After my horrible experience with Cleat last year I'm finally pulling the plug on my remaining Twitter API projects. Twitter is switching off their v1 API soon and I'm still so sick of it that I'm not even going to upgrade existing products. If you used Follower then I'm sorry. If you liked my Twitter public timeline screensaver then you're odd, but I'm still sorry. I'll still tweet, I'm just staying clear of the API.
(Image is Fail Whale Pale Ale by Brian Cook.)
I’ve just released Catfood Earth for Android 1.10. You can control the center of the screen manually (the most requested new feature) and also tweak the transparency of each layer and the width of the terminator between day and night. It also starts a lot faster and has fewer update glitches. Grab it from Google Play if this looks like your sort of live wallpaper.
Inexplicably .NET 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 are not installed by default in Windows 8 and can’t be installed using the redistributables that worked with previous versions of Windows. You have to go digging in Windows Features to get anything older than 4.0.
I’ve just released Catfood Earth for Android. It’s my second app created with Xamarin’s excellent toolkit. Being able to develop in C# allowed me to reuse a lot of code from the Windows version of Catfood Earth. The Android version doesn’t include all the same layers (yet) but it’s got the main ones – daytime (twelve different satellite images included, based on NASA’s Blue Marble Next Generation but with some special processing to make them look better), nighttime (city lights, shaded to show nighttime and the terminator between day and night) and a clouds layer that is downloaded every three hours.
My main worry had been that this would suck the phone battery dry, but after a fair amount of optimization it doesn’t even register on the battery consumption list. Grab it now from Google Play ($3.99, Android 2.2 or better).
I’ve just released a WebCam app for Android. It’s based on WebCamSaver but allows you to control the webcam – you tap the edges of the screen to pan, pinch to zoom in and out. A fun little time waster.
This is the first app I’ve released using Xamarin’s MonoDroid framework. This integrates nicely into Visual Studio and allows you to program an Android app in C#. This is fantastic for productivity and code reuse and I enjoyed the process a lot more than previous work I’ve done in Java / Eclipse. The main drawback is that the framework adds around 5MB (significant for mobile) and the documentation isn’t always the best, especially when you search for something and find out you’ve been dumped into iOS reference material. Digging around the sample code and cross-referencing the official Android documentation helps a lot. I’m going to take a stab at something a little more ambitious next…
I've developed a bunch of stupid, niche and vaguely promising apps on top of the Twitter API. During that time I've slogged through various painful and rapid shifts like changing IDs, authentication schemes and diktats handed down on which parts of the ecosystem Twitter would like to control. I've had to roll my own OAuth and even re-word a blog post to Twitter Support's satisfaction to get a blocked application unblocked again. It's been a pretty frustrating experience but worth rolling with the punches until the past week.
Twitter suspended Cleat, a tool for posting from the command line. So I emailed to ask why, too much effort for them to explain the rationale at the time they're putting the suspension in place I guess. I got an auto-response asking for information they must have already had and I replied to this. A few days later I still hadn't heard back so I emailed again and the ticket had been automatically closed.
So far just the standard fuck-off-and-die support that you'd expect from a growing company that no longer wants to talk to it's users. But the auto-reply directed me to https://support.twitter.com/forms/ to file a new ticket. None of the options there relate to developers or a suspended application. I tried filing a ticket under 'deactivated account' which seemed the closest.
That form has a hard-coded 'With love,' valediction. Whoever thought that was cute should go through the process of trying to get help a few times.
This attempt auto-responded to say that my account was not suspended, and would I like to fuck-off-and-die or got back to the forms center?
So I tried another form that actually seemed to submit but haven't heard anything back.
No book reviews this month.