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 really do love the Apple Pencil… but the OS needs to learn that I write everything in capital letters. EVERYTHING. Stuck with me since having Geography in High School. My teacher always did it. I can’t write normal anymore...

This morning I tapped on my laptop, which usually wakes it from sleep. It did nothing. Then I tried various keys… nothing. Then I got a bit rough with it… nothing. Then I got even more rough with it… and out came dust from the vents (it was pretty hard). No laptop was harmed!

“Good enough” software… seems to rule the world.

Added a few words of caution when you go ahead and enable notifications in Gluon. Want to of course re-write it slightly, so if you have suggestions, please let me know:

Push notifications will be sent, silently (with no sound), as and when a mention is received. This may take up your time during your nice day so please use responsibly.

Place your bets:

Is there a tool that just strips meta data from an image without affecting picture quality? I’m using ImageOptim… but it does something that makes the images… BLEH. When I untick the JPEG stuff, except meta stripping it doesn’t do anything at all. Needs to be an app on the Mac!

Giant butterfly… 🦋… ok 2 butterflies ❤️

Street in Gdańsk - loved the architecture!

Gdansk street

Camel 🐪 - really loved how chilled out they seemed, even their eyes. And Mules.

Camel

Family ❤️

Not going to lie… we were tempted to hop on a ferry to Sweden when we were up in Gdańsk. Just leave and not come back. If it wasn’t for our daughter we would have done it.

Before my lung operations life was shit. I was depressed and just didn’t like life… but that’s another story I’m not ready to share. After having the operations my life changed dramatically.

There were days in the recovery room where I had to fight the pain to breathe… it was absolutely terrible. I wanted to stop breathing. I was crying from the pain trying to breath just enough not to pass out. Little gulps of air. I couldn’t laugh, or yawn or do much at all for many months. It was absolute fucking agony. I couldn’t even go up the stairs for months without taking a break on every-single-fucking-step. It took 3 hours to get up out of bed on the best of days.

I still feel it every single day, tugging away inside. Right now as I type this. When I walk or sit. Every single fucking day. My chest pulling… a constant reminder when my life changed.

Don’t live your life with your tail between your legs! Get out there, enjoy it… no matter what (and I mean it!). It is only one life! Don't waste it. Go see people. Be with loved ones. Be you.

Don't let anything stop you. Don’t be afraid.

Everybody dies, but only you can live your own life. So do it. Don’t fucking waste it.

Found a few more bugs in Gluon to do with category selection and a few other tweaks that I can add. Will get those out today at some stage. Thanks fo bearing with me with all the HOTNESS. 🤤

Oh and build 20 for Gluon 2020.5 will be out shortly via TestFlight… as there is a crashing bug with the discover section = lazy developer 😭

Gluon now has much better error tracking. I made a mistake earlier on by setting the wrong release name, so all the errors were garbage. Now fixed and working like a dream with line numbers for the code in question.

Just released TestFlight version 2020.5 (Build 19) for Gluon. Fixes issues with sending to the correct blog (when you have multiple). Thanks Paul for reporting and bearing with me. Also tweaks a few UI bits and changed some wording.

I’m hoping this will be the release candidate that will ship, if Apple approve it, at some stage next week. Then it’s onto Android and the new Apple device version ❤️

Best feature for 2020.5 is the hidden pink icon. Nothing beats it!

I really can’t get past the amazing emotions I felt watching the 2007 Apple Keynote when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. I basically just recovered from a big lung operation a year or so earlier… (it takes a LONG time). I also started my commercial flight training...

watchOS 7 beta 7… now the rest please.

First of September, so that means I will do a 30 days of no beer challenge for myself. Although I usually only drink alcohol-free beer, I want to not drink it at all. Let’s see how it goes.

It's a zombie world out there

So, we've been away on holiday. With that comes a lot of driving on my behalf. I'm the only one that can drive in my immediate family... so when my wife and daughter were sleeping, which they did a lot... I sat in silence, watching the road and traffic. Just the sound of the road, the nice weather and my thoughts passing through my consciousness.

The problem I'm having is choosing to do what I do as my job, being a software developer, and balancing this all without being pulled into the black hole that is the modern phone.

Sitting and watching people is one of my favourite past times when I'm around and about. One reason I wanted to become a pilot actually. I just love to see how people interact with each other, seeing different emotions and general sense of being. Catching someones gaze and immediately looking elsewhere because your "self" is there, interacting with the real world all over a sudden.

As the years have gone, the scene has changed plenty though. Granted, this is mainly where I live at this time... but I still notice it. In other countries and cultures this might just be at different levels.

I really don't like where we've managed to arrived, to date, as a human race (after 2007).

