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Rumor: Running iOS Apps on Macs

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I’ve heard more than once that at WWDC we’ll learn about how we can run iOS apps on Macs.

I’m worried, of course, that this will lead to the further degradation of the Mac UI, and even less incentive for developers to write Mac apps.

I’m agin’ it. But, also, I don’t know if it’s true and I don’t know any details — so maybe it would be awesome? We’ll see.

Or not see. Could be totally made up. Could just be speculation run wild.

PS “Agin’” is short for “against,” not “aging.” Okay?

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mcormier
49 days ago
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Ha ha, If you have to explain it in a PS note ...
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Making Apps Is Harder Than It Needs To Be

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With the recent talk about Electron and “Marzipan” — or maybe Amber or something, according to Mark Gurman — I’m reminded of a thing I think about kind of often: that making iOS and macOS apps is way harder than it needs to be.

For most apps (except games, I suppose), a huge percentage of the code might as well be written in a scripting language. We absolutely do not need to be writing everything in Swift, Objective-C, C++, or C.

“But Brent,” you say, “what about performance?”

Consider the case where you set up an animation and then run the animation. The system does that animation. Or consider Core Data — your choice of language doesn’t affect how fast it can read from SQLite. Or think of networking — it’s bound by the connection, not the speed of your code. Or think of pushing a view controller onto the current navigation view controller. Or setting up view constraints. And so on.

All this code might as well be Ruby — or, preferably, a scripting language designed for app making. (I would have liked an Objective-C-without-the-C.)

And the thing that would make it all so worthwhile is editing the code while the app is running. You could go all day without an explicit build step!

Sure, some of your code would still have to be written in Swift or whatever. The part that really does have to be fast. I’m a performance junkie myself, so I get this. (Evergreen’s RSS parser is fast, and I wouldn’t switch it to a scripting language.)

But most of most apps (again, probably besides games, about which I know nothing) could be written using a scripting language.

PS Yes, I’m quite aware that we used to have Fix & Continue. And WebScript.

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mcormier
79 days ago
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What Brent is looking for is called a REPL and they exist for binary languages.
bsima
78 days ago
You mean lisp?
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1 public comment
superlopuh
79 days ago
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The more I use Objective-C, the more I think Objective-C-without-the-C would've been cool. But we don't have a good enough C to replace it.
bsima
78 days ago
You mean Smalltalk?

The Canadian Cheese Cartel

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Allen Pike on Canada’s protectionist trade policies on cheese:

How expensive is cheese in Canada, you ask? Well let’s consider pizza, everybody’s favourite cheese delivery mechanism. There’s a big nationwide chain here called Boston Pizza that sells, among other things, pizza. A large pepperoni pizza at Boston Pizza is $30.28.

At Pizza Hut in the US, they currently have a deal on where you get a large pepperoni pizza for $7.99. That is less than $30.28 — even after health insurance premiums.

Now, would I recommend paying $8 for a Pizza Hut pizza? No. Would I recommend paying $30 for a Boston Pizza Pizza? Also no. Should we be eating pizza in the first place? Well, yes, pizza is delicious. As is cheese — but it’s slightly less delicious in Canada, because it’s god damned expensive.

I had no idea cheese was so expensive in Canada. It tells you how popular pizza is that it still sells at prices like that.

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mcormier
97 days ago
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Cheese is more expensive in Canada but the article fails to do an apples to apples comparison. It compares Pizza Hut to Boston Pizza and ignores that little thing called an exchange rate. $8 is currently roughly $10 CA. A large pepperoni is currently $20 CA or $16 US. The article even mentions that $8 is a deal and not the regular price. What’s the regular price?
rmdrimmie
95 days ago
We also have Pizza Hut in Canada. I just looked online and one deal for a large pizza offered by the closest store is $13. According to Google, $13 CAD is $10.30 USD. I can also pretty easily get a large pizza from a neighbourhood pizza joint for $10 CAD.
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Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg Respond to Cambridge Analytics Scandal

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Neither response even acknowledges — let alone apologizes for — one of the key aspects of this scandal: that Facebook knew this was a problem in June 2016, and by November 2016 knew that the problem related to the election, and they neither did nor said a thing about it. And that Zuckerberg went as far as to say it was a “pretty crazy idea” that fake news influenced the 2016 election after he knew that it did.

Also: neither Sandberg’s nor Zuckerberg’s post contains the words sorry or apologize.

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mcormier
116 days ago
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Sandberg’s post stated “deeply regret”. Analytica certified they deleted the data. What does that mean? They lied about deleting it?
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Marco Arment: ‘WatchKit Is a Sweet Solution That Will Only Ever Give Us Baby Apps’

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Marco Arment:

Developing Apple Watch apps is extremely frustrating and limited for one big reason: unlike on iOS, Apple doesn’t give app developers access to the same watchOS frameworks that they use on Apple Watch.

Instead, we’re only allowed to use WatchKit, a baby UI framework that would’ve seemed rudimentary to developers even in the 1990s. But unlike the iPhone’s web apps, WatchKit doesn’t appear to be a stopgap — it seems to be Apple’s long-term solution to third-party app development on the Apple Watch.

I’ve long given up on using any third-party apps on my Apple Watch, and I am so much happier for it. A year or two ago I would have been “Hell yeah”-ing this piece by Arment, but at this point I half feel like Apple should just get rid of third-party WatchOS apps and be done with it.

The one type app I think most people want is the one type of app Apple is never going to allow: custom watch faces. After that, the only thing good with Apple Watch is receiving (and responding to) notifications and fitness tracking.

I do think Arment is exactly right though that WatchKit will never be “good” until it’s more or less the same set of APIs that Apple uses for their own apps. Apple needs to eat its own cooking.

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mcormier
141 days ago
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“eat it’s own cooking.” The term is dogfooding. Eat your own dogfood.
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Nick Heer: ‘Reports of Google’s Newfound Design Prowess Have Been Greatly Exaggerated’

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Nick Heer on the new YouTube app for Apple TV:

None of these elements behaves as you might expect, primarily because the YouTube app doesn’t interpret swipes and scrolls like any other app. There’s no audible blip whenever you select something, and swiping around manages to be both sluggish and jerky.

The frustratingly slow scrolling is especially pronounced on the aforementioned horizontal navigation element because swiping just a little too far to the left will open the modal main menu panel that covers a third of the screen.

The slow scrolling is also apparent in the main menu panel. The scrolling “friction”, for lack of a better term, is such that swiping down just a little is unlikely to have any effect, and swiping down just a little bit more will move the selector down two menu items. It can be very difficult to get it to move one menu item at a time.

It’s a terrible, terrible Apple TV app. Much like Amazon’s new Prime Video app, it looks and feels like it was designed and implemented by people who’ve never even used an Apple TV.

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mcormier
155 days ago
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It is especially horrible. I regret upgrading the App.
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