So, I see from Janie Clayton-Hasz’s blog that That Conference managed to deliver a ham-handed and offensive keynote, detailed in blow-by-blow fashion by her tweets (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9), the most egregious of which is the seeming equating of Gray’s Anatomy with “girly stuff”, and the unstated but strongly implied premise that “girly stuff is bad”.

FFS, why do we still put up with this?

Actually, it kind of reminds me of a Twitter or App.net exchange that Janie and I had some months back, in which I argued that we really ought to stop using “dude in a dress” as a comedy trope, not just out of fairness to LGBTQs, but out of fairness to women. The premise that men in drag is funny is based on feminine things being weak or inferior, and male things being strong and superior. So a man choosing female traits — whether clothing or Grey’s Anatomy — is therefore ridiculous.

IMO, women who laugh at men in drag are putting themselves down.

Since Janie mentions my love of anime in her blog, I’ll mention here that this is perfectly captured in an anime called Wandering Son, a fairly realistic series about young teenage transgenders, a boy who wants to be a girl and his close friend, a girl who wants to be a boy. The anime series is quite short at 11 episodes, and assumes you know the characters from the manga, as it hops right into a pivotal plotline involving a female upperclassman who gets praised for showing up to school in a boy’s uniform, but when Nitorin wears a girls’ uniform in public, he’s ridiculed so mercilessly he can no longer attend class and has to spend every day in hiding in the school infirmary.

Wandering Son, ep 9 - Nitori attends school in girls uniform

This is because, of course, masculine stuff is good, and feminine stuff is bad. As if the ideas and experiences of half the human race are inherently inferior.

FFS, when do we get to be over this crap?

Just last week, we were at CocoaConf Columbus, where keynoter Mark Dalrymple encouraged attendees to pursue and make the most of their passions and pursuits. This led Janie to an interesting blog about her cross-stitching and a wry metaphor in her Open GL / GPUImage / Metal session that she’s been a human vertex shader for the last 25 years, and that cross-stitching actually makes for a pretty nice, concrete explanation of how to do computer graphics.

One that we wouldn’t have gotten if CocoaConf attendees had a problem with “girly stuff”.

CocoaConf Columbus was last week, and as has been the tradition for the last year or so, I participated in The CocoaConf Game Show, a take off on the BBC Radio panel show Just a Minute, in which panelists have to speak extemporaneously on an arbitrary topic, without pauses, going off-topic, or even repeating words not in the topic itself.

I’m not nearly quick-witted enough for this, certainly not as much so as regular panelists James Dempsey or Josh Smith, but I try to hang in there. Or maybe I’m just always tired at the end of the conference (this time from staying up late the night before with Janie Clayton-Hasz and Laura Hart watching Adolescence of Utena, because anime).

Anyways, point here is that I have to come up with something funny (and not pause or repeat any words) on an arbitrary topic. Turns out it’s better to just do something silly with it, but when you get a topic that really matters to you, that’s another story…
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Janie Clayton-Hasz and I are working on the unit testing chapter for the still-unannounced book, and we’ve had enough fun that we decided to share a little bit of what we’re up to.

In the previous edition, I wrote a testing chapter based on Bill’s iCloud recipes project, and it was a nightmare for a couple of reasons. First, a completion handler that was supposed to be called from -[UIDocument closeWithCompletionHandler:] wasn’t, at least not in iOS 6. Second, iCloud sucks (c.f., “First”). And finally, the whole idea of testing something that takes an unknown amount of time is an interesting problem, one that OCUnit was not built to handle.

So it was really cool that Janie did the research and came back with promising results about asynchronous unit testing in iOS 8 / Xcode 6. Then we jumped into the chapter and… well, it’s not as pretty as the WWDC video would have you believe. It works, but sometimes you have to play a little dirty to get it there.

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There goes another one.

That’s @jonathanpenn, as he heads off to Apple. He follows a number of top indie developers/author/speakers to head to the mothership in the last few months, including Patrick Burleson, Kevin Hoctor, and if we’ll go back a little over a year, we can throw in my former iOS SDK Development co-author Bill Dudney.

This is causing a little bit of angst among those of us who hate to see our friends decamp from our communities to California, and to suggest that maybe indie iOS development/writing/speaking isn’t tenable. Janie Clayton-Hasz, whom I’m working with on a soon-to-be-announced project, expresses this from the POV of a newcomer to development life in her latest blog.
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In previous years, planning for Q3 speaking dates has been an enormous hassle, thanks to the Apple NDA: you can’t talk about any of the stuff coming in the new version of iOS, so you have to deliberately pick older topics, with a possible eye to getting new stuff ready to go depending on when Apple announces and releases the new bits, and whether that lines up with your conference dates.

Last year, I just threw up my hands and did evergreen topics that were largely outside the Apple sphere of influence: A/V encoding and Audiobus.

This year, thanks to Apple backing off the NDA, speakers are free to dig into the new stuff introduced at WWDC. This suddenly transforms August’s CocoaConf Columbus from having old, crusty, but NDA-safe material, to instead being one of the first conferences that can dig into the iOS 8 technologies.
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