In a better world, I would have built this in a day using some kind of modern, flexible HyperCard for iOS, exporting a sturdy, standalone app that did exactly what I wanted and nothing else.

In our actual world, I built it in about a week, and roughly half of that time was spent wrestling with different kinds of code-signing and identity provisioning and I don’t even know what. I waved some incense and threw some stones and the gods of Xcode allowed me to pass.

There is a lot I love in the linked blog post:

@djsundog I made an Android app when I moved to Portland that was only for me. It simply notified me when it was time to gloat about the weather to my friends in Boston

@darius this is beautiful! we need single audience software so much and "internet scale" software so little.

@djsundog remembering other such things, I also made a web page for my husband that contained a list of local movie theaters he prefers, what they are playing right now, and the metacritic score for each movie

@djsundog it was 40 lines of javascript and it was so great

@darius and it eliminates the need for so many more resources to provide the same information at "cloud scale" - no complicated personalization system, no bug-ridden user authentication system, no overblown web framework, no complex revision control system, no service monitoring...

@djsundog robin sloan is a bit of a california normie by my standards but he consistently has takes like these which is why i'm still subscribed to his newsletter and own copies of all his books :P

@djsundog It also bothers me that everything has to be a platform specific app. The promise of the mobile web was that you could code a mobile site and use it on any browser. It will be interesting when you start walking into stores and they say "Install our app!" and you can be all "It doesn't run on my PinePhone, so no."

@djsundog: if you're targeting Android or desktop, the future you want is now possible w/ PWAs

@slightlyoff I don't mean any disrespect at all, but spoken like someone who doesn't remember what HyperCard was like.

A major shortcoming of computing today is the lack of historical knowledge which leads to the propensity for reinventing past innovations, usually poorly.


@msh @djsundog I remember HyperCard. Not claiming that the frontend development environment is what that was (although, with reasonable tools, it can be), only that the deployment situation is massively better than most accept -- and that Apple is conspicuously absent because it cuts against their proprietary agenda

@msh @djsundog also, let's consider the deployable base of a HyperCard app vs. modern desktop + Android. It's 10x iOS. If you want that world, build it on the web.

@msh @djsundog: that's an uncomfortable reality, but the predation of today's Apple depends on old timers like us valuing gauzy memories of when they delivered the future obscuring the present in which they mostly exist to extract rents.

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