Apple Touch Platform Applications Approval Process Stirs Concern

In the past I’ve written about the Facebook platform as being the wild west of software development.  The reasoning was that 3rd party developers like myself were watching the platform shift and change on a daily basis.  The result was that functions were being introduced in beta, or replaced and deprecated frequently.

Developers working on emerging software platforms are a flexible bunch.  They’re used to having theirapplications break so long as the platform overall is being improved.  A better platform means more users, which means greater opportunity for 3rd party developers.  One thing developers do not like, however is having their software tools gobbled up an encorporated into the core of the platform.

I wrote about how this was happening in my blog post, Nationalization or Expropriation? Independent Facebook Application Developers Continue to Face Uncertainty.  Something entirely different is happening right now on the Touch platform, however.

Continue reading Apple Touch Platform Applications Approval Process Stirs Concern

Developing within iPhone NDA Muffle aka The Cone of Silence

iphone application IQ Game Trivia

Neutrinos just wrapped its second iPhone application, it is a 20 questions trivia game called iQ.  It is great step from our first app, TipTotaler.  For iQ, I took on the user interface design for the application in addition to my normal website design and marketing.

The amount of graphic design and image handling in iPhone development is extensive and I’ve already blogged about a tool to assist in the 3d iPhone application icon design.  But the most interesting stuff is happening in Interface Builder and in xCode that I’m not supposed to talk about here.

Apple has an NDA up with all developers that they can not talk about their experience with the SDK.

Continue reading Developing within iPhone NDA Muffle aka The Cone of Silence

iPhone Developer Resource: Preview Application Icon 3D Effect

TipTotaler IconMy friend Dave Peixotto is in charge of coding and software repository work on our iPhone application development.  I am in charge of the marketing and business aspects of our software company, Neutrinos, LLC.

One of my tasks with the release of our recently submitted iPhone application, TipTotaler was to select an icon for our app.  As you may be aware from Apple’s iPhone application submission guidelines, you must include a flat 57 x 57 pixel and 512 x 512 pixel image for use on the iPhone and iPod Touch home screen and for the iTunes store.

alien_icon.gifThere are a couple of challenges for iPhone Application icon graphic designers:  First, it isn’t always easy to tell what will look good at both 512×512 and 57×57.  Second, having the developer rebuild and send updated screenshots is laborious as is monkeying around in Photoshop to eyeball how the images look at lower resolution with 3D effects.

Continue reading iPhone Developer Resource: Preview Application Icon 3D Effect

Nationalization or Expropriation? Independent Facebook Application Developers Continue to Face Uncertainty

There is some interesting discussion going on in the Facebook Developer’s forum. The gist is that Facebook has made changes that are causing some developers to feel disenfranchised. A few developers are upset enough that they are speaking of creating a union of independent Facebook application developers.

What might the goals of a union of Facebook application developers be? It would help to look at what has stirred the pot recently. About two weeks ago someone posted a complaint that Facebook had unfairly bent the rules to give CBS’s Sports NCAA bracket application advantages for faster viral spread across the Facebook user base. Adding insult to injury, the thread also pointed out that the CBS Sports NCAA bracket application had a poor user rating.

Two days ago another developer posted a thread titled, “Facebook has stolen my idea!” which describes the recently added “Do you know these people?” page on Facebook. The developer suggests he feels “cheated” because the new Facebook page duplicates his own application’s functionality. The developer’s application was forced to comply with platform development rules that required an obstructive approval process in order work correctly.

Facebook’s “Do you know these people?” page circumvents this approval process because it is not subject to the rules independent application developers must follow. Facebook made a better version of the application a part of the Facebook experience by bending the rules that crippled the original developer’s work. Continue reading Nationalization or Expropriation? Independent Facebook Application Developers Continue to Face Uncertainty

The History of the Video Game Development Process

The modern software development process is sort of out in the open. Any sizeable project like a new version of Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop is discussed widely in technology forums and blogs. Although beta testers generally sign NDAs with companies, details or full copies of beta software leaks regularly.

Google’s Android OS is not quite Open Source, but will rely heavily on the Open Source contributions from the public. This past weekend an ARS Technica article about updates to Android acknowledged Google’s creation of a public bug tracking system as a “sign that Google is taking the needs of the Android third-party developer community more seriously.”

Clearly, expectation of visibility into today’s major software projects has increased with the growth of the web. But what about older software? Who is looking into the games and tools that we used on a daily basis 15 years ago?

Know Your Mario History

nintendo power glove is a hardware part of video game historyA new Download Squad article discusses the impending release of a historical documents related to Sega video game development between 1993 and 1994. It claims that a “large community of Sonic fans have been searching for prototypes and lost levels in the games for many years now.” Indeed, you can read the granular details.

The new article says that a community member is planning on releasing “an entire year’s backup of data from the Sega of America offices from 1993-1994.” The article calls the eagerness of the community to review the information as part of a post-modern archeology culture, where people examine the assembly-level code of these game ROMs. Continue reading The History of the Video Game Development Process

My First Database Refactoring

I spent a good portion of the day today refactoring the database used to power the Dave Matthews Band application I’ve been writing for Facebook.

I’ve been interested in writing for Facebook for some time because I believe that companies need to be expanding their online presence into applications built for major social networking platforms. It is easy to say that people should pay attention to things like OpenSocial or Facebook’s API, there have been plenty of articles about it. But nothing can convince you like building and running one yourself.

facebook application traffic statistics

My application began with only allowing users to choose a photo for their profile. Then I added the ability to select prior Dave Matthews Band shows. The problem came when people said they wanted to show their tour history further back than 2007.

I’ve been sourcing my data from the DMB Almanac, a site that I promote fairly heavily through the Weekly Davespeak’s front page and in the forums. I have a feeling I send them a good portion of traffic. Continue reading My First Database Refactoring