Sitting in the hotel lounge I saw a younger man walk in, phone in his face watching something. Then he walked, whilst watching, to the coffee machine. He put down the phone on the counter, still watching. Pulled out a cup... still watching. Made coffee with ice cubes, still watching. Closed the cup with a lid and picked up the phone and coffee and left. Still watching. There was ZERO interest to the outside world on his behalf. His eyes were fixed on the phone... except to pick up the cup and ice cubes and press the button. Did he enjoy making the coffee? Did he enjoy actually drinking it? Or did he enjoy watching whatever he was watching?

This is just one case of a thousand I have seen whilst out and about on our trip.

Just yesterday we were out eating in Kraków and next to us sat a young couple. They sat down, got their orders in. And then they were phubbing. Phones out, hardly talked, eyes inward. And of course they only used one app on their entire $1,000+ phone. It's such a beautiful and romantic city, yet they were "social" networking with others instead of "social" networking with each other and people around them.

A family of 3 behind us, 2 kids with phones watching something and the dad doing something else on his phone. No interaction between the three except when the kids were fighting with each other.

A child asking her Mum to put her on the kiddie swing, to which she managed to say "yes" to... but first she had to finish with her phone... kid's arms up waiting to be lifted. But got nothing. Not even a look from the mother as she eventually lifted her. The eyes were on the phone.

I can go on with more stories and we ALL know how they play out.

People use their phones for one primary reason. People choose to have their heads in there. People walk with a screen in their face, they sit and eat with a screen in their face, they choose their phone (... "social" network of choice) over the company of "real", they choose their phone first before kids or family.

Frankly I think, as a society, we are certainly fucked if this trend continues. Unfortunate for us that most people raise theirs kids with digital devices... so our next generation will also certainly be fucked.

Unfortunate for us that people that can bring about change, like software developers, do absolutely nothing about it.

I am a strong believer that technology can actually help people become better versions of themselves. However, the trend of big social networks, is too over powering for most people. It's certainly an addiction, like smoking or perhaps even taken recreational drugs - although I think it's worse.

I am also a strong believer in that good things come in small doses and that everything needs to balance out. It can't be too much of anything or everything. Balance is key.

We are social creatures meant for real interaction.

Unfortunately most people choose to become ZOMBIES to massive social corporations instead of just putting their heads up and enjoy the sights and company of close ones.

So where does this leave me in my thought process, whilst driving?

Whilst I can't do much to sway people from using their phones so damn much... I can however educated users of my own apps, namely Gluon. It's the only social app I make... and to be honest it will be my last unless the human race moves on and actually gets out there. No more zombie apocalypse please. I have great love for my users and the app itself, I just hate it though that it would take away a lot of time from real interaction with the world around.

Personally I use my phone less and less. In fact I leave it either in the car or in my backpack. When I'm at home it goes into the drawer in my desk - it even charges there. This morning I didn't even take it with me on the drive to Kindergarten.

This is a personal choice of mine.

I'm slowly educating my daughter about how bad it is and have a game with her calling out "ZOMBIE" to either me or pointing them out in public (to me privately) once we notice. "Dada, you're a zombie", "Look at all the zombies!".

Technology should be used as an "additional" utility to your life and not to replace it, turning the human race into a zombie race.

Users need to be educated that app usage of the social kind can create addictive behaviour. I also think that limits and nudges should be placed as default. For example if you open the app 100 times a day (and that is a lot if you're not the active developer of said app), it should tell you "Wait a minute, you've been here 100 times already... how about you just go about your day and enjoy something real" "PRESS BUTTON TO REALLY CONTINUE IF YOU REALLY MUST". Another example is push notifications... you don't need to be interrupted 24 hours, 7 days a week. It should either be by choice - giving certain days or hours where and app can disturb you - or don't offer any at all. Instead have a nice little summary when you choose to open the app.

I'm very fortunate that Gluon doesn't rely on a timeline that is altered to a users taste. It's good plain RSS. Whilst I can't do much for the content on the network, I can make the app as non addictive as I can. That doesn't mean it's going to be ugly. No, it means that I can make design choices to not to overwhelm the user with too much information. For example Push notifications prompts could not be shown as default. You'll have to find it in settings and before you enable them I'll give a reason for thinking twice about it...

At the end of the day I want to create something that is a joy to use on the one or two days where you do actually use it in the week, or month. Nothing more.

I'm a minimalist at heart and I like removing unnecessary weight across my life. Knowing that I can do something, to help users, and myself, would put tremendous weight off my shoulders.

I can't stand watching ZOMBIES choose the phone over the real world. It breaks my heart. Something needs to be done... it needs to start somewhere.

I choose not to be a zombie. I choose not to be sucked into big social networks. I choose not allow my software to become addictive.

I choose to do something about it in my own personal projects. I choose to educate about the problem to my daughter and users. I choose to live my own life without being sucked into the zombie world that is today.