Vincent Ritter


My thoughts, micro blog style. Usually short showing off ideas, screenshots and other things that might be on my mind on the day.

My daughter is so used to touchscreens that she frequently tries to swipe the TV and my computer screen. On a side note… she’s great with the Apple TV remote!

Working on an “emergency” (last minute) project. Always interesting how other developers work when it comes to static cut ups. Gonna be a long night...

I’ve been making a start with a side project, which I want to keep under wraps for some time, but I’m finding it really difficult to not write about it. It’s like my mind is full and I need to let it all out and write about it. It’s part of why I write my project blog posts. I really love the process.

Started doing some work on my website to only realise that, actually, I want to do so much more with it. I want to consolidate a few pages and introduce a few new things too. I don’t have time for this distraction 😭 Had to stop myself.

Sometimes I feel lost. Unsure if I’m doing the right things. Unsure if life has more to offer. Unsure where I live is the right place. It’s like a voice inside my head trying to say something to me but not able to speak. I can only hear it mumble parts of words. Do I make up the rest of the words in my mind? Is my brain trying to set me down a specific path? I don’t know. Am I happy or unhappy? Am I bored? It’s been on my mind a lot recently. I walk a certain path with a map but then, like magic, I have a new map with a different trail. The mystery of life. I made many missteps, maybe too many. Am I heading into another wrong turn? Are things slowing down for good or bad? Or am I, in fact, doing everything right and the weather just hasn’t set? Am I already in paradise?

One thing that really gets to me is that when I work on client projects I immediately want to work on a personal project. But when I have nothing on the client front I never seem to work on a personal project. Is that normal?

Trying to force work is the worse! Maybe I should just go and rest for 40 mins or so. I think that’s a better idea.

I’ve been enjoying dark mode on iOS 13… however, I’m letting it auto switch from now on. I really love how the typography comes out on the light interface. Dark mode is nice… not so on an OLED though, it just smears everywhere - can’t un-see!

When you head to bed late (3 - 4 AM) and you sleep for a few hours (3 - 5) and your heart gently reminds you, pretty much all day, that “Hey, you didn’t go and get enough sleep my friend. You’re gonna feel me in your chest beating, being angry at you!”.

I’ve been slowly migrating over some projects to use Laravel Mix instead of Webpack directly. Webpack is powerful, but I really don’t like all this setup stuff. Really happy with it so far and it’s working great for the things I converted.

Any recommendation on a Node.js framework for server-side magic (think Laravel or Rails)? Asking for a friend.

So… the Catalina Beta 5 finally installed. Must have taken 6 hours or so (when it said 9 minutes remaining). I’m happy that I don’t have to start from scratch!

Currently trying to re-install macOS... didn’t wipe anything yet... seems to be stuck at the same point as the b5 update. Will leave it overnight to see if anything progresses... 😔😢

Catalina Beta 5 update seems to be stuck at the same spot, for the past 40 minutes, on the boot screen... should I get worried?

I’m in love with the refined and finer volume steps on iOS13! Feels great; not too much or too little.

And when you start a new personal project and the next sentence from your wife is “Let’s go in 10 minutes and pick up our daughter”. 😂

So I spent a month planning and writing stuff down for a new personal project. Today… I start it.

I’ve been really impressed by the quality of Laravel and the whole ecosystem around it. It’s really making me want to switch, from Rails, for months now.

Random stats: I currently have 17 third-party apps installed on my iPhone (not including mine). 3 just for banking. 4 for social and client interactions (including Gluon). 3 Games. The others are various ones (VPN, Content Blocker, Weather etc).

I’ve been working through some Laravel tutorials the past week. It’s certainly different to write PHP, however I really like the fact that PHP is so well supported and you don’t need anything special to run it.

Apple should make a dedicated Animoji app. My daughter loves using it! Shame it’s stuck inside the Messages app though. Would be a big hit I reckon.

… on App Store Connect, you can no longer use emoji in the “What to test” field. That makes me a little sad. Might file a bug report.

Just pushed out a small update for Gluon. Build 20190725.4.

