversary of Core Intuition. I’m really proud of what Daniel and I have been able to do with it. In our first episode, we set up a basic structure for the show — the length, segments, and theme music — and we’ve stuck to it for 91 episodes.

About the only significant change was when we added sponsors last year, allowing us to take the podcast weekly. Since then we’ve actually recorded the bulk of the episodes. Sponsorships pretty easily exceeded my expectations, and I’m very thankful to all the small and large companies alike who have helped support the show.

Today’s episode covers my recent server move to Linode, which I’ll write more about here later, and a question about the mix of developers at WWDC. Maybe it’s fitting that our first episode was also about WWDC. I like that every year, when the podcast gets a little older, the timing works out such that we’ll likely be revisiting similar, pre-conference topics. Because these couple weeks, leading up to and including WWDC, really define the best part of being a Mac or iOS developer.

No new Apple products yet

Don McAllister is worried that Apple hasn’t announced anything new this year:

“I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get a bit twitchy about the lack of product announcements from Apple. […] It’s usually quiet after Christmas, but by this time last year we’d already had the iPad 3 launch and the announcement of Mountain Lion.”

A few replies on App.net to Don’s post also caught my eye. Simon Wolf said:

“As a developer, a bit of breathing space between iOS and OS X versions is actually rather nice.”

Like many folks, I have a mountain of work to do and I always seem perpetually behind schedule. Apple’s aggressive releases add even more anxiety about updating apps to keep up with the latest APIs and hardware. I would be perfectly happy with Mac OS X and iOS releases on alternating years, and new hardware either when it’s ready or at predictable event dates like WWDC.

WWDC 2011 keynote: diversify

This year’s WWDC keynote was one of the most significant of the last few years. Twitter integration and iCloud were the highlights for me, although at the end of the week I’m still not sure when or how I’ll be able to use either. But I love that it was a software-only event — that’s how WWDC should be — and I love that there were major new features on both of Apple’s platforms.

A few of the announcements seemed to have significant overlap (if not direct competition) with third-party developers, in particular Instapaper, Camera+, and the dozens of to-do list apps in the store. You can see some of that live reaction in a “collection of tweets”:http://tweetlibrary.com/manton/wwdc2011 I put together at the conference.

My first thought for Marco Arment was that he should come out with a new product. Not because I’m worried about Instapaper, but just because I’d love to see what he’d build next. “Marco is still upbeat on Instapaper’s chances”:http://www.marco.org/2011/06/06/safari-reader-and-instapaper for continued success:

“If Reading List gets widely adopted and millions of people start saving pages for later reading, a portion of those people will be interested in upgrading to a dedicated, deluxe app and service to serve their needs better. And they’ll quickly find Instapaper in the App Store.”

Yet here’s Dave Winer, “reflecting on when Apple competed with his product”:http://scripting.com/stories/2011/06/06/anotherGreatSboringsLovely.html:

“I think the answer is to find meaning in your work independent of what happens with the fickleness of the platform vendor and its developers. I went on to take the same software that Apple crushed and turned it into blogging, RSS, podcasting, web APIs, all kinds of cool stuff. And yes it did eventually make me a bunch of money. But not the way everyone thought it would.”

As Dave used to say, zig where they zag. Find the unique value in the apps you build and spin those out as separate products or use as inspiration for new features. Daniel and I have talked about this on Core Intuition: pull your app’s strength into a competition advantage by reusing code and adding more depth than anyone starting from scratch.

By playing to your strengths, you can do more, faster. Every indie Mac and iOS developer should be thinking about a suite of products.

“Justin Williams hits this”:http://carpeaqua.com/2011/06/07/the-agony-and-the-ecstasy-of-wwdc/ in the context of WWDC:

“Some people grow frustrated by Apple continually making inroads in existing developer’s territory, but it comes with being a part of the platform. The key is to ensure your product lineup is diverse enough that you can survive taking the blow Apple may offer at the next keynote.”

