I’ve spent a lot of time this week working on implementing striping with Terracotta FX for a client. All said and done, it’s been a pretty straightforward process, but like a lot of other “bleeding edge” software, sometimes the documentation is lacking. I was trying a configuration option that I remembered talking to some of the Terracotta guys about, but in reality, that config option really didn’t exist, which threw me off for a while.

Soon, I will be doing a series of webcasts about Terracotta. It isn’t that hard to integrate Terracotta into an existing environment, but if your code isn’t correct/optimized for a that environment, I guarantee you’ll be pointing your finger at Terracotta when you should be pointing it at yourself.

I’m also working on writing some tests using PushToTest to load test the striping setup. I hope to have that done by Monday. Why Monday? Read on…

I’ve also continued working on my super secret project. That’s been quite a challenge. I’m integrating with a public API that was designed by programmers for programmers, but there are a lot of missing options that new project requires. I’m still trying to figure out if it’s really going to work the way the business requirements wants or not. If not, I’m not sure what the next step is since the company providing the API doesn’t seem to be publishing new APIs very often.

I also picked up a new iPhone game project this past week. I’m going to try to get it banged out over the next couple of weeks. The family is going to the beach for a reunion this weekend, so that means another coding marathon weekend here at the office. I’ve really got to get started on the screencasts and get the webinars scheduled for my iPhone development process. I don’t know that it’s that special, but it sure makes starting new projects and getting them delivered really straightforward.

The last app that I submitted to the App Store was on July 7. Today is July 17th and it’s still neither approved nor rejected. Come on Apple, please work on speeding up the process. Pretty please with some fresh cucumbers on top (guess what I had for dinner last night 🙂 )

I also submitted another app update to the App Store on 7/14. It was a self inflicted submission. For the last update, I held back the lowest percentage bug from the crash reports because I wanted to see how long it’s taking for app approvals. Now, that bug is the #1 from the crash reports. My take on doing updates: fix everything you can. The App Store is taking way too freaking long for approvals.

On Tuesday (thus the “why Monday” statement earlier), I’m flying out to Washington and taking a working vacation to hang with some friends at Creation West. It’s been a number of years since I’ve been to a festival. 16 years to be exact. The last show that we did (that’s a teaser for another blog post) was Jesus Northwest in 1993. I’m looking forward to it, but the ~6 hour flight to SeaTac from Charlotte isn’t sounding very fun. I purchased a spare battery for the MacBook Pro, so I should be set. (Come on, USAir, you really need to put seat power in all your transcon equipment.)

<political-rant>

And finally, I’ve seen commercials on TV for the Chia Obama. Most of you know that I’m fairly conservative in my politics and I did not vote for President Obama. Note, just because I didn’t vote for him doesn’t mean he’s not my president.

T-shirts and buttons are one thing.

A chia head?

No matter what happens, you don’t disgrace the office of the President. I think a chia head steps way over the line. Yeah, maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, but that one thing has rubbed me wrong for some reason and I just can’t shake it.

</political-rant>

Next week, I’ll hopefully have good news about the app store, PushToTest, Terracotta FX and all the goings-on at Creation West.

If you have any questions or comments, post them in the comments section below.

This week, The Moron Test from the great guys at DistinctDev jumped back to the #1 paid app in the App Store. I’ve known the guys at DistinctDev for quite a while and the #1 couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys. The app that initially knocked off TMT was Sims 3. However, Sims 3 didn’t stay at #1 for very long. Don’t quote me on this, but as best as I know, I think this is the first paid app to be dethroned and then come back to #1.

If you search YouTube for TMT videos, you’ll see some amazing finger work. My favorite is this one:

If you haven’t purchased The Moron Test yet, spend the 99 cents and enjoy yourself. I still don’t have a great finishing time like the YouTube guy, but it’s always a challenge.

I also submitted a client’s new app’s (paid and free versions) to the App Store on July 7. Let’s see how long it takes for it to be approved. Once it is, I’ll let you know more about it.

And one more App Store item, another one of my client’s apps was *finally* approved on 7/8. It was submitted on 6/3, so it took quite a while to be approved. However, during that time was WWDC, 3.0 release and I’m sure a number of other items. So, all said and done, not great but looking at it in context, not horrible.

I’m working with a friend on some new ideas as well as trying to get another project out the door along with all the other current client work. I’m thankful for the work but also looking forward for a day off soon.

This has been an interesting week. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Val and Charis have been gone all week, so I’ve had a lot of heads down coding time
  • Started in earnest on a new super secret project that has me pulling my hair out
  • Really darn close to finishing up and submitting an iPhone app for a client
  • Reviewing PushToTest and WebDriver for front end testing
  • Finished up some really nifty caching with Ehcache and Terracotta

With Val and Charis gone, it’s just been me and the dog. If it wasn’t for the dog, I’m not sure that I would have ever left my office. She has reminded me on a number of occasions that it was time to get up and stretch and more importantly, go to bed. That’s a good thing.

