I’ve added a new “theme” for my site here. I changed it due to wordpress all of a sudden not recognizing line breaks. Didn’t make a difference. Spent way to much time on that.
I’ve added twitter to the left side. I’m just going to experiment and see how I like it. It may stay or it may be gone tomorrow. Right now it seems kind of “cool” so I’ll go with it.
I wanted to add my build number from Subversion to my about window. Pretty simple by adding this code:
It works but puts too much info like:
I want to ignore the “M”, the colon and the number to the left of the colon. Getting rid of the “M” was easy:
I would do the same for the colon. But the number to the left of the colon changes. After a suggestion on the Real Software forums I added this:
Now I just see the build number and nothing else. Of course this will only work on your local copy. In order to permanently hard code it in I would need to create an IDE script to change the NonReleaseVersion number. So I did the following:
Then just add your build settings the the bottom of this.
So there you have it!
I hope that your next year will be everything you want it to be and then some!
I hope everybody has a Merry Christmas this year. Insert Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Festivus
or whatever you believe in.
Where have I been? I don’t really know. Time seems to go by so fast and the last time I posted was September! My consulting business always picks up towards the end of the year. I never accept that for some reason and think I will have an easy month of December off.
My App. I haven’t given up! But I’ve came to the realization that is pretty impossible to basically learn Objective-C from scratch and create an app at the same time. I feel at the pace I was going that my app would never get done. I really want to get it out the door or I will never finish it. I have to be honest with myself if I want to do this. Therefore I’ve decided to program my app in REALbasic
instead of Xcode.
There I said it! I felt like I failed in someway but I need to realize that there will be plenty of failures and successes along the way. When I can create a basic interface in a couple days versus struggling for a month I saw the writing on the wall…
I’m pretty new to this blog writing stuff and haven’t had to write my thoughts in quite a few years. I use wordpress and it has a pretty nice editor for a web app. Since now I have a MacBook I may be away from the internet on occasion but would like to create posts while away. Yes, I can just use a text editor but with MarsEdit I can format, add photos and preview without being online.
Not bad for only $29.95!
Check it out at: Red Sweater Software
Well I finally bit the bullet and joined the Apple Developers Connection (ADC) as a select member. I toiled with the idea for a while and since I was going to purchase some new hardware I could apply a discount. I’ve been using a first gen Mac Mini G4 1.42ghz since they came out and has served me pretty well up to this point. But I really needed something a little faster to develop on. So after discussions with my CFO
I decided on a new MacBook 2.16 ghz. I ordered 2 gigs of ram from Crucial
and after a LONG weekend it finally arrived. I felt kind of silly waiting for this thing to arrive. I probably scared the Fedex guy with my big smile. Laptop is working great for me. It is way faster and actually makes some tasks more enjoyable! I have it hooked up to my 24″ Dell monitor when I’m in the office.
The ADC membership has been pretty nice for me. You have access to other information that you can’t get as an online member. That includes Leopard seeds and documents. Can’t go much into that of course because of an NDA but after trying the new development tools I won’t be using Xcode 2.4 for my application.
I’m sure the way I will go about programming won’t make much sense to anybody. I look at it like I know what the end product needs to be. I have many tasks to get to that point and they all have to get done, so the order might not matter as much. Chipping away at the stone so to speak.
When I first started planning I wondered how I was going to update my app. I just figured it would be downloaded for each version and email notifications sent out. After listening to a podcast interview of Andy Matuschak creator of Sparkle Frameworks I found a simple solution for updating. It is called Sparkle.
Sparkle is a module that developers can stick in their Cocoa applications (five-step install!)
to get instant self-update functionality.
It really is a great framework and is easy to add to your app. I couldn’t get it to work at first as it was throwing me an error saying it is in progress. I had made a minor mistake on the XML file and thought that would be a simple fix but it wasn’t. After going over what I could have done wrong I discovered that I copied the wrong framework over to the copy files phase. Duh. After I got that fixed I ran my app and I had success! It downloaded the next build on the site and installed it.
