APIs can be Inspiring

In today’s world of “platforms-as-a-service” the API is the product.  A well-designed API can, of itself, inspire ideas and creativity.  A poorly-designed API just leaves a potential consumer uninterested.  The best APIs present a beautiful interface and are accompanied by tutorials and code examples that get the creative juices flowing.  APIs can be inspiring.

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Build ffplay 2.6.2 on Mac OSX 10.10.2

Every few years we desperately need ffmpeg and ffplay for some reason. The ffmpeg suite is my go-to swiss-army knife for whipping video into shape. Unfortunately, the compilation process is sometimes difficult. Here is a summary of the recipe I used to build these tools on OSX 10.10.2. It was not straightforward.

The main pain-point seemed to be getting SDL-1 to build. (https://www.libsdl.org) I tried using SDL-2 to get ffplay to compile, but these two do not seem to work together. SDL-1 needed some manual edits to get it going. Whew.

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UIButton coded programmatically does not show: the tale of the weak reference

I am transitioning a little project from Interface Builder to “not Interface Builder.” Or rather, I will be programmatically coding objects, views and constraints. In transitioning an old project to this new style, I ran into a little problem. The symptom was that I could not make my UIButtons appear. The root of the problem was that I left stray weak attributes in my property definitions. Here’s what I learned.

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A medium-level language for Linux dev?

A nagging question has held my attention for a week or so now: is there a good high- or medium-level language with a modern enviroment for software development on Linux?

Modern Electric Drill

Let me explain.

In the last few years, I have worked with Objc-C on iOS/OSX, Java on Android and .NET/C# on uSoft. Each of these language environments offers a level above C with garbage collection and a dynamic runtime. The development kits support the easy deployment of code onto devices .. and maybe even a distribution channel like an app store.

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