You should make the choice to diversify before you’re forced to make it, because WWDC is already a full year of choices rolled up into one week. Dropbox/Simplenote and iCloud, OAuth and Twitter.framework, iOS 4 and 5, Retain/Release and ARC. Like the “Persians deliberating while both drunk and sober”:http://skepticalphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/09/persian-strategy-deliberating-while.html (“via Buzz Andersen”:http://twitter.com/buzz/status/76502320514465793), if you make any real decisions during WWDC’s info intoxication, make them again a week later.

Marco has a clear advantage over his new competition, though, regardless of whether he creates new products or sticks with Instapaper. “Send to Instapaper” is built into every great Twitter app and newsreader. It took years to build such widespread integration, and it won’t be easy (even for Apple) to be on equal footing with such a well-loved and established brand.

Tweet Marker

So you want to sync the last-read tweet with all your different Twitter apps on iPhone, iPad, and Mac? Yeah, me too. While I hope to build a version of Tweet Library for other platforms, what I’d also love is to be able to switch between clients and know that each one will pick up where I was last reading in the timeline.

That’s why I’m introducing a new service for Twitter developers: “Tweet Marker”:http://tweetmarks.net/.

I’ve already showed it off to a few developers, and if you’re writing a Twitter app I’d love for you to support it too. It will be baked into the next version of Tweet Library.

There are still some unknowns (especially around whether I will need to ask for help to cover hosting costs), but I wanted to launch it now before WWDC so that other Twitter app developers meeting at the conference can give me feedback on the service. Tweet Marker has actually been running for months, and when an opportunity came along this week for a new logo (“thanks Alex!”:http://dribbble.com/solonsky), I knew it was past time to finish documenting the service and get it out.

To be successful it needs at least 2 apps to support it (I’ll supply one of those). I’ve tried to solve all the other basic problems. It’s simple, fast, scalable on Heroku, and protected so that mischief-makers can’t tamper with tweet IDs.

Send me an email or find me in person next week if you have any feedback.

Update: This post has been updated to reflect the service name change from Tweetmarks to Tweet Marker.

Clipstart for iPhone?

You know it has been a good conference when you come back inspired, with ideas and tools to build new things. No surprise that WWDC was like that for me, as it is pretty much every year.

Even before the keynote was over I was getting questions — which continued all week — about whether I had iPhone plans. At the very least, Clipstart 1.1 needs to be able to import videos off of the 3GS. “That’s in beta now”:http://www.riverfold.com/forums/topic.php?id=26. But what about a native phone app?

I’ve convinced myself over the last couple weeks, after listening to what people are doing with their phones and evaluating the existing applications in the App Store, that Clipstart for iPhone would be a very useful app. Video on the 3GS is a big deal. Eventually I can see a new top-level Video category in the App Store, and whoever is in that list is going to do very well.

“Neven Mrgan”:http://mrgan.tumblr.com/post/124025728/wwdc-2009 sums up the urgency:

“I’m sure Phil Schiller’s prediction of iPhone 3GS quickly becoming the most popular video-capable phone — if not the most popular consumer video device period — is right on the money. A message for those working on apps that help us shoot, edit, organize, and share quick, casual video clips: get ready to get busy.”

I’ll admit that after WWDC I panicked, thinking for a moment that I had to deliver Clipstart for iPhone immediately, and drop everything I’m doing to make that happen. I no longer believe that. The Mac version of Clipstart has a lot of potential and I can’t get too distracted from following up on that. But at the same time I will be expanding what I do on the phone, so we’ll see where that goes.

WWDC 2008 wrap-up

Yes, this post is a month and a half late. I could probably just re-post what I wrote in 2007 and it would almost pass for this year’s WWDC review. Just insert more iPhone and more beer.

Instead of a formal write-up, I wanted to piece together the week from Twitter posts, but that proved tedious enough that I had to write a little app to help me out. I started by adding my own relevant tweets for WWDC week, then threw in a dozen people I follow and selectively picked the tweets that were significant or about events for which I didn’t directly post.