I know that is a simple thing to add and I’m a million miles away but it felt good to actually accomplish something the first day!
Yep that’s right. I have done the unthinkable and have started programming my app today! You can only plan so much and at some point you just have to jump in and get going. Next post I’ll sum up my first day.
It wasn’t easy though. I had to ignore all the distractions around me. I closed my email, RSS reader and put on the rockin tunes on my iPod. My playlist of the day is called “My Wasted Youth”. If you ever listened to any hair bands during the 80’s I was listening to them today. My son came in and said something to me but I managed to ignore for a while. My lip reading skills aren’t up to par but I did catch the phrase “I want”.
I sang back back “I wanna rock!”
My son didn’t bother me for the next 3 hours. Poor guy!
I knew from the beginning that this project would require some kind of database. I have created custom databases in Access (blech!), Filemaker
and have some experience with Microsoft SQL for a few clients of mine. Of the two Filemaker was more enjoyable to use by far. I had thought about making my project with Filemaker but quickly realized that wasn’t the direction I wanted to go in. For doing custom work it is great and is powerful for most clients. But for selling as a product there is too much overhead for what I wanted. I could tell a Filemaker app pretty instantly just by using it. It does have it’s place of course.
I pretty much knew it would have to be a SQL back-end. It’s faster, plenty of documentation and would give me the option for growth in the future. As I said I have had a little experience with SQL so I was pretty confident about learning that language. The part that I wasn’t sure about was the different flavors of SQL. I looked into Microsoft SQL, MySQL, Openbase, REAL SQL Server, Valentina and Firebird. Microsoft SQL was dropped because I went Mac only. Hey, that was easy! MySQL has too many licensing issues. I’m not an expert on the licensing problems but I saw enough grumbling about it that I knew I didn’t want to deal with it. About the time I was researching this REAL Software came out with their REAL SQL server. At that time I was planning on using REALbasic so I was pretty excited. It seemed simple enough to implement. After a few emails I discovered their pricing wasn’t going to be anywhere what I had in mind. I have pricing in mind already for my app and I didn’t really want to go much beyond that. It came down to three. Openbase, Valentina and Firebird. Some thoughts on those three:
Since I decided to program in Cocoa this pretty much knocked Firebird out of contention. I would have to go through too many hoops trying to program around lack of Cocoa support. Since it is more of an open source type project I was concerned about support.
I’ve used Openbase for a while since it comes with Marketcircle’s Daylite software. I have used Daylite for my business since switching to Mac’s a couple years ago. I have NEVER had a problem with Openbase and Daylite. Rock solid is how I would define Openbase. They have very good support also. They also have a REALbasic module which looked pretty cool. As I narrowed my requirements Openbase was looking pretty good.
I saw mention of this on REAL Software’s forums. I just kind of glanced over their web site since I was almost set on Openbase. When I decided to do my app in Cocoa I took another look. They have frameworks for Cocoa, their licensing fee is awesome and their support is VERY good. They advertise their SQL database as fast. I wasn’t really concerned too much with that since I know that my app would work fast enough with an SQLite database. Definitely a plus though.
Well as I look above it was easy to see which one I picked. Valentina. It really came down to three things. Cocoa support, tech support and licensing fee. For $599 for their developer network I can embed their server in my app, can have up to 5 simultaneous connections, NO ROYALTY fee. Everywhere I looked their support answered questions in a timely manner. Yes, I know Russian is probably their first language but that didn’t hinder their answers.
Oh yeah and they are in Oregon. Home of the Bacon Mints!
Defining a start date!
Reading: Learning Cocoa with Objective-C
Yes, I’m back from a really nice vacation. Went to Big Sur, Redwoods, Mt. St. Helens, Portland and all points in between. Oregon is probably my favorite place. What other place can you find something like this:
I brought all kinds of programming books with me and don’t think I cracked open a single one. Two and a half weeks away really felt good. Now my batteries are recharged and I’m ready to rock and roll! Sometimes you really need to walk away to clear your mind.
Tomorrow I will be discussing my choice for a backend for my program.
Getting caught up on past emails, reworking Omniplan document.