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Which is to say: I am a software engineer. I studied computer science at university, I write software for a living, and I even sometimes code for fun in my free time. Here, I talk about it.

Goals for 2017

I don’t really do new years resolutions. They just don’t seem to work for me. I don’t see that there’s anything that special about January 1st. It isn’t even the first day of the year for a reasonable portion of the planet. Expecting to make sudden and positive life changes on that day just seems to silly and destined to fail. Especially given that I’m probably hungover. That said, setting goals for the year ahead does work for me, though I realise it’s a fairly arbitrary distinction. Previously I’ve set vague goals,…

Nick Johnson

My Procedural Landscape Generation Project

A while ago I started working on a procedural landscape generation project and then... I stopped. I didn't stop because I was no longer interested in the subject (I assure you I very much am), but because a) my free time got a lot more limited; and b) I'd bitten off more than I could chew and didn't know where to go next. Some of the ideas original ideas from that project have become an entirely new (and very non-obviously linked) side project. Which has actual clear goals. I plan on writing about it soon. There are a couple of…

Nick Johnson

Apple Keynote Live(ish) Blog

Since I've never liveblogged anything before, I decided to give it a go with today's Apple WWDC keynote. The follow was written as I watched it. It has been edited for spelling and grammar (and to add a couple of links) but not for content. It might get edited for spelling again when I'm more awake. We start with a nice tribute to the victims of Orlando. Short but heartfelt. Next the usually positive stats. There are a lot of Apple platform developers now. Apple is investing more in new developers, especially those of the next generation, be that in…

Nick Johnson

Material Design and iOS

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed herein are my own, not those of my employer, and that’s what this post is: opinions. One of the complaints about Google’s iOS apps is that they look like Android Apps. Somewhat obligingly, Jason Snell recently published an article along these lines over at MacWorld (I picked this up via Daring Fireball, where John Gruber is also a big fan of this line of thinking). That’s generally what the complainants say, but not (in my opinion) what they mean. What they mean is that the apps follow Google’s Material Design guidelines (though…

Nick Johnson

So I made an iPhone App

Various things have kept me busy and away from this blog just recently. I've done a bit of traveling (both for business and pleasure), I've discovered Netflix (and Crunchyroll), and, somewhat more productively, I followed through on what started off as my "20% time" project. There is, right now in the iPhone App Store, an app nominally by Google Inc which was written almost entirely by my own good hands. Obviously I wasn't entirely a one man band in this. I had a lot of help from designers and UX people, my code was reviewed by those who…

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Now We're Blogging with Photos!

Fair warning: this is going to be a bit of a programming heavy blog post. It's also going to be quite Mac specific. One of the things I wanted to change about the format of this blog was to make it more visual, specifically with pictures. This first part of this was to add pictures to the front page. There were a couple of options for doing so. I could just scan through an article, look for the first image tag and use this. Alternatively I could add a mechanism which allowed me to choose the image, in a similar…

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