April 2010

Rapid Product Design for the iPad

Like the iPhone, the iPad inspires ideas for products. But can you turn your idea into a viable product? We have developed a set of rapid design templates that guide some of the creative and critical thinking processes behind good product design. You can download the templates for free for use in designing your own products. Download iPad Rapid Product Design Templates
Read More

Rails Email Unit Testing

ActionMailer classes, for sending out emails, typically reside with models, inside app/models folder. Yet, they have traits that are similar to controllers. For example, each actionmailer class has a view folder inside app/views where email templates are defined. And testing support for email is provided as functional tests with assert_select macros such as assert_select_email. In my current project, most of our emai
Read More

HTML5 and the Rebirth of Mobile Webapps

We have a number of clients who have taken a hard look at MonoTouch. Objective-C was just too much of a technology shift for them with their C#/Java/Ruby developers. Now with the revised SDK agreement and it’s section 3.3.1, it looks like XCode and the C-derived languages of the 1980’s are in everybody’s future. Now along comes HTML5 with it’s offline caching of resources, it’s offline s
Read More

The Balkanization of the Application Development Landscape

photo credit: Mushroom and Rooster I can still remember how I felt the first time I deployed a a Java application from the WinNT desktop where I had developed it to a pair of Solaris servers. It was either late 1998 or early 1999. Up to this point most of my experience in cross platform development had consisted of the surprisingly difficult and painful task of tweaking the code and header files of open source progra
Read More

Templates for Rapid Product Design

I had the opportunity to speak last night to the first meeting of the Chicago Product Managers Association (ChiPMA) meetup group (www.meetup.com/chipma). We had pizza, beverages and a great group of about 15 people looking to learn about and share product management experiences. The presentation centered on six techniques for quickly creating and communicating ideas using visual templates. You can download the templa
Read More

Internet, Email, Blogs, Forums … did we need twitter?

Yes, we did. And here’s why. I was at a recent social gathering where we started talking about how funny and bizzare it is that people use twitter to post messages like .. sh**, woke up late .. having lunch at Gino’s East … driving to work … my dog peed on my bed … . .. Oh ok, that last one is probably out of thin air but posting those kinds of messages probably don’t add much valu
Read More

C love with Alchemy

I don’t remember the last time I was as excited about development as I am now, and for discovering old news no less! Enter Adobe Alchemy. To give you some background on the problem, I am currently working with an excellent team on a huge project (top secret). It is so huge that we are trying to retrieve half a million records per call from the server and process it with complicated algorithms in a browser. A ta
Read More

Opera Mini for the iPhone (Bye-Bye Safari!)

So Opera Mini for the iPhone got approved and is available in the App store since last night.  I downloaded it this morning and should say I am mighty impressed with it. It is zippy, fast and intuitive.  There was a quite a bit of speculation around whether this would get approved by Apple.  I m happy that Apple approved it. I did notice a few quirks with the Browser but they are in no way deal-breakers. From my brie
Read More

Opera: Apple's Netscape?

photo credit: Nicholas Smale Microsoft is to Netscape as Apple is to Opera? Remember when Microsoft dominated the landscape and they drove Netscape out of business by bundling IE ever more tightly with Windows? There was a little matter of a governmental antitrust litigation that eventually caused Microsoft to change it’s ways. Apple is set to dominate the mobile landscape in much the same way, and they’v
Read More

Kindle Killer? Reading on the iPad Will Make You Go Blind

photo credit: Michael Cory I bought a Kindle shortly after the second version came out, then upgraded to a DX soon after. The device worked for me and carrying around a few hundred books in a little package beats schlepping a bag full of physical books. There are some things that the device doesn’t do well, mainly jumping around in a reference works. So the Robert Parker wine guide or the Gang of Four patterns
Read More