Noel Rappin Writes Here

Sep 3, 2010: Twitter for iPad and Other Craziness

Twitter, iPadNoel RappinComment

Book Status

RSpec chapter edits complete, a dozen or so errata squashed, and hopefully we'll get beta 7 out. I suspect it'll be after Labor Day, though. I'm pleased with how this one turned out. The RSpec chapter is a challenge -- I'm literally squeezing a book's worth of content into a chapter, but I think it covers the major points clearly.

Since I haven't posted it in a while, you can buy the book here and on Amazon.

That, I think, pretty much ends the content that had some basis in the Lulu book, moving us into the one or two chapters that I need to write from scratch, as well as at least one chapter that has been obsoleted over the summer (BlueRidge). Still, getting closer.

WindyCityRails Update

Still seats available for my WindyCityRails tutorial. Right now, I'm trying to coordinate what I want to say with the faux-legacy app I'm building for people to practice on. The faux app needs to look legacy-ish, but still be easy enough to install and work with that something meaningful can be done in a three hour tutorial. Interesting problem.

More iPad

Two possible changes in my iPad app mix:

Twitter app replacing Osfoora HD

For all that it's kind of insane, I really like the official Twitter iPad app. It's super polished, and although I'm not convinced that the actual implementation of the overlapping tabs is optimal, I think the basic idea is great. One interesting point is that they clearly have chosen to favor a specific kind of Twitter user.

The overlapping tab works well at letting you see data related to a tweet (usually the contents of a link) and still see your account side bar and some of your timeline. It's quite pretty, aggressively bold in the way the original Tweetie app was, and useful. I appreciate that it's fewer clicks and generally easier to follow links on a lot of tweets in short succession, which I do a lot. I do think it's weird that the browser tab kind of half-sticks around even after you go back to your timeline, and it's easy to miss the spots where the browser tab slides back (as opposed to trying to horizontal scroll the browser window). A lot of people are reporting that it's hard to figure out how to move the panes -- I think it could be clearer in-app.

But, I like that it keeps my place when I change orientation -- which is Osfoora's most annoying non-feature. I like the layout in general, I think it gets the natural proportion of a twitter stream right (a lot of the other Twitter apps make the stream really wide, which feels strange to me), and it feels very polished and responsive.

Now I wish that the Mac Tweetie that I bought MacHeist in order to get an early beta might actually come out. Sigh.

River of News replacing Reeder, Maybe.

I'm not sure about this one. River of News is a simple RSS reader that displays articles in a basic River of News style, meaning one after another.

It's not as pretty or full featured as Reeder, but it's also less inscrutable and I tend to like the general layout.

Right now it seems as though River of News works better when I'm reading most of the articles in a feed or folder, because it scrolls better than Reeder does. But since Reeder has the mini previews, it's faster if I plan on skipping most of a feed. Still wondering which will work best.