May 12, 2019
Podcast chapters 1.5 approaching
It has been a little while now since I took over development of Podcast chapters. Close to two months, in fact.
From the outside the only visible events have been one minor update fixing a small bug and a couple of changed references to owner and contact details. On the inside, I have been slowly but surely (well, sometimes quite hesitantly, to be honest) hammering away at the core of the app, mainly doing work I hope no end user will ever notice other than there being slightly fewer problems. The real point is cleaning up some technical debt and make a whole lot of fun stuff possible going forward.
So: 1.5 is coming. Big thing for me, hopefully not for anyone else.
Well, okay, it will also fix a couple of bugs and add a minor feature or two.
For those excited by code like myself, I do plan to talk about the story so far once this version is out. But first things first: finish thing, then talk about it.
The thing I really wanted to write about was having a couple of those wonderful moments where a bug is finally found, things click and become just that much clearer than they were before. Being in such unfamiliar territory, I have had minor moments like that along the whole way, but the last few days they were of the kind where that one minor problem is fixed and a whole chunk of code starts to just work. No matter how small the fix was, the combined relief and sense of accomplishment is just incredible.
(And in this particular case, once found the fixes have been truly minimal. We are talking being off by a byte and such things.)
If you read this and happen to be into podcast production involving chapters and other ID3 metadata: what would you like in a good chapter editing app for the Mac? What should it do to fit well into your workflow (new or old)?
May 01, 2019
Books I have read
Books and other literature I have read, in, somewhat uncertain, reverse chronological order. The list starts from the summer of 2008, and my main purpose with it is to be able to see what I have actually been reading. I do feel that I read many quite good books, but I never seem to be able to recall what I have recently read when asked for recommendations.
- Norma, by Sofi Oksanen
- The soul of a new machine, by Tracy Kidder
- Under Stalins diktatur, by Signe Kaskela
- Game engine black book: Doom
- How to make sense of any mess, by Abby Covert
- Creative selection, by Ken Kocienda
- The leprechauns of software engineering, by Laurent Bossavit
- Algorithms to live by, by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths
- Afrikanen, by J.M.G Le Clézio
- Mooncop, by Tom Gauld
- The levers of power, by Jason Fry
- A new dawn, by John Jackson Miller
- Bottleneck, by John Jackson Miller
- Mercy mission, by Melissa Scott
- Natural born heroes, by Christopher McDougall
- Making sense of color management, by Craig Hockenberry
- Tarkin, by James Luceno
- The year without pants, by Scott Berkun
- Batman - the killing joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bollard
- What if? by Randall Munroe
- Käre ledare - min flykt från Nordkorea, by Jang Jin-Sung
- Äventyrsspel - bland mutanter, drakar och demoner, by Orvar Säfström and Jimmy Wilhelmsson
- Take control of Audio hijack, by Kirk McElhearn
- Pro HTML5 games, by Aditya Ravi Shankar
- So, anyway …, by John Cleese
- The Martian, by Andy Weir
- Extremely loud & incredibly close, by Jonathan Safran Foer
- Svärdet och spiran, by Ken Follett
- What is code, by Paul Ford
- Marina, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
- Becoming Steve Jobs, by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
- Gone girl, by Gillian Flynn
- Thinking, fast and slow, by Daniel Kahneman
- Expeditionen - min kärlekshistoria, by Bea Uusma
- Världens vinter, by Ken Follett
- Generation 64, by Jimmy Wilhelmsson and Kenneth Grönwall
- Inferno, by Dan Brown
- Yellow submarine, English interactive edition
- Giganternas fall, by Ken Follett
- Ensam i Berlin, by Hans Fallada
- Stora löparboken, by Hans Wiktorson
- Creativity, inc. by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace
- Nionde arméns undergång - kampen om Berlin 1945, by Niclas Sennerteg
- Version control with Git, by Jon Loeliger and Matthew McCullough
- Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
- Ravioli, by Klas Östergren
- I döda språks sällskap, by Ola Wikander
- Berättelser från Engelsfors, by Sara Bergmark Elfgren and Mats Strandberg
- En av oss, by Åsne Seierstad
- The great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Living with someone who's living with bipolar disorder, by Chelsea Lowe and Bruce M. Cohen
- Out of time in Wan chai, by Fan Tong
- Mitt liv som porrstjärna, by Puma Swede and Jan Ekholm
- The complete works of H.P. Lovecraft
- How to get filthy rich in rising Asia, by Mohsin Hamid
- The new Avengers volume 1: Breakout, by Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch
- On writing well, 30th anniversary edition, by William Zinsser
- Bipolar II disorder, modelling, measuring and managing, second edition, by Gordon Parker (editor)
- Eat and run, by Scott Jurek and Steve Friedman
- Knockout.js succinctly, by Ryan Hodson
- Clean code, by Robert Martin
- Peopleware, by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
- The mythical man-month, by Frederick Brooks
- Code complete (second edition), by Steve McConnell
- Mona Lisa overdrive, by William Gibson (yes, re-read)
- The art of readable code, by Dustin Boswell and Trevor Foucher
- Count Zero, by William Gibson (again, re-read)
- Neuromancer, by William Gibson (re-read, but last time was 15 or so years ago …)
- Churchill, by John Lukacs
- Tito - folkets diktator, by Björn Kumm
- Tweeting the universe, by Marcus Chown and Govert Schilling
- Andra världskrigets historia, by Liddell Hart
- Jag är din flickvän nu, by Nina Hemmingsson
- The bipolar disorder survival guide, by David Miklowitz
- Metro 2033, by Dmitry Glukhovsky
- C++ direkt, by Jan Skansholm
- Test-driven iOS development, by Graham Lee
- Sunset park, by Paul Auster
- Pushing ice, by Alastair Reynolds
- The difference engine, by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
- Born to run, by Christopher McDougall
- Idea man, by Paul Allen
- Med Hitler till slutet, by Heinz Linge
- Insanely simple, by Ken Segall
- Lyckohjulet, by Jonas Hansson
- The art of deception, by Kevin Mitnick
- Neonomicon, by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows
- Doggy Monday, by Maria Sveland
- Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
- The arrival, by Shaun Tan
- Maria & José, by Erlend Loe och Kom Hiorthøy
- Stupid white men, by Michael Moore
- The design of everyday things, by Donald A. Norman
- Being geek, by Michael Lopp
- The elements of style, by William Strunk and E. B. White
- The Authoritarians, by Bob Altemeyer
- Seven languages in seven weeks, by Bruce A. Tate
- A mind in prison, by Bruno Manz
- Do androids dream of electric sheep? by Philip K. Dick
- Var är min syster? by Sven Nordqvist
- Svenska skrivregler, by Språkrådet
- Endless nights, by Neil Gaiman
- Ipad programming - a quick-start guide for Iphone developers, by Daniel H Steinberg and Eric T Freeman
- Textmate: power editing for the Mac, by James Edward Gray II
- In cold blood, by Truman Capote
- Harry Potter and the deathly hallows, by J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the half-blood prince, by J.K. Rowling
- Nausicaä of the valley of the wind, by Hayao Miyazaki
- The catcher in the rye, by J.D. Salinger
- The Wake, by Neil Gaiman, part ten of the collected Sandman comic.
- Vad jag pratar om när jag pratar om löpning, by Haruki Murakami
- Vitt ark, by Simon Eidorson
- The pomodoro technique, by Francesco Cirillo
- The Harry Potter series part one to five, by J.K. Rowling, as audiobooks.
- Lika barn..., by Simon Eidorson
- The Kindly ones, by Neil Gaiman, part nine of the collected Sandman comic.
- The lost symbol, by Dan Brown
- Den som dödar draken, by Leif G.W. Persson
- Lev livet - det går inte i repris
- Coders at work, by Peter Seibel
- Beautiful code, edited by Andy Oram and Greg Wilson
- Iphone SDK development, by Bill Dudney and Chris Adamson
- I have life, Alison's journey, by Marianne Thamm
- No logo, by Naomi Klein
- GUI bloopers 2.0, by Jeff Johnson
- The angel's game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
- Snow crash, by Neal Stephenson
- Spook country, by William Gibson
- Bone, by Jeff Smith
- Jpod, by Douglas Coupland
- World's end, by Neil Gaiman, eigth part of the collected Sandman comic.
