As an avid podcast listener and a fan of Marco Arment and his work, I was very interested in his newest release, a podcast app for iPhone called Overcast.
After taking a look at the app, I am really impressed, although not surprised, with the amount of thought that went into creating this app.
A few stand out features that make it useful are:
The Smart Speed feature which is genius, and so far nobody else seems to have thought of yet, "dynamically shortens silences in talk shows".
The Smarter Playlist feature allows you to prioritise podcasts and new episodes will play accordingly.
There are multiple discovery features but the one I find most useful is the one that suggests podcasts from your Twitter followers.
There is a section in the settings view in which Marco links to his (indie) competitors in case you don't like his app. (So classy!)
The features listed above that Marco has implemented in Overcast are indicative of the thoughtfulness of his work and is one of the reasons I have been listening to Marco on podcasts for years now.
I have grown to appreciate his thoroughness, be it in the software he develops, his writing, and speaking on podcasts. The same care is also evident in his newest work.
Even though I highly recommend Overcast, I deleted it from my phone a few hours after installing it. The reason I deleted it is because I have an iPhone 4S and support for iOS 7 will be discontinued as soon as iOS 8 is out. I expect iOS 8 to perform very poorly on the iPhone 4S and I don't plan on installing iOS 8. Therefore, Overcast is not the best option for me. I am also very happy with my current app, Pocket Casts.
If you are looking for a podcast app I highly recommend both Pocket Casts and Overcast.
To find out more about Marco's thoughts and the technical details behind Overcast, check out the following links to recent podcast episodes about Overcast:
The Talk Show - 'Cat Pictures' with Marco Arment Side 1 | Side 2
Where I work we have been working on a living style guide for a while on the basis of Node.
This was how it worked: you would have one Markdown document, that document would contain CSS selectors that corresponded to components on your website, some text documenting the components and the respective URL where those components would be found. The Node program would then load the page in PhantomJS, make screenshots of the UI components, parse out the CSS snippets for the different components, then insert them into the markdown document and then render everything into HTML. The prototype we had running actually did a decent job at it.
Unfortunately two of the main devs working on it left and I just had too much other stuff on my plate at this point to continue working on it.
I still love the idea though. I think a living style guide should be an essential part of every long running project.
Just yesterday I read Ian Feather's article on "A Maintainable Style Guide" and how they built one at Lonely Planet. I find their way of doing it actually very compelling.
Basically they refactored their application templates to be highly componentized, focused and testable and then just used the exact same templates they used in the app to render their style guide.
Of course this means there is no boilerplate-framework-thingie that they can put out for everybody to use. This approach is customized to your technical stack but it sounds absolutely beautiful to use once you have it set up.
Amazing slides from Addys talk about Web Components. Just by going through the slides you will get an overview over what is possible with Web Components today. So if you didn't care to look into that yet this is the perfect update for you.
I really hope they will release a video of the talk as well.
I have never practiced TDD but I watched this talk anyway because it's always great to see DHH talk! What he says about TDD makes a lot of sense to me. I love his perspective on programming because it mirrors mine pretty well.
There is always a lot to learn about giving talks from DHH as well. Note how well his story is constructed and how easy it seems for him to make very clear points. Definitly worth a watch.