Still coding…

In the Trees

In the Trees by Jim Goodin

Despite lack of entries last few months the coding continues. After dabbling with various programming languages last few years about a year/half ago on a lark suggestion by my astute 17 years son I delved in to learning Objective C with focus on Apple’s iOS.  Last fall I published my first app for iPhone and iPad in the Apple store, a combination currency converter and tip calculator I titled Tips Across the Waters.

Since that publishing I released one update in late March, v 1.08 and have worked off/on on two more app ideas but have had several stops/starts arising from job, music work (another career and see other blog here), making progress, hitting obstacles and all that goes with self teaching a programming language.

Still I’m in it to stay and while on family vacation last week I stumbled on to the idea that bore app project number 2, after realizing it was missing from the core iPad apps and I thought okay there are million of them out there but all the more reason to develop one more :).  I shan’t say what it is at this time and it’s more functional than flash right now but making progress on it and just broke through a wall I had hit the last couple days and that’s seemingly the elixir of coding.  I will say it involves numbers and will probably be a free download.

The other app project has a focus on diabetes and I hope to get back on that one this fall and too, I hope to get back to more regular posting on WordPress, both with the programming venture as well as my music work and while tooting the horn I should also mention too, one music project that was a podcast has moved to video and a channel on YouTube.  It’s a series that I co-host with Paul H. Muller on ‘new music’.  Check it out at Words On New Music.  And follow me on Twitter at jimgoodinmusic.

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Long Overdue and Happy New Year

I’m long overdue for an entry and will do it quickly over morning coffee a cappuccino that I have grown fond of at a local spot in Brooklyn dubbed Crespella.

For starters Happy New Year to all and wishing the very best to everyone who sees my blog.

Several thoughts my launch app for Apple mobile devices, a currency converter and tip calculator I released in October dubbed Tips Across The Waters is alive and well in the Apple store for .99. I have made several modifications to the app and am planning the first update release this month. If you haven’t already, thank you for buying. On its release you will get an update notification in your App Store icon and the update is free. Stay tuned for news on that.

Though this blog is ideally about my software ventures, in addition to this muse I am also a musician and frequent contributor to the new muisc community ImprovFriday. Along with fellow host Paul Muller I’m part of a podcast series for the community. We are on the edge of posting our first episode for the new year which will be a feature on the work of microtonal/polytempic composer/musician Peter Thoegersen. We are in final production stages and should have the episode out this month. The show is accessible in iTunes or on Podomatic at http://improvfridayradio.podomatic.com. Mor news on that release soon.

On a sad note regarding that community, composer, synthesist, new music pioneer Richard Lainhart passed away on December 30, 2011. Richard was based in New York and a major voice in the experimental and new music scene here and was a contributing member to ImproFriday. This news was so sad and shocking when I learned of it last weekend as I knew Richard, worked with him producing a live webcast for Goodbye Blue Monday in Brooklyn and heard him perform several times over the last year. His passing is a tremendous loss to the local and Internet music world. ImprovFriday’s regular weekend recorded music event is inviting member musicians to post work this weekend in Richard’s memory. Visit the community this weekend at ImprovFriday.

On the music front as well I have begun some recent work with composer/trombonist/synthesis artist Paul Bailey. As with many musicians around the world that I have collaborated with the last few years, it’s all made possible by an open source software called NinJam which is just amazing. Paul and I recorded live via NinJam 3,000 miles a part earlier this week. I’m planning to post some of that session on this weekends ImprovFriday as well as on Soundcloud.

Among several resolutions for 2012 I’m trying to promote more artists I’m associated with around the world. Please visit the worlds of Daryl Shawn, Chris Blais, Rainer Straschill, Steven Moyes, Jeffrey Duke, Catherine Todd and by all means as his flame is now burned out but his spirit lives on please get to know the work of Richard Lainhart.

Memory from New Years Eve fireworks in Brooklyn…

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays from Wood and Wire Ware. I hope it’s been a good year for all in my audience. I wish everyone a joyous holiday season and a great new year to to come.

If you or someone you know is traveling this holiday season please consider getting my app Tips Across the Waters, an 11 world currency converter and tip calculator. It’s available in the Apple store for .99 USD at http://iTunes.apple.com/us/app/tips-across-the-waters/id474128076?=mt8.

Should you already have purchased Tips I would like to let you know that I’m working on the first update that will include several new features, some gained from your feedback which I thank you for your input. The iTunes upload area will be down for maintenance during the holidays and I he to get this update out prior to that time otherwise it will be released in January. Updates to Tips Across the Waters are free once you have purchased the app one time.

I’m implementing additional UI fields to support showing the tip amount which should make it handier in restaurants and I’m including localization customary tip amounts for the various included currencies. Additionally there will be some design enhance and currency rate updates.

