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Making Progress! 26 June 2009

Posted by Oliver Mason in Apple, iphone, objective-c, programming.
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DAY 11 and the pace is picking up. I managed to sort out two of the four tabs of the app, one including a table display of Esperanto/English dictionary entries (with the proper Esperanto diacritics), and the other one being a live-search on the English gloss entries. This one even pops up an automatic keyboard when first selected; the tab bar controller sends it a message when it has been activated. I even managed to answer a question on stackoverflow.com on that issue.

I also found somewhere a hint on how to automatically shrink the label size if the text is too long, wrote a converter from the Esperanto x-notation to unicode, etc. Really pleased! Both of these will appear here later.

One thing I don’t like too much is writing all the UITableViewDelegate methods when using a table. Quite a lot of boiler-plate code, but then, it is quite powerful. I just couldn’t be bothered writing yet another set of those methods for the final tab, the info view part. But there is nothing technically difficult with it. Objective-C is also getting easier and easier, and the auto-completion feature and API doc integration of XCode really helps. Though I think for serious code I will still use vile…

That leaves pretty much only the core part of the app: the Esperanto morphological analyser. I will implement this as a finite state machine, and working with Cocoa has given me the idea to implement it using delegates; an abstract hull which calls methods on the delegates whenever it needs to retrieve data, or match something. I have the feeling that this is pretty similar to Erlang’s OTP frameworks.

It is a really rewarding experience to see your own app on the iPhone. If only I was better at designing the tab bar icons! And I can already foresee one objection: one of the tabs has a star icon, the star being the Esperanto symbol. I think I need to change that, as the star is reserved for the ‘favourites’ meaning, and I don’t think Apple would appreciate the use of a star (even if it looks slightly slimmer) with another meaning.

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1. Making Progress! - 26 June 2009

[…] Original post by ojmason […]


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