Issue 33

21 August 2019

by Lori M Olson

This week I was out camping. As I set up this newsletter before I head out, I was thinking about my last camping trip…the one where I broke my wrist. That was at the end of June, and (lucky me) I got to spend the month of July in a cast. On my left arm. Did I mention I am left-handed?

That really, really sucked. But as I was griping my way through the month, complaining about the inconvenience of the cast, I tried to keep in mind that some people lose the use of a hand (or arm) forever. I knew I’d get my hand back, but what about those people who don’t? Using one of today’s smart phones (that only come in XL and XXL) is NOT easy with one hand. There’s all sorts of applications that are difficult, if not impossible to use with one hand. Not without putting the phone down, anyway. So…accessibility. Think about your apps and how hard they are to use with one hand. Or by lefties. Or by people with visual impairments. It’s important.

Here’s a great article by Rob Whitaker of Capital One TechBaking Digital Inclusion Into Your Mobile Apps. It’s a great place to start. – wndxlori

#GOTW—Gem of the Week

Since my editor doesn’t like my not-actually-a-gem #GOTWs, we’re going to lead off this week’s #RMW with an actual gem! (it’s true!) To wit, here’s an oldie but goodie from Amit Kumar in Mumbai, India: motion-plot enables you to quickly and easily add charts to your app. If you’re wondering how it basically works, are you familiar Highchartsmotion-plot works very much the same way. Amit’s approach is to simply wrap CorePlot, the plotting framework for OS X and iOS. Thanks, Amit.


OK, any reference to space exploration—particularly if there is a Canadian involved—is automatically going to significantly up your chances of being featured in the #RMW. To that end, Kevin ‘CodeFriar’ Poorman tweeted out Kate Hudson’s git-flight-rules.

First, the cool stuff: in Kate’s she quotes no less a source than Chris Hadfield’s book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life. In it, Commander Hadfield describes flight rules for astronauts, which are: “the hard-earned body of knowledge recorded in manuals that list, step-by-step, what to do if X occurs, and why. Essentially, they are extremely detailed, scenario-specific standard operating procedures.”

Well, Kate has adapted that concept to the use of Git. Y’know, the same Git you can use a million different ways, but for which there are some generally accepted practices we should follow most of the time? Hence, Kate’s git-flight-rules. Check them out as they contain a lot of good, common sense Kate has hard won over many, many orbits by the sound of it. Thanks Kate, and thanks Kevin for bring Kate’s work to our collective attention.

#AHOTW—App Highlight of the Week

Well after weeks of crickets and cicadas we finally have another ‘A’ for #AHOTW! It’s a product of the LOWREZ Jam 2019 we’ve been talking about here recently and it’s from our good friend Amir Rajan. He calls it Return of Serenity. He further describes it as “a walking simulator” and he assures us we “will definitely think this game is awesome, probably maybe.”  We tried it out and, no lie, it really is probably, maybe awesome.  Seriously, Amir, thanks for your contribution.

#DRGTK—DragonRuby Game Toolkit

Folks, do we have a treat for you this week. Back at the beginning of June, Amir (yes, the same Amir whose app we just featured in #AHOTW…he really gets around) screen-capped his entire, nearly one hour DragonRuby GTK-Coding Workshop for Aspiring Game Developers and it’s available on YouTube. So if you have never had the opportunity to hear Amir speak on the subject, this video is not the same thing. But it’s pretty darned close and the price is certainly right.

#FITS—Featured in the School

School’s out for summer.

(Well, actually, Lori is out camping…how else did you think we’d be allowed to get away with all that chit-chat about Chris Hadfield? Let’s enjoy this video from Lori’s talk at Edmonton’s Ruby Meetup - YEGRB while she’s away)

#DRSH—Dragon Riders Slack Highlights

Recently on the Dragon Riders Slack team Don Wei asked how to customize a grouped table header in ProMotion. What ensued was a tight, focused thread on the subject between Don and WNDXlori. It was a great example of the power of a resource like the Dragon Riders Slack team. If you’re not already a member, you definitely what to put that right as soon as you can. We’ll see y’all over there.

Oh, right and for those who might not be familiar with ProMotion, it’s “a RubyMotion gem that makes iPhone development less like Objective-C and more like Ruby.” Now you know.

#TWIL—This Week I Learned

It seems like yesterday we learned programming basics from Rex Page and Rich Didday’s WATFIV for Humans. Sadly, it was not yesterday. It was 43 years ago. That said, it really does seems like 43 years (maybe longer) since we’ve been trying to remember string formatter syntax. Well, we don’t have to remember any more. Mike Buckbee has an entire website dedicated to the subject. But you gotta see this for the “why didn’t I think of that!” factor alone: For a Good Strftime.

Brilliant, Mike, thank you!

That’s a Wrap!

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Until next time, see you ‘on orbit’ (as real astronauts say).

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