The right version control: Subversion v Git

Gvs

I thought i’d write about my impressions on selecting the right open-source version control for your project. Firstly, I think both Subversion and Git are excellent choices and the difference isn’t that great for you to be making a major error in selecting one over the other. Having said that, it is pivotal that we do understand what each of the options do, to better equip ourselves with which philosophy we would appreciate more. I won’t be going into any low-level detail, and will recommend some great O’Reilly 

I’ll start off first with Git… Unlike Subversion, Git is a distributed version control system, and like most things in life, there is no clear cut one-fits-all solution. So, depending on how you work with your project, one may be more suitable than the other. 

The code’s redundant clone/copy repository is equal to the number of users working on the project,which includes history and metadata, and as the nature of not being centralised goes, it means that if the central server goes down, you can recover from one of the users, taking their local copy. Clients communicate over the network to sync their files and associated history with other clients, which is the biggest difference with Subversion, where everything is central and users take what they need off there.

Book Review: jQuery Pocket Reference By David Flanagan

Like most O’Reilly cookbooks, this follows the same usual familiar pattern and serving the same purpose, of being a quick fire reference to how to do most things, without the author waffling on,  that is commonly associated with most books that are thicker. If you have read a previous cookbook you would know that this book only serves those who have have the basic understanding of how this technology works, have worked with it before or have read a more comprehensive introduction to JQuery. 

The author bares no surprises, provides reliability and in a quick-to-access list, and for me when I am looking up something on how to work within the Document Elements, or on how to invoke events, I have this book handy as a desk-reference. I am a big fan of the concept of cook books and what better way to learn and be more proficient in a scripting language, or any language for that matter, than to learn as you code and try to solve problems that you face, rather than the hypotheticals. 

I give this book a four out of five, in recognition of the convenience that this genre of technical book brings, a concise and quick reference to your everyday problems. 

Concise: [rating=4.5]

Level: [rating=4]

Prior Knowledge: JQuery concepts and general comprehension

My rating :[rating=4]

 

Author: David Flanagan

TitlejQuery Pocket Reference, 1st Edition

Publisher: O’Reilly Media

Year: December 2010

Review of Best iPad Apps: The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders by Peter Meyers


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Best iPad Apps

The Guide for Discriminating Downloader If you are to give a new iPad to a friend or family, this is the book that goes with the iPad. Or why not bundle it as an ebook within the iPadPeter Meyers disseminates the App Store into categories, based on whether the user is looking for Apps for Work for instance, sub-categorising that into TO-DO Lists and Making Calculations, thus giving the user the ability to search by activity/need.

An essential for the ‘newbie’, I would question however whether an app could truly be pigeon-holed into any one category, but nevertheless, it might be the developer’s primary intent and something the user can organically work out. The author reviews each app within the sub-category, by title, price and the version (as of the date of review). The reviewer provides a more informative explanation of the product and it’s use, it’s quirks and so on, which adds for a great central repository of product reviews. You could get the reviews individually by googling and looking up websites like macworld, but having a concise book that details by use each of the products is convenient.


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The categories and sub-categories as the author has the book organised is useful and helpful, a user would want to find an app that related to kids and parents, would yield “Baby Connect for iPad” for instance.

I would prefer though to have more on each app, more of an aggregation of other sources, such as a YouTube video screencast link of an app if it’s available, to give users a more in-depth understanding than four or so paragraphs the author offers. Having said that, for $14.95, it’s a bargain and regardless it would at least give the user a chance to filter out the ‘gimmicks’ from the ‘useful’ apps, and then use that shortlist to google and Youtube for more information on that app, before buying.

A note about my RSS Feed

Hi fellow readers,

After not receiving any complaints up until now I had not realised that my RSS feed was busted! But after someone brought it to my attention, I have fixed it and it’s all working. Gosh! Can’t imagine how long it must have not been working for.

Anyhow, it should all be up and running now.

