Searchpath improvements

As part of a renewed commitment this year to work on my web app Searchpath, I’ve just rolled out a few improvements. A search engine like Searchpath needs frequent maintenance to keep running smoothly — minor bug fixes and behind-the-scenes work on queues and web crawling — but I also hope to catch up on new features that I’ve long planned for the product.

One marketing bullet I always had that wasn’t fully realized: “Also serves as a text backup for your site.” Searchpath now exposes links to download both the HTML for any stored page on your site as well as a text-only version of that page after Searchpath has attempted to trim out the navigation and other links. Hopefully this will help out any customers who might need to retrieve lost text from their site if their primary site backup failed (or doesn’t exist).

Searchpath is free to try and $8/month or $75/year. Setup is as simple as copy/pasting one line of JavaScript where you want a search box. You can learn more and get started here.

Core Int jobs testimonials

We’ve been lucky to see some great job listings appear on Core Intuition Jobs. Companies are getting good résumés and job applicants are finding the kind of job they’ve always wanted.

When we hear from companies who have hired someone, we like to include a brief testimonial on the sidebar of the site. We’re about to add this one from Ken Drew at iRobot:

“Our experience with the Core Intuition Jobs board went beyond our expectations. It provided higher caliber candidates for our recent iOS developer position. After doing code reviews for the candidate we eventually hired, we are more than pleased with who we found.”

Thank you to everyone who listens to the podcast or watches on Twitter for new job listings. The opportunities for iOS and Mac developers have never been better. Get the job you want or find the next great member of your team.

Core Int 180 and Slack

We posted this week’s Core Intuition late last night. This episode is all about WWDC tickets, our plan for San Francisco, and when we’re going to adopt Swift.

We’re also trying something new for listeners, or anyone who wants to talk about programming, WWDC, and other Mac and iOS topics. You can get an automatic invite to our Slack channels for the show by visiting chat.coreint.org. Feel free to join in! I’ve been impressed with how well Slack works for this, and the great discussion that’s already happening there.

John Siracusa’s unbreakable record

I’ve been watching a lot of NBA games this season. I’ve caught well over half of the Spurs’s 82 games so far alone, on TV and SiriusXM in the car (and a few in person in San Antonio). I’m not sure how far they’ll make it, but you can’t argue with the greatness of this team over so many years.

The NBA has some records that just seem unbreakable. Either because the rules or style of play have evolved in the modern era, or because the records were insane at the time, these are feats we may not see again. Here are 10 such records, from Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game to the Laker’s 33-game winning streak to Bill Russell’s 11 championships. The Spurs’s 16-year streak of 50-win seasons is approaching this category of success as well.

That’s kind of how I view John Siracusa’s series of Mac OS X reviews on Ars Technica. There have been other excellent reviews about Mac OS X over the years, but the depth and consistency of John’s reviews may always stand apart. If you’re starting today and want to top it, you will have to work for the next 15 years just to be competitive at all.

Congratulations John on a great run. Nothing seems to last forever on the internet — web sites fade away, and some obscure technology isn’t well-covered to begin with — so it’s nice to know that these Mac OS X reviews are at a stable site where we’ll be able to reference them for years to come.

2015/04/16 10:51 am

To make the finals again, the Spurs will have to go through the 3 best teams in the western conference: Clippers → Houston (probably) → Golden State. Tough, but they know how to beat each of those teams.

Textshots

Federico Viticci of MacStories provides some context for so-called textshots with the upcoming release of Wikipedia’s new app:

“The practice of sharing ‘textshots’ – screenshots of text, as they’re often referred to – has taken off among certain tech niches for two reasons. First, turning text into a static image is a primitive but effective workaround to circumvent Twitter’s 140-character limitations. But more importantly, humans have a natural tendency for convenience and visual feedback, and these two aspects are combined in the art of well crafted textshots: they save you a click, and they make shared passages of text more visually appealing.”

I don’t like textshots. They’re like DRM for tweets: a trade-off that obscures real metadata and text selection just to hack around Twitter’s limitations.

If I were building a Twitter-like social network, I’d certainly allow basic HTML styled text and inline images in a microblog post, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to encourage textshots.

WWDC 2015 dates

WWDC will be June 8-12 this year, with a lottery for ticket selection. I’m not going to put my name in the hat for a ticket; I hope to save some money and let others have a chance. I’ll be in town for a few days to meet up with folks and attend AltConf, which looks excellent again.

The student scholarship page caught my eye this year. App submissions have to be written using at least some Swift:

“To be considered for a WWDC 2015 Scholarship, build and submit an app that showcases your creativity and technical skills. Your Mac app or iOS app must be written in Objective-C and Swift, or written entirely in Swift.”

I’m also starting to reset my expectations for a more full-featured, native Apple Watch SDK. I think we’ll see welcome improvements to WatchKit, but with the watch still weeks out from shipping, it seems too soon for a reimagining of the API by June.

Goodbye Riposte

Jared Sinclair announces that Riposte will no longer be available:

“As part of an agreement reached over an alleged trademark infringement, Riposte (the App.net app I made with Jamin Guy) will be removed from sale on the App Store. We’ll also be taking down the riposteapp.net homepage.”

Even today, Riposte is arguably the best social networking client out there. It pioneered consistent gestures for navigation. It will remain on my home screen for some time to come.

True cost of the Apple Watch

Kirk McElhearn writes (via Thomas Brand) that when you include the cost of buying an iPhone, the actual cost of the Apple Watch is $900 or more:

“That’s $349 for the cheapest Apple Watch – the Sport model – and $549 for the cheapest iPhone (the 5s; I don’t count the 5c, because it’s too limited). This is the unlocked price for the iPhone, of course; you can get one cheaper if you commit to a contract.”

While I generally agree with the sentiment, I have to take issue with his dismissal of the 5C, which I’ve been using as my primary phone for over a year now. I’m an iPhone developer, so if it’s good enough for me it seems adequate for regular users who just want to use the Apple Watch. In fact, the opposite of Kirk’s argument is actually true: pairing an Apple Watch with the 5C makes the phone less limited than before by adding Apple Pay to it.

The 5C unlocked is $450, which drops the total price with watch to $800. And really, it’s a non-issue, since nearly everyone excited about the watch already has an iPhone.

When Apple shipped the first iPod, it required a Mac. Later they supported Windows, and today the iPod Touch is completely untethered and requires no computer. I expect we’ll see a similar transition with the watch becoming increasingly more useful as a standalone device, but there’s no rush to get there.