So here you go. How I remembered WWDC 2008, in 95 tweets.

manton: Totally forgot about partitioning my MacBook for potential 10.6, but (surprise!) it’s still partitioned from last time. Now packing. Sat 06:14 PM

manton: Woke 20 minutes before my alarm. Making coffee for my taxi driver / wife. Sun 03:52 AM

manton: Migas in AUS while waiting for my plane to get here. As usual arrived way too early. Sun 06:26 AM

manton: I brought a Wiimote with me for testing and the lights are blinking. Suddenly paranoid about Bluetooth on planes, so taking batteries out. Sun 06:28 AM

manton: San Diego airport. Slightly delayed flight. Never been here but it looks like the worst place for a layover. Sun 10:15 AM

manton: Landed at SFO. Sun 01:08 PM

willie: bart Sun 01:25 PM

manton: Still surprised to run into other devs in person. Almost adjusted from online to real world. Sun 03:03 PM

duncan: Bumped into @willie @manton and @phi Sweet!!!!! Sun 03:39 PM

dmoren: en route to sfMacIndie via Moscone West… Sun 05:16 PM

brentsimmons: At Jillian’s — Tommy’s next. Sun 07:45 PM

dmoren: chilling with @clint and @ejacqui. I do not know where in SF they have taken me. Hope I make it to the keynote tomorrow. Sun 08:38 PM

bmf: Tommy’s’d! http://snipurl.com/2en8i Sun 10:47 PM

ccgus: chiefton! Sun 11:34 PM

gruber: Fucking-A, @nevenmrgan, @seoulbrother, @manton, not a bad scene at all. Mon 12:21 AM

danielpunkass: I’m so not going to Denny’s. I am at home away from home in my sweet friends’ guest room. Final tweets then good night. Mon 02:21 AM

rtmfd: Running on fumes, tequila fumes. Mon 06:35 AM

manton: Set my alarm for 9am. Woke at 7 with the sun streaming through the windows. Aeiii. Mon 07:34 AM

chockenberry: I will be happy to demo [REDACTED] apps during WWDC. You can touch it. Mon 08:07 AM

manton: And I’m in. Mon 09:53 AM

moonshark: in the WWDC keynote, good view considering the crowds Mon 09:56 AM

atomicbird: Al Gore is here Mon 10:02 AM

gruber: Holy shit $199 for 8GB Mon 11:48 AM

twelvelabs: Happy to finally get to see several months of my work shared with the rest of the world. Mon 12:07 PM

manton: Apple published a Snow Leopard press release before even showing developers? Not cool. Mon 01:28 PM

manton: Graphics and Media, don’t let us down. I’m hovering dangerously between disappointed and satisfied from this morning and early afternoon. Mon 04:58 PM

brentsimmons: Heading for buzz’s party. Mon 06:57 PM

manton: Dinner and good "best of the day" discussion with @willie, @moonshark, and work folks. Heading to Buzz party. Mon 08:31 PM

manton: Choosing sleep. Tue 12:24 AM

manton: Forget 3G, forget GPS. You know what I would pay $199 for? Flagging messages in MobileMail. Tue 12:35 AM

buzz: Well, I think we can call the party a success. Tue 12:45 AM

manton: Guessed i picked the wrong session. Mostly new people based on the show of hands. Tue 10:40 AM

manton: Session hopping is much better than seeing yet another intro to Xcode demo. Tue 11:07 AM

ashponders: @manton is not carrying anything today. I am jealous. Tue 11:24 AM

manton: iPhone view controllers. Nice thing about only playing with the SDK a little is that I’ll learn more this week. Tue 01:43 PM

brentsimmons: CocoaHeads tonight. 7-9 Apple Store. Presentations + Q&A. Tue 01:59 PM

manton: Almost the end of day 2, and I’m not sick of the iPhone yet. Tue 04:46 PM

manton: W too busy. Grabbing quick noodles at Metreon before CocoaHeads. Tue 06:30 PM

louielouie: At CocoaHeads WWDC – getting to hear about Objective-J first-hand woohoo Tue 07:05 PM

ccgus: I just realized I didn’t demo acorn in my pres Tue 07:45 PM

brentsimmons: Heading to Ars party. Tue 09:21 PM

manton: Good presentations at CocoaHeads. Outside full Ars party wondering what’s next. Tue 09:43 PM

