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Posts by Tom van Zummeren

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Tech Meeting on November 1st will be all about iOS!

October 19th, 2012 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2012/10/19/tech-meeting-on-november-1st-will-be-all-about-ios/)

Next tech meeting isn't about anything related to Java, but it is targeted towards Java developers. Together with my uncle Jos Jong I will first give you all a brief introduction to Objective C and iOS and compare it a little to Java. Also we will try to convince you that Objective C is a cool language worth looking into and playing around with! I will even give you a live coding demo of creating an app from scratch. Hopefully you will get inspired to start creating an app yourself!

After the pizza & beer break we will go into more detail about the iPhone app we developed together called Easy Calendar. This app was released in the first quarter of 2011. We will tell you all about how the app evolved into what it is today. We will cover the experiences we've had with developing, marketing and creating the graphical design for the app. Also, we will tell you about how we dealt with the bigger display which comes with the new iPhone 5.

If you're interested, you can sign up here (don't worry, it's free!): http://info.orange11.nl/Nov2012mobiletechmeeting.html Hopefully we'll see you all there!

Tom van Zummeren
Jos Jong

Learn to write with Tracy

April 26th, 2012 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2012/04/26/learn-to-write-with-tracy-ipad-app/)

I am very proud to announce Orange11's first iPad application: Learn to write with Tracy (dutch: Leren Schrijven met Tracy) which has just been released world wide in both Dutch and English. I personally developed this app from scratch with the help of my colleague Dennis de Graaf for the graphical design work. I thought this would be a great opportunity to tell you a little bit what the app is all about and a sneak behind the scenes as to how it was made.
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AppCode: IntelliJ for Objective C!

July 6th, 2011 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2011/07/06/appcode-intellij-for-objective-c/)

AppCode logoWhen I started writing my first iPhone app, I was quite disappointed with XCode. This is because I have been using IntelliJ for the past five years, which I love working with ever since I first started using it. XCode is the IDE you have to use in order to develop iOS and Mac apps. Until recently there weren't any real alternatives.

Compared to IntelliJ, XCode looks very basic to me because it has no handy shortcuts, good refactoring tools or other handy features that I'm used to in IntelliJ. XCode doesn't look like a software tool that's developed by Apple at all. It is clear Steve Jobs was not involved creating this tool.

After I came to the conclusion I was probably just spoiled by IntelliJ, I accepted the fact that XCode wasn't as good. Furthermore, I was learning a new language and had to accept that I'm in a different world now. Recently XCode 4 was released, which admittedly has improved a lot compared to XCode 3. But, as I found out, XCode 4 still needs to come a long way to even come close to the usability of IntelliJ.
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Developing apps compatible with all iOS devices

November 25th, 2010 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2010/11/25/developing-apps-compatible-with-all-ios-devices/)

As you might already know, iOS is the operating system that runs on iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads. The first iOS device was the iPhone and was released in January, 2007. Back then the operating system was called "iPhone OS". Since that time more devices were released running iPhone OS than just the iPhone. This is why a while ago Apple announced that the operating system would from that point on be called "iOS" instead.

When you’re developing an app for iOS you most probably are focusing on just one specific device with a specific version of the operating system. For example you’re developing for iPhones running iOS 4.2. If your only target audience is iPhone users then this is good enough. But you could make you’re app support other devices and iOS versions as well. This would extend the target audience for your app. As it turns out, it isn't much of a hassle to do so!
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iPhone OS 4.0

April 11th, 2010 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2010/04/11/iphone-os-4-0/)

This is just a quick blog post to share my excitement for the new iPhone OS firmware version 4.0, which was announced by Apple just a few days ago. Yesterday I installed the beta version of this new OS on my phone, only to find out that a few of the new features are not supported on iPhone 3G :( Unfortunately, those features will be available only on iPhone 3GS. Nonetheless, I am very excited about all this new stuff and want to go over the most interesting features, both from a user’s and a developer’s perspective.
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Free Java hosting with the Google App Engine

February 4th, 2010 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2010/02/04/free-java-hosting-with-the-google-app-engine/)

Lately I have been looking into and playing around with the Google App Engine. In this post I want to give a little introduction to the Google App Engine, why it can be interesting and how to work with it.
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Exploring the world of Android :: Part 3

October 8th, 2009 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2009/10/08/exploring-the-world-of-android-part-3/)

In my travels through the world of Android I faced a lot of challenges. Brave as I am, *cough* I conquered each one of them. A few of the challenges include saving activity state, asynchronous tasks, pagination, error handling, context/option menu's and even drawing custom application/tab icons in Photoshop! Some challenges I already shared with you guys, but there is one challenge in particular I would like to elaborate on this time.

The app I am currently building is getting larger every day, and so is the main Activity class! Because my main activity contains a TabHost with a bunch of tabs, it also contains references to all individual view components contained in those tabs. All kinds of listeners are registered on those components so the activity contains some inner and anonymous classes as well. So you could say that this activity now has way too much responsibility! What I was looking for, is a way to separate the main activity into multiple parts, each with its own clear responsibility.

As it turns out, you can create custom components for a single piece of functionality within an Activity. Exactly what I was looking for!
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Exploring the world of Android :: Part 2

September 17th, 2009 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2009/09/17/exploring-the-world-of-android-part-2/)

And I'm back! Reporting live on the glorious adventures in the exciting world of Android. This blog post is the second one in the Android series. This time with code samples! Yeah!

In my first blog post about Android I talked about setting up a project using Android. This time I want to discuss a more "advanced" topic: ListView performance. A ListView is a view component which allows you to display and scroll through a list of items. It can display simple text in each row, but is also able to display a more complicated structure. In the latter case you will need to make sure your ListView still performs well (read: renders fast and scrolls smoothly). I am going to provide solutions to a few different performance problems when using a ListView
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Exploring the world of Android :: Part 1

September 8th, 2009 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2009/09/08/exploring-the-world-of-android-part-1/)

For a short while now, I am developing for the Android platform, which is a mobile phone operating system developed by Google. The language to use is Java, so at least I didn't have to learn an entirely different new language and I can use the tools I already know and love. I would like to tell you about my 'adventures' as I explore the world of Android :)

When I first started studying the Dev Guide I soon discovered that the recommended IDE for developing Android applications is Eclipse. Which was a bit disappointing because I don't like Eclipse that much. But fortunately the kind folks of Google left room for other IDE's to develop with. They explain that when you use another IDE you will have to use all kind of command line tools instead, which they provide. Those command line tools allow you to compile your code for Android, run your application in a phone emulator, connect a debugger to your emulator, view application logs and stuff like that. But what they didn't mention, is that if you use Intellij IDEA (which happens to be my favorite IDE) it also provides good support for Android! This makes the use of most provided command line tools superfluous.
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iPhone as the guide to Lowlands Paradise

July 24th, 2009 by
(http://blog.trifork.com/2009/07/24/iphone-as-the-guide-to-lowlands-paradise/)

Recently I have become interested in developing apps for the iPhone. I am about to finish my first app called “LLowGuide”, which is supposed to be a guide for a Dutch music festival called Lowlands. Lowlands will take place on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of august 2009. As of the moment of writing, I submitted a very early version of the app into the iPhone's App Store. But it has been in review for 8 days now, with no indication of when the review will be finished. I am starting to doubt whether I am able to release the final version before the festival starts. But in any case, it was a great iPhone programming exercise.

While developing I gathered some good practices, which could be applied in other apps as well. I want to share with you a few practices which I found particularly useful while developing the app. I hope that this way you get excited about iPhone programming (if you weren't already) and get motivated to write your own app (if you didn't already).
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