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From Barcodes to ProductLayer

One fine day, late summer 2013, I noticed that Apple had added a ton of new functionality to iOS, in particular related to barcodes. This set a train of thought in motion, the fruits of which are just now beginning to show.

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Radar: Aztec and PDF417 Core Image Generators documentation missing

While researching for my book “Barcodes and iOS” I was looking at the CoreImage generators for barcodes. iOS 7 supports generating QR, Aztec and PDF417 barcodes via CoreImage generators.

But for the latter two the documentation appears to be missing, making those – technically – private APIs. I believe this to be something that was simply overlooked, since those generators seem to work just fine.

Filed as rdar://15989297 and on Open Radar.

Update: An Apple evangelist responded to my inquiry and confirmed that those CI generators are indeed private API and should not be used.

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Mysterious Sudden Twitter Fame

Monday afternoon, in the Cocoanetics offices. Colleague René is discussing with us an approach how to centralize some code without inheritance and is drawing on the whiteboard. Suddenly my iPhone begins to vibrate.

My first thought was that this must be the silent ringing when there is an incoming voice call. It didn’t stop even though we tried to ignore it for a few seconds. Then I glanced at the phone and noticed that I was getting a flash flood of push notifications from Tweetbot.

Update: JustUnfollow posted an interview with me.

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DTMarkdownParser 0.2.1

This bug fix release fixes a few minor issues on DTMarkdownParser.

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Passbook Event Ticket Relevancy Issues

While experimenting with PassKit I found some weird behavior which I believe might be a bug, or two.

Passes can have a date and locations where they are relevant.  For event tickets – according to the documentation – the locations are optional. You expect to see passes to appear on the iOS lock screen from some time before the event until it starts.

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Q&A: Seconds Since my Birthday

Julia asks:

How do I get Objective-C to display the number of seconds since my birth?

When you often gnaw on complex and frustrating questions – like I often do – it is rather refreshing to work out a good answer to such a simple question.

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Assuring Documentation Completeness

For your open source projects you want to make sure that pull requests you merge don’t destabilise the project. Having a large number of unit tests in combination with a Continuos Integration platform like Travis-CI helps greatly. With this setup each pull request or new branch sent to your repo triggers a build and Travis-CI will let you know if all tests pass or not.

If you annotate your headers with appledoc then you can build nice class documentation viewable that integrates with the Xcode documentation viewer or can be put on a web server as HTML.

Now what about pull requests which add new functionality but which are lacking some documentation annotations? This blog post looks into using Travis-CI for making sure documentation is also complete on pull requests.

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Happy New Year, Young Steve Jobs!

When toymaker Legendary Toys announced that they’ll do a new run of Steve Jobs action figures I know that I had to have one. There once was a very life-like “Old Steve Jobs”, but they got legal problems with the SJ estate. This is also why some of the figures you can still get are named “CEO Action Figure”. They look more or less like Steve, but they don’t dare to use the name.

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Nest Protect

The regional government of Lower Austria is currently doing a promotion where you can get smoke detectors at a discount. They are doing that to nudge more people to become interested in securing their homes from break-ins and fires. You get a detector with a 10-year battery for 16 Euros. This reminded me that I have like half a dozen of such detectors still in original packaging in the basement, never got around to installing them. Two reasons: we have rarely any open fire and they are boring.

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Looking Back and Forward

The older you get the quicker a year passes it seems. 2013 was a good year for us at Cocoanetics. Not really exceptional, we’re still waiting to get our great chance. But we cannot complain either, 2013 gets the “solid!” predicate.

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