Browsing the archive

As the evening progressed and what passes for darkness in late May set in, I found myself browsing my old entries on this site again.

I think it started with wondering something about Gothenburg startup hack, but I quickly passed Middle earth: shadow of Mordor and then, inevitably, fell into dreams and memories of Webos phones.

If there was a really small phone with a good enough camera, I think I could really enjoy a small-screen lifestyle.

I also learned that - according to the best records I have - the next time i run Göteborgsvarvet will be the tenth. At least that will make the number easier to remember, for a while.

I discovered when I started using my little personal weekly planning and productivity system. I started thinking of Berlin, and the age when Björeman // Melin had less than 50 episodes.

The point here is that it is nice to write things down, and to do it in a place you can actually go have a look at every now and then.

Writing on spec

Another update to Podcast Chapters is currently waiting for Apple to review it.

It is really a single patch, but an important one because it causes some podcast players to only display a single chapter. It also causes garbage characters to show up at the end of chapter titles in some places, but given the problem I am a bit surprised it did not surface earlier and much more frequently.

My error was a classic case of not reading the specification closely enough. Some textual information should, basically, be ended with trailing zeroes, while others should not. This is marked quite clearly in the ID3 tag specification, yet not clear enough for my distracted mind. What happened was that I added trailing zeroes in my string writing function, because all those zeroes-requiring places were breaking. Then, I clearly did not think far enough to realize that the other strings had no indication of wanting zeroes and thus probably should not have them. Plus it all worked in the players I had access to testing in, so I went on my merry way releasing versions.

Now that I finally got a clear and major problem report, I realized I had seen a few indications before, but not dug into them because they were not causing issues.

My way to locating the problem was also rather long. The problem report was of chapters failing to appear in Antennapod, an open-source (and very nice-looking) podcast player app for Android. Suddenly, I found myself setting up all of Android studio, building, running in simulators, debugging Java code, and having a surprisingly good time of it all. I was expecting the whole process to be much more of a slow mess, especially on a Mac, but clearly things have progressed a lot since I last attempted to run an Android simulator.

And it was all worth it for the ability to set break points and inspect local state. Then I just needed some breakpoints in Xcode of the writing side of the process and a little bit of staring at the specification before the pieces fell into place and the handful of changes were ready for upload.

Might come out tomorrow if we are really lucky. Soon, in any case.

I wonder if WWDC will bring anything fun for Podcast Chapters?

Otherwise, I think I still have a few things left on the to-do list …