brentsimmons: Tempest. Yest. Tue 11:31 PM

macdevnet: Back from Cocoaheads and Ars Party, I think I’m getting to old for this. Great to spend some time getting to know @manton though Wed 12:10 AM

manton: Why can’t I sleep in? This is annoying. It’s as if my kids are here virtually, waking me up across time zones. Wed 07:14 AM

manton: Pixar session is always good, got in early. Wonder what @SenorDanimal is up to. Wed 12:06 PM

ccgus: I lost manton Wed 12:08 PM

manton: Push stuff is elegant, but the team doesn’t seem to understand the scale of what they are building. Wed 03:04 PM

manton: Grand Central Dispatch. Cool stuff. Looking forward to randomly using blocks a lot before the fun wears off. Wed 04:06 PM

manton: Apple Design Awards. I didn’t enter, so I’m almost relaxed. Good luck to all. Wed 07:33 PM

willie: At ADA. We didnt enter because our lack of superfluous shiny technologies Wed 07:37 PM

manton: Congrats to @nevenmrgan on the ADA win! Wed 08:09 PM

manton: Twitterific won! Congrats @chockenberry, well deserved. Wed 08:14 PM

atomicbird: Best iPhone productivity app: OmniFocus Wed 08:15 PM

manton: Going to stay for at least part of Stump to support @willie‘s addiction. Wed 08:50 PM

manton: I don’t usually sit this close to the front. Scared. Wed 09:05 PM

willie: Involved in 2 stump points for the crowd this year. Rock. James Brown and the Quadra 840av. Wed 10:15 PM

manton: A surprising number of people I know are winning Stump t-shirts this year. Wed 10:28 PM

brentsimmons: At chieftain. 5th and Howard. Wed 10:47 PM

brentsimmons: Tempest now, folks. Thu 01:02 AM

manton: Using the iPod dock in the hotel room. Strange, but the first time I’ve actually ever used a radio dock. Sounds good! Thu 07:57 AM

manton: Wish there were Apple t-shirt sizes between kids 7 and adult small. Preferably in pink. Thu 09:48 AM

manton: Sitting in on Advanced Ajax for a change of pace. Thu 10:20 AM

manton: Typing lyrics into Google on iPhone to expand my WWDC music playlist. Thu 10:29 AM

manton: @atomicbird Tom Dowdy. It was a great tribute. Thu 10:36 AM

manton: Wasn’t going to see Dinosaurs, but intrigued after hearing a better description. Thu 12:26 PM

manton: Just passed @schwa talking enthusiastically to a trash can. Then noticed the earbuds. Thu 03:34 PM

manton: Debugging with WebKit session. Inspector just keeps getting better. Still like CSSEdit, buy may use it less. Thu 04:01 PM

danmessing: Apple bash time. Thu 06:48 PM

gruber: Thirsty Bear with Buzz Andersen and other malfeasants. Thu 09:05 PM

buzz: Drinking a Golden Vanilla beer with assorted Mac noteables at the Thirsty Bear. Thu 09:16 PM

willie: Barenaked Ladies – http://snaptweet.com/20fd8 Thu 10:09 PM

moonshark: Bare Naked Ladies – Apple WWDC Bash – http://snaptweet.com/3d7d5 Thu 10:11 PM

dmoren: totally just film-geeked out with @nevenmrgan. Hitchcock, bitches. Thu 11:23 PM

brentsimmons: Heading to Tempest. Thu 11:56 PM

danielpunkass: Tempest tonight was perfect crowd. Could have used several more hours of that scenario. ‘Tis a shame. Fri 02:27 AM

bmf: Dan M. wrote the "e" and ate the shit out of some toast. Fri 03:01 AM

danielpunkass: I got my ride home thanks to @manton‘s cab allowance. Thanks! Fri 03:06 AM

manton: Last WWDC session. It’s been a great week but can’t wait to be home. Fri 01:58 PM

manton: Dropped my badge at the hotel and going to wonder around. To everyone I missed saying goodbye to: safe travels and seeya next time! Fri 03:17 PM

manton: @brentsimmons @rtmfd I’m going to take a raincheck on last drinks until the next conference, need to go shopping. Was good to hang out. Fri 03:30 PM

