From my side of the Mac Developer Roundtable

Last week I was asked to participate in the Mac Developer Roundtable podcast, hosted by Steve “Scotty” Scott. I’m unquestionably the new kid on the program. This was my first podcast ever, and the other guests are far more experienced in Cocoa programming than little old me. Everyone was very nice, and I had a great time.

I should say I’m writing this prior to the episode’s release but I’m assuming Scotty will do his usual excellent job editing, hopefully even raising my IQ a few points. I also hope the GSM buzz from my end of the line isn’t distracting. The phone in question was in another room and wasn’t audible to me during recording, but I heard it later on. Very frustrating as I’d done everything to keep noise down including buying a pop filter and turning off the HVAC system (I already had decent audio equipment for other purposes). Alysa somehow managed to keep Ariella (our almost-two-year-old) quiet, which was amazing.

My secret hope in participating was to motivate myself to improve the frequency of both my Cocoa coding and blogging. Only time will tell about the latter, but the former has paid off. I have two new (small) iPhone app projects in the works. The more complicated is time-sensitive in nature so I’m working towards releasing it first. I’d actually completed an iPhone app mid-July, but at the last moment decided against releasing it. That’s an interesting story really, but for another day. I do regret my decision to pull back on that app. The app wouldn’t have made the world a better place, but I suspect I’d be a better coder if I’d continued in forward motion.

One comment I remember making during the show is how Apple makes it difficult for newbies to ObjC/Cocoa to get from Point A to Point C. One possibility is that’s intentional, to weed out those not cut out for quality Mac programming. Either way it’s clear that Apple does not apply their highly regarded ease of use talents to the coding process.

Today I ran into two issues. First was an error with iPhone Provisioning Profiles. My app wouldn’t install onto my iPhone (in development/debug mode), with XCode spitting out a 15507 error saying my profile wasn’t on my phone. Which it was (I’d installed other self-written apps previously, and even did so again to confirm all was still happy). I combined several suggestions provided by the googleverse, deleted and re-installed profiles, changed various project options, and suddenly all was happy in the world. Provisioning profiles (part of the signing process) are key to iPhone development, yet the whole process is far removed from anything Mac users would consider sensible. I don’t mean it’s too technical; it’s just wrong.

Second, I wanted to configure XCode’s built-in Source Code Management (Subversion) functionality. I’d used this with other folks’ projects before, but had never configured my own (instead doing ad-hoc version control myself). I searched for Subversion within Developer Tools Library. The top item was a link to an ADC page on configuring Subversion – using XCode 1.5. I’m using 3.1.2. More than a few differences. So I was left to figure things out on my own. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not how I’d hoped to spend my time. Only while writing this post did I find the more recent documentation further down the results list. Why would Apple include such old info within 3.1′s documentation? The old page doesn’t even provide a link to newer info.

Neither of the above are earth-shattering of course. I really am enjoying using XCode, ObjC, and Cocoa. Just two minor yet preventable issues that got in the way of my intent to code. I’ve been coding on Macs off and on since 1986 so I’ve seen plenty of odd stuff (like creating QTVR images in MPW!). This just seems inconsistent with why I use a Mac.

I said I’d blog more. I’ll try to complain less.

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