  • Push Notifications and local background fetch for mentions have been removed. I removed this to clear the way for real push notifications. Hopefully I will have this ready in the coming weeks.
  • With the above taken care of, this also fixes a crash with background fetching… because I removed that functionality altogether.
  • Added a few more loading messages when you pull to refresh. Need to tidy these up as I go and make it more consistent across the different screens.
  • Added the new Emoji for Discover - I should really implement a check server-side so I can pull them easily.
  • Under the hood upgrades - was a bit of a pain… but I hope it’s working all OK.

I’ll touch on Push Notifications on a later date. It’s coming back for sure, so don’t worry! And no… I won’t charge for them on a subscription basis 🤣

Reading a few articles about Airplay 2 coming to TV’s and how there is a “backlash” of older devices not receiving the updates… Imagine Apple announced a new phone in September and some features won’t be available on older versions… OH… WAIT.

When I open up an app for the first time and it immediately asks you to “sign up” for an account, even though the app could easily be used without an account... I just sigh 😔

Today’s Catalina problem after trying to use Time Machine backup (but failed)… computer is saying “not enough free space”… even though I have ~300GB avail. So I can’t open some applications or install updates.

Uninstalled Slack from my phone today. Never used it except a few times for notifications for dev stuff.

A rumour site is saying Beta 4 for iOS is out… but I don’t see it on the developer site… hmmm.

The Music app, on Catalina, totally stopped working for me now. Urghhh. It no longer opens and is stuck at “Loading music library...”.

We’re back from Disneyland Paris. It has been emotional, tiring, full of joy and new memories and absolutely amazing! Still unpacking from our road trip and slowly returning to our usual life.

I’ve been working on starting a secret personal project… I can’t seem to think about how to go about it and where to start. I did make notes of overall features, however turning those notes into something real is proving somewhat difficult.

When you see a support article that says: “pass this help article to your IT/Web team, it is quite a quick and easy task for them to complete.”… all my inner alarms are ringing!

Can someone help me pinpoint if Apple require iPad storyboards/apps to be included from next year for any new/updated iOS apps? I’m trying to find it but coming up short. I’m sure I read it somewhere //cc @becky

It’s a huge shame that the Music app, on Catalina, yet again just stops playing when you add a song to your library… even if the playlist is in your library.

First steps for the Reply Toolbar coming to Gluon:

That’s a user toolbar, showing the users in the conversation you are replying to and then anyone you are following. Tap to add. Still experimental and more to come. But you can have it already 🤓

Something I have to relearn is text selection on iOS13. It's weird… certainly much nicer though!

Another update for Gluon on iOS which I hope you enjoy.

  • Loading indicators are pretty much gone except the pull to refresh one. The app still does a few things in the background (for example prefetching the feed), however this is way better UX in my opinion.
  • Images Modal - the one you know and love from earlier builds. So instead of navigating out of the app, you’ll get a nice modal. Swipe left or right for more (if there are more), swipe down to close and your usual pinch-to-zoom action. Happy I managed to get that finally in.
  • The Photos tab is now named Media - this shows both images and videos from your timeline.

Thanks to Eli (@eli) for pointing out the many many loading indicators.

A quick note on loading:

The app, at the moment, pre-fetches the feeds when you navigate to each screen. This is for a few reasons. The main reason is that the API is a bit slow at times. So to avoid this and give you the illusion of quick loading it grabs the feed straight away. This means if you do a “pull to refresh” the feed is actually already being fetched in the background. I think, for now, this is the best answer to avoid the sometimes long loading times (they can vary between 1 and 6 seconds). And it gives you the feedback you need when you do do a pull-to-refresh.

Just pushed out another TestFlight build for Gluon. Here are the release notes:

  • Background Audio now continues to play when a video loads. So if you’re listening to a podcast or music, they’ll keep going!
  • When you do a “Pull to Refresh” you will now see the loading indicator at the top - as you would expect. Anything in the background or automatic will still trigger the little green and red spinner - but not the pull to refresh one.
  • List items now have the correct bullet point colour set depending on your theme.

Thanks again for all the feedback so far. Keep it coming!

Also… the dark theme looks out of date on iOS13 (for any of you running it). I’ll probably add a third true dark theme with a black background. The current one I’ll just name “Space Grey/Gray”.

I’ll update the Android build during the week as I need to tackle some specific Android issue that I didn’t have the time for.