Diverse Rolling

Two years ago, I took the OPML file from Brent Simmons’ inessential post “Blogs by Women”, threw it into my RSS reader, and magically had 30+ new blogs to read.

Here are the favorites of mine that are still around and active.

Erica Sadun (Twitter)
I’ve known about Erica’s work since the 2013 Edge Cases episode “Rectangles on a String”. (I even know how to pronounce her last name, even if she does pronounce tuple wrong.) Her blog updates several times a week, often about some detail of Swift development. She’s written a bunch of books, mostly focused on developers, and one book on Swift.

Accidentally in Code, by Cate Huston (Twitter)
Most delightful find for me personally. She talks about a variety of issues in the tech industry, including managing, as I’ve previously mentioned.

Becky Hansmeyer (Twitter)
From her own description, her blog is “my own little place to comment on Apple & general technology news, as well as what it’s like to be a novice developer with no prior programming experience.” Her tag line is “100% grass-fed Swift”.

Natasha the Robot (Twitter)
Helpful posts on iOS/watchOS and Swift topics. Natasha is the organizer of the try! Swift conference, and frequent speaker.

Julia Evans (Twitter)
Detailed, explanatory posts on a variety of tech topics. Very motivational! Not iOS-related, however.

And finally, a great blogger who’s been very active recently who’s not on the list:

Stephanie Hurlburt (Twitter)
Graphics developer and entrepreneur, who posts about a variety of aspects of the tech industry, some of them quite personal.


Rolling Forward

Now that I’ve talked about the old blogs I subscribed to back in 2010, what about the new blogs I’ve found since then?

New Blogs
Here are the blogs that, for the most part, started around or after my 2010 post, so I didn’t include them then:

Florian Kugler: iOS, Mac, and Web Development by Florian Kugler (floriankugler on Twitter). Wrote some interesting performance posts back in April-May of last year. Posting has been light recently.
iOS Unit Testing by Ron Lisle (rlisle on Twitter). Explores TDD for iOS.
The Mental Blog: Software with Intellect by Drew McCormack (drewmccormack on Twitter), author of ICACloud referenced in Edge Cases 77.
The Shape of Everything by Gus Mueller (ccgus on Twitter), author of Acorn. Gives monthly “status reports” on his life as an indie developer.
iOS Development by Ole Begemann (olebegemann on Twitter). Wrote NSProgress post referenced in Edge Cases 84.
The UI Observatory by Jochen Wolters (jochenwolters on Twitter). Interesting analysis and details of user interfaces on (mostly) OS X.

Old-Timers I Missed?
Here are the blogs that were around then, or if they weren’t, are by old-timers who were.

carpeaqua by indie developer Justin Williams (justin on Twitter), now owner of the Glassboard sharing platform. Posts frequently.
Cocoa Is My Girlfriend by Marcus Zarra and others. Terrible name, great technical posts.
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programmers by Graham Lee (secboffin on Twitter), previously called Secure Mac Programming (the change is explained here). Unusual, unique, smart philosophical musings about development.

There are quite a few new resources that exist to tell you about Cocoa development articles and other resources. This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor necessarily the best, just the ones I’ve found so far.

iOS Dev Weekly weekly email newsletter by Dave Verwer (daveverwer on Twitter)
iOS Dev Tools by Adam Swinden (iOSDevTools on Twitter)
Cocoa Snippets by Guilherme Rambo (_inside on Twitter)
iOS Developer Tips by John Muchow (iOS_Dev_Tips on Twitter)

Full-Featured Articles
The next two aren’t blogs, exactly.

objc.io is a self-described “periodical about best practices and advanced techniques in Objective-C”. It is professionally written (in part by Florian Kugler, mentioned above) and well edited. You can subscribe to it.

NSHipster calls itself a “journal” and comes out every week (I believe). It is also very well written and professional, and it’s by Mattt Thompson (mattt on Twitter).

As I discuss in Edge Cases 86, these feel more to me like tutorial books than blogs, and feel in part like they’re trying to take the place of Apple’s documentation by introducing topics not as “here’s an interesting thing that I found”, but rather as “this is all you need to know about X”.

Maybe, with so many people new to the community, that’s what we need now, because Apple surely isn’t going to be putting out weekly tutorials anytime soon. But it’s going to take me a while to get used to.

Rolling Back

Back in August of 2010, when I wrote a post about my blogroll, I wanted to update that post frequently to keep it in sync with my blogroll as it evolved….

So much for that.

But it turns out, letting it lay fallow for almost three years means that I can do a “Where Are They Now” post.

So where are they now?

Truly Dead Blogs
ChrisAshworth.org/blog, by Chris Ashworth (Chris_Ashworth on Twitter) deleted about a year ago, sort of (?) replaced by his company blog, Notes from Figure 53
ranchero.com by Brent Simmons (brentsimmons on Twitter), dead, in favor of inessential.com
Well-Placed Pixels no author listed, server not responding
iPhone & iPad UX Reviews by Suzanne Ginsburg (suzanneginsburg on Twitter), per last post, shutting down 4/2014, replaced by Touchy Talk
Sharing the truth one thread at a time no author listed, deleted by author

Slumbering Blogs, Last Updated…
3/2013 Alan Quatermain by Jim Dovey, now working at Apple (alanQuatermain on Twitter)
2011 Dave Dribin’s Blog by Dave Dribin (ddribin on Twitter)
2010 Lap Cat Software Blog by Jeff Johnson (lapcat on app.net, no longer on Twitter)
2011 Cocoa with Love by Matt Gallagher (cocoawithlove on Twitter)
6/2013 venomous porridge by Dan Wineman (dwineman on Twitter)

Transformed Blogs
iPhone Development by Jeff LaMarche (jeff_lamarche on Twitter), since 7/2013 exclusively about developing his company’s game “Turncoat”
Matt Legend Gemmell by Matt Gemmell (mattgemmell on Twitter) since 1/2014 switched from development to fiction (and non-?) writing full time
Red Sweater Blog by Daniel Jalkut (danielpunkass on Twitter), now solely a company blog, personal topics at Bitsplitting.org (which was briefly a podcast)
ignore the code by Lukas Mathis (LKM on Twitter), recent very long post on Windows Metro, signaling possible change in focus?

