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Inessential

Brent Simmons’s weblog.
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NetNewsWire Now Running on iOS

Inessential By Anonymous 21h et 12min ago

Maurice Parker took his proof-of-concept code and moved it into the main NetNewsWire repo — and now we have a version of NetNewsWire that builds and runs on iOS. This morning, during my bus commute, for the first time I was able to read my feeds using NetNewsWire on my iPhone. So. Damn. Cool. * * * A TestFlight build is still quite a way away, I think. There’s still a lot to do. You could build it and run it on your own phone right now, but I wouldn’t recommend it yet. * * * I’ve been working on the app for five years. Most of the work is under-the-hood stuff — the UI is always the tip of the iceberg. UI is super-important, obviously,... Read the article
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NetNewsWire Now Running on iOS

Inessential By Anonymous 21h et 12min ago

Maurice Parker took his proof-of-concept code and moved it into the main NetNewsWire repo — and now we have a version of NetNewsWire that builds and runs on iOS. This morning, during my bus commute, for the first time I was able to read my feeds using NetNewsWire on my iPhone. So. Damn. Cool. * * * A TestFlight build is still quite a way away, I think. There’s still a lot to do. You could build it and run it on your own phone right now, but I wouldn’t recommend it yet. * * * I’ve been working on the app for five years. Most of the work is under-the-hood stuff — the UI is always the tip of the iceberg. UI is super-important, obviously,... Read the article
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Swift Generics Improvements

Inessential By Anonymous on 15/04/2019 am30 03:45:00

Several days ago Joe Groff posted Improving the UI of generics on the Swift forums. This proposal felt important — but it was, I hate to admit, really slow going for me to figure it out. For one thing, I had no idea what an “existential” is. This is no criticism: this stuff, like a scientific paper, has to be written precisely and with agreed-upon terminology. It’s just that I don’t know all the terminology. So, on another discussion forum, some of my friends were talking about it, and two people really helped with everyone’s understanding of the proposal: Greg Titus and Tim Ekl. And then Tim went on to write a blog post which explains all of this in a way that regular Swift... Read the article
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More Thoughts at Random on Blog Search Engines

Inessential By Anonymous on 14/04/2019 pm30 20:54:00

I can dream about how I’d build one of these. (I’m not going to! This is way outside my expertise, and I have other things to do.) Instead of having it crawl blogs, I’d have it download and index RSS feeds. This should be cheaper than crawling pages, and it ensures that it skips indexing page junk (navigation and so on). To get feeds into the system, I’d add an accounts system to the site. A registered user can do two things: 1) add individual feeds and 2) upload an OPML file of feeds (which they’d probably get from their RSS reader). Registration (with an email confirmation loop) would be required for feed-suggesting. And: a feed gets added to the crawl-and-index list once it’s... Read the article
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Wishing for Blog Search Engines

Inessential By Anonymous on 11/04/2019 pm30 22:20:00

One thing I wish we had that we used to have: blog-only search engines. You could go and search for a hash tag. Or for links to your blog or elsewhere. Or for keywords. Etc. It should have an API that returns RSS, so RSS reader users could set up persistent, updated searches. There used to be a bunch of these, and now there are none that I know of. * * * Sure, it’s easy to search on Twitter. But you only get things posted on Twitter, and it doesn’t search the content of linked-to articles. So you’ll miss all kinds of things. I can’t do this work myself — partly because I’m too busy with work and with other apps, and partly because I’m no... Read the article
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Inessential By Anonymous on 11/04/2019 pm30 22:09:00

Jeffrey Zeldman, Nothing Fails Like Success: On an individual and small collective basis, the IndieWeb already works. But does an IndieWeb approach scale to the general public? If it doesn’t scale yet, can we, who envision and design and build, create a new generation of tools that will help give birth to a flourishing, independent web? One that is as accessible to ordinary internet users as Twitter and Facebook and Instagram? I think so. I hope so. My part is to write a free RSS reader — and make it open source so that other people can easily use RSS in their apps. RSS isn’t the only part of the solution, but writing an RSS reader is in my wheelhouse. So this... Read the article
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WKWebView Rendering Latency in 10.14.4

Inessential By Anonymous on 04/04/2019 pm30 22:16:00

I noticed, starting in MacOS 10.14.4, that switching between articles in NetNewsWire was way less smooth than it had been. NetNewsWire uses a WKWebView to display HTML. Before 10.14.4, there was no perceptible delay when switching to a new article. With 10.14.4, there is. It’s quite noticeable, enough to be unacceptable. I did some more detective work, and I’ve narrowed down the problem a little bit. I’m using loadHTMLString(String, baseURL: URL?). The HTML is generated locally, and I set the baseURL because I want relative paths (especially for images) to get resolved properly. What I found: If I make baseURL nil, then the latency is gone. If baseURL is the same as in the previously-loaded article, then the latency is gone. Probable workaround Here’s what I’m exploring:... Read the article
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Inessential By Anonymous on 03/04/2019 pm30 20:00:00

On the latest episode of The Omni Show, Annette Fuller, Support Human, joins the show to talk about writing, storytelling, and helping people. And the Marvel Universe. And Harry Potter. And more. I love doing this show — it’s now about a year-and-a-half old. This is the 37th episode. (We publish every other Wednesday.) I love that it serves as a kind of documentation for a specific company with specific people at a specific place and time — and it’s also a good look away from the celebrities of the podcast world. What are the people like who — sensibly! — have hobbies other than recording podcasts? (Well, they’re pretty cool!) Read the article
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Inessential By Anonymous on 03/04/2019 pm30 20:00:00

On the latest episode of The Omni Show, Annette Fuller, Support Human, joins the show to talk about writing, storytelling, and helping people. And the Marvel Universe. And Harry Potter. And more. I love doing this show — it’s now about a year-and-a-half old. This is the 37th episode. (We publish every other Wednesday.) I love that it serves as a kind of documentation for a specific company with specific people at a specific place and time — and it’s also a good look away from the celebrities of the podcast world. What are the people like who — sensibly! — have hobbies other than recording podcasts? (Well, they’re pretty cool!) Read the article
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Efficient Software

Inessential By Anonymous on 02/04/2019 pm30 22:24:00

In an in-progress build of NetNewsWire, I turned off embedding the Swift libraries — which brings the app size down from 18.4MB to 6.9MB. Which is a huge saving, and I’m so glad we can do this now. It reminds me of a thing I’ve been thinking about. I don’t have anything super well-put-together — just some provisional thoughts. It seems to me that software uses electricity, and electricity use should be minimized for the health of the climate. Right? The larger the download, the more electricity it takes to download it. And, of course, in general, the more efficient an app is, the less electricity it uses. It’s not like making NetNewsWire smaller and more efficient will change the planet — but if every... Read the article

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