We ☠ Eclipse

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Over the years, I’ve used a variety of editions of Eclipse with a variety of plugins. These days I try and minimize all of that and ask Eclipse to do as little as possible as infrequently as plausible. The below is a diary of sorts of the events that led to that choice.

A selection of ways Eclipse has failed me:

  • It lies about custom key bindings being set, doesn’t actually set them despite indicating it has, and stores the bindings in the robust and never problematic Java-properties+XML standard format resulting in configuration files that look like this:


    eclipse.preferences.version=1
    org.eclipse.ui.commands=<?xml version\="1.0" encoding\="UTF-8"?>\n<org.eclipse.ui.commands>\n<activeKeyConfiguration keyConfigurationId\="org.eclipse.ui.emacsAcceleratorConfiguration"/>\n<keyBinding commandId\="org.eclipse.jdt.ui.edit.text.java.search.references.in.project" contextId\="org.eclipse.ui.contexts.window" keyConfigurationId\="org.eclipse.ui.emacsAcceleratorConfiguration" keySequence\="COMMAND+SHIFT+V"/>\n<keyBinding commandId\="org.eclipse.ui.window.previousPerspective" contextId\="org.eclipse.ui.contexts.window" keyConfigurationId\="org.eclipse.ui.emacsAcceleratorConfiguration" keySequence\="ALT+COMMAND+CTRL+ARROW_LEFT"/>\n</org.eclipse.ui.commands>
    overridepresentation=true

    Normally I could care less what format software stores its config files in, but despite the braindead format I’ve still had better luck editing this file by hand than trying to get Eclipse to handle it correctly. If your config file format is too error-prone for your software to handle, maybe it’s time for a change.

We Heart Trello

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Agile project management software. Neat little colored digital cards moving left to right. To do, in progress, done. Backlogs, teams, and burndown charts. Flurries of emails – sometimes useful, sometimes not, often routed to folders and never read.

Up until recently, most of us made exclusive use of feature rich tools like Jira, Pivotal Tracker, or Assembla. If you are a developer, tester, pm, or stakeholder in today’s world, you probably still use one of these tools every day. In fact, you are probably so familiar with your particular task management tool that it seems like a natural extension of your work. A job doesn’t feel done until it’s corresponding card is marked, reassigned, and/or dragged and dropped.

Faking network calls for iOS unit tests

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If you have used XCode’s built in unit testing frame work , then you’ve likely hit one of the frustrating points of trying to test your application when making api calls over a network. (I’ll save you some time, and let you know the test dies before the call can finish). That’s not great, but it does not mean you can’t test your application and it’s ability to hit your api.

Loading an Image Asynchronously in iOS

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If you had read thru Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines, I’m sure you’d notice that it mentioned about how your app should provide a responsive user experience. If the app is processing a lengthy operation, it ought to provide a feedback as suggested by Apple, “Subtle animation can give people meaningful feedback..” Consider this lengthy operation:  loading image from a URL. This is a very common task. The problem is, UIImageView doesn’t have a built-in method that lets you load an image and at the same time give you a chance to provide a meaningful UI feedback such as a “subtle animation”.

Create an HTML Signature Including Image Links in Mac Mail (OS10.8)

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You might imagine that this subject would be rather straight forward and hardly worthy of an article of any sort.  Unfortunately, you would indeed be imagining.  Adding an HTML signature to Mac Mail is not as simple as pasting the html directly into the signature field of the client like in Gmail or Outlook.  With Apple Mail pasting HTML or images directly into the signature field just doesn’t work very well. In fact, the process for setting an html signature with images in mac Mail is remarkably un-Mac-like.

Keeping up with web trends.

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Being a designer in the tech/web industry, it is very important for me to stay up to date with trends. If you are new to the industry, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of information you find on the Internet.

I would like to share with you a handful of websites I frequently visit to learn as well as to find inspiration.

Rapidly Building Mock API Servers for Testing and Development

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On my most recent project I was building the client-side of a mobile app. I was a few days ahead of the backend in terms of functionality, but what was really giving me issue was the absence of any kind of test data. Rather than kill my momentum and allow the backend to block my development, I decided to build a quick API “emulator” that would allow the client to perform actions and feed it randomized test data.

Ex2d: A helpful plugin for Unity3D

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A lightweight plugin for Unity.

Our most recent in house project was a fun children’s game called Whack Attack, and was built with Unity 3D and released for iPhones and android devices.  Unity is a great tool, but it is definitely (and obviously) more geared for game crafting in the third dimension.  Our game deals mostly with two dimensional sprites, although they are set in a pseudo 3d environment to attain some basic perspective.