Vincent Ritter

Hello, I'm Vincent. I'm a dad, husband, geek and an independent software engineer that also freelances. Check out the apps I make, personal projects I'm currently working on, websites I made and other things like my blog posts and thoughts.

Made a few tweaks to my "Code Challenge" page. As I seem to be working on several projects at a time I wanted to show them off a bit more nicely. I renamed the section to Projects too as it seems more fitting. You can click/tap on a project to go to the specific project page. I need to do a bit more work here to display specifics like URL's, TestFlight links etc.

Of course, redirects are working nicely so no inbound links that I know of are broken.

I seem to prefer the dark mode part of my site, so I might make it the default. It currently switches depending on the local time... or you can manually trigger it in the sidebar...

And to celebrate, a secret project that I started last night just to scratch that itch again... more on that next weekend though.

When you load up a website and want to have a look at it... to then immediately be harassed by their Intercom or other real time chat widget... "Hey, got a question?". I didn't even read your page, how can I have any questions? Close page. </rant>

Gluon - Android update

The past few weeks I took time to look at all my options with getting Gluon back on Android.

I wasn't happy at the end of last year on the whole process of developing the app with React Native... Starting from scratch with the bare minimum that is required to get the app running has been a breath of fresh air.

The app size went from ~27MB down to around 3 - 6MB depending on the device. On top, performance has been improved by some crazy number. I managed to remove all the bottle necks that crippled the earlier builds. I'm happy with this.

Also, when I first set it up it added CRAZY amounts of permissions that it wanted access to out of the box. If you noticed that in the Play Store listing then you know what I'm talking about. No more!

Saying that, I have a working build... unfortunately I'm having problems with the production build to run on a new device. Because... don't know!

I'll be starting a new round of "internal testing" in a few weeks, so if you'd like to get back onto the list please please please let me know as I'm starting fresh.

On top, I managed to add support for Android 7.1 upwards and have tested it all the way down to API 25.

Here are some screenshots of the build in action, enjoy them.

Invisible Cities - new website launch

I'm happy to announce that my friend Chris and I launched a new website for a client of ours earlier this week.

Invisible Cities started as a social enterprise in Edinburgh, Scotland, that trains people that have experienced homelessness to become tour guides. It now covers many more cities and is growing.

With that need in mind we re-wrote the website from scratch... well, Chris did anyway 😁 The original site, developed by myself, was only designed to have one city in mind... with other cities wedged in - so we made it super flexible using the only true and awesome CMS... Craft CMS.

Chris took the old design and some of my sketches/ideas and turned this into a beauty. I'm super happy with the result.

This site is the first of many that goes under the "Two Peaks" label, which is our little agency that we're slowly building. I'm hoping to announce more as we go.

Next stop is a custom booking engine for Invisible Cities, which will be based on Simple Schedule. Can't wait.

Thank you Chris.

Visit the site.

Instead of gaming last night we watched The Hobbit (part 3) last night. I did open the laptop but I felt immediately bad just sitting in my chair... It was a good decision.

A week in review - Week 1, 2019

With the first week of the year coming to a close I thought I'll do a little write up of what I've been doing. The purpose is to guide me on my journey to becoming calmer.

I'll start from Wednesday, as I was still in holiday mode on Monday and Tuesday.

  • Wednesday: I started by looking at a few emails and writing down a few things that I want to concentrate on. Took care of a few tiny coding related things. Also started work on Vorto, just to get me into the mindset again - bit of Ruby on Rails fun. Then it was already time to pick up my daughter at Kindergarten. Had a bit of 'fear of missing work' (FOMW) in the evening. I played Stardew Valley until 03:00 AM.
  • Thursday: Took some time to work on Vorto and also make some personal plans on what I want to achieve with it on a timescale front. I then looked at alternatives to building native apps on Android, specifically for Gluon. I mentioned that I don't want to write my app with Javascript. So I installed Visual Studio for Mac and had a very quick play with the Xamarin framework. Looks promising. I'll have to write C# but that's fine with me, it's what I used to do in a past life. Had more FOMW in the evening...
  • Friday: Had to go to the dentist at lunch time, that ruined my day. So went out after and ate Sushi at the local Japanese. Thankfully they changed the music so it wasn't a pain to sit and eat. In the evening I worked on Vorto a little. FOMW was over the roof! Watched The Hobbit (part 1) in the evening.
  • Saturday: Had a chilled day. Didn't open my laptop until the evening. Spent time playing and being with my daughter and wife. Lego building! Also stayed in to watch a few movies together. Was nice! Had the urge to code in the evening, so I opened up the laptop and booted up Xcode... however I stopped myself from writing any code, that would violate my new calmer approach to work. Watched The Hobbit (part 2) with my wife and had a glass of home made wine (Thanks Michal!), or two. To my amazement I picked up a book (fiction) that I wanted to read. I read 5 pages of "The Windup Girl" in bed. I haven't read much fiction in my life (maybe 5 books, but never to the end!), I usually prefer factual/science books.
  • Sunday: Today was relaxed, we all woke up at 10:30 and had a relaxing breakfast. My wife and I finished the movie from last night whilst our daughter was playing in her room nicely. Always great when she manages to play nicely by herself. We usually have to play with her. We left at 13:00 and went for a nice walk along the frozen river. It was too cold to make a snow man, the snow was too icy. I then cooked something for us on our return at 15:30. My secret passion is to cook simple meals (Asian/Japanese inspired). We watched Moana with our daughter, followed by playing 1.5 hours with Lego - although I wasn't allowed to use all the parts, she was giving me specific instructions. I didn't work at all today.
Walking along the river next to our place. My wife pulling our daughter whilst I took the picture.

Overall, I think it was a slow week. Though slow enough to take notice of my mood and other various things like the fear of not working. It was great to be able to take notice and stop my urges to go to my laptop to "work".

The week ahead I'll be ramping it up a little, however I'm happy that I took a slower approach this week. I'm feeling happy, except that tooth business...

Tonight I'll finish off by either playing a game or reading a book. My old passionate gamer in me is calling though... so it's probably already decided what I'll do.

"Development cannot be enabled while your device is locked" says Xcode with my unlocked and plugged in phone. 🥺

It's Friday, and to celebrate I'll work on a few bits and bobs for a client project (Vorto) and will also mainly be concentrating on a few things on this (my) site. Also planning to get started on Gluon again tonight.