Vincent Ritter

Hey, I’m Vincent. I’m a dad 👨‍👧, husband 👫 and an independent programmer 👨‍💻 that also freelances.

Browse my blog timeline below and use the menu to find out more.

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I’ve added a direct podcast feed, for anyone wishing to subscribe that way, to the podcast page. Just scroll down a bit until you see the Abstract Development info.

Still waiting for Apple to review it… so I can’t share it for other podcast apps until they’re done.

Next episode is coming soon. Will edit it on Sunday.

Regex is fun… especially when you have to deal with Wordpress emoji.

Thank you to everyone writing in about Gluon and your comments. I really appreciate it and I have a plan in place to make it hopefully go through review. It’ll take me a bit longer, but we’ll get there for sure. Hope to have a new TestFlight build out in the coming weeks.

And to follow up my podcast introduction… I’m waiting for Apple to approve the feed and then I can properly link to it. Oh and episode 2 just needs to be cut up (recorded it last week and should be shorter than the first).

Happy to announce my first episode of my podcast named Abstract Development. You can find the episode here. It’s my first… so expect gaps and other things… and a slight German accent.

Fingers crossed 🤞

🎙 #1 - Hey, I’m Vincent

Abstract Development

Hey, I’m Vincent and this is my new podcast Abstract Development. A personal journal where I talk about things I’m working on, the up and downs of freelancing and finding more independence.

This is my first episode, recorded on the 9th of December whilst waiting for my wife and daughter. Yep, I just managed to listen to myself and cut it up to make it bearable.

In this episode I just say hello and talk a little about myself and a few tiny bits of my history leading up to now. I don’t go too far. I probably make many mistakes, but that’s fine. I’m learning! I do say “microcast” but it certainly turned out longer at 21 minutes.

This is nothing professional yet and just getting a feel for it. I do want to explore another medium, so I think podcasting is the way to go.

Hope you enjoy it and thanks for listening to my slightly German accent.

Duration: 00:21:12

Blogging heals!

Gluon, an Apple App Store rejection

Last Friday I put in Gluon for review to the App Store. It went into review 30 minutes later. It was pretty great.

I woke up Saturday morning with a message saying that Gluon was rejected. Fair enough… it happens. However, the points they raised were strange to me.

So making a change to the login screen, I resubmitted the update - not knowing that it will also close the open ticket in the Resolution Centre. It went back into review that evening, this time they took 3 - 4 hours to run through the tests.

Again I woke up with a rejection. With one point still being on there, and another found. So I decided to write a longer reply to them with some great examples and background information. I did not submit a new build this time around and waited for Apple to reply.

Sure enough, I got a reply yesterday saying they will call me. Today they did and I spoke to Kelley who, I’m guessing, is/was my reviewer. Nice lady for sure.

However, she only quoted the points and gave me blank responses - which is fair enough, it’s Apple. I know they’re not allowed to comment or talk out of terms, or perhaps show compassion. Which is a huge shame considering what they stand for.

So now I’m sitting here, with tears in my eyes. Cold sweat, shaking, stomach cramp. Crying.

So it is with a very heavy heart to say that Gluon will not make it to the App Store any time soon. There is no wrong doing with the app, it is more on point on what they want me to include in the app. The most unfair thing is that similar apps don’t need to do it apparently. I didn’t mention names, I’m not like that - I was more puzzled and asked questions why this is so (only to get… well… a blank response).

Here is what Apple want me to implement, because the app allows “user-generated content”:

Your app enables the display of user-generated content but does not have the proper precautions in place.

Next Steps

To resolve this issue, please revise your app to implement all of the following precautions:

- Require that users agree to terms (EULA) and these terms must make it clear that there is no tolerance for objectionable content or abusive users
- A method for filtering objectionable content
- A mechanism for users to flag objectionable content
- A mechanism for users to block abusive users
- The developer must act on objectionable content reports within 24 hours by removing the content and ejecting the user who provided the offending content

So, this means I have to build a full backend to facilitate this. And not because these features don’t exist within the Micro.blog API, but because Gluon allows the viewing and generation of this content.

Kelley said I should feedback this to my team so we can come up with a plan. I am only one person!

As you can see, this is an impossible task for me. There is a lot of things I have to incorporate including a full process and backend for doing exactly that. (outside of Micro.blog itself)

This is… insanely unfair, frustrating and heart breaking.

I started Gluon just over a year ago in the hopes to bring something really great to the Micro.blog eco-system. But now, this dream has been stopped. Crushed.

I really don’t know how I feel about it. I poured my heart and soul into Gluon… not to mention many hours/weeks/months/year of work. I created a website in anticipation of the launch. I registered a domain name for the app. I created all the content and screenshots. I did everything right.

I don’t know what the next steps are. I really don’t. I’m full of different emotions, which I’m observing. Writing this post certainly is helping to let me deal with this at the moment.

One more point they flagged up was that I used the “Micro.blog” name within my App name and/or subtitle. Apparently you’re not allowed to use trademarked names. “Tweet*** 5 for Twitter”, “Chi** for Twitter”… I can go on. So I would have to use “Gluon” - but you know… that’s naturally taken.

I get that Apple is protecting the end-user here, I really do… and I do understand. But where I’m sitting, the App Store is not a level playing field - and it’s a huge shame.

… what next you ask?

I really don’t know. I guess I’ll continue to update the TestFlight build as I go.