manton: The Ms Pac-man in the W lobby doesn’t need quarters. Fun. Fri 03:43 PM

manton: Visiting the Cartoon Art Museum. Fri 04:04 PM

manton: Walking to Chinatown in search of gifts. Fri 05:24 PM

manton: Walking back to the hotel using the longest possible route. Feel very relaxed. Fri 06:08 PM

duncan: Taking @willie @manton @phi Daniel and crew to Luce. Oh yeah. Celebration of a long week. Fri 07:01 PM

willie: dining with @pinar @duncan @moonshark @manton & others. Good times. Fri 07:23 PM

willie: Pantade – http://snaptweet.com/dc8bd Fri 07:41 PM

willie: Bisque – http://snaptweet.com/d901c Fri 07:41 PM

ccgus: A great WWDC photo set: http://tinyurl.com/5rtwpu Fri 08:33 PM

willie: Study of Chocolate – http://snaptweet.com/04f07 Fri 08:41 PM

danielpunkass: I’m committing to never beat myself up again for missing lots of sessions at WWDC. The social contacts are priceless and inspirational. Fri 09:45 PM

manton: Great dinner with the work folks + @duncan, @pinarozger, and Daniel Steinberg (no twit?). @willie has the food photos. Fri 10:08 PM

manton: And that’s it. Catching a taxi to SFO. WWDC review: worst keynote, best conference week. Sat 06:27 AM

manton: Landed in Austin. Pretty funny flight crew made the trip back easier. Sat 01:31 PM

Second episode

“Daniel Jalkut”:http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/504/core-intuition-traveling-luddites and I just posted the 2nd episode of “Core Intuition”:http://www.coreint.org/. I’m not sure which is a bigger milestone: starting the podcast to begin with or sticking with it for at least two shows. I think the podcast is coming together well and the feedback we’ve received so far backs that up.

This episode feels a bit more content heavy than the previous one. We talked about what it’s like to work while traveling, tech books and some thoughts on the 3rd edition of Cocoa Programming by Aaron Hillegass, and then dedicated most of the last half to distributed version control systems such as Git. Even though it is just days before WWDC, we only touched on WWDC indirectly. I expect there will be enough to talk about after next week to fill more than a few shows.

Editing the show continues to be a challenge but it’s so rewarding, just being able to slowly craft the episode from the recordings. You tell a little lie every time you tweak the original source audio, but hopefully the end product feels more authentic or at least fresh. It makes me appreciate even more the work Ryan does on “The Talk Show”:http://www.thetalkshow.net/. Our goal is to improve the quality each episode until we reach a point we are happy with, so if you have any feedback I’d love to hear it. After WWDC I’m going to invest in some real headphones. I was shocked how different the show sounds between my speakers, cheap headphones, and iPhone.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can now find the “listing on iTunes”:http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=281777685 and get it synced to your iPod or iPhone in just a few clicks. Enjoy!

WWDC 2007 in one post

Moof Along with most of our house, my office is packed up and ready to move this week. The photo to the right is of one of the handful of items in a box labeled “Manton’s desk,” or, if someone else had her way, “Random junk Manton saves to remember the past but which should really be in the trash can.”

It’s unopened Moof beer from WWDC 1996, my first WWDC. At 20 I was too young to drink, but I probably would have saved it anyway. That was back when Apple gave you cool stuff and not just another cheap laptop bag.

This year’s WWDC will probably go down as one of my favorites. The keynote was a bit dull, but it was offset by the reality that Leopard is a mature and usable system. I have been running all my primary apps off of it since last week, including Mail.app, NetNewsWire 3.0, and Xcode.

I couldn’t place the feeling at the time, but now I realize that last week’s sessions were, in a way, relaxing. There was no sense of urgency. Most of the sessions I attended were practical, full of hands-on advice for preparing for Leopard and many applicable to Tiger development as well. I got a lot out of the week, and when I decided to skip out on Friday it didn’t feel like the world would come crashing down because of it.

