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Issue 15

13 March 2019

by Lori Olson

#OPED

Has anybody ever heard of Margaret Wolfe Hungerford? Neither had we. But did you know she coined the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? This seemed to be a great place to start this week’s RubyMotion Newsletter.

Our friends over at UX Planet just ran a great article called Opinionated App Design. With apologies to Ms. Hungerford, whether you love the design featured in the article—or not so much?—is entirely in the eye of the beholder. Both sides can certainly agree on one thing, though: the design has a very distinct opinion as to how it’s going to do things and for which it makes no apologies. Here are some examples:

  1. There is no option to submit app analytics.
  2. It doesn’t hide the choices they would prefer the users not take.
  3. It makes use of really bright, in-your-face colours.
  4. There are no trendy (some say faddy?) dark patterns.
  5. The article provides justification for these decisions but suffice to say another app—maybe yours?—could easily make alternative decisions in each of these areas. In response, this developer might say “if you prefer the alternative then get their app, not ours”. ‘Nuff said.

The price paid for having an opinionated app is not everyone is going to love your choices. The benefit, however, is that your app becomes more distinctive, focused and robust. Users who love it will really love it and that’s the kind of user you and every other app developer should want.

Because there are no analytics in the app (doh!) they will never be able to validate whether any of the above were good decisions. Except that it’s obvious they were good decisions because they put the user first and the developer last.

And that’s always the way it should be.

The next session of 6 Pack Apps will be here before you know it and in anticipation of that we are going to revisit some of the most commonly asked questions from last fall’s session. First up:

“Do I have to have an app idea to take the course?”

As a matter of fact…NO! 6 Pack Apps is not your usual syntax-and-code focused programming course. Rather, it embraces a wholistic approach to app ideation, validation and execution. In other words, Lori will be illustrating a technique, which with a little work, can generate endless app ideas.

What’s the best way to get a feel for the 6 Pack Apps course? The free, one hour webinar, of course! It introduces the curriculum and the whole 6 Pack Apps philosophy. Spots in the webinar are limited so reserve yours today to avoid crushing disappointment.

#MSH: Motioneers Slack Highlights

What do you mean you’re not a member of the Motioneers Slack team? All the cool kids hang out there so if you want to be counted amongst their number, sign up now and we won’t tell anybody that wasn’t already the case. Your secret is safe with is.

With that out of the way, the first highlight for this week comes from Richard MacGregor who is proposing a change of name for the changelog command to changelog-and-getting-started-and-troubleshooting-weird-stuff command. Seems about right and we couldn’t agree more.

As usual, there’s more to the story than that and if you want to check it out you can find it here on the Motioneers Slack.

The second highlight involves some light being shed on the “socket error when running ‘rake’ in new redpotion app” issue. Andrew Havens redirected Tim Spiller to Slack where Amir’s solution to that problem from a few months ago was referenced.

And for recommending you join the Motioneers Slack team…you’re welcome.

#GOTW: Gem of the Week

While we’re on the subject of quotes for which we likely do not know the original source how about “a designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”. Any takers? Well, let’s leave the answer to that one ‘til next week.

In any event, how that relates to this #GOTW is the newclear gem. It’s hard to take anything else away when you’re down to exactly one line. However that one line “rake newclear” will result in a complete, ground up rebuild of your iOS or Android RubyMotion app.

So what’s left for you do after you type that and hit ? Another single word: **relax**.

Community

There are a couple of items this week: first up, an interesting series of Tweets from Amir about fantastic mobile games you can play without any ads or privacy violations. How do they do it, you may ask? A totally novel concept: you pay for them. As Amir says, though: “[t]hese games have literally provided me 100+ hours of joy. And I didn’t have to watch a single ad or give up my privacy”. Here’s the entire tweetversation. We think that actually paying for things which have value is a trend which has real legs.

The second item is a little more prosaic if not just as interesting: Thomas Zoechling relates a Heisenbug story about MindNode’s latest release. Yes, we had to look it up as well: “a software bug that seems to disappear or alter its behaviour when one attempts to study it”. Oh, we get it now—the theoretical physicist, not Walter White’s alter ego. In any event, you can check out the whole thread for more details.

Last but not least… it’s that day! Second Wednesday of the month is RubyMotion Meetup day! Come on in to the Slack #meetup channel (or #general), at 7pm PDT (check your timezone here - https://everytimezone.com/s/8810a4e8) and we’ll post the Google Hangout link when we get things started.

#AHOTW: App Highlight of the Week

We have been thinking about ways to avoid this Tuesday morning (c)rush to get the newsletter out to our cherished readers. The answer may lie in this week’s #AHOTW: WordTarget. It’s an “app designed to help you stick to a writing goal. It doesn’t matter where or what you are writing - if your goal is to write a set amount of words a day, WordTarget will help you track yourself against that goal”.

Uh, yeah, we need that.

#TWIL: This Week I Learned

Although this item by Will Wilson is from January, we just stumbled across it this week. Did you know—well, we didn’t—that CloudKit is based on FoundationDB? Yep, it’s true.

Now, you didn’t really think Apple had come up with all that stuff on their own, right?

That’s a Wrap

That’s it for this week. Can’t stand the thought of waiting a whole seven days for the next Newsletter? Well, you’re going wait a lot longer than that if you don’t subscribe! Also, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn for other Newsletter-worthy content between now and then.

So until next week…may all your bugs not be Heisen.

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