19th February 2020

If you’ve ever wanted to do something in Git via the command line, but you’re just not quite sure what the command is. Or you roughly know what you want to do, but don’t know where to start, then Git Explorer is the perfect tool.

All you need to do is select from of them 19 options after “I want to”, and that can be something like “I want to compare two commits” or “I want to configure”. Then you get further options to refine the query, and it shows you the exact command you need.

For example, if you wanted to remove multiple branches that matched a certain pattern, then you just need to select these options:

I want to

  • delete/remove
  • multiple branches
  • by pattern

Then you get told the command:

git branch | grep <regex pattern> | xargs git branch -D

And also a helpful note to help you understand it:

e.g. git branch | grep “-” | xargs git branch -D will delete all branches that have ‘-‘ in their names or git branch | grep -v “master|staging” | xargs git branch -D will delete all branches except staging and master.

NB: Always put your regex pattern in quotes

I use Git via the command line myself, but there’s always the odd scenario where I can’t quite figure out the command or proper syntax, so this website will be perfect for me. It’s going straight into my bookmarks.

Check out Git Explorer.

14th February 2020

It’s time for Text Case to receive its first update for 2020. Only a relatively small one this time, but it brings with it two new formats, and some work under the hood that should go unnoticed.

The new formats are quite straight forward:

Straight Quotes. This does the opposite of the “Smart Quotes” format, and converts all curvy quotation marks to the simple straight versions.

Slug. A bit of a weird one if you’re not already aware of what a slug is, but essentially it’s the more human-readable part of a URL that identifies what the page is. For example, a blog post will have a slug usually based on the title of the article. So this format will strip out all non-alphanumeric characters, and separate each word with a hyphen.

This update also contains a few extra things that shouldn’t be noticed, for example the way the UI is managed, and rounding corners, etc. It looks the same, except it’s done in a much more reliable way.

There is another less-than-tiny update to the UI that you may notice, and that is the gradients at the top of each format in the list view. These are now slightly more prominent.

Links


I’m guessing you would have noticed the 2020.1 version number, this is something I’m adopting from now on with all of my apps. The format will simply be YEAR.INCREMENT, where this is the first update to Text Case in 2020.


The updates to Text Case have been quite small and more incremental updates recently, and that I think is down to the maturity of the app. There’s not that many text transformations that people do regularly enough to need it in an app such as Text Case, and there’s only a limited amount of ways you can interact with the app.

So until there’s an advancement in iOS/iPadOS/macOS I can take advantage of, I would expect the updates to continue being small tweaks, and the occasional new format.

In the mean time I should really be working out what app I’m going to be building next!

12th February 2020
Permalink

The Essential Blog:

In October, we introduced Project GEM, a new mobile experience that our hardware, software and cloud teams have been building and testing for the past few years. Our vision was to invent a mobile computing paradigm that more seamlessly integrated with people’s lifestyle needs. Despite our best efforts, we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers. Given this, we have made the difficult decision to cease operations and shutdown Essential.

I was intrigued when Essential first announced their phone in 2017, enough to write an article about it.

It’s interesting to read what I wrote in that post nearly 3 years ago:

While I don’t think this phone will be for everybody, it’s another competitor, and that can only be a good thing for the industry.

In principle I like the Essential phone, but I just can’t imagine myself switching to Android (this is a deeper problem I’ll expand upon in the future). I would of preferred it to run a separate operating system, but I do respect the amount of work that would take to build, not even thinking about the app ecosystem.

However it is a step in the right direction for Android phones, which I believe was started by the Google Pixel. In my mind, android phones were all about quantity, and not necessarily being the best devices. But it’s started to take a different course, and it’s only for the best.

5th February 2020
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Ryan Christoffel, writing at MacStories:

As first spotted by Steve Troughton-Smith, release notes for the latest beta build of Xcode include a major development: Mac apps can soon be included as universal purchases with their iPhone and iPad companions.

I think this has been a long time coming, and we’ll probably start to see even more unification of the App Stores soon.

From a personal perspective this is also quite interesting. As I have a universal (iOS and iPadOS) version of Text Case, and also a separate macOS version. So right now you need to pay separately for each version. Selling them as one entirely universal app would either mean giving one away “for free”, or increasing the price. Alternatively, a bundle may be the better easy to go.

5th February 2020

It’s getting close to Pokémon Day on the 27th February, and Pokémon have teamed up with Google to let people vote for their favourite Pokémon.

Pokémon Vote

You just need to search “Pokémon Vote” on Google to get to the poll, and once you’re there you’ll be able to vote for your favourite Pokémon from each of the 8 regions (Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, Alola, and Galar). It includes all 890 Pokémon from there National Pokédex in Sword/Shield.

