Cheat Sheet: From C# to iPhone

by Jon Davis 30. November 2008 20:55

I'm piecing together this cheat sheet. It's incomplete, and possibly less-than-fully-accurate in places, but I'm adding and editing as I go. If anyone who knows both C# and Obj-C has any suggestions for changes or additions please let me know.

On the left is "iPhone / Obj-C" and on the right is "C#/.NET understanding / equivalence".

Here's the Excel file (so far): iPhone_from_dotNet.xls

Click on the image to go to the full size version.

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C# | iPhone | iPhone | Software Development | Software Development

I'll Get A Zune When ...

by Jon Davis 30. November 2008 02:42

I'll get a Zune when Microsoft admits that the Zune was the backup plan for replacing Windows Mobile, and that they've been taking their time because they wanted to make the transition worthwhile and do app accessibility and multithreading right.

If that's not ever going to happen, I won't ever get a Zune. But who knows what Microsoft will pack into future versions of Zune... I might reconsider.

What I want, as a developer (albeit, a tinkerer, but point being not an end-user), is productivity application support, not just games development support. I'm very happy that XNA now supports Zune, but frankly I don't know who's interested in that except for Microsoft. Now if Microsoft can expand on this API set and make XNA for Zune support productivity applications development as a whiz-bang PDA platform, I'd go super-nuts with it.

More specifically, I guess what I'm looking for is a set of practical, nice-looking, and responsive UI controls, a rich networking stack, an integrated browser API (a la webkit but I guess using IE Mobile), appropriately categorized app accessibility, and the packaging and branding of a small, lightweight device, not a heavyweight song-playing brick. Also need multitouch if XNA 3 doesn't already have it, I haven't checked.

I want these things because I'm still in love with my yester-year's news iPhone, and XNA development just does not compare with iPhone development. iPhone isn't about games, it has never been about games, even though iPhone has an awful lot of games running on it.

And of course I'd be absolutely happy if it went the other way around, if everything on the Zune ended up on Windows Mobile as far as the developer is concerned (i.e. full support for XNA 3), as long as the Windows Mobile UX is still overhauled. I just always hated the Start menu on Windows Mobile, and I LOOOOVE Zune's UX although it's suited specifically for entertainment and not productivity.

iPhone 2.0 Pwnage Works On A 2.5G (1st Gen) iPhone

by Jon Davis 30. July 2008 18:20
I finally upgraded my first-gen iPhone to the v2 software and ran the Pwnage Tool against it. Seems to work "fine", I have T-Mobile phone and 2.5G Internet working as well as Cydia and a few apps. Most of the v1 software apps are gone and unavailable, though, unfortunately. Apple is smart, they discourage the use of unauthorized third party software installations by deploying their own marketplace bits right on the device. It's not unlike the Xbox 360 Live Marketplace in that sense. I apparently overestimated how many developers would bother to curttail the official deployment route (App Store) for the "hacker's" route (Cydia) instead. My iPhone is not 100% stable, I don't think, as after everything was installed the screen keyboard responded very slowly until I did a hard reboot. But then, my iPhone, being jailbroken since I got it, has never been 100% stable in this regard. Such is the price of ensuring I can fully enjoy what's rightfully mine.

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Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) + VMWare Fusion + Mono = Bliss

by Jon Davis 17. May 2008 15:13

I have been using my new Mac Mini for less than 24 hours and it already looks like this:

In the screenshot I have VMWare Fusion with Unity enabled so that I have the Windows Vista Start menu (I can toggle off the Start menu's visibility from VMWare itself) and Internet Explorer 7. (I also have Visual Studio 2008 installed in that virtual machine). Next to Internet Explorer on the left is Finder which is showing a bunch of the apps I have installed, including most of the stuff at http://www.opensourcemac.org/. On the right I have MonoDevelop where I can write C# or VB.NET applications for the Mac, for Linux, or for Windows. And of course, down below I have the Dock popped up because that's where my arrow actually is.

I also, obviously, have an Ubuntu VM I can fire up any time I want if I want to test something in Linux. 

Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) comes with native X11, not out of the box but with the installer CD, and it's the first OS X build to do so (previous versions used or required XFree86).

This point in time is a particularly intriguing milestone date for the alignment of the moons and stars for blissful cross-platform development using the Mac as a central hub of all things wonderful:

 

  • X11 on Mac OS X 10.5
  • MonoDevelop 1.0 is generally gold (released, it's very nice)
  • System.Windows.Forms in Mono is API-complete
  • VMWare Fusion's Unity feature delivers jaw-dropping, seamless windowing integration between Windows XP / Vista and Mac OS X. And to make things even more wonderful, VMWare Fusion 2, which comes with experimental DirectX 9 support, will be a free upgrade.
  • For game developers, the Unity game engine is a really nice cross-platform game engine and development toolset. I have a couple buddies I'll be joining up with to help them make cross-platform games, something I always wanted to do. This as opposed to XNA, which doesn't seem to know entirely what it's doing and comes with a community framework that's chock full of vaporware. (But then, I still greatly admire XNA and hope to tackle XNA projects soon.)
  • The hackable iPhone (which I also got this week, hacked, and SSH'd into with rediculous ease), which when supplemented with the BSD core, is an amazing piece of geek gadgetry that can enable anyone to write mobile applications using open-source tools (I'd like to see Mono running on it). The amount of quality software written for the hacked iPhone is staggering, about as impressive as the amount of open source software written for the Mac itself. Judging by the quantity of cool installable software, I had no idea how commonplace hacked iPhones were.
  • Meanwhile, for legit game development, the Unity 3D game engine now supports the iPhone and iPod Touch (so that's where XNA got the Zune support idea!) and the iPhone SDK is no longer just a bunch of CSS hacks for Safari but actually binary compile tools.

 


 

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
 
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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