inessential by Brent Simmons

September 2008


View of Seattle from the Bainbridge Island ferry.

Seattle skyline

Beneath Apple

When I read that Apple’s solution to the problem of the negative press around apps being rejected from the App Store was to add an NDA warning, I thought it was satire. It couldn’t be true.

But it appears to be true. If so, then someone is making a mistake. This behavior is definitely beneath the company that makes the software and hardware I adore and love developing for.

Apple folks: if there’s any way I can help you find a way out of this, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Dog Dreams

Kitty Poops! for very good dogs. (Via Sheila.)

Private properties and class extensions

I saw an Objective-C question on Twitter the other day — I forget who asked it (sorry about that) — but I figured I’d post an answer anway.

The question was something like this: “Do you use properties even for private instance variables?”

Answer: yes.

(I like properties. I like the way they simplify my code. I even like dot notation. If you don’t like properties, then ignore this.)

Here’s the thing: you can create private properties — you don’t have to declare all of them in the .h file. You can use a class extension (kind of like a category, but un-named) to declare properties.

It’s simple: in your .m file, add something like this:

@interface MyCoolObject ()
@property (nonatomic, retain) NSDictionary *myPrivateDictionary;

Note the MyCoolObject () part — unlike a category, there’s no name for the interface. It’s an extension rather than a category.

(For more info, see the Properties Overview in The Objective-C 2.0 Programming Language.)

Space Invasion

Finally bought my first iPhone game: Space Invasion. Too cool.

The Gold Rush is On

Joe Heck reacts to the news that Trism has made $250,000 since the App Store opened: “I about fell of my chair when I read that. I know a lot of folks have nice sales with the iPhone applications, but that just completely blows through any sort of expectations I ever had.”

NetNewsWire for iPhone 1.0.10 submitted

For folks asking about NetNewsWire for iPhone... I submitted 1.0.10 yesterday to the App Store, and it should appear within a few days, once it goes through Apple’s review process.

This version fixes a bug from the previous version where items wouldn’t get deleted as quickly as expected.

C4 pic

One of my favorite pictures from C4 last year: Guy English and Chris Parrish.


NetNewsWire 1.0.9 uploaded to App Store, will appear later

I just uploaded NetNewsWire 1.0.9 to the App Store. I don’t know when it will appear — last time it took about five days, so my guess is Monday the 8th, but it could easily be sooner or later.

NetNewsWire 1.0.9 fixes a bug sending clippings to the server. It also adds separate settings for keeping read and unread news items.

NetNewsWire plans

I’m working on four apps. But they’re all NetNewsWire.

Here are the current plans:


1.0.9 will be uploaded to the App Store soon, probably this week. It may take a few more days to actually appear on the App Store. (Last time it was five days.)

1.0.9 addresses the most common issues: it makes adding clippings more bullet-proof, and it adds separate settings for keeping read and unread items.

These changes were going to be part of 1.1 (in development), but I decided not to wait for the rest of 1.1: I wanted to get these changes out sooner.

(1.1 will address most of the rest of what people are reporting and asking for.)


NetNewsWire 3.1.7 will be released soon — probably this week. (It’s a bug-fix release. It should be the last of the 3.1.x series.)

At the same time, I’m also working on NetNewsWire 3.2 and 4.0.

NetNewsWire 3.2 will add a few small features and fix a bunch of bugs. It’s a transitional release, updating some (but not all) of the data from 3.x format to 4.x.

NetNewsWire 4.0 will be a bigger update: some under-the-hood rewriting, feature deletion, more new features, UI changes, and more. (It will require OS X 10.5 or better; it will still run on PowerPC as well as Intel.)

I don’t have a timetable — any guesses at this point would be wrong. Very early versions are in the hands of testers.

In other words, work continues, as always.