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Brent Simmons’s weblog.
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The Omni Show Episode #3 with Brian Covey, Support Manager

Inessential By Anonymous on 22/11/2017 pm30 22:01:00

New episode is up! Brian is the Support Manager at The Omni Group, and he has a bunch to say about how support — and the Support Humans — work at Omni, including how they’re involved with product decisions, and how we came to offer phone support. DVD extras content: a video from 2006 of Brian doing the worm. Unmissable. Read the article
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The Omni Show

Inessential By Anonymous on 08/11/2017 pm30 22:15:00

I’m the host of a new podcast: The Omni Show. Here’s the announcement on the Omni blog with all the details. There’s a Twitter account, @theomnishow, you can follow. I’m super-excited to be doing this, partly because my co-workers at Omni are interesting, and partly because some of it may actually be useful — that is, learning how we think about UX, testing, engineering, support, and so on might be helpful for other people. That’s my hope. Our first episode is with Kristina Sontag, Software Test Manager, and the second episode is with Curt Clifton, OmniFocus engineer. The next two episodes will feature support and UX. We’re covering all the bases. :) I’ve done podcasts before (see Identical Cousins and The Record), so... Read the article
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On Fixing that NSNull Crasher in Overcast

Inessential By Anonymous on 11/10/2017 am31 01:08:00

I don’t normally head home after lunch, but today I was on the bus going back to Ballard, about to open iBooks on my phone and get back to reading The Caledonian Gambit (which I’m thoroughly enjoying), when I decided to check Twitter first — and saw Marco’s tweet about Overcast’s oldest crash. I’ve written before about how I love fixing crashing bugs. Partly because I’m adamant that an app should, at a minimum, keep running — and also because it’s fun detective work. (I’ve even written a series of blog posts on how not to crash in the first place.) So I took this one as a challenge. Here’s how I figured it out: The exception reported [NSNull doubleValue]: unrecognized selector. Now, NSNull is... Read the article
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Accessibility

Inessential By Anonymous on 03/10/2017 pm31 22:18:00

As a young developer I didn’t pay that much attention to accessibility. I figured that most people didn’t need those features, and it was something I could get to later. Plus: adding those features wasn’t easy back in those days. Things have changed. For one thing, supporting accessibility features — at least on Macs and iOS — has gotten much easier. It’s almost delightful with how much you get for free and how easy it is to add what’s missing. Apple deserves a huge amount of credit for this. But there are two bigger things I keep thinking of. First thing: I want to say that access to computing and communications power is a human right. It’s not, not really — but it would be wrong... Read the article
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Evergreen Status

Inessential By Anonymous on 22/08/2017 pm31 22:22:00

The current goal is a Spring 2018 release of Evergreen 1.0. Which is rather ambitious, I know, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it was Spring 2019. But that’s the goal. The build is currently broken, has been broken for months, and will continue as broken for at least another few weeks. Here’s the scoop: I decided to do syncing in 1.0. It will probably be just one system at first (most likely FeedBin, since that’s what I use) — but this meant looking at the data and database level and figuring out what’s needed to make it usable when syncing. I’m in the middle of making the needed changes. (Originally each syncing system was going to have its own database code, but... Read the article
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Republicans Have Been Playing with Racist Fire For All of my 49 Years

Inessential By Anonymous on 18/08/2017 pm31 22:28:00

From Nixon’s law-and-order and “silent majority” and southern strategy; to Reagan’s campaign kickoff in Philadelphia, Missouri, his “welfare queens,” his war on drugs; to the Willie Horton ad, the culture war, Rush Limbaugh, gerrymandering, voter suppression, birtherism, and “calves the size of cantaloupes” — Republicans have, for my whole life, very deliberately and consciously cultivated white grievance and racism. I was born in 1968. This has been going on the entire time. I always figured Republicans were playing with these ugly matches because it was a means to an end: it was how they could gain enough power to do what their donors actually want — which is to sell off America piece-by-piece for their private, short-term gain. But then comes Trump, and then... Read the article
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Republicans Have Been Playing with Racist Fire For All of my 49 Years

Inessential By Anonymous on 18/08/2017 pm31 22:28:00

From Nixon’s law-and-order and “silent majority” and southern strategy; to Reagan’s campaign kickoff in Philadelphia, Missouri, his “welfare queens,” his war on drugs; to the Willie Horton ad, the culture war, Rush Limbaugh, gerrymandering, voter suppression, birtherism, and “calves the size of cantaloupes” — Republicans have, for my whole life, very deliberately and consciously cultivated white grievance and racism. I was born in 1968. This has been going on the entire time. I always figured Republicans were playing with these ugly matches because it was a means to an end: it was how they could gain enough power to do what their donors actually want — which is to sell off America piece-by-piece for their private, short-term gain. But then comes Trump, and then... Read the article
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Square World

Inessential By Anonymous on 04/07/2017 pm31 21:02:00

I keep thinking that the election of Trump has turned us all into conservatives. I mean “conservative” in a more old-fashioned (and I think truer) sense than what is generally thought. I don’t mean Republican — the Republican party is a radical reactionary party, not at all conservative. I mean that we liberals and progressives have learned that national respect for truth, expertise, and empiricism is something we’re in danger of losing. It’s not a given. We can’t take rule of law for granted; we can’t assume our institutions won’t fly apart. Everything good we’ve built is also the foundation on which further progress is made. The fight right now is to preserve those good things. * * * When I was 16 years old I... Read the article
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James Dempsey and the Breakpoints Benefit App Camp for Girls

Inessential By Anonymous on 03/06/2017 am30 07:05:00

On Wednesday night I know where I’ll be — playing keyboard for a few songs at the James Dempsey and the Breakpoints concert benefitting App Camp for Girls. You should get tickets. It’s a fun time for a great cause. Bonus: James writes about how this concert is full circle for him. It’s a special night. Read the article
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Evergreen Diary #1: Open Source

Inessential By Anonymous on 02/06/2017 am30 02:27:00

Evergreen is a new feed reader for Macs. It’s not actually done yet — in fact, it’s not even alpha yet, much less beta. It’s still in the painful-to-use stage, for sure. I’ve been working on it (among other things) on nights and weekends for a couple years. For much of the time I planned to make it a for-pay app — the plan was a free Lite version and a for-pay version. But as time went on I was less and less motivated to make a for-pay app. Doing all that stuff — dealing with licenses, money, a store, support, and everything else that goes along with a commercial app — just didn’t sound like any fun, and it would have taken time... Read the article

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