CocoaConf, Washington, DC March 28-29, 2014

•April 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I hemmed and hawed about going to CocoaConf and after deciding that I did want to go I went to register only to find that it was sold out. I placed my name on the wait list thinking that it would be unlikely that a spot would open up. But then one did!  And now after attending my first CocoaConf in Washington, D.C. March 28-29 I wish I hadn’t waited so long to attend one. The conference was well organized and graciously hosted by the Klein family was a sold out event. The session content and the presenters were top notch. Pre-conference all day sessions (available as part of the full conference package) had sessions suitable for neophytes (All Day iOS Tutorial taught by James Dempsey) to more advanced developers seeking to expand their knowledge. I attended AV Foundation Film School taught by Chris Adamson, which was great. And I’m sure the other two were as well — iOS 7 2D Game Development taught by Josh Smith and Jonathan Penn the authors of Build iOS Games with Sprite Kit  and Introduction to OpenGLES and GLKit Handson taught by Ray and Vicki Wenderlich).

The sessions were presented by seasoned professionals and authors Jonathan Blocksom  and  Mark Dalrymple of the Big Nerd Ranch, Daniel Steinberg, Ray Wenderlich, Mike Ash, Josh Smith and Jonathan Penn, and Mark Pospesel to name but a few.

But what was totally unexpected was the level of sharing and community shown by the speakers. The keynote γνῶθι  σεαυτόν (Know Thyself) by Mark Dalrymple as well as the keynotes by Casey Liss and Dave Wiskus were amazingly personal and sharing about each speaker’s challenges that had to be overcome in order for them to be creative teachers, artists, authors, and developers. All this sharing was meant to motivate the attendees to step outside of their comfort zones and achieve. Motivational therapy at a tech conference!

But it wasn’t all serious. There was lots of fun as well. The CocoaConf Game Show hosted by Daniel Steinberg was made all the more enjoyable by Jonathan Penn’s irrepressible imitation of  Sir Jonathan Ive. The jam session by James Dempsey and the Breakpoints (you can buy his single “The Liki Song” on iTunes and sign up for his mailing list) provided light evening entertainment. And the Unprofessional talk show with hosts Dave Wiskus and Jaimee Newberry interviewing Casey Liss was a discussion on anything but iOS and work. And where else would you find Jonathan Blocksom being so kind as to give up his lunch time in order to take 3D pictures of attendees?

It was terrific to see that the traditions of the Mac developer community are being carried over to a newer, bigger, and better Mac and iOS developer community. And I for one hope to attend another CocoaConf conference and that you’ll decide to experience this community first-hand yourself. So if you are thinking of going go ahead and get a ticket!


WWDC June 11 – 15, 2012: Sold out!

•April 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

WWDC June 11 – 15, 2012 sells out in under 3 hours! Unbelievable!

WWDC June 11 – 15, 2012! It’s Here!

•April 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

WWDC June 11-15, 2012 tickets just went on sale around 8 AM EST today. And I got one! Hope to see you there. Get one while they last (not long)!

A Prediction For iOS 6: A New Public Framework – OpenCL

•April 18, 2012 • 1 Comment

‘Twas the nights, days and weeks before the engineers and scientists at Apple unveiled to all registered developers the pre-WWDC iOS beta. During this wondrous period all could wonder aloud about what the new beta might bring.

In the past I predicted that Grand Central Dispatch and Blocks were coming to iOS. GCD and Blocks were introduced in iOS 4.0. As were enhancements to the NSOperation and NSOperationQueue classes.  At the time I also conjectured that OpenCL would come to iOS. Hindsight of course reveals that it was too early.  However, I think that the time has come for many reasons.

First, it will complete what I think of as the Concurrent Four (not quite the GoF but just as powerful):

  • NSOperation, its subclasses, and NSOperationQueue
  • Grand Central Dispatch
  • Blocks, and finally
  • OpenCL.

When OpenCL is added as a public framework iOS developers will have a complete range of options with which to build a concurrent solution.

Second, Apple’s implementation of OpenCL is built on top of Grand Central Dispatch which is now a part of iOS.

Third, the OpenCL compiler uses Clang and LLVM which are being used to build iOS apps.

Fourth, the new iPad has twice the pixel density as the iPad 2. And as always there are and will be applications that push the limits and require better performance.

And last, OpenCL is in iOS 5.1 as a private framework. OpenCL was definitely not present in iOS 4.3 and may or may not have been present as a private framework in iOS 5.0. The existence of OpenCL as a private framework is perhaps the most compelling reason that OpenCL will become a public framework. It is so tantalizingly close.

So, before the pre-WWDC beta is released and the veil of secrecy falls over the land as  enforced by the NDA  let the speculation begin! What do you think will be part of iOS 6? Add your prediction below but comments will be closed as soon as the pre-WWDC beta is released.

Fix Radar or GTFO

•April 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Ok. Ok. It is Friday but just because it has been a long work week and it is Friday doesn’t give you an excuse to not participate in adding your voice to ask Apple to fix Radar. By making Radar more transparent. By making it easier to browse a list of existing bugs. By making it easier to file bugs that impact your work. These and other Radar deficiencies have long been discussed by Mac and iOS developers. It has even led to a community effort to list bugs that have been filed at Open Radar.   If WWDC 2012 were announced today everyone knows all 5,000+ tickets would have been sold out in a few hours — certainly well before the end of the business day.  Fixing Radar is just as important as going to WWDC. Read about this community effort to ask Apple to fix Radar on your favorite news site such as TNW The Next Web or the Apple Insider. Better yet just go to Fix Radar or GTFO and follow the few simple instructions to add your voice in asking Apple to fix Radar. I was 391st with rdar://11249772. Ultimately regardless of whether your voice was the 5,001st or the 6,000th every voice is important. What number were you and what was your rdar?

