Incredibly insightful article by Craig Hockenberry of The Iconfactory on the future of Apple's platforms for app developers. Most commentary on Marzipan seems to be missing the deeper implications and possibilities of Marzipan and other rumored projects, but Craig sees the big picture, and the future that he envisions sounds revolutionary:
Your iPad would behave as it always has until you plugged in a mouse. At that point, how you interact with the device adapts:
• Controls could get smaller because of the increased pointing accuracy
• Views could gain a hover state to display additional information
• Drag & drop could change because it no longer depends on two fingers
• A mechanical wheel could replace a finger for scrolling
This kind of adaptability would work across platforms – your app would behave differently when it was running in augmented reality or on a TV screen. As a developer you wouldn’t have to worry about what kind of hardware is available, you’d have to worry about what to do when a customer used it to perform a task.
Contextually aware user experience using declarative views and interactions? Yes, please. If Apple can pull this off, they'll have cracked the very difficult problem of unifying a variety of platforms (iPad, iPhone, Mac, Watch, TV, and more) without ignoring what makes each platform unique, and enabling touch, mouse, voice, and text interactions everywhere.
Great wish list for WWDC by Steve Troughton-Smith for MacStories. The items that resonate most with me? First and foremost, a terminal environment for iOS:
Much like the file system, for a certain class of user the need for a command-line environment of some kind hasn't gone away as I'm sure Apple had hoped. Now, with Apple's own Shortcuts app, more users than ever are automating tasks on iOS – it makes perfect sense to provide something more for the power users that need it, especially if Xcode for iOS becomes a reality.
Also mentioned that I pine for: much-improved support for USB devices, including external storage, and a “textual” interface to Shortcuts for scripting. He also makes an argument for virtual machine support in iOS, but I think that’s pretty unlikely (though would be welcome).
Fun post over at Wired which discusses the plain truth: charcoal grills are awesome.
Of course, even food cooked on a gas grill gives off aromas---all food does. But food grilled over a charcoal flame has a special one: guaiacol.
Guaiacol is an aroma compound produced when you use heat to break down lignin, the resin responsible for holding strands of cellulose together to form wood. “It has a smoky, spicy, bacony aroma,” Sacks says. “In fact, the flavor that most people associate with bacon is largely degraded lignin.”
Translation: Cooking over charcoal makes your food taste like bacon. Let me repeat that: blah blah charcoal blah blah BACON.
So if you have two identical steaks, cooked at identical temperatures, for the same amount of time, where the only difference is that one is cooked over charcoal and one is cooked over gas, what will be the end result? The charcoal-cooked steak will taste more like bacon.
Case closed, indeed. 🥓
Excited to see that the IndieWeb has been featured in The New Yorker:
...a loose collective of developers and techno-utopians that calls itself the IndieWeb has been creating another alternative. The movement’s affiliates are developing their own social-media platforms, which they say will preserve what’s good about social media while jettisoning what’s bad. They hope to rebuild social media according to principles that are less corporate and more humane.
I’m not a big fan of the term “techno-utopian,” but hey, visibility is good.
The article also includes an entire section on Micro.blog:
In 2017, Manton Reece, an IndieWeb developer based in Austin, Texas, launched a Kickstarter for a service called Micro.blog. On its surface, Micro.blog looks a lot like Twitter or Instagram; you can follow users and see their posts sorted into a time line, and, if you like a post, you can send a reply that everyone can see. When I checked Micro.blog’s public time line recently, the top post was a picture of a blooming dogwood tree, with the caption “Spring is coming!”
Even as it offers a familiar interface, though, everyone posting to Micro.blog does so on his or her own domain hosted on Micro.blog’s server or on their own personal server. Reece’s software acts as an aggregator, facilitating a sense of community and gathering users’ content so that it can be seen on a single screen. Users own what they write and can do whatever they want with it—including post it, simultaneously, to other competing aggregators. IndieWeb developers argue that this system—which they call posse, for “publish on your own site, syndicate elsewhere”—encourages competition and innovation while allowing users to vote with their feet.
A huge congratulations to Manton, Aaron, and Tantek for the publicity for both Micro.blog and the larger IndieWeb movement. Let’s keep working to make the internet a better, safer, more inclusive place.
Fantastic talk by Tantek Çelik about owning your identity on the web, and fighting back against the centralization of identity into harmful social networks like Facebook. Includes an inspiring introduction that sets context, and then an overview of the #IndieWeb and related technologies like microformats2, webmention, micropub, microsub, and more. Must watch!