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ARGH! iPhone dev is stupid

Ok, yet another example of how Apple drives us iPhone developers crazy. When you develop software you want your development and test environments to match as closely to the distribution version as possible. In this case you want the iphone simulator and iphone dev system for the iPhone hardware to match how the final bundled app works. We’ve hit some issues in the past with this not being close, but we’ve found another lovely glitch. In looks like the iPhone simulator, and the dev hardware loader allow things that the distribution version doesn’t: specifically how file names are handled. On the simulator a file called “test.jpg” and a file called “Test,jpg” are considered the same. Some file systems allow this, others don’t. Howewver, when you bundle the app this breaks. Now the files are not considered the same, and this leads to broken links and images not correctly appearing in an app.

While it was definitely a mistake to not check that the file name matched the image call in the app–it wasn’t made easier to find this problem since the simulator happily displayed the image “properly”.

Sigh, a new version of the affected app has been submitted, but i really wonder why these types of glitches in the dev tools happen.

AWSOM Pixgallery 4.6.0 beta 1 now available

Hey everyone,
I have a beta version of AWSOM Pixgallery version 4.6.0 ready for download for those who like to look at things early. This version only has 2 new things in it: a fix setting that allows you to turn off post scanning of images (this will help with people who report slowdown of their index page when pixgallery is active), and also the redesigned settings page which groups things more logically.

I’m still working on the theme elements, but for those of you having the major slowdown issue this version will fix that while you wait for the next full release.

The files can be downloaded here: http://www.awsom.org/filerepository/awsom-pixgallery460beta1.zip. Just replace the files on your server with these and you should be good. Load the settings page and save the options to enable the new setting.

Seriously, Pixgallery 4.6.0 is being developed

I’m deep into the next version of AWSOM PIxgallery development, so I can let you guys know a few details on it so far.
One major fix will be the ability to turn off scanning of Posts. This will fix some reported issues where ad plugins or other image elements cause your site to load slowly with Pixgallery active.
Another major update will be for the “theme” system in Pixgallery. You’ll finally be able to dictate the displayed parts of the gallery (breadcrumb, caption, image name, etc.) as well as alter the language of the interface.
So yes, it’s on the way finally. I might post a few betas along the way. Details will be coming soon.

Long Time Coming: Possible Pixgallery Post Issues Fix

I’m investigating a fix for Pixgallery that will alleviate the issues some users have encountered where the plugin interacts badly with images in their posts. One of the functions Pixgallery contains is the ability to “protect your theme” by automatically resizing any images in your posts/pages to a set maximum size. Unfortunately this sometimes causes bad behavior where page load delays or other unfortunate situations can occur when the plugin is active. I’ve finally worked out a possible solution to the issue. For the most part these problems occur in posts, not pages. For the most part users use galleries in their static pages, not posts. So the fix will involve a new admin setting that basically turns off all Pixgallery image scanning within posts. This is not a full fix for the issue, since of course some people may want to use galleries in posts–or they may have other images in pages that cause the underlying issues. But I think overall this addition to the plugin will get rid of 90% of the problems most people encounter ( i hope).

I’ll put up the new version as soon as I can confirm that nothing else goes boom when the fix code is active.

Iphone Dev: Welcome to Xcode errors!

I wanted to relate an interesting issue I recently ran into using Xcode tools for iPhone development. Using iPhone SDK version 3.1.2 and Xcode 3.2.1 on Snow Leopard I ran into a weird crash issue. One of the new functions (and exclusive to Snow Leopard) is the “Rename Project” function in Xcode. Basically it’s normally a bitch to do this manually. Xcode places your project name all over the place in your app, so it’s a very likely situation that you’ll forget to change one somewhere and cause your app to crash or go crazy. So when they added the rename function it was a great relief to many programmers. In our case we use the function to make a new version of our “Central” app for usage by another webcomic in our Webcomic Central service.

Well, in short, the rename function was failing. After trying to do a rename Xcode would crash with an error– Internal error NSCFArray insertObject:atindex attempt to insert nil .

Yeah, not very helpful. The error seems to imply that something somewhere is being renamed but with nothing to input, or with something that’s nil already. So now I’m paranoid about our app. Did we make a mistake somewhere? Is there a cul-de-sac area of the program that doesn’t cause it to crash but is now showing an error when renamed? UGH!

I tried everything I could to find the issue, but it eluded me.

Then it struck me. Did any other apps rename properly? NOPE!

The rename function itself seemed screwed up. So I reinstalled Xcode. It still didn’t work!

What the hell? What do I do now? Then I started thinking. What’s the most basic thing that can go wrong in OS X? Yes, permissions issues.

So I moved the app out of the default applications folder in Xcode and moved it to the desktop. Guess what…it now worked to rename it!

All I can think is that at some point down the line something got screwed up with the permissions for the Xcode folders. It looks like a file with the xproj folder called foo.pbxuser didn’t have permissions to be rewritten with the renaming. So it failed.

Oh, BTW, when the rename failed it deleted the original xproj file for the app….so again with all things, always make a backup of your files before trying to do anything like this.

Anyway, I hope this helps anyone else who might have this issue.

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