Swift 2 announced during Apple WWDC Keynote!

Not really convinced by MUSIC like myself? Not a problem, we have one major announcement for the developer sleeping in you: Swift 2! Moreover, Swift will be open source! Even better! Swift 2 will be open source, and available on Linux! Time for you to start looking at it, no?

<personal ad>SiftVOTable is an ongoing dev of yours truly to have a VOTable-parser in Swift, cool, isn’t it?</personal ad>

Now, the key thing is to know whether the release of Swift on Linux will also include the famous « Foundation » library. The blog post above only says it will include « standard libraries ». But Swift, like Objective-C, isn’t very powerful without the famous Apple libraries Cocoa and CocoaTouch. 

At the foundation of Cocoa(Touch), there is Foundation. And that would be a minimum to start writing server apps with Swift. I may need to reconsider what I am writing for iObserve 2…

Do not hesitate to leave comments about it below!

Enable App Analytics on your iPad!

The good news of the day is of course the release of iObserve for iPad version 1.1. And it brought me back to iTunesConnect, the service by Apple that is used by developers to submit and manage their apps. Below some screenshots to see what it is looking like.

And I noticed that for iObserve on iPad, I couldn’t get any analytics (which are totally anonymous by the way, and needless to say). The little popup indicates that only 19% of users actually opt-in for analytics in their device. It would be nice if you do so! It helps a lot for understanding the usage of the app. As usual, feedback is of tremendous importance for a developer. And this is a kind of (tech) feedback, free of efforts for you. So next time you are asked to choose, consider answering yes! Thanks in advance!

iObserve Touch 1.1 submitted

That’s it, finally. iObserve for iPad version 1.1 has been pushed to Apple for review. It should be available within a week. Be aware that this new version drops the support for iOS6 and iOS7! It is an iOS8-only update. Let me know if this is a big issue for you, since it is a survival decision for me…

I mean, I update iObserve on desktop, iObserve on iPad, QLFits on demand, trying to make some advances in Swift, work hard on my web app PicoLegends… and finally spend some time on iObserve Server (I’ll post the beta URL soon) and iObserve 2 on desktop, all of this in spare time. Who said software is not a way of life!

iObserve Touch will come first!

Hm, the parsing of ASCII files isn’t the most motivating thing to do… and to test. In fact, the Coordinates converter of iObserve OSX is indeed coming. But in the meantime, I worked on iObserve for iPad these days. It is waiting for an update since way too much time! There will be some important fixes and a full support for iOS8. I’ll keep you posted when it is submitted to the store.

Don’t use the Coordinates converter…

… a new one is coming!

Users of iObserve, you all have certainly tried the main Coordinates converter, located in the « Converters » section. And you also know that it loads all imported stars from the database, filling up the memory. 

 The Coordinates converter in iObserve 1.4
The Coordinates converter in iObserve 1.4

Surprisingly, I never knew what to really do for making this pane useful. Just recently, a friend of mine (and a very efficient bug reporter…) enlightened me! I will stop loading objects from the DB and allow to import coordinates from a file. Obvious, isn’t it? I’ll also add the obvious counterpart which is the export of the converted coordinates.

The most geeky of us have certainly wondered about a command-line helper / utility, that would ship with the main app. It would be great, indeed. As for now, I don’t know if it is possible inside the MacAppStore. But it is on my « do if possible » list. 

Clear skies to everyone!

QLFits3 updated (v3.1.1)

I just discovered I left a damn NSLog instruction in the QLFits3 implementation. It was clearly slowing down every preview the generator was producing (in addition of filling up your logs).

You should quickly reinstall it. Here is the one-liner for that:

curl -fsSLk https://raw.github.com/onekiloparsec/QLFits/master/Scripts/install.sh | sh

Vibrant KPCTabsControls are coming

An interesting feature request from a user of my power tabs KPCTabsControl on OSX: make them vibrant in Yosemite. The effect is subtle, but I managed to implement it. It requires some additional work though before release, to make sure the core feature of KPCTabsControl continues to work on older versions. 

On Yosemite, make sure to use a NSVisualEffectView as container view, and that this view is layer-backed. The demo app will have everything for you to check.

QLFits3 has now options!

That’s it. I managed to implement options for QLFits3, thanks to the fantastic help from the BetterZipQL developer (Thanks Robert!). 

It has been quite an interesting challenge! Now a tiny “config” app is bundled with the QL generator and is running un background, listening for some custom URL scheme whose content is formatted in such way it is transformed into key-value pair, which in turns is saved inside a pref file… 

Let me know if it works for you! The one-line installer:

curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/onekiloparsec/QLFits/master/Scripts/install.sh | sh

QLFits 3 options

QLFits is certainly the most well known of of my software. It all started just before iObserve, actually, back in 2010! Long ago, when QLFits was in version 2.0 (or even before, I think), there was the possibility to customise the output. This is a requested feature again. And indeed, some people want to customise the output, not really the look of it, but rather the presence, or not, of the headers, by defaults.

Given the very small amount of documentation that Apple is providing on that matter, I am struggling a bit alone. However, I got help from the developer of another great QuickLook plugin: BetterZipQL. You must definitely grab it. It’s free, and provide invaluable insight of your zipped files.


Let me introduce a new open-source project: SwiftVOTable, a simple VOTable parser written in Swift. It is really work in progress, but I am developing it for a coming app… Pretty nice to learn Swift finally!