Time to get on with the day so wishing you well again this season and thank you for your interest and support in Wood and Wire Ware.

Writing Data and So Is I

Spent a lot of time last couple days working on my next app which is going to have a focus for diabetics. I have a personal interest in that in my family, designed the app initially for that need and am in process of making it for public consumption.

Writing or saving user data on the iOS mobile devices is in theory not difficult but for me in the programming it has been challenging though I think I’m seeing the light in the technical. Once this is acquired it will be very useful if not necessary in many apps to come. I didn’t deal with it perse in Tips Across the Waters , only temporary arrays holding data. On a future update there will be a use however.

I’m using picker wheels again on the new app and issues in refreshing those objects with the saved data has been partially the challenge. I may rethink the use of them in the interface but I find them very useful in this particular case.

Speaking of Tips though I’m about to shift gears and do three updates to the current version that i should release in next week or so. One will include conversion updates and the other two came from buyer suggestions and thanks very much to those folks for the suggestions.

Am image from errands today Shadows, metal, rubber and air. Taking a break to go play some fiddle…

My Journey to Mobile App Development, part 2

Picking up from My Journey to App Development… As i was talking about at end of that entry, my first finalization of Tips Across the Waters was coming together near end of July. Conceptually I had a workable useful mobile app but in testing discovered a problem with one of the currencies I had chosen for that release as well as a couple of potential ‘leaks’. Equally my son said made a few observations that led me to rethink the design. I saw i could release and then do updates or i could revamp and tighten the code. I decided to roll back down the hill a bit and revamp.

Revamping led to an overhaul of the graphics adding some ‘relief’ to the background by using an image instead of just a view color. With the first phase i had ported to a few test devices to see what the app was like out of the Xcode Simulator. One of the other observations on the first draft was that the interface felt too busy, too many choices as was suggested to me. Additionally as I was ‘learning as I went to a degree’, I had garnered more tools at my disposal so I employed a picker wheel in the new model which allowed adding more currencies and giving the app more international flavor and less busy interface.

There was also an issue with my original choice of names which I had dubbed ‘International Tip Calculator’ which was rather dry by my own admittance and I discovered someone already had it. It was unclear whether that would lead to rejection by Apple but made sense to find a new name as long as I was going back to the drawing board.

So by September my reworking, newly dubbed Tips Across the Waters, was taking shape with a nicer look and more functionality and less busier interface, all goals. I felt was near release again. I initially was going to port for iPhone/Touch and later iPad but i had gone this far so why not see that through and implement rotation, an iPad prerequisite.

On the basics adding rotation was relatively easy but getting the views to work out right and be in sync led to some challenges. I had chosen to manage the views in one XIB (Interface Builder) file which was conceptually easier for me to understand but led me on a few adventures working out. I was able to get the majority functioning correctly but had a few aforementioned view sync issues that were real head scratchers which friend and programming mentor Chris Robertshelped me see through.

So by mid October Tips Across the WatersTips Across the Waters was ready for sail and on the evening of the 21st I uploaded to Apple for submission to the store very jazzed but equally prepared for a kickback asking me to revise/fix this or that. I had read many online stories of the process taking weeks. Just after uploading they did pass back and ask me fix the ‘white space’ in the file name which means all words in the file naming needed to be connected. I did that and reposted and soon got a message back that said ‘waiting for review’. It sat at this stage till the following Wednesday morning when it changed (which through the iTunesConnect developer portal I could check) to ‘in review’.

Again I thought during the day well probably something I missed in the HIG (human interface guidelines) they will ask me to revise. But later that evening an email arrived that read in the subject line, ‘Ready for Sale’ and I was quite proud and it is indeed ready for sale at Tips Across the Waters.

Blazing the Path and Growing with the Muse

This weekend I spent some time researching review sites to pitch Tips to for reviews and try to grow/broaden my traffic to the store. I discovered and pitched to several places including AppCarver, AppStorm, AppShopper and few others. Also have been thinking about investing in some advertising. It’s a big puddle I have jumped in to but feels very good to be part of this and have brought an idea from first glimmer to product. It is and will continue to be learning process but getting there.

I’m also beginning to work on two new ideas, one is a collaboration with a bandmate from past projects and another is an app that like Tips Across the Waters, is starting as a personal need that I can apply in the commercial sense. That one will focus on diabetes.

And also putting word out about Tips by word-of-mouth as much as possible. It’s all another chapter of marketing akin to what I did for years in my music. Hopefully this will be a wider market and direction which is my goal. I have dabbled in programming over the years but have not until now been able to make the jump from learning to ‘doing it’. Feels great to have gotten to a level of that stage. Many thanks to Apple for opening these doors for all of us as well as on a personal level friend and mentor Chris Roberts.

Stay tuned for more on the growth of Wood and Wire Ware.

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