I’m currently working on the laying the foundation for a new super secret project, known only by the code name NoCodeName. Ok, we haven’t gotten far enough to give it a code name yet, but soon. The biggest issue I’m running into is getting over the hump with Spring Security. I guess I’m considered an old timer since I started working with Spring 1.x and Acegi. Recently I worked with a client to upgrade to 2.5.4. That was fairly painless, but we left all the XML configs as they were. Since I’m starting this project, I’m trying to place nice and use all the coolness of Spring 2.5.x. Making changes to my thought processes to use annotations and the like are really starting to bug me. I’m not ready to drop back to the old school style yet…but it’s getting pretty darn close. I’ve seen a few semi-helpful Spring Security tutorials, but not enough to get me over the hump. I’ll give it a little more time, but I may scrap Spring Security all together and just roll my own since the datastore is going to be MySQL. I’m not real excited about that, but if I can’t figure it out quick, I’ll go with what I know. If anyone has any suggestions on easily implementing JdbcUserDetailsManager for logins and registration, please send them my way. I’ll buy you a beverage of your choice, that is, as long as it’s within the budget. 🙂

I’ve been working on an iPhone app (free and paid versions) for a client for a couple of months and we are in the final testing stages and hope to submit it to the App Store this weekend. Once it is available in the store and I get permission, I’ll post a link to the app.

If you or someone you know is wanting to learn how to develop for the iPhone, I’m going to be working on some posts and videos over the next few months.

Also, if you or your company is looking for an iPhone consultant, I would be glad to talk with you.

I’ve also been reviewing PushToTest and WebDriver for testing on a couple of projects. I haven’t gotten as far as I wanted, but both look promising. I’m really intrigued by the ability to load up PTT instances on Amazon EC2 and then hammer the sites I want to test. I’ve worked with Gomez in the past and they have a very good product, but being able to do roughly the same thing without having to get into a contract is a good thing IMHO.

Finally, Ehcache + Terracotta is like apple pie and vanilla ice cream. That is, as long as you actually cooked the apples and the ice cream hasn’t melted. In theory, you enable the Ehcache module with Terracotta and everything just works. You know, that statement is completely true. However, YMMV. In my client’s case, we had a number of issues with the depth of our object structure and the (lack of) size of our client heaps. We are still doing some refactoring, but it works nicely now, but I still want to squeeze some more performance out of it. When I do another Terracotta+Ehcache project, I’ll know the gotchas to avoid.

For those of us that live in the United States, this weekend is really important. I read a post from Jeff Herring today that is titled Celebrating Freedom From and Freedom To… I’ve been very fortunate over the past few years to have great clients that have allowed me freedom to see my daughter grow up on a daily basis.

No matter whether you are a liberal or a conservative, a faith person or an atheist and the list of comparisons goes on, the United States is still one of the greatest places to live on this planet.  Be thankful this weekend. Eat some hamburgers and hot dogs (or tofu dogs for my vegan friends). Hang out with friends and family. At the end of the day, stepping away from the computer is a good thing. Now, I just have to remind the dog to remind me to step away.

Last week, I was interviewed by Kirsten Valle of the Charlotte Observer for an article about iPhone developers in the Charlotte area. I was one of three companies interviewed for the article. The other two are my good friends Andy and Suki at Turing Studios, the publishers of the rocking PortfolioLive and the guys at Zarboo Software, the publishers of SpeakEasy Voice Recorder.

Here’s a link to the article:

These guys make your smart phone smarter

If you or your company is in the market for any kind of mobile development, contact me.

Core Graphics, View Transitions, Core Animation, Camera, Acclerometer, Web Services and Networking. Long day…learned a lot.

JSON Framework from the video: http://code.google.com/p/json-framework/

Day 3 was by far the easiest and hardest day. Archiving && Webkit && Media == Easy. OpenGL ES && Textures == HARD w/ spinning head side effect.

Made a lot of progress in class today. I’m trying to break bad habits that I have formed. By the way, have I mentioned that the food today was great?

Today was the kickoff to iPhone Bootcamp. Follow along as I take you through the class material, the afternoon walk and all the great food. Now where did I put that bacon?

Today’s video is a compilation of the 2 day trip. I drove down a day early to hang out with some friends and work on a super-secret project (for now). Fair warning: I wasn’t following one of my own rules and the camera is moving around a lot. If you have vertigo issues, it may freak you out a little. I’ll try to do better this week.

Also, I’m doing all the filming with a Flip MinoHD. This is the first real set of videos I’ve shot with this camera. It’s a very cool camera, but takes some getting used to.

I’m also doing all the editing with iMovie ’08. I’m used to used Sony Vegas on the PC, but I’m trying to be totally Mac on this trip. We’ll see how it goes. The render to FLV looks a little weird as compared to the other day. That day, I used the FlipShare software to do the edit. I might switch back to that on day 1.

If you aren’t following me on Twitter, do so to get up-to-the-minute updates throughout the week. http://twitter.com/DarinPope

Here are a few thoughts on getting ready to attend the iPhone Bootcamp next week in Atlanta.

By the way, if you are looking for a way to do video like the above on your site, check out S3MediaPlayer.  There are a lot of ways to do it, but Mike makes it easy with S3MediaPlayer.