Tuesday, February 09, 2010

On multitasking

TidBITS unwittingly hits the nail on the head while talking about iPad OS multitasking (emphasis added):

It's easy to imagine wanting to use an iPad to read text in Mobile Safari, copy some text to a Pages document, and send that document to a colleague via Mail. That specific example may turn out to be possible with the current iPhone OS, but it points toward needing more ways for iPad apps to work together in the future.

Let me break down the user's workflow here:
  1. User reads text in Mobile Safari.

  2. User copies text to a Pages document.

  3. User e-mails that document to a colleague.

The flow of tasks is linear. The user does not need Mail open while reading the text in Safari, nor Safari open while pasting text in Pages. Whether a platform supports multiple simultaneous applications or not, users typically work with one at a time.

The advantage of multiple open apps is that the user can switch tasks really quickly (the other oft-quoted benefit, of being able to see context in multiple places at the same time, is actually a feature of a windowing UI: a different technology, and one that iPhone OS lacks). The disadvantage is a technical one—the operating system must allocate resources to applications that the user isn't currently working with. The iPhone (and, I presume, the iPad) provides fast task-switching anyway, through its recommendation that app developers retain app state on termination and recover it on launch. The act of moving between apps via the home screen is supposed to feel like switching tasks, even if it's implemented by a kind of pause-and-resume.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Core Data Haiku competition results!

I was sent a review copy of Core Data: Apple's API for Persisting Data on Mac OS X by Marcus Zarra. The problem is that I already own a copy. So I held a Core Data Haiku competition on Twitter; best haiku about core data posted with the #coredatahaiku tag wins the book. Sorry if you wrote a great haiku without using the hashtag, but I didn't read it.

Anyway, the results. My decision is final, no correspondence regarding the judgement shall be entered into, the squirrel flies south to Leningrad.

Non-entering sample haiku for comparison purposes

This is mine:

Archiving does not
Make schema changes easy
So #lickahoctor

very much of its time, you'll agree.

Dishonourable mentions

A couple of people sent entries via Facebook, which didn't count within the rules of the game. So without naming the guilty parties:

I don't want the book

I just like writing haiku

Nothing wrong with that!

When learning Cocoa,

Reasonably new to it,

The more books the bett-

Honourable mentions

The standard was very high, so I'm pleased to publish every entry, congratulations to you all for some inspired poetry. In a way, there are no losers, because you all helped to make the world a better place. In reverse chronological order (because I'm pasting from the Twitter search page):

I do not know what

Core data is. Need the book.

Please let me win it. — OrigamiTech

Lost In Winter Ills

Result Sets Unsorted Again

Managed Object Found — chwalters

With multiple stores

Inside one application

Little kittens weep — inquisitiveCode

object tree...

query is made

leaves rustle — ErikAderstedt

Core Data Haiku


Text just doesn't fit — hatfinch

its way too complex

painful big design upfront

I'll Archive instead — alancfrancis

Core Data framework

You manage object models

NSPredicate — adurdin

Core data is fun

makes storage easy and fast

elastic wombat — GreyAreaUK

The Winner!

Core Data haiku winners and immortal beings played by Sean Connery share an important characteristic: in the end, there can be only one. And it's this one, from adurdin:


WHERE value =… fuck it—

just use Core Data.

Congratulations! I'll contact the winner via Twitter to send him his prize.