For the past several months, I’ve been following along with Paul Hudson‘s quite excellent series of tutorials. The focus of this series is to develop a portfolio application, demonstrating knowledge of iOS and SwiftUI, as well as good development practices (testing, architecture, etc.). At first, there were a couple of videos per week, but it has slowed down since Christmas. Maybe it’s more work than he initially thought, maybe it doesn’t pay as well as he thought, maybe he wants to spend more time with his family; whatever, I’m certainly not going to complain. As usual for me, I’ve learned enough that I want to start doing stuff other than just following along.
The first thing I did was rewrite my SMTP/POP3 server from Java to Swift, and that worked out really well. After that, I wrote a matching game for iOS, essentially reworking a game that my wife loved to play but in my version there are no advertisements (the pop-up ads stopping the game play drove me crazy). So, now what shall I work on?
Of course, I have some ideas. I loved playing Empire, back in the old days, and I got the C source code for a Windows version, intending to rewrite it in Swift. But I’ve looked at the code and it is tight and very idiomatically C. It’d be less of a port and more of a ground-up rewrite, and that’s never as much fun as it sounds like it will be.
I’ve looked at the documentation for CryptoKit and considered trying to finish up my turn-based game server, and that’s still on the table. Especially since now I’ve got Stumpy for handling the email testing. But if I’m honest, the idea of a turn-based game server is really the part that I find fun and compelling; I’m mostly uninterested in playing any of these things with another person, since I am not super skilled at any games and spending all my time developing software so I can spend more time losing doesn’t seem fun.
Thinking about the problems I have and maybe solving one of them, I turned to Twitter. There are already tools for interacting with Twitter that solve everyone else’s problems. My problem, though, is that even though I only follow a handful of people there is still far too much coming at me. Embedded images and videos, interstitial ads and suggestions that I follow other people (Why? Why would I want to hear what some random celebrity has to say about anything? As one of my friends would say, BRAND IS.) just come at me and make me anxious. And sure, that’s part of the social media recipe: make readers anxious so that they transform into users; then you can do whatever you want to them, bundle them up and sell them, and make money. But I rely on social media to keep me connected to my friends. I just don’t want to be a neurotic and depressed monkey because of it.
Thinking, then, about needing to minimize my anxiety, I have written a Twitter client in Java, with JavaFX as the UI. That’s not going to last; I last built it two operating system versions ago and it doesn’t build now. However, it’s text-only, and that actually solves the anxiety problem. I’d like to tweak its interface a bit, as well as build in a bit more store-and-forward offline capability. Compose tweets and queue them up, etc. That’s going to be super useful once I’m back in the woods with less than reliable communications.
So that’s what I think I’ll work on.