Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cautions and issues with iOS 7

I've been working on OttoJotts quite a bit over the past few weeks, making some great progress. One thing I've had to do is perform all of my testing in iOS 6 and earlier because I'd been seeing weird display problems with iOS 7. I thought it might have been just some issues with the betas of iOS but now that I have the gold master of iOS 7, I'm seeing the same problems. And now you can too:
iOS 6 on left, iOS 7 on right
What you're seeing is what the screen looks like in iOS 6 and 7, side-by-side comparison. Each letter is a label and I load a box and place it behind each label. On everything but iOS 7 it displays properly as you can see. I thought it might have been a problem with the background color on the label being something other than clearColor, but that doesn't seem to be the case either. I don't know why the boxes aren't displaying at all right now. Definitely going to require some additional work before I put this out to the App Store.
I am pretty surprised by this pretty major change in iOS. This seems like pretty basic functionality that has been changed. I know that a lot of it is because of the new UI paradigm that Apple is trying to introduce, but this seems like quite a major change in implementation from previous versions. What this seems to me is that every app developer is now going to have to be extremely careful about this upgrade and what it means to their apps.
Good luck with your apps.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Crawling toward the goal line

For several months I've been using a Kanban board (via - a great FREE resource) to track the work I need to get done on OttoJotts. It's been helpful seeing both the work that I've been getting done (very minimal) and what's still left to do (big and growing daily). That said, it's been nice going through and moving things from Ready to Pull to In Progress to Done. I'm keeping my WIP (work in progress) limit to one because, yeah - I'll get distracted if it's more than that.
Part of my Kanban board
Almost all of the work left to do is around the two player game. I will need to go back and sort out all of the bad decisions I made around single player games when I get into Beta, but until I complete these remaining 11 stories, that's not worth my time. The nice thing about the board is that I can see how much time I've estimated it will take to complete each story. And when I sum them together, I get 176 hours remaining. Which is actually pretty cool. I am, in theory, 4.25 weeks from being done with OttoJotts. Assuming that I worked 40 hours a week (which I don't) and that I haven't terribly over- or underestimated any of these stories (which is kinda likely).
STILL! 176 hours is actually reasonable. There is real potential to be done with this thing before I sprout daisies. And bringing together a lot of technologies and pieces that I have only some familiarity with (and certainly wouldn't claim proficiency or expertise). Well, beyond using agile methodologies to track the work (and even that was a latecomer to the project). Overall I'm feeling, well, accomplished.
I had this gigantic negativity about the project when I put it on the back-burner last year. The size of the work that needed to be done seemed ginormous and insurmountable. But when I picked it up again and poked at it I saw some small successes and those kept building into other successes - small, to be sure, but present. And then when I finally took an accounting of all of the things that I wanted to complete before I could explore the possibility of releasing the game - 176 hours were all that remained. And out of those 176 hours there are 80 hours that I put in for what I consider will be some large efforts - things I don't have any idea how to do. The good thing is that they're down well-trodden paths - I just need to find the guide map and make my way down those paths.
So, it's been a LOOOOOONG winding road getting here, but the end really truly is in sight. And thanks to tools like KanbanFlow I've been able to focus on prioritizing the work I need to do next and focus on the current item only. And, hopefully, this is the beginning of something really exciting.