Blog (and more)

[November 2/14]

  • Still no word from Apple dev support. I guess they must be *very* busy.
  • I came across this carton from XKCD the other day. It seems to describe the level of support I've been receiving lately. The cartoon is titled Houston.

[September 29/14]

  • I visited an Apple Store Genius Bar last week and had an interesting conversation with one their Genius' who is also an app developer.
  • He said he's experienced the same or similar problems that I'm having with the App Store and suggested I try using some of the non-Apple forums. Sounds like Apple dev support is worse than it used to be.
  • The only problem with using non-Apple support in this case is that the problem exists within the Apple Developer pipeline and only an Apple support person can correct it. So I'm stuck until someone at Apple contacts me and clears whatever is blocking the "pipe".

[September 16/14]

  • I'll be in Toronto next week but it looks like my plan to visit an Apple store and talk one of their genuis' may be in jeopardy. It looks like the Genius Bar at both stores stopped booking appointments a few days ago. I wonder if they heard I was coming to town and decided to lay low.
  • A friend said he thought Apple closed their stores for the week following a new product launch and the iPhone 6 series was just launched. Closing the stores following a launch seems kind of strange, unless it's just the Genius Bars that are closed. If that's the case then Apple should mention something on their website about the closures.
  • Maybe I should visit the stores anyway, just in case there's an Apple Genius wandering around with nothing to do.
  • It turns out I'm not the only person having problems after the latest Xcode update. Snooping around some of the unoffical support sites turned up a lot of developers that have encountered problems with the latest release.
  • Apple's official tech support website no longer gives you the option to search the database. It's now setup as a Q&A site with a list of (what they consider to be) typical questions with simple (non-technical) answers.
  • Just for the record I still have not heard back from Apple tech support. Apple charge $100/year for me to maintain my developers licence (including tech support).

[August 27/14]

  • Apple released an update to Xcode last March bringing the current version up to 5.1.1. I had been using version 5.1.0 and everything had been working fine.
  • Since the Xcode update I've been unable to upload updates or new apps to the iTunes store.
  • I've contacted Apple twice about these problems (on Mar 30th & Aug 10th) and received the following response:

    Thank you for contacting us. Your request has been assigned the case number ######.

    Our team is working diligently to assist you with your request. We will respond to you as soon as possible. Please do not reply to this automated-email response.

    Thank you,
    iTunes Provider Support

  • I haven't received any response from Apple and under the terms of the new (& improved) developer contract I'm only allowed to contact them twice per year for support.
  • I'd like to get this problem sorted out once and for all since 50% of my app sales come through the iTunes store.
  • I'll be travelling in September and I'm hoping to bring my MacBook to an Apple Store. Hopefully one of their "Genius Bar" people will be familiar with this problem and will be able to show me how to correct it.

[June 1/14]

  • Looks like I've forgotten about this page (again).
  • Today's new app (weather) will display current airport weather conditions and forecast for almost any airport in North America. They're known as METAR's and TAF's in the aviation world.
  • We were about to go hiking yesterday and the "usual" weather sources were calling for rain for most of the day. It was cloudy out and it looked we might have to cancel our plans.
  • I have a bit of familiarity with the aviation world and decided to check the local weather forecast issued by our airport. Their forecast called for scattered clouds and a light rain (mist) shower in 2 hours time. So we decided to chance it.
  • 2 1/4 hours later it rained as predicted. It was a very light rain and didn't last very long.
  • That's when I decided to write this app.

[June 3/13]

  • Some thoughts about PlayBook development. I don't think the existing PlayBook has been produced in a while (no sign of it anywhere).
  • I've heard through the grapevine that a new tablet might in the works and it would be using BlackBerry's new OS (BB10.x).
  • From what I've heard, the "old" PlayBook may not be able to run the new OS (not enough RAM, etc) and will probably not be upgraded.
  • Maybe I shouldn't spend too much time trying to get WebWorks apps running on the "old" PlayBook and continue to port my Android apps for this device.

[June 2/13]

  • I've got a handle of the command process and written my own command files to make the process even easier. I guess I'm still a nerd ;-)
  • Finished rewriting the Signals and UAV Photo apps. They run better as native apps.
  • While I was at it. Decided to write a simple phonetic alphabet app (more for practice than anything else) and it's free (sorry, not available on PlayBook - for now).
  • Now what's the next app to create???

[May 25/13]

  • After a LOT of frustration and time spent trying to work with their emulator. I discovered that you can run the entire signing and uploading process from the command line.
  • Found a 'WebWorks 101' video from BlackBerry Live (early May in Orlando). The video is a recording of the entire presentation and it answered a lot of my questions. Apparently BlackBerry Live is (or will be) an annual event and I'm hoping to go to the next one.
  • I discovered 2 additional sites that were a great help. There are real world working examples available on GitHub. The other was a video that a developer created for BlackBerry's Hack-a-thon and in it the author goes through the entire command line process.
  • That video was the "aha!" moment. I've now ditched the emulator, do everything via the command line and test/tweak on a real device.
  • The only thing I haven't been able to figure out is how to use WebWorks to create PlayBook apps. In the meantime PlayBook apps will continue to run as Android ports.

[May 17/13]

  • Started experimenting with BlackBerry's WebWorks development package. WebWorks will let me write native apps and have access to all the "neat" stuff that's available in the BB10 OS.
  • Some initial road blocks:
    • Their emulator uses a Google Chrome plugin which is good for basic checking, but seems to be a bit outdated.
    • Documentation can be contradictory at times. Does a certain parameter need a hyphen or not, seems to be related to realities of emulator vs real device.
    • The emulator can send your app to a device, but only in debug mode. In other words, a finished app can't be installed on a local device via the emulator.
  • I suppose some inconsistencies are to be expected with a platform that's evolving as quickly as this one.

[May 15/13]

  • Yikes... I forgot about this page. I'll start using it soon.