Surviving Categories

In-Depth Technical (new, see below for explanation)
rentzsch.tumblr.com by Jonathan “Wolf” Rentzsch (rentzsch on Twitter)
inessential.com by Brent Simmons (brentsimmons on Twitter)
NSBlog by Mike Ash (mikeash on Twitter)
ridiculous_fish by “an engineer on the AppKit team”
Hamster Emporium by Greg Parker (gparker‎ on Twitter)

Daring Fireball by John Gruber (gruber on Twitter)
Marco.org by Marco Arment (marcoarment on Twitter)
Apple Outsider by Matt Drance (drance on Twitter)
Waffle, by Jesper, back after a two-year hiatus

In my original post, I had five categories, Well-Rounded, In-Depth Coding, Low-Level, Design Blogs, and Commentary.

Well-Rounded took the biggest beating, with only two blogs coming out of it completely unchanged. Both blogs, the one from my podcast cohost Jonathan “Wolf” Rentzsch and the one from the exceptionally prolific Brent Simmons, I would now put in a new In-Depth Technical category; it just seems more fitting given their primarily technical content.

One of my two In-Depth Coding blogs is also slumbering, but otherwise it and the two Low-Level blogs are intact, probably because they just keep posting at long intervals. (How would I even know if they were on hiatus?) Again, now I’m lumping them into the new In-Depth Technical category.

Design Blogs is also gone, with one blog dead, one slumbering, and one potentially transformed. That leaves the clear winner, the Commentary blogs: six out of eight are still going strong. Though, it turns out, I personally no longer subscribe to either asymco or Smoking Apples, so I’ve removed those from my list. (Perhaps they were going a little too strong for my taste?)

Even with many of the “dead” or “slumbering” blogs, their authors are still active on twitter, so I still follow them there.

Rolling Forward
Now that I’ve gotten the old blogs out of the way, my next post will talk about all the new stuff.

On a Roll

I’m constantly amazed by the volume and quality of Mac and iOS programming posts I see from my NetNewsWire feeds. When I mentioned this on Twitter, I was asked, well, what blogs do I read? Below are the feeds that I think are most useful to publicize for Mac/iOS programmers. (I’ll be updating my blogroll in a bit.)

These blogs don’t necessarily have just one focus. They combine higher-level programming philosophy and practices as well as specific coding examples, along with other miscellaneous topics and even app reviews thrown in. These authors are often especially helpful and funny on Twitter, so don’t miss out.

iPhone Development top-notch commentary and code by Jeff LaMarche (jeff_lamarche on Twitter)
Matt Legend Gemmell just stellar combo of design ideas, code, and experiences by, who else? Matt Gemmell (mattgemmell on Twitter)
ChrisAshworth.org crude diagrams, indie best practices, and this sublime post on app pricing, by Chris Ashworth (Chris_Ashworth on Twitter)
Alan Quatermain by Jim Dovey of Kobo (alanQuatermain on Twitter)
rentzsch.tumblr.com by Jonathan “Wolf” Rentzsch, ran the C4 indie developer conference (rentzsch on Twitter)
inessential.com and the linkblog ranchero.com by Brent Simmons, author of NetNewsWire (brentsimmons on Twitter)
Red Sweater Blog by Daniel Jalkut (danielpunkass on Twitter)
Dave Dribin’s Blog by, you guessed it, Dave Dribin (ddribin on Twitter)
Lap Cat Software Blog often contrarian observations and more by Jeff Johnson of Rogue Amoeba (lapcat on Twitter)

In-Depth Coding
These blogs are an amazing, amazing source of code and programming tips.

NSBlog by Mike Ash (mikeash on Twitter)
Cocoa with Love by Matt Gallagher

Fascinating low-level developer blogs. They aren’t updated very frequently, though, so stick ’em in your RSS reader and forget about ’em until the next cool post comes along.

ridiculous_fish by “an engineer on the AppKit team”
Hamster Emporium by Greg Parker

Design Blogs
Concentrate more on the look and the user experience of applications than their underlying code.

Well-Placed Pixels, no commentary, just example after example of beautiful software. No author listed.
ignore the code by Lukas Mathis (LKM on Twitter)
iPhone & iPad UX Reviews by Suzanne Ginsburg (suzanneginsburg on Twitter)

Then there are the tech commentary blogs. Little-to-no specific programming content, but whip-smart observations about Apple, the Mac/iOS programming scene, and other tech companies.

Daring Fireball by John Gruber (gruber on Twitter)
Marco.org by Marco Arment, lead developer of Tumblr and Instapaper (marcoarment on Twitter)
Apple Outsider by Matt Drance (drance on Twitter)
asymco, frequently-updated business analysis by Horace Dediu
Smoking Apples, Mac/iOS news and review site, by Milind Alvares, Preshit Deorukhkar, and team
Waffle, by Jesper
venomous porridge observations, rants, and sometimes vulgar but always amusing content, by Dan Wineman (dwineman on Twitter)
Sharing the truth one thread at a time, no author listed

There’s more, but this has already taken me several hours to put together and verify, so I’m going to stop here and update it with more content later.

Hope this is useful! Let me know if you spot any typos and such.