Jan 01, 2013
I recently revealed that app sales only make up about 4% of our company revenues. Because of this we don’t have much budget to invest into our apps and the reasonable view is to see them as glorified hobby projects.
Nevertheless it is nice to go back over the past year in reviews to pick out the ones that transport the best emotions. There are many people who use app reviews as a sounding board for themselves and write things there that they never would say to a developer in person. Thus it is permissible to pick out the few reviews that give us the best feeling and ignore the rest.
Dec 13, 2012
Recently I’ve been getting more and more requests from potential clients to show them the license that is attached to components they would purchase from my parts store. I didn’t have any except some verbal description.
On open source software I now routinely add a 2-clause BSD license, so it was about time to also get a proper license for my commercial components.
Here’s the license I am going to use from now on. I adapted it from the commercial Development License that Peter Steinberger uses on his PSPDFKit, with a few modifications. Peter only allows use for a single app, our components can be used in all apps published via the licensee’s app store account.
So if you develop apps for yourself then you just need to purchase one license for all your apps. If you develop an app for somebody else then this third party has to obtain a license (or you have to obtain it in their name). You can also purchase an Extended License upgrade that lifts this restriction.
This license also adds permission for me to mention your company on Cocoanetics.com. It also now allows for providing modified versions of the component source code to third parties, provided that those are also holders of a separate license.
If you are an existing license holder for any of our things then it won’t hurt if you get in touch with us and see if your licensing is still ok for your specific use case.
Dec 12, 2012
I received a spreadsheet from our accountant that totals our company revenues over the various categories of income that we receive. I figured, why not share this with you? I won’t tell you the absolute numbers, but I think the relative distribution might be interesting.
19 months ago I wrote about the various kinds of income an iOS development outfit can have, when I was basically still in the discovery phase. Taking a long hard look at the distribution over those categories should yield some insights as to how to tweak the amount of effort you put into the various items.
Dec 04, 2012
I am so angry right now. It is taking a lot of restraint to not be resorting to swear words about this one well-known corporation. Trust me, every time I have to cancel an invoice for a component from my Parts Store I am contemplating creating a black list page on my site. Those would be the companies to not do business with.
But I never carry this through. I don’t like to burn bridges. At least not fully.
Oct 31, 2012
“I’m a lawyer who represents a variety of software companies, and a former developer. One of my clients would like to use your nsnotifications/background thread code in their product. Can they use it under the terms of an open source license, such as the MIT license? If not, is it available as part of the Cocoanetics parts store, or some other license?”
Thanks for asking, Luis! I’m happy to answer this as I am considering your diligent asking as a compliment.
Oct 01, 2012
Notice: The following text is a rant and entirely my own opinion, not being a lawyer by profession, but a developer at heart.
Over the past month or so I was negotiating with a US-based company who wanted to retain my services as an expert on Rich Text and HTML parsing. Let me share a problem I had with a certain section in the contract that I was asked to sign, a problem that related to my previously created code and for-pay components.
Even experienced developers might be overly anxious to sign their next big contract to put food on the table without knowing what rights in their works they are signing over by this. This should serve as a gentle reminder: Better to read through the contract, all 19 pages of it, than having to be afraid that you inadvertently giving away your crown jewels.
If I learned one thing from Steve Jobs then it is to not trust contracts that are longer than a single page …
Aug 31, 2012
I googled “Clint Eastwood Invisible Obama” because I was wondering why suddenly everybody is posting pictures of chairs with invisible presidents in them, hash tag #eastwooding. Of course there already was a video of the 10-minute speech to be found on YouTube, so I watched that.
The video quality bad, really bad, 360p kind of bad. I was watching it on my iPad 3 where I still sport iOS 5. This is my comfortable consumption device and where would consumption be without a YouTube client. You know, iOS 6 doesn’t have one any more. I am not referring to Mr. Eastwoods remarks when I am calling the experience painful.
YouTube is going to great lengths to prevent people from getting at the h.264 videos they are specifically preparing for iOS devices. Only the YouTube app as well as the MPMoviePlayerController’s that webviews overlay to fake embedded video know how to request the actual video data from Google’s servers. This video stream is then served as a progressive download.
The video was stalling every 3-5 minutes and frantically hacking at the play button would not have made any difference. Only if I moved the slider into the future, waited until the new position was showing and then moving it back to where it had stopped was I able to continue viewing.
Aug 23, 2012
Paul Colton contacted me on July 17th, a week before they went live with their first Kickstarter campaign. Always happy to support my fellow iOS developers I agreed that I would make Linguan available for a reward if they could make it work. Unfortunately Kickstarter’s rules prohibit offering of products that the project owners didn’t make themselves. So that tie-in never materialized.
Colton launched Pixate as a product that promises to allow you to use a CSS subset to style UIKit controls instead of doing that in code or Interface Builder. People who hear this tend to fall into two categories: “WTF? Keep that non-native HTML crap away from me!” and “Awesome, now I can design my UI in Safari”.
Their promise certainly is a polarizing one. I find it even more fascinating and unsettling what seems to be going on behind the scenes. The latest developments triggered my sense of fairness quite a bit and this prompted me to summarize what I feel deserves to be called a scandal.