software development

A Fresh Look at PHP

July 20, 2020
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I never have been an active PHP developer. I’ve worked with it on the occasions I’ve had to, like hacking WordPress, or for smaller quick and dirty projects, but had never seriously considered the language for anything beyond that. I have been familiar with the language from the early days, even before it offered any…

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Refreshing an old app for a pandemic

May 13, 2020
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Refreshing an old app for a pandemic

We developed the Phew app in 2015, when iOS 8 was the new hot item. After 2016, the app received minor updates for bug fixes and iOS compatibility, but by the time iOS 13 came out last last year, the app had become somewhat dated. We were going to shut the service down. Then the…

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What I learned in 2017 as CTO for a VR startup

January 18, 2018
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What I learned in 2017 as CTO for a VR startup

For me, I’ve found that I have to get my hands dirty to really understand and appreciate something. There can be a big difference between learning something in the abstract and applying it in real life, particularly in production environments. I spent most of 2017 as interim CTO for a VR startup. This was a…

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Secret decoded

February 11, 2014
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Secret decoded

The Secret app is a new iPhone app for sharing photos and text anonymously. The sharing model of Secret is unusual and intriguing to me.  According to their FAQ: Your secrets are delivered anonymously to the people in your Contacts who are on Secret. Ok, so right there, although it may not be obvious on…

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Another perspective on “Why mobile web apps are slow”

July 12, 2013
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The recent post from Drew Crawford “Why mobile web apps are slow” has received a lot of attention and provides a rather powerful argument for the topic. I’m not here to dispute anything in that post; it’s good information, go read it if you are interested in the topic. The point at the end of the day is…

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Android vs. iPhone development experience

March 26, 2013
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There are a steady stream of posts about which platform makes more sense to develop for, in terms of market size, chances for success etc. This post isn’t about that. This post is about the development experience itself, what it’s like building apps for the two platforms. A few years ago I would have said,…

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KiraDb lightweight open-source noSQL-style database Java API

March 4, 2013
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KiraDb lightweight open-source noSQL-style database Java API

My good friend Mark Petrovic and I are releasing KiraDB on gitub as an open-source project. KiraDB is a Java API implementing a persistent datastore for stand-alone applications. The design goal of KiraDB is to be lightweight and easy to use, while still providing a reasonably powerful set of core features. The basic features include put/get…

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Forbes: Android is shipping more phones but Apple is still the logical choice for mobile development

May 16, 2012
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The title to this May 9 story, suggests another Apple bashing: “Is Apple’s dominance of Mobile Development on the Wane?” It appears to be an old editorial trick, the classic alarmist headline, because the article itself goes on to answer in the negative: Apple is the logical choice for mobile development today Where is market share…

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Wow am I happy now that I didn’t deploy serious apps on Google App Engine

September 13, 2011
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First released in 2008, Google App Engine (GAE or AppEngine) was Google’s first attempt to compete with Amazon Web Services in providing cloud computing platform services for developers. In earlier posts, I took some heat for concluding that Google App Engine was not ready for “serious” applications, even when it was “free”. Recently, Google announced shocking new pricing…

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Apple’s great Mac OS X bait and switch

October 26, 2010
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Apple’s great Mac OS X bait and switch

It’s been almost three years now since, with great fanfare 🙂 , I switched from a UNIX Workstation to a Mac as my primary desktop workstation. That change was many years in the making – I worked with Mac OS X along side my trusty UNIX workstations for several years before making the complete jump.…

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