WWDC 2011 Session Details?

•May 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Several weeks ago during a working lunch I discovered that tickets for WWDC 2011 were on sale but decided to wait until I got home to purchase the tickets. Well, as with many of you that delay left me out in the cold! Since then I have been checking for details on the sessions to get an approximation of how much I would be missing. No luck here either! Although I’ve been to WWDC the last two years I don’t remember if the session details were available to everyone or just to attendees. With only 12 days until the start of WWDC the lack of details leads me to speculate as to why that might be. Is it because Apple has taken secrecy to an entirely new level? Is it because Apple is too busy with the changes that will come with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion? Or is it because there are massive changes for the next iOS beta? I think they are just too plain busy! I’d love to hear what you think though!

Speaking at 360|iDev Austin, TX November 6-10, 2010

•November 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I will be speaking at the iPhone Developers Conference 360|iDev in Austin, TX being held November 7 – 10, 2010. I will be speaking on Concurrency with GCD and Blocks and I’ll be giving away five copies of More iPhone Cool Projects at various points during my talk so I hope I’ll see you there!

360|iDev is always a great conference and is the only conference in which pre-conference training is included in the price. And there are over 40 sessions covering topics ranging from Advanced Debugging, The Power of In App Purchase, Core Data Performance Tuning to name just a few. I’m also looking forward to meeting fellow developers there and hearing David Whatley, Mike Lee, and Jessica Kahn give their keynote presentations on iOS development. David Whatley started two gaming companies and has spoken at 360iDev a number of times. His talks are always riveting and if you’re just charged up about iOS development he’ll kick you into hyperdrive! Check out the interview by TUAW of David Whatley after 360iDev San Jose in April 2010. Mike Lee is another riveting, well-known speaker on iOS development. And Jessica Kahn as Vice President of Engineering at Tapulous is sure to provide special insightful gems on iOS development.

So if you haven’t registered yet now is a good time to register for 360|iDev!

More iPhone Cool Projects Published June 2010!

•October 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

More iPhone Cool ProjectsI’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to post about the publication of More iPhone Cool Projects by Apress this past June. My fellow authors and I delve into a number of topics that should be of interest to many iOS developers. My chapter was based on 1) the talks I gave in 2009 on concurrency and my belief (at the time) that Grand Central Dispatch and Blocks were coming to iOS and 2) how to position iOS applications to take advantage of GCD and blocks by using operation objects and queues. Fortunately, GCD and Blocks were added to iOS 4.0!

Other chapters covered a number of other topics. Claus Hofele wrote about importing 3D art assets into your game; Ben Kazez wrote about using external data providers in FlightTrack; Saul Mora, Jr. wrote about unit testing; Leon Palm wrote about face recognition with OpenCV; Scott Penberthy wrote about OpenGL fonts; Ben Britten Smith wrote about developing games with Unity; Chuck Smith wrote about Cocos2d another popular gaming framework; David Smith wrote about AVAudioPlayer; and Joost van de Wijgerd and Arne de Viries wrote about using push notifications in eBuddy.

The eBook version can be purchased at a discount from Apress using the discount code IPHONEDEVELOPERJOURNALDZPDD. It’s a 50% discount off the eBook price which is good until January 30, 2011. Of course the book is available at all the popular online bookstores Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.


WWDC June 7-11, 2010

•April 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Wouldn’t you know it — a few hours after I predict that Apple will announce WWDC next week Apple proves me wrong and announces this morning that WWDC will take place June 7 – 11! I wasn’t expecting it to be until June 28-July 2 based on estimates on the web. The dates are right in line with last year’s WWDC though but it seems early to me since the iPhone OS 4.0 Beta was just released on April 8. That leaves just about two months for the beta before it ships. Damn those Apple engineers are good. Hope to see you there!

Pre-Ordered iPad 3G’s Being Prepared For Shipment!

•April 28, 2010 • 1 Comment

Well back on January 27th I was definitely wrong about iPhone OS 4.0 appearing on the iPhone Developers Connection to coincide with the Apple Media Event. But since then iPhone OS 4.0 has been announced and has been available as a beta covered under an NDA. Enough said about that for now! So the first of two current hot questions are when will WWDC 2010 be announced? My guess is that it will be announced during the first week of May and sell out in record time. The second hot question is when will customers who pre-ordered an iPad 3G receive their iPads? There has been some confusion about when customers who pre-ordered an iPad 3G would receive their iPads. I mean “Ships Late April” could mean a few things. Does it mean that it will ship in late April so that customers will receive them after the end of April? Or does it mean that it will ship in late April so that customers who pre-ordered will receive it on April 30 on the same day that the iPad 3G will be available in Apple Stores (albeit in very limited supply I would imagine)? I even asked Apple Store employees about that and one employee said that it would ship on the same day that it is available in the Apple Store. That would mean that it would not arrive until after April 30. So In recent days I have been checking my account at the Apple Store to see if the iPad 3G I had ordered when Apple first started to accept pre-orders for the iPad was in the process of being prepared for shipment. Well I am glad to say that my order is being prepared for shipment and by my estimate I should receive it sometime on Friday April 30! So for all of those who pre-ordered an iPad 3G check your accounts!