Steve Troughton-Smith writes about Catalyst:

That NeXT competitive advantage became Apple’s competitive advantage, and, later, iPhone’s competitive advantage. This is the competitive advantage a native platform from Apple has over the web; it would be such a shame to half-ass this transition to Marzipan and concede defeat to web apps on the desktop instead of letting native apps reach the heights they deserve.

So far, Catalyst (the official name for Marzipan) apps aren’t that great. Not even the Apple ones. But they are getting better, and that’s encouraging.

SwiftUI is maturing nicely too, and it seems to be a better option for creating quality cross-platform software. Apple also seems to be putting more focus on it than Catalyst, which is a good thing.

Oh, and one more thing: I can now run iOS/iPadOS apps on my M1 Mac. Buckle up.

I design software, and much of that work is done in Sketch. I’ve used it my whole career and will continue to do so as long as it stays a native app. Lucky for me, I think it will. (Kudos to whoever set that headline in ITC Garamond Narrow, and shame on whoever set the text in it.)

I was also worried that Origami Studio, another great tool I use, would go with Electron for their next big release, but I’m happy I was wrong!

Google’s new logos are bad”. You can say that again…

CodeRunner recently went from being a playground to being my go-to code editor for anything I do outside Xcode.

Fast and versatile with a solid completion engine. I’m so happy to see great editors with IDE capabilities that aren’t built on top of Chromium.

Blogroll

Listed below are some of the blogs I follow closely. (Last updated 3 June 2020.)

Apple

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Danny Carey of Tool is a good drummer.

Oh, and if you are on an iPad, use this bookmarklet to get the system playback controls. Fuck your custom player, YouTube.

Another great RSS app from back in the day: NewsFire.

Gotta love the French, and that permalink: daringfireball.net/linked/2020/04/03/f-u.

Jason Fried writes about suddenly working remotely:

This also isn’t a time to try to simulate the office. Working from home is not working from the office. Working remotely is not working locally. Don’t try to make one the other. If you have meetings all day at the office, don’t simply simulate those meetings via video. This is an opportunity not to have those meetings [emphasis added]. Write it up instead, disseminate the information that way. Let people absorb it on their own time. Protect their time and attention. Improve the way you communicate.

Prediction: Origami Studio will follow in the path of Spark AR Studio and become a cross-platform app. I imagine they will go a React + Electron route (as apposed to C++ and Qt like they did with Spark), as I don’t think performance will be as important.

I hope I’m wrong.

Talking about Pulp and Caffeinated got me thinking about another similar gem from the days of yore: Socialite (originally EventBox).

Reda Lemeden describes how you can take full-page screenshots of webpages in Safari on macOS.


This is also doable in Safari on iOS (since iOS 13) by taking a screenshot of a webpage, or by using the “Markup” action in the activity view.

I’m looking into bringing those capabilities to Chrome on iOS too. Fingers crossed they aren’t private APIs.

I don’t write Go, but if I did, I’d use Chime:

Our whole philosophy is fewer features, built with more polish. Attention to detail and thoughtful design is what Chime is all about.

What a breath of fresh air!

…and while I’m reminiscing about RSS apps: Pulp by Acrylic Software was beautiful. They also made Wallet, which I miss dreadfully.

Back in the day I used Caffeinated for Google Reader. The same guy that did that app is behind IconJar. Neat!

I keep up with things that interest me by subscribing to blogs on the internet. For this I use a service called Feedbin, which aggregates all my feeds in one place and keeps them up-to-date.

Next I use a feed reader called Unread on my iPhone and iPad to actually read through all those blog posts. And when I’m at my Mac, I use NetNewsWire.


Here are some other great feed readers for macOS and iOS:

DefaultApp looks like a great way to bootstrap a new macOS app.

When people sign their emails with a single initial, I imagine they must either be really busy or really well-known.

P

With rumored ARM Macs on the horizon, it is a good time to reflect on how Apple has handled technology transitions over the years.

While reading about a nifty way to do CI-like things via GitHub Actions, I learned that with a bit of hoop-jumping, Catalyst apps on macOS can use all the power of AppKit.

What a nice rabbit hole to happen down!

Wise words by Reda Lemeden:

If you are just starting out as a UI designer, learn to ignore design trends.

^D deletes forward. How did I not know this!?

I Hate Slack

I just wrote about why I hate Medium, so while I’m all in a rage, let me rag on Slack.

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I Hate Medium

Too many good writers, articles and thoughts have been sucked into that siloed black hole.

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A New Year, a New Site

Ok, the site isn’t new as in design or content, but the underlying tech is. I guess it is also a little late to be writing a new-year post. Oh well…

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Software tends to march steadily downhill as it accumulates more and more features (read crap). I think one good way to fight the bloat, especially in a corporate environment, is to remember that your project/feature is not the most important thing.

Driving that one home is not easy, but it is critical if you are to preserve the software’s integrity.

On the subject of using math to justify design choices, I like Matthew Butterick’s stance × 1.61803398875:

The risk with these shortcuts is that they encourage typographers to satisfy themselves with numerical justifications—I used the golden ratio, therefore it must look good!—at the expense of developing visual judgment. When your headings look right, they are right—and if so, the ratio matters not a whit.

Frank Chimero writes:

It’s always felt narrow to say that design is problem-solving; there’s more to it than that. Design can inform, yet that very often needs to begin by seducing. That’s the aspect of design I find most fascinating.

Sometimes I feel guilty about focusing on aesthetics, but that is silly. Lest we forget, form and function are both important aspects of design. Two sides of the same coin.

Good thoughts on habits and how important it is to be cognizant of all the little tendencies that govern our lives.

Another very informative article by Martin Pilkington about the features of AppKit and the ways in which it differs from UIKit.

I sincerely hope the power we’ve enjoyed on the Mac isn’t lost with Marzipan.

Frank Chimero writes:

Good work is grounded in an attention to detail and knowledge of and respect for the materials. The more experience I gain, the truer this proves itself. Pay attention, respect the material, listen to how it guides you, and be gentle. You’ll be surprised by what you can do and how flexible it all can be.

This reminds me of another piece by him, “The Web’s Grain”, which talks about design that respects the medium.

Come to think of it, this also reminds me of his article “What Screens Want”. Am I sensing a trend here?

Living in Paris has changed me. The fast pace, pride and hardness that comes from living in a tourist-filled city has begun to rub off. It’s been a slow, creeping change, but sure enough I recognize myself a little less when I stop and reflect.

Slow down. Smile at a stranger. That’s who you are.

“The View-Source Web”

Being able to peak under the hood, tinker and figure out how it all worked was what got me started as a web developer. Come to think of it, it is still how I learn and work. I’m afraid we might be losing some of that, however.

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A great article by Martin Pilkington, covering much of the breadth of UI controls available in AppKit. Also, this article by Brent Simmons does a great job of describing the value in using stock interface elements.

Important words to remember by Frank Chimero:

You don’t get to decide the truth. Other people have their own experiences, just as valid. This is easy to forget. Your slice of life seems so large and unmistakeable, but it is your job to not confuse your small piece for the whole. Life is big—much bigger than just yours. This is the only note to self: other people are real. That’s all there is to learn.

Mac Open Web: “a collection of open and indie Mac, iOS, and web apps that help promote the open web.”

Hello World

Hi, I’m Pete and this is my little corner of the internet. Today marks the first day of its existence—I hope there are many more to come.

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