- RESTful web services, by Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby
- Test-driven development by example, by Kent Beck
- The knowledge-creating company, byt Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi
- Compilers - principles, techniques and tools, by Aho, Lam, Sethi and Ullman
- Structure and interpretation of computer programs by Hal Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman, and Julie Sussman
- Pragmatic thinking and learning - refactor your wetware, by Andy Hunt
- Practical common lisp, by Peter Seibel
- The algorithm design manual, by Steven Skinea
- Brief lives, by Neil Gaiman. The seventh part of the collected Sandman comic.
- Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell
- Mahatma!, by Zac O'Yeah
- Gomorra, by Roberto Saviano
- Inshallah, by Donald Boström
- Montecore, by Jonas Hassen Khemiri
- Hemsöborna, by August Strindberg
- Everything is illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer
- The time machine, by HG Wells
- Egalias döttrar, by Gerd Brantenberg
- The secret history of Star wars, by Michael Kaminski
- Learning Cocoa with Objective C, by James Duncan Davidson
- Cocoa programming for Mac OS X, by Aaron Hillegass
- Människa utan hund, by Håkan Nesser
- Tyskungen, by Camilla Läckberg
- Carolus Rex, by Ernst Brunner
April 11, 2019
Is Beat saber a killer app for VR? I have not only played a lot in the past months, I have also let other people try it whenever the opportunity arises. From age six to forty, everyone who I have helped adjust the headset has been able to grasp the game and have a thoroughly good time from the first beat. The kids especially have a great time, with the no failures option letting them finish songs without worrying too much about the details of slicing. And when not playing, they are bouncing up and down centimetres from the TV, commenting on every move. It re-struck me (if there is such a concept) how much more social and graspable the Playstation VR becomes by having the real-time stream of the view right there on the TV:
The last time I wrote about the game I imagined a standalone, cable-free, version perfect for travel.
Since then, I realized the Oculus quest is on its way and that Beat saber will be on it.
I fear this is enough to make me buy another system, just to play a game I already own in a slightly better way.
That does sound a lot like a killer app, right?
March 24, 2019
The best kind of end
There is a live recording of Pet shop boys at the Mermaid theatre with a full symphonic orchestra. They finish the regular set to tons of applause, and when they come back on I can hear the wide smile on Neil Tennant's face as he says "It's not really the end, of course."
That is how I feel right now, having had the honor to play a small part in En podd om teknik's marathon live charity event, also doubling as their final season. I have a wide smile, a lovely fuzzy feeling inside and a knowledge that it is not really the end. This particular podcast is wrapping up for sure, but it is doing it in a nice laidback way while both listeners and makers having a good time, and I know other good things will come out of it.
I want more experiences like this. And whoever wants to put on an event like this should definitely consult the crew here because everything worked so well as to almost be suspicious.
I needed to leave way before the very end of the evening, which was a little sad as I am sure the last part will be the very best for us long-time listeners. On the other hand, it means I will have some all-new material to consume at some later point when withdrawals become too bad.
Also, I now get to discover what comes next.
It is not really the end, of course.
March 17, 2019
Adopting Podcast chapters
In the early evening of March 6th 2019, I became the developer of Podcast chapters, the Mac app for managing chapters and other metadata in MP3 files. I am excited and very thankful to Thomas Pritchard, the original developer of the app, for giving me this opportunity. I have given him a hand with the last few versions of the app, so I think I speak for us both when I say this felt like the natural step once it became clear Thomas had too many other things going on.
What will happen?
My main goal here is to keep a good thing good: I use Podcast chapters several times per week and the most important thing for me is to keep up with fixing any bugs, keep the app evolving as a good Mac citizen and perhaps even add a feature or two some day.
It feels really great to have an app in an app store again, and even more so now that it is a Mac app. There are so many indie Mac developers I look up to for the love and craftsmanship they put into their creations. Native Mac apps seem to me to have a very high average quality and care level, perhaps the highest of any platform I know of, and I look forward to striving for that. I have often thought about building something Mac native, since web and other cross-platform stuff is most of what I do every day, but I have missed a suitable project. Podcast chapters is the right size for me to be exciting, meaningful and hopefully also decently managable inbetween everything else in life.
Request for comments
Oh, and if you use the app: I want to hear what you think! Do you miss something in it? Do you suffer from some bug I have not yet heard about? Get in touch! I have already had two support requests, one of which led straight to a bug which was just the right size for a new maintainer.
Other than that, I have started hacking on some internal parts. I am aware that parsing bytes out of MP3 files may not sound like a fun pastime to the average person, but trust me: it can be in the right circumstances.