thomasguenzel.com

Apps/Programming

Category: Mac

Automatically Update the Title of a View-Controller Based NSTabViewItem

Currently I’m working on yet another Mac app, where I have a NSTabView with multiple tabs that each represent a view controller.
I noticed that when I set my view controller’s title with

self.title = @"some other title"

nothing changes. So I wrote a small NSTabViewItem subclass that updates the title automatically by observing the title key of the view controller.

The code is on github and you can find the important part below.

@implementation GNTabViewItem

-(void)dealloc {
	[self.viewController removeObserver:self forKeyPath:@"title"];
}

-(void)setViewController:(NSViewController *)viewController {
	[self.viewController removeObserver:self forKeyPath:@"title"];
	[super setViewController:viewController];
	[self.viewController addObserver:self forKeyPath:@"title" options:NSKeyValueObservingOptionNew context:nil];
}

-(void)observeValueForKeyPath:(NSString *)keyPath ofObject:(id)object change:(NSDictionary *)change context:(void *)context {
	if([keyPath isEqualToString:@"title"] && object == self.viewController) {
		self.label = self.viewController.title;
		return;
	}
	[super observeValueForKeyPath:keyPath ofObject:object change:change context:context];
}

@end

The Future of Apricum

Apricum started as a small project for creating light shows. I once went out with my laptop plugged in a USB-DMX interface and tried to set everything up for the band contest that was happening this night. After around 5 minutes I noticed that I’m nowhere near being able to have a usable interface for the event. I eventually gave up and used LightJockey 2 that evening.

Unfortunately I’m quite busy at the moment with other projects, so it’ll take some time until a new version of Apricum will be released. It might be that I’ll reprogram the whole app (you’ll be able to open your old projects, and won’t have to buy patch collections again, I promise) as there are a lot of things I’d do different now.

Apricum 1.1 (or maybe even 2.0) won’t have a focus on DMX/Lightning but will be a general purpose patch programming tool. There will be an iOS version a little bit later in 2016.

I hope to bring an update until Q2 2016 but as I’ve made less than 100€ with Apricum, it’s more of a hobby so it might take even longer. (If you want to support me in any way, just contact me :P)

A Small Speed Comparison – Objective-C and Swift

Today I thought about migrating Apricum to Swift as I did remember the WWDC announcement saying it’s about 50% faster than Objective-C.

Click for the stackoverflow post regarding swift’s performance

I rewrote the necessary parts (just 3 classes) of the Apricum patch programming core in Swift and tested a simple add patch with 1000 different input values (two random numbers for input a and b).
The Objective-C version (which uses the Apricum Core framework) took 0.0087s and the Swift version (not nearly as big as the Apricum framework) took 0.0211s.
I’m not saying that this is a good test as both versions are quite different so I made two similar versions and compared them.

// Objective-C
@interface SimpleAdd : NSObject
-(NSUInteger)add:(NSUInteger)a and:(NSUInteger)b;
@end

@implementation SimpleAdd

-(NSUInteger)add:(NSUInteger)a and:(NSUInteger)b {
	return a+b;
}

@end

int main(int argc, const char * argv[]) {
	@autoreleasepool {
		SimpleAdd *add = [[SimpleAdd alloc] init];
		
		NSDate *start = [NSDate date];
		
		for (NSUInteger i = 0; i < 100000000; i++) {
			NSUInteger a = arc4random()%(UINT32_MAX/100);
			NSUInteger b = arc4random()%(UINT32_MAX/100);
			NSUInteger res = [add add:a and:b];
		}
		
		NSDate *end = [NSDate date];
		printf("Duration %f\n",[end timeIntervalSinceDate:start]);

	}
    return 0;
}
// Swift
class SimpleAdd {
	func add(a: UInt32, b: UInt32) -> UInt32 {
		return a + b;
	}
}

let add = SimpleAdd();

let start = NSDate();

for _ in 0...100000000 {
	let numA = arc4random() % (UINT32_MAX/100);
	let numB = arc4random() % (UINT32_MAX/100);
	let res = add.add(numA, b: numB);
}

let end = NSDate();

let dif = end.timeIntervalSinceDate(start);

print("Duration: \(dif)");

Now Objective-C took 4.1378s and Swift 4.3653s, which doesn’t seem like a big difference. But Swift doesn’t have dynamic method calls (well it supports the target/actions, but only by using Objective-C) unlike Objective-C where every call to a NSObject is a dynamic method call.

I personally will continue to use Objective-C over Swift, not because Objective-C is in one arbitrary test 0.2275s faster than Swift. It’s mainly because I’m not the biggest fan of the Swift programming language. It’s easier to read if you know Java/JavaScript already, which is a big advantage if you want to get into iOS Development and already know one of them, but I’m missing the features I love about Objective-C.
Additionally the freedom to choose whether you check objects for nil or just call a method is far, far better than those nested ‘if let’ checks you see all over Swift code. Most of the time the code I’ve read ends up using var xyz: ExampleType! which is even worse, as it’ll end up crashing your app if xyz isn’t set somehow, which although it should not happen, might happen.

Another part I really dislike is the lack of backward compatibility in Swift. While programming Objective-C, it happened once, that a change has been made that needed code changes. That was the migration to ARC, where you can still (to this day) mix ARC code with non-ARC code.
The complete opposite is Swift, where changes are frequent and mandatory. I was working on a project and over night Xcode updated to version 7.0 with a slightly different Swift syntax, making it necessary to change small parts all over the project (Fortunately one team member already did change most parts to the new syntax). This incident drove me away from using Swift for big projects, as I can compile more than 5 year old Objective-C code, but can’t compile Swift code I wrote a few months ago.

Although it probably sounds like it, I don’t hate Swift. Every programming language has pros and cons and you have to pick the one that matches your requirements and personal preferences. Swift is quite simple (I’d put it somewhere in the middle between JavaScript and Java) yet quite efficient, which actually isn’t that important anymore. Whether you wait 1ms or 2ms for your app to load doesn’t make any difference and if there are some parts that need to be faster you can still write them in C (and therefore also directly in assembler) to speed them up.

Search and Replace 1.2

Today a new version of Search and Replace for Mac OS X has been reviewed and approved for the App Store. It has a new file extension filter and you can enter a small description for every file. You can update or buy it here.

Search and Replace on the Mac App Store

Just a few minutes ago my newest app, Search and Replace, went online! It’s a helpful tool if you need to perform search and replace operations on multiple files. You can also use regular expressions for complex operations.

Take a look at it here.

Setting up a File Type for your Mac App

As I often have problems setting up a custom filetype for my Document-Based Applications I decided to write a short tutorial on how to do it (actually just one image). You just need to enter most of the information twice, once for the Document Type and once for the Exported UTI.
Look at those two lists for what types you have to choose:
List of Uniform Type Identifiers
Wikipedia Article about MIME (including common types)

filetypetut

SpaceDebris online

My newest game, SpaceDebris, is now online in the App Store and Mac App Store. Check it out!

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