James Morrison Other highlights of WWDC 2007 were away from the sessions: walking Chinatown with Willie on Sunday in search of the illusive bakery item; hitting the SF Mac Indie party that night and hanging out with fellow developers afterwards; Buzz Andersen’s party Monday, catching up with Lane and the host; the Dan Benjamin annual breakfast; Apple Design Awards on Tuesday, which had a record number of wins for apps I’ve actually used; accidentally walking into a James Morrison concert at the Apple Store (left photo); being interviewed by Scott McNulty of TUAW, though I secretly hope they will decide not to air it; enjoying great Italian with the VitalSource team on Wednesday before catching the tail end of CocoaHeads; plus the Apple Bash and more drinks and discussion Thursday night.

Like at SXSW earlier this year, Twitter proves both cool and useful. I was lucky enough to meet many of the people on my Twitter friends list for the first time last week.

Of course it wasn’t all fun and games. I sifted through more legitimate Bookshelf bug reports than usual; I was exhausted pretty much every day; and there were a couple developers I had hoped to seek out that I just never made the time to.

All in all, though, a good week and now I’m ready to get back to coding.

Macworld 2007 predictions

“Dan covers his Macworld predictions”:http://hivelogic.com/articles/2007/01/04/macworld_2007 in great detail. Instead of predictions, since mine will probably be wrong, I’m going to list what I want to see:

Tablet. I tend to agree with “Steven Frank’s analysis”:http://stevenf.com/2007/01/wherein_i_predict_the_future.php more than “this former Apple exec”:http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1981815,00.html, but either way it remains pretty unlikely that a tablet is going to happen under Steve Job’s watch. At WWDC once Steve Jobs called the Newton a “little scribbly thing” or something similar, and it wasn’t long before he officially gave that division the axe.

Numbers. Some people still insist on sending me Excel documents. We need a simple application in the iWork suite that can natively read/write Excel documents and handle the basics.

Finder. I’m pretty sure Leopard will sport a new Finder, as well as user interface candy paint applied across the operating system. The only question is whether they’ve rewritten it from scratch and in the process introduced even more problems. I’m optimistic on this one, though, and expect an elegant UI evolution from the Finder team.

What I don’t care about:

iTV. See “previous post about DRM”:http://www.manton.org/2007/01/goodbye_itms.html. If I want to watch a movie, I’ll put in a DVD. However, I do hope to draw some inspiration from whatever they do and apply it to “Wii Transfer”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/wiitransfer/ development.

iPod Phone. I have no doubt it will be well designed, but it will also be at least $299 (guess). I have only owned a couple mobile phones in my life, and they were free or nearly free. The iPod Phone will have to be something no one’s even thought of yet for me to consider it. It’s kind of like “Nike + iPod”:http://www.apple.com/ipod/nike/, a luxury that I don’t really need.

Anyway, should be a fun Macworld. I haven’t been in years and I’m a little jealous of those who are attending this year. (But not jealous enough to want to get on a plane next week.) Part of me misses the old days, having a booth and talking with users or seeing what was new on the show floor. I was at the first Macworld keynote after Steve Jobs came back to Apple, while Gil Amelio was still in charge, and I’ll always remember it as something pretty special.

Reflecting on WWDC 2006

WWDC 2006 was great. (Yes, it was two weeks ago. Finally making time to blog again.)

I won’t dwell on the announcements too much, but I generally agree with some that there was nothing earth-shattering. We have only seen a part of what Leopard will become (an improved Finder and some unification of window and control types seem inevitable). The most exciting stuff is new APIs for developers, not flashy end-user features.

I had a great time hanging out, catching up with people and meeting new folks too. Buzz Anderson’s “Monday night party”:http://weblog.scifihifi.com/2006/07/23/party-time-excellent/ was excellent.

In addition to the new Leopard goodness (hello Core Animation and Interface Builder), I also came back with new excitement for a side project that I have been working on: an email client. I had stopped active development until hearing what Apple had planned for Mail.app in Leopard, but now I can safely say that they are going in a completely different direction than what I want to focus on.

