• Implementing UI in iOS: Better, faster, and it scales



      A few months ago I came across a very interesting documentary series on Netflix called Abstract, they basically explore the output of professional designers from different sectors like architecture, graphic design, fashion, … in their workplaces.

      It was easy to spot some similarities in the work of designers from other fields with that of an iOS developer who implements user interfaces. For example, when a designer is creating something that is big enough to be broken down into smaller parts, using a strategy like ‘Divide and Conquer’ is key to being able to focus on smaller parts that will be assembled at later stages in the process.

      Breaking down a whole design into smaller subunits allows us to think about each problem in isolation, removing any dependencies between the components. But the full picture also needs to be present throughout the whole process, otherwise there can be problems when the time comes to fit everything back together.

      On the other hand, while watching Abstract I noticed that in the design process for objects like a shoes, banners or buildings the final design remains fixed for the lifetime of the product. The design of a Nike shoe isn’t going to change after it is released and there aren’t going to be any updates once it’s on the shelf in the shop. Sometimes a design remains unchanged even 20 years later, and the product is still sound.
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    • Server-provided animations in iOS apps



        Hi everyone! About six months ago we launched one of Badoo’s most exciting features: Live Streaming. One of its main functionalities is that viewers can send gifts to their favourite streamers to express their appreciation. We wanted to make the gifts as fancy and as engaging as possible, so it was decided to make some of them really lively, and by this I mean animated. And to engage people even more, we, the Badoo team, planned to update those gifts and animations every few weeks.

        As an iOS engineer, you might have already guessed the challenge we faced here: the need to add new animations and remove the old ones was going to require a fair amount of work from the client side. We’d need both the Android and the iOS development teams for every release — which, when combined with the amount of time App Store reviews and approval often take, would mean it might be days before each update could go live. But we solved the problem, and I’m going to explain to you how.

        Solution overview


        By this stage, we already knew how to export Adobe After Effects (AAE) animations into the format readable by our iOS app using the Lottie library. This time though, we went a bit further: we decided to create a kind of animation storage service, available via the internet. In other words, we would store all the actual animations on the server and deliver them to the client apps on demand:
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      • Manifest of Smart Home Developer: 15 principles

          Today I’d like to speak about Smart homes and IoT devices. But it is no ordinary article. You won’t find description of hardware, links to manufacturers, batches of code or repositories. Today we’ll discuss something of a higher level — principles that are used to organize “smart” systems.

          image



          Smart home is a system that can do some everyday routines instead of a person. It leads us to the first and the main principle:
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        • A small notebook for a system administrator

            I am a system administrator, and I need a small, lightweight notebook for every day carrying. Of course, not just to carry it, but for use it to work.

            I already have a ThinkPad x200, but it’s heavier than I would like. And among the lightweight notebooks, I did not find anything suitable. All of them imitate the MacBook Air: thin, shiny, glamorous, and they all critically lack ports. Such notebook is suitable for posting photos on Instagram, but not for work. At least not for mine.

            After not finding anything suitable, I thought about how a notebook would turn out if it were developed not with design, but the needs of real users in mind. System administrators, for example. Or people serving telecommunications equipment in hard-to-reach places — on roofs, masts, in the woods, literally in the middle of nowhere.

            The results of my thoughts are presented in this article.

            Figure to attract attention
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          • Creator of while True: learn() on programming in game development, VR issues and machine learning simulation

            • Translation


            A few years ago I had a feeling that Oleg Chumakov (then working at the game studio Nival) was the most famous programmer in the game development industry. He was giving speeches, hosted Gamesjams and frequently showed up on the podcast How games are made.

            When VR hit the market, Oleg was chosen to lead the company’s new department — NivalVR. But, as you probably know, VR didn’t quite take off as much as people expected.

            I kind of moved to other to other things in life and stopped keeping up with game development for a while, but after getting into it again I noticed that things were looking up for Oleg’s team. Now it’s called Luden.io, and their machine learning expert simulator, while True: learn() became a huge hit in its admittedly small niche. Lots of cool stories are happening around the game and the team.

            We decided to do an interview with Oleg, but I couldn’t stick to one topic — his life up to this moment has been, for the lack of a better word, “interesting”. He’s seen it all. And, to ensure that a programmer could talk about programming without fear of looking too “nerdy”, the interview was conducted by my friend, colleague and an experienced developer of its own fillpackart.
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