Review of Designing Interfaces, Second Edition by O’Reilly Publishing

Jennifer Tidwell presents an essential guide to how to plan the User Interface of your project, whether it be for a website or mobile. Presented in a consistent sequence, the book adds a great wealth of knowledge to the why and what sort of layouts to design, and for someone like me who is a keen mobile developer, being able to supplement Apple’s Human Interface Guide with the reasoning is gold. The author identifies the patterns and best practices, an evolution of common problems into a complete useable framework.

The transference of patterns of interaction that are most common in the usability engineer’s toolkit is composed into the entire UI canvas, decomposed into visual components, along with the actions that support it, to allow a developer to break down the interface problem into a cookbook for various customisations.
For example, the author first identifies the patterns based on human behaviour, followed by organisation of the content and information based on whether the requirement is a single task/thing, list of things and whether it is a time-sensitive problem (such as news streams). She then further breaks down the patterns according to What, Use When, Why, How along with Examples.

 

The book even presents Use Cases throughout some of its patterns, and the book is very thorough, detailed and lengthy but it allows you to refer to certain elements you are working on, from the general layout to specific positioning of buttons and input fields, progress indications and so forth.

 

I normally do not go for UI books, I find them quite inessential but after looking at the benefits of having a UI that is easy to use and matches the intuition of the users (rather than myself), this book is what will be the difference between a good app and a great application. In a competitive app selling environment, reducing negative feedback is based on how well you respond to your customers and this book will get you there.

[box type=”bio”]

Concise: [rating=3.5]

Level: [rating=2]

Prior Knowledge: General development/design experience

My rating :[rating=4.5]

[/box]

Author: Jenifer Tidwell
Title
:  Designing Interfaces, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O’Reilly Media
Year: December 2010

 

 

iPhone User? 90% Chance You’re On The Latest OS. Android User? 0.4% Chance | CrunchBase

“Gingerbread”. It’s great, easily the best version of Android yet. I hope one day soon you all get to try it out. But the likelihood of that is pathetically small. In fact, don’t be surprised if Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” is out before most of you even get a chance to use Gingerbread — maybe even for phones as well as tablets.

With the iPhone, it’s a much different story. The likelihood that you are already running the latest version of the iOS software is much, much higher. In fact, it’s something around 90 percent, if some numbers shared by the CEO of Bump are to be believed.

David Lieb shared his numbers last week on a Quora thread entitled: What proportion of all iPhone owners use iOS4.* today?

With Bump, our download and usage base is so large that it should be a good statistical sample. Here’s our data from all Bump users between January 7 and January 10, 2011. *Note that this includes all iOS devices, not just iPhone as the question asks,” Lieb writes.

Continue reading “iPhone User? 90% Chance You’re On The Latest OS. Android User? 0.4% Chance | CrunchBase”

Android and GPU | by satine.org

Android has two major technical UX problems: animation performance and touch responsiveness.

Android’s UX architecture needs work. UI compositing and the view system are both primarily done in software. Garbage collection and async operations frequently block UI rendering.

Android team members are still in denial on the importance of GPU acceleration. They recommend eliminating garbage collection to improve animation performance. They say drawing isn’t the bottleneck and GPU accelerated 2D drawing won’t yield good results:

“It is very naive to think that using the GPU to render text and bitmaps is suddenly going to fix every issue you may see. There are many things that can be done to improve performance of the UI without using the GPU. Notably improving touch events dispatching, reducing garbage collection pauses, asynchronous operations to avoid blocking the UI thread, etc. A one year old NexusOne (and other devices before) is perfectly capable of scrolling a list at close to 60fps (limited by the display’s refresh rate.) Using GPUs to do 2D rendering can introduce other types of inefficiencies (fillrate can be an issue, some primitives like arbitrary shapes are complicated to render with antialiasing, textures need to be uploaded, shaders compiled, etc.) I am not saying we won’t do GPU rendering for the UI (I have worked on it myself a couple of times to test it) but please stop assuming that this is what has to be done right now.”— Romain Guy, Android software engineer

Continue reading “Android and GPU | by satine.org”