Issue 110

Lori M Olson Lori M Olson Follow Jun 29, 2022 · 6 mins read
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DRD110: The edition where we go all science-y.
(credit: IDG)

OPED — Lori’s Unvarnished Opinion

Designing a CLI App

As Ruby developers, we use CLI (command-line interface) a lot. Probably more than a lot of other developers. I started reading this article about CLI design out of idle curiosity, but by the end I was truly impressed by the improvements realized by some very subtle changes.

While I spend a lot of time teaching in my 6 Pack Apps program about getting shit done, and getting it out in public quickly, it is worthwhile to spend at least some time considering your audience, and optimizing the experience for them. That could make the difference between a user who likes your app, and one who loves your app.

Maybe some day we’ll get a version of Rake that uses some of this design philosophy. A developer can dream, can’t they?

We have a new newsletter design and new logos/colours/fonts rolled out across my and websites along with most of my social media—see links at the bottom of this email for all of those.

Phew! That was a job and a half. I hope you enjoy the new responsive design of the newsletter. If you like it (or have any problems with it) please hit reply and let us know.

We’ll be continuing to make a few tweaks to make the newsletter easier to produce and publish over the next couple months.

TALK — Talk of the Tech

We usually have a pick from each of the two mainstream RubyMotion/DRGTK chat spaces, but we actually have two from the Discord this time ‘round.

  • We're going to sum up the first thread we selected with three things: it's [a discussion]( about 1) finite element analysis 🤯 which was kicked off by 2) a PhD in aerospace 🤯 with a specialty in 3) computational fluid dynamics 🤯. Must make developing ‘Tinder but for cats’ seem a little lame by comparison, no?
  • The second thread can't possibly be as exciting (not its fault, of course) but it is still important: the concept of CVars.
Tech newsletter content crunch? Intellog can help. And they have a special offer for DRD subscribers: they will curate and write the first issue of your newsletter for free. Find out more.  Sponsored

GAME — All Things Gaming

It’s always a bit of a head-scratcher that despite some among us who want to depart reality entirely for the Metaverse—for an even more immersive gaming experience—there is still demand for the ye olde games from the ‘good old days’. What triggered the last ‘round of said scratching was this quote we saw from noted sci-fi author C.J. Cherryh. In it, she waxes poetic about a “plain Mahjong solitaire game” of which she wished “there were a modern version…“

So, here’s a thought: instead of trying to raise a jillion dollars just so you can hire a bunch of people to help you create something entirely novel, maybe just find an old game like the one above, dust it off, and create basically the same thing using modern tools. Yep, you can totally sell new versions of old games by the sounds of it.

Heck, you can probably do that all by yourself and not have to share the revenue with anybody.

APP — All Things App

While the Effective Developer gem depends upon Rails, there are some really handy scripts in the bin directory that you might find useful, even if you never use Rails. Give it a look and see what you think.

SPOT — Spotlight On…

We stumbled on this eyecatching simulation from Marc Heiligers. What’s more, we were intrigued to see it was underpinned by a new library he has created which, as he laments in his tweet, Jared Counts “did some 10 years ago”. Well, at least it’s done now.

Also, on a completely different subject, have you ever wished that you had a sandboxed version of the Sparkle software updating framework in your RubyMotion maxOS apps? We have, and given that we’re not quite sure how we missed this gem. It does exactly that.

Do you have a DragonRuby-related product or service you would like to get in front of well over 1,200 raving DragonRuby-istas? If so, please get in touch...we would love to help you get the word out in a sponsored spot like this!  Sponsored

TWIL — This Week I Learned…

What with the price of gas, food and lodging going through the roof 🚀 it’s reasonable to assume that outside of those ‘necessities’ you might want to save a few bucks here and there. For this reason, we love apps that are simple, inexpensive, and solve a need that you might not have often enough to pay the big bucks for a more full featured app (such as ScreenFlow) or sign up for a subscription (like Loom). If all you need is screen recording which includes your camera, then the Narrated app will deliver “screen recordings with a personal touch”.

HAHA — And They All Laughed

(credit: Javier Montero)

That’s a Wrap!

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“GUIs tend to impose a large overhead on every single piece of software, even the smallest, and this overhead completely changes the programming environment…” — Neal Stephenson, from his 1999 book In the Beginning…Was the Command Line