For Android fans… it’s available and public now in the PlayStore. You can go to the website to find out more.

Shaking a little less.

At least I learned massively from the project so far, I’ll give it that.

For you Apple nerds, I’m sorry.

Looks like I made 435 commits with this version of Gluon. If I include the first version (the one I started with) it’s just under 600 commits in total. 🤯

I just pushed the Gluon codebase to the master branch for the first time! That means a few things 😊 More info soon 😱

A quirk of mine is to commit and push often to a repo. Not a question of being paranoid. It’s more a “this is now off my plate and I don’t need to think about it anymore”. Like checking things off a checklist.

Starting a client project today. Pretty excited to get started. It’ll be an iPad app that they use at shows/parties. The deadline is mid Feb… so have my work cut out for me - design was finalised just before Christmas (was supposed to start in Nov). Not one I can showcase though.

Even though we have cranes in our view, the sunset sure was nice today. Lovely colours that came through the windows too.

Approaching 22:00. I feel like eating Pizza. I’m going to do just that! 🍕

Can AirPlay be used in native Mac Apps (not using the system volume settings)? I can only see iTunes/Music with the option - every other sound or music app doesn’t have it… just wondering.

I’ve been lovingly lost in reading blogs most of today. Getting lost in the diversity of it all. Blogs are great and the web is full of them! Go out there and really have a look, there is something for everyone.

Observations of starting to meditate: the first 10 days

Just after the Christmas holiday I started a course for meditating. I tried to dip in a few times before, but always loosing my drive to push on.

For anyone interested, I’m using the Waking Up course and app by Sam Harris. He’s got a great voice and is easy to listen to. The app is simple and doesn’t throw a lot of visual clutter in your face.

I’m on day 10 (also took one day off) at the moment and I thought I’ll share what is happening.

Day 1 - 5

This was more an introduction to sit comfortably and concentrate on your breathing and then feelings that you notice as you sit and breathe.

In a way, this caused me to not think too much about other things. I had thoughts pop into my head, but I came back to the actual breathing and concentrating on it.

Thoughts usually overpower me, clouding me… like a smokescreen in front of my eyes.

For the first time in a long time I was concentrating on the now. The present moment.

By day 5 I felt calmer in general, my mood swinging to a happier place, being more relaxed and at ease.

I did an extra mediation during the day time on Sunday, it was great. I really felt good afterwards.

Day 6 - 8

Things got interesting. The lessons included more information and more points of reference so you can concentrate on the moment. Observing passing thoughts without engaging with them.

Unfortunately my mind just seems to have retaliated. It was a light-show of thoughts. My mind being cloudy, hard to concentrate on the now. I really tried to push through it, doing breathing exercises by keeping count of the breaths, trying not to loose my spot.

It worked for a few seconds but then ultimately did nothing to cure my thought activity. I was fully engaged with it. It seemed I couldn’t do anything. My mind paralysing me.

I wasn’t satisfied with my progress and grew a bit frustrated.

On day 8 we had to be somewhere and I was stressed by the amount of people crammed in a small space at the Kindergarten. I prefer a calmer setting in general and prefer when there are a few people around. This is just personal preference. I was also somewhat annoyed at the way it was set up.

In that moment, I started noticing my thoughts… and understanding why I’m having these thoughts. This is hard to describe, but I could watch myself get upset about things. I could see which thoughts were causing it. And I was watching it unfold. Like I was sitting in my body, watching out from the eyes but having a book of thoughts in my hand with a script of what is happening on the screen next.

I began to concentrate on my breathing after a few moments. Then I forgot all about the stress and I think it was because I managed to observe it happening, without being cheated by my mind.

Whilst I was unhappy with the progress, I recognise that perhaps this is all part of it. Seeing myself in the present “now" shows me that progress cannot be measured on a session per session basis. Building blocks!

Day 9

Yesterday I managed to get a bit further. My mind still active from things going on. However, during the practice I felt a sense of euphoria. Whilst not perfect, I managed to start observing thoughts more than the past few days. Being able to turn it down and getting back to the now was a great small achievement. Even if it lasted seconds at a time, I’m happy with the result.

Day 10

Today is day 10. I woke up a little easier than usual, even though the day started with a not so good email. I’m OK with this. Usually I would get a cold sweat and my heart would sink a little and beat a little harder for a few moments. Which generally means I’m stressed.

I went straight to my “now”… just for a minute before I started processing the many thoughts that wanted to throw my phone against the wall and curl up in the corner and cry. I recognised the thought process instead of acting on it straight away.

I’m a little calmer today because of that, which usually would consume me all day with anger and stress. Even if things turn out badly, there are other things that can be constructive. The real world is stressful and being able to think clearly is a good skill to have in situations that are not ideal

Later this evening I’ll be sitting down for lesson number 10. Whilst I “can’t wait” I know that I can take 5 - 10 mins any day, any moment and just sit down and observe.

Conclusion

Like with everything, practice is key even if you don’t feel you’re making progress. Just one step at a time can make all the difference.

I’m happy where I’m going, even if the gains are small at the moment.

Will report as I get along.

Thank you to Tim Smith for sharing a few posts the past few days. Specifically:

With that, I just want to say that I’m hoping to share more of the things that interest me and also the good and bad of your (my) normal life.

I’m currently writing a year in review for 2019 and hope to add the good and bad.

Just updated my Now page. I’ll probably add a few more bits as the month gets underway.