Here’s what I voted:

  • Kanto – Bulbasaur (Best Pokémon ever of course!)
  • Johto – Celebi
  • Hoenn – Torchic
  • Sinnoh – Luxray
  • Unova – Tepig
  • Kalos – Dedenne
  • Alola – Litten
  • Galar – Grookey

Find more details on the Pokémon blog.

4th February 2020
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Zoe Kleinman, writing for BBC News:

The amount of young phone owners doubled between the ages of nine and 10, which Ofcom dubbed “the age of digital independence”.

In addition, 24% of 3 and 4-year-olds had their own tablet, and 15% of them were allowed to take it to bed.

This doesn’t seem to bad to me. A smartphone gives people access to the vast quantities of information available on the internet, entertainment in the forms of games, videos, etc. and also a tool for communication with their friends and parents.

But there’s always at least one quote in these types of articles, to try and prompt a bit of outrage. Here we have one about not recognising the difference between the real world and online:

“I’m conscious that for these children who have never known a world without the internet, in many respects their online and offline worlds are indistinguishable.”

And also one trying to prompt outrage at the suitability for content on the internet for children:

“We are seeing around half of 12-15 year olds saying they have seen hateful content online, and an increase in parents who are concerned about it,” said Yih-Choung Teh.

I think the problem is not that children have access to mobile computing devices, but rather some parents tend to think that they don’t need to control their child’s usage of such devices. You look after them in the physical world, so surely you’d expect to do the same in the digital world.

Back before smartphones were a thing, people grew up without constant access to the digital world. But now they are so ubiquitous, it’s obvious that more younger people will have access to smartphones, and especially the vast internet. I think the responsibility falls on the shoulders of both the parents, the education system, and also the various content platforms.

However, I don’t think the fact that children use the internet, means that the entire web needs to be child friendly.

3rd February 2020
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Quaid Najmi, writing for the India News section of The Weather Channel:

From Friday (January 31, 2020), it has installed decibel meters at certain select but heavy traffic signals to deter the habitual honkers through a campaign named ‘The Punishing Signal’.

Joint Police Commissioner (Traffic) Madhukar Pandey said that the decibel monitors are connected to traffic signals around the island city, and when the cacophony exceeds the dangerous 85-decibel mark due to needless honking, the signal timer resets, entailing a double waiting time for all vehicles.

This is absolutely brilliant.

1st February 2020
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Matt Birchler, with his 10 year review of the iPad:

10 years ago the iPad was “about to replace the personal computer.”

Today the iPad is “about to replace the personal computer.”

10 years from now I suspect the iPad will be “about to replace the personal computer.”

Meanwhile, people like me and millions of others will continue to work on an iPad, not really trying to prove a point, just trying to use the best tool for us.

When Steve Jobs debuted the iPad in 2010, he described it as a device that would live between a laptop and a smartphone. By that measure, I think the iPad has more than lived up to that positioning, and I don’t think anyone would disagree. It’s more capable than an iPhone, but not as capable as a Mac.

I’m with Matt on this one.

Whether the iPad can replace whatever “computer” you have currently, it doesn’t diminish its use for other people. Where I see the iPad now, is that it is simply another computer, just another option with different advantages and drawbacks. A few years ago I would have edged towards the perspective of the three devices (iPhone, iPad, and Mac) having a certain order of capability, but I don’t think that’s the case anymore.

The iPad has its drawbacks, sure, but it’s also a relatively young device. From where the iPad started 10 years ago, to where it is now, it’s pretty impressive in my opinion. Especially when you have people running their entire business from an iPad.

31st January 2020
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Matthew Butterick, on the use of ligatures:

Ligatures in programming fonts—a misguided trend I was hoping would collapse under its own illogic. But it persists. Let me save you some time—

Ligatures in programming fonts are a terrible idea.

And not because I’m a purist or a grump. (Some days, but not today.) Programming code has special semantic considerations. Ligatures in programming fonts are likely to either misrepresent the meaning of the code, or cause miscues among readers. So in the end, even if they’re cute, the risk of error isn’t worth it.

His post certainly opened my mind up to the problems with ligatures in a programming font. It actually made me switch away from the new monospaced typeface from JetBrains, simply because of its use of ligatures, 138 code-specific ligatures to be exact.

Back to SF Mono it is.

(via Daring Fireball)

8th January 2020

I can’t say I’ve purchased many iMessage Sticker packs since they were added way back in iOS 10, but Timothy Buck let me know about Decline, a sticker pack made in partnership with his wife, Alyssa Guerrero, and it’s pretty great.

With it, comes 25 different ways to say ‘No’.

Decline Stickers

A simple ‘Nah’ or ‘Pass’ may sometimes suffice, but maybe you want to show your disgust with ‘Ugh no’, or the mysterious ‘I must decline for secret reasons’. Either way, they’re pretty funny!

They’re available to purchase on the App Store, and if you want to get physical, you can purchase physical stickers too.

Timothy also shared a video showing the lettering process, so you can see how the individual stickers are made.