Micro Posts

A collection of micro posts, usually posted via Micro.blog, or automatically from my Instagram feed.

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12th February 2019

A relatively short entry today. As it wasn’t varied at all.

I spent the first two thirds of my day at work, where I was focusing on getting a release build ready for one of our apps.

While I was at work, my Nintendo Switch arrived. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the rest of the day. I got the Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu edition, and it’s amazing. Every part of it is styled perfectly, and I’m enjoying the game. I want to go into much more detail, but that’s going to be a separate post when I’ve played it a bit more.

Apart from that, I haven’t done anything today! I’m sure you can now see why it’s a short entry.

11th February 2019

A relatively uninteresting day at work today! I continued slow progress on a new project. It involved me researching more about the MVVM pattern, and also creating more unit tests.

I thankfully got around to listen to some podcast episodes as well today. I haven’t been very good at keeping up with my long queue recently, but I managed an episode of Cortex and Connected.

Something that really interested me today, was a big list of shows that the BBC are producing. There’s at least 8 (well, the ones I care about) great shows that have been announced. I shared this on my blog, along with a short description of each, and links to the original press releases.

One more thing, I made a purchase today. A Nintendo Switch! To be exact, the Nintendo Switch Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! Edition Pack. The entire console, case, and JoyCons are Pikachu themed, and it comes bundled with the game! It’s arriving tomorrow, so from then I assume I’ll be obsessed with it.

10th February 2019

After moving into our house just over 10 days ago, me and my girlfriend finally had a day of peace. No big shopping, no huge crowd of people visiting, no furniture to pick up.

It started with a trip to our usual Cafe for breakfast. They had put drinks ready minutes after we sat down, and they only came to us to confirm our usual order. Pretty handy!

After that, we did a tiny bit of shopping. A toilet seat, some wallpaper, some decorations, and other small things.

For dinner, I cooked Spaghetti Carbonara. Not the Italian version, it was a “British Carbonara” that’s much more creamy. And in my opinion, not as good as the original.

Then tonight we watched a 2007 film called The Bucket List. It had Morgan Freeman in it, so I was instantly interested, and it turned out to be a really funny and enjoyable film!

9th February 2019

Today I went for a trip to Whipsnade Zoo, the largest in the UK, and one that’s only a 15-minute drive from my house. It was a very cold and windy day, so as you’d expect, most of the animals were inside, and not particularly that active. I didn’t pay for entry though, as I had some free tickets that would expire at the end of this month, so I had to use them.

The best animals we saw was the African Hunting Dogs. They make some unusually high-pitch squeaks, and we made it just in time to see them tear apart from what I heard was a leg of an Antelope. If you want to experience that for yourself, I’ve put a two-minute video of it on YouTube.

After that, my family came round my house for a drink, and we somehow ended up watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

I then cooked some Teriyaki flavoured chicken and rice for dinner, and me and my girlfriend ended up watching the second half of The Social Network. I’m not a fan of Facebook now, but the early days portrayed in the movie seemed pretty cool!

8th February 2019

Nothing too not worthy at work today, I wrote some more tests, investigated some bugs, and wrote some code. A pretty basic day.

After work me and my girlfriend had some of her family around, so we cooked dinner for everyone, and spent the evening watching Netflix and talking.

I also shared a quick tip on Twitter earlier about using the Error protocol in Swift, and making it provide the correct value for localizedDescription.

7th February 2019

So today at work was spent creating the base bones of a new iOS app. Starting with TDD and MVVM in mode, I made a basic structure, along with starting to write tests and code for the API interaction.

I didn’t get that much time to do a
lot of work on Text Case, apart from making a few tweaks to the Action Extension, and also some changes to the Hashtags format. I fixed a few things that could have caused weird results, so I’ve made it so you should never get multiple # together, and also that every hashtag is separated by only one space. If words are separated by other things such as a comma or full stop, they will be converted to spaces.

Tonight at home, me and my girlfriend ordered a pizza as there were a lot of people coming to visit. My girlfriends friend came round, followed by both of our parents coincidentally coming round at the same time.

And in the mean time, I built a new sofa! I don’t have a picture right now, as I’m just about to go to bed. But I’ll most likely share one at some joint tomorrow!

6th February 2019

As always, I’ll start with a short description of what I got up to at work today. My main tasks were trying to think more about how we’re going to build our next app. We’ve decided that everything is being written using TDD from the start, and hopefully, we can figure out a way to use BDD style tests, but there aren’t many great options available in Swift. Or at least so I’ve found.

