Tag Archives: apple

Why Monoculture

At some point, I don’t remember exactly when, I told my family that since I didn’t use Windows in a professional capacity and I didn’t use it personally, there was no way I was going to go to the effort of becoming and staying smart about Windows, and if they wanted me to do tech support, well, that was just too bad. I may even have been that much of a jerk in saying it, too. To my surprise, that was pretty well received. As a result, we mostly have Macintosh computers in the house.

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Why I Don’t Write Native Apps

Xcode sucks. That’s why.

Seriously.

This evening I thought, “Hmm, maybe for my next project I’ll see about writing an iOS client for my turn based game server.” So I started looking at a Swift tutorial (the language irritates me so far, but that’s just because so far all the syntactic sugar is solving problems I don’t actually have) and it didn’t seem too difficult. So then I went looking for a PGP library that would work with Swift, and I found one.

So then I cloned the project to my Mac and tried to build it. Build failed. Why? Well, it turns out that I needed to install a utility called xcpretty. No idea why, but that was easily solved. Then the build failed again. Why? Because some $@%! Ruby script wouldn’t execute. (Ruby? WTF? I thought this was an Objective C or maybe Swift compiler!) So then I had to get all comfortable looking for what Ruby wanted. Three scenes of Thor: Ragnarok later, I figured out to gem install xcodeproj¬†and now the build goes a bit farther, but now I’ve got another cryptic error message about how the link failed because the linker couldn’t find the OpenPGP¬†ObjectivePGP framework. The framework that the project is supposed to build.

You know what happens if I have a project open in IDEA and it’s missing a dependency? The missing dependency is underlined in red and the IDE will pop open a window where I could locate the missing thing. You know what happens in Eclipse, with the same situation? Same thing. MPW? Xcode? Nah. Apple’s developer tools reckon that it’s enough just to say, “Nah, that didn’t work.” User-hostile and user-abusive interface.

So.

Xcode sucks.

Sometimes Continuity Sucks

Facetime stopped working on my laptop sometime this year. I don’t know anyone far away with whom I actually want to chat, so I only use it when Junglemonkey goes out of town. She’s out for a few days and today the Badb came back from camp and of course we all want to see one another. Junglemonkey called my cell phone and complained that we weren’t answering Facetime and we were pigs. It turns out that my iPod’s application was working okay (but we didn’t hear it beeping, in the other room, in my purse, etc.) but my laptop’s app wasn’t. It never rang. I should know, I was sitting at my computer while it was failing to connect.

Eventually, I got it sorted out. It turns out that this is a thing – some unspecified change gets made to an obscure security file and suddenly Facetime and other messaging clients Just Don’t Work. Thanks, Apple.

My computer is new. The operating system is new. However, I’ve had a Mac laptop since 2003 and whenever I upgrade I migrate my user. Some of the files on my hard drive still date back to those early days. In this case, the problem file dated from 2006. Holy cow, 2006! That was two computers ago!