Brent Simmons’s weblog.

OmniOutliner 3 for iOS

Inessential By Anonymous on 15/02/2018 am28 01:14:00

I’d done almost no iOS work since system 7 came out — but, once we were finished with OmniOutliner 5 for Mac (a release I’m super-proud of), it was time to go work on OmniOutliner 3 for iOS, and so they pulled me back in. :) I was just one person on a much bigger team, of course. I helped indent some things and helped with filters. But there’s a whole bunch more besides — it’s a big release. And it’s the first OmniOutliner for iOS release with a lower-cost Essentials version ($9.99). And it’s a free trial. And I’m super-proud of this release, too. Read all about it on The Omni Blog: OmniOutliner 3 for iOS is here! Get your free trial from the App... Read the article

The Omni Show #8: Orion, Bug Hunter

Inessential By Anonymous on 14/02/2018 pm28 21:22:00

In the latest episode of The Omni Show I talk to Orion Protonentis, recovering actor and stage fighter, friend of Shakespeare, and Software Test Pilot. The Scottish Play is mentioned, but only as “the Scottish play.” So we’re all good there — if you’re in a theater right now you can safely listen to this. Read the article

Brenty’s First Pod

Inessential By Anonymous on 07/02/2018 am28 06:49:00

RSParser is now a CocoaPod! It’s my first. I’m super-proud of myself for taking this the last few tiny steps of the way there — Silver Fox did all the rest of the much-appreciated work. This means that if you’re a CocoaPods user, you can now go forth and parse feeds. Still to do: support Carthage and Swift Package Manager. And, after this repo, there are at least a half-dozen more to do. But that’s okay — doing open source is what I signed up for, and learning and using the infrastructure is part of the gig. PS I really like what happens in the Terminal when you successfully publish a pod. Here’s a screenshot. Read the article

On Missing the Point

Inessential By Anonymous on 06/02/2018 pm28 22:08:00

(Disclaimer: before I get started, I should take extra care to note that I don’t speak for Omni. This is my personal blog, with my personal opinions.) Every time I make some criticism of the App Store — that, for instance, the 30% cut for Apple is too high, or that free trials would be a good thing — some number of people respond that Apple is a business and they’re allowed to do what they’re doing. They may also remind me that this is capitalism, and that I can vote with my feet — that is, go create an Android app (or whatever) where the cost is presumably lower. And they remind me that I should work with the world as it... Read the article

Why is Not Another

Inessential By Anonymous on 01/02/2018 pm28 22:01:00

We could be excused for thinking that is like — a Twitter alternative greeted with enthusiasm but that eventually closed. It’s not the same thing, though, and I’ll explain why. is not an alternative silo: instead, it’s what you build when you believe that the web itself is the great social network. That’s the important part: even if doesn’t last (though I believe it will), the idea — that the web itself is where we are and where we talk to each other — will continue. And: could be just one of thousands of similar services. And those services would all work together, because they’re made of web-stuff. The Dream of 1999 Pick your year. I like 2003, since that was when... Read the article

The Omni Show #7: Ken Case Talks About the 2018 Roadmap

Inessential By Anonymous on 31/01/2018 pm31 19:49:00

Check out episode #7 (I wish we had called it 007) where Ken Case talks about all the good stuff coming up in 2018. There will be new releases of OmniOutliner, OmniPlan, and OmniGraffle — plus a whole bunch of great stuff for OmniFocus 3.0 for Mac and iOS, including tags, JavaScript scripting, and OmniFocus for the web. You can subscribe to the podcast or just listen to this episode — there’s a player on the page. Or you can read the transcript. * * * I’ve been wondering if other companies in our world are doing similar podcasts. There is the Supertop Podcast from our friends who make Castro. And there are much larger companies (such as Microsoft) who create videos and podcasts. It may be... Read the article

Evergreen Diary #9: On IndieWeb

Inessential By Anonymous on 25/01/2018 pm31 22:21:00

When IndieWeb started, some years back, the first thing I noticed was that they appeared to be against the idea of feeds — or, at least, what they called side feeds: RSS and similar. Their idea was that the data a reader might collect should be encoded in the page itself, using microformats. The argument (I think; I hope I’m not misrepresenting anyone) was that microformats are simpler than mantaining a separate file. I don’t know which thought occurred to me first: I took it personally, since I’d spent much of my career working with feeds, and I took this as a suggestion that my career was all wrong and they wouldn’t be interested in someone like me, someone who would be an... Read the article

Evergreen Diary #8: Coding Guidelines

Inessential By Anonymous on 24/01/2018 pm31 22:20:00

I published the first draft of Evergreen’s Coding Guidelines yesterday. I posted this because I’d like to have people help me with the app — but I’m not ready yet. Or, rather, a few people who I know are starting to help, and I want to keep it small for now since I’ve never done this before. If you’re interested in helping, I hope you’ll forgive me as I take it slow and learn how to manage an open source app with many contributors. * * * This isn’t the only app I want to do: there are several others. Ideally I’ll get to the point where I’m managing several open source apps — assuming people are interested in helping, which is a big... Read the article

Evergreen Diary #7: Syncing and Immediate and Deferrable Actions

Inessential By Anonymous on 19/01/2018 pm31 22:29:00

There are, as I mentioned previously, two types of syncable actions: immediate and deferrable. An immediate action is something like adding a feed: it requires that the server is reachable right now, so that the feed actually gets added. A deferrable action is something like marking articles as read. The sooner the server knows, the better, sure — but it can wait if necessary. It can even wait for weeks or months. I’ve decided to make it simple and categorize these actions like this: any structural action that affects the list of feeds and folders (or tags) is an immediate action, while any action that affects the status (read, starred) of articles is deferrable. Or, in UI terms: if it’s something you do in the... Read the article

Evergreen Diary #6: Proposed Sync Design

Inessential By Anonymous on 18/01/2018 am31 06:02:00

Most of the time, a user will do a thing — mark some articles as read, for instance — and then Evergreen will tell the server (Feedbin, Feedly, etc.) right away. That’s good and easy. The hard part is this: what happens when the server is not reachable for some reason? Continuing the example: Evergreen could, in the case of the unreachable server, refuse to mark those articles as read. It could insist that syncing works only when the server is reachable — which is not that weird, especially given that it can’t pull new data from the server unless it’s reachable. But it’s weird enough. Consider that selecting an article marks it as read. This policy would make it impossible to even just read what you’ve... Read the article

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