And now the second favourite of the journal, Text Case progress updates. I did a fair bit of work tonight, but nothing really finished that I can show off. I did complete the Siri intent donating that I mentioned yesterday, and I’ve basically finished off the entire Siri Shortcuts feature, but I’m going to do a lot of testing on it when I have a big block of free time. Apart from that, I started to move the Action Extension over to 2.0. It’s built much better than the current version, as it reuses the same classes that are used to display the list of formats in the main app, with a few minor things specialised for the context of an Action Extension.

I’m hoping tomorrow I can tidy up a few more things, and then I can tick them off the big list and move closer to the public beta.

5th February 2019

A mixed day at work today. It involved me presenting the prototype I mentioned yesterday that I was working on, at our biweekly team demo, working out some stuff for a future big project, and also trying to squish some bugs.

I also managed to have another productive day with Text Case 2.0, as I managed to port over the main logic of the Siri integration from the current version, and it works perfectly! The only bit of work remaining on this is figuring out when to “donate” intents to the system, which is basically where the app informs iOS that an action has been performed, so it can suggest it to you at a later date/time. Hopefully when you’re most likely to need it.

This step also means that I’m nearing the beta testing phase. I’ve been hesitant to put out any beta versions of this for a while simply because it didn’t have all the functionality that the current app had, so I knew any testers would be degrading their Text Case usage. But as soon as I can tell that everything in 1.4 works in 2.0, and that nothing breaks because of the update (I’m mainly thinking about Siri Shortcuts integrations), I’ll send out a public beta link on the newly created Twitter page (@TextCaseApp).

Another thing I have to mention is a great podcast I’m now starting to listen to. It’s called And You Are?, and it’s by Greg Morris. It’s a conversation-based podcast, where he talks to test about what they do for a living, their life, and other interesting topics. I probably didn’t summarise that well, but if you just look on the episode list, you can already see the list of great guests that he’s already had on. So far I’ve listened to the first episode with Daryl Baxter, which was really interesting, and I plan on listening to every episode!

4th February 2019

Today at work was not one of a usual iOS Developer, as I spent most of the day using online prototyping tools to work on a little demo I’m doing at work. It’s all part of a task I’ve been doing the past few weeks, and I’ve gone from drawing rough diagrams on a whiteboard, to writing long user stories in Ulysses, which I then created a huge flowchart from, and I took one specific route and make that into a prototype!

Outside of work, I actually finally got around to giving TextCase 2.0 (the redesign I’m working on) a chunk of time. Firstly, I created a Twitter account for it (@TextCaseApp) so I can share specific news about the app in one place.

Then I finished off two different settings, enabling/disabling specific formats, and also changing the order of the format groups. In the current (old) version, each format can be moved around freely, but it offered no sense of structure, and as the number of formats grew, it became a bit of a mess. So I’ve now grouped them together, and you can arrange the individual groups. If a group has no formats enabled, the entire group will be hidden, so it doesn’t mean you’ll always have to see the headings.

One other thing about TextCase is that it got featured on the latest episode of AppStories! Which is a podcast all about apps by Federico Viticci and John Voorhees of MacStories.

As I mentioned in yesterdays entry, last night me and my girlfriend put together some Ikea furniture. We managed a two-seater sofa, a tv unit, and a small coffee table. You can find pictures of the first two on my Instagram. I topped that off today by building a small storage unit for my office! And It turns out it fits absolutely perfectly in the corner.

While building it, I watched another interesting video from Joe Robinet. He’s a Canadian backpacker/bushcraft guy, and in the video I watched, he spent 10 days in the Canadian wilderness with just 10 items. His videos (or at least the ones I’ve been watching) are usually just over an hour long, but they’re good to have on while doing something like building Ikea furniture!

3rd February 2019

So today was our first visit to Ikea for the new house. It was the most stressful visit to Ikea that I’ve ever had. The major issue is the one-way system they have, so everyone has to follow the same route. And as you can imagine, not everyone works at the same speed. So there are old people walking slowly, people just taking their time and browsing, kids running everywhere, and me just trying to get to the next department. It also didn’t help that we weren’t in control of the time, as we had to come with someone that we knew that had a van, so we had to be as fast as possible.

We still managed to buy quite a lot of stuff. The main things were two sofas, a tv unit, and a big storage unit for my office. We purchased two, two-seater sofas, but unfortunately, one colour wasn’t available to take away, so we’re going to have that delivered. But it’s going to be a big bonus having somewhere to finally sit down!

Tonight I expect to put together the sofa and tv unit, and then tomorrow it’s back to work!