Threads like “this one on Hawk Wings”:http://www.hawkwings.net/2006/08/21/can-mailapp-cope-with-heavy-loads/ (via “Steven”:http://stevenf.com/mt/2006/08/big_mail.php) also confirm that there are a number of users out there who want the same kind of things I want in an email client. Of course it has to be fast and scale, but I think I have a few twists on the old formula as well.

In San Francisco we also stayed an extra day and visited the Oakland museum, drove up to Point Reyes, and saw a great musical Friday night: “Putnam County Spelling Bee”:http://www.spellingbeethemusical.com/. I recorded a bunch of audio for an upcoming podcast, although not as much as I probably should have. There were a few times in particular I wish I had taken my microphone out.

San Francisco walk

It’s Sunday before day 1 of WWDC 2006. Willie and I took a walk this afternoon, down Market Street to the bay, following the water around to Pier 39, then up Lombard and meandering through quiet San Francisco back streets until we come through the middle of Chinatown and back to the hotel. Along the way I recorded some pieces of audio, hoping I could use them for a podcast I’m preparing about the city. Willie snapped pictures, almost all of which came out looking really good. I like this one of me trying to get the sound from underneath the cable car track.

I accidentally left the MiniDisc recorder going for a part of our trek, wasting a bunch of disc time. The UI is so bad on these devices that I don’t know how to cut out just part of a track, so I went off searching for a new disc. Over lunch Daniel Steinberg had showed me his M-Audio, which I had considered earlier and now pretty much regret not purchasing. Maybe I’ll eBay the MiniDisc recorder at some point.

Tomorrow morning is the keynote.

WWDC 2006 coming up

“John Siracusa rants a bit”:http://arstechnica.com/staff/fatbits.ars/2006/7/21/4727 about the lack of access to WWDC for non-attendees. I agree that the session DVDs, sample code, and other resources should be made available to everyone. But there is so much to the conference that can’t be bottled up for later.

I have been extremely lucky to have been able to attend WWDC for each of the last 5 years with “VitalSource”:http://www.vitalsource.com/, and a few years off and on before that. I think my first WWDC was 1996, which also makes next week my 10th anniversary of attending.

1996 was “Copland”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copland, the middle of the dark years for Apple. It was strange to be a Mac developer back then, to stay optimistic in the face of a barrage of bad press. I think it helped that I was “part of a small team”:http://www.purity.com/ that was passionate about this stuff. We couldn’t imagine building Windows software, although we did dabble in BeOS pretty extensively.

So, on to my hopes for this year. First, I have no idea what will be in Leopard. Like many people, I hope for some Finder improvements and an effort to bring the fragmented window and control types back together. I also assume that Leopard will have nice new features, and that those features will have developer APIs to go along with them.

Second, for the last couple of years I’ve believed that a Mac tablet is forthcoming. Tiger introduced two core pieces to this: handwriting recognition and portrait mode. “Patent rumors”:http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.php/archive/buzz_apples_new_accelerometer_patent_reveals_a_stunning_tablet_pc/ continue to hint at such a device. Judging by how many designers and animators have embraced the Windows-based Tablet PCs (for which the hardware mostly still sucks), I think an Apple-designed tablet could be extremely popular. This is the only piece of hardware I would literally buy on day 1.

Going to WWDC? Say “hi” if you see someone who “looks like this”:http://www.manton.org/me/293.jpg.

Weblog design update

I just rolled out some design tweaks and “realignment”:http://alistapart.com/articles/redesignrealign/ to this site. The original design (if you could call it that) was whipped together several years ago and hasn’t really changed much since then. It even used HTML tables, a fact I was oddly proud of. The new site uses hack-free CSS, although there is a layout bug for some content sizes.

I also added a podcast feed link to all pages, links to my Flickr, 43 Things, and Del.icio.us accounts, and each individual post archive page also now includes excerpts from other posts in that category. You can see this in action by visiting “this post from 2 years ago”:http://www.manton.org/2004/07/california_adventure.html. I’ve been clicking through my old archives tonight, and that one stood out because WWDC is fast approaching again.

Here are two before and after thumbnails of the same post. Not too exciting, but it’s nice to make even these small improvements. Next up are some planned design-y things for the header.

Before After