Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Apple relaxed all restrictions on development tools

Back in April, we did some three apps on Rhomobile Rhodes and submitted to App Store for approval. Though we had success before with App Store approvals, this time we heard nothing from Apple. Even follow ups were resulting in useless "we will get back to you" answers. Then we heard this bombshell from Apple. They announced that they will block non Objective-C based apps. They said quality is more important and gave their opinion that non Objective-C apps can't be built with quality. It was clear that they are aiming at Adobe and blocking their Flash-to-iPhone-app tool but the collateral damage was done to Rhomobile Rhodes and PhoneGap and Appcelerator Titanium and perhaps a few smaller solutions.
A few weeks later, our apps were silently approved though no official word yet on reversal of the policy. Apple then officially announced that all restrictions on development tools are removed. Here is the statement in full:
Statement by Apple on App Store Review Guidelines
The App Store℠ has revolutionized the way mobile applications are developed and distributed. With over 250,000 apps and 6.5 billion downloads, the App Store has become the world’s largest mobile application platform and App Store developers have earned over one billion dollars from the sales of their apps.
We are continually trying to make the App Store even better. We have listened to our developers and taken much of their feedback to heart. Based on their input, today we are making some important changes to our iOS Developer Program license in sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9 to relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year.
In particular, we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.
In addition, for the first time we are publishing the App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how we review submitted apps. We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store.
The App Store is perhaps the most important milestone in the history of mobile software. Working together with our developers, we will continue to surprise and delight our users with innovative mobile apps.
Apple realized that with Android so close behind, these kind of restrictions were hurting them and reversed it after so boldly stating that they are fine with getting less apps due to this.
Having realized their mistake Apple went the extra mile to call the Rhomobile guys to tell them about the change of policy.
Rhodes is a fantastic tool, one can build great quality apps with it. We have a number apps built with it and going to add a lot more soon. Being Ruby on Rails fans, we are just at ease with Rhodes as we are on the web app world and you too should enjoy writing apps with it. Strongly recommended.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bad service from Sogo India

Last week we have decided to rent a laptop temporarily to be used by our new staffing manager hire. Since we have rented few laptops from "Sogo India, Bangalore" last year, we decided to give them the business opportunity again.

The resultant service is very bad and I "totally do not recommend them". You will find a service that is:

1. Don't know how to read your order request properly.

We asked for one laptop and they sent quoted for six. My email clearly stated "As we spoke last night, we require a laptop for rental with the following specs".

2. Unresponsive
  • They simply don't call back and take their own sweet time. A person named Anish told us that he will get back after lunch and never did. and we had to call them again in the late evening.
  • They promised to respond again in the evening and never did till the next day.
3. Pathetic fact checking and document checking

This is what they wanted as documentation:

  • Company Incorporation Certification Copy
  • Company PAN Card Copy
  • VAT / TAN / TIN Registration Copy
  • ID Proof (Voters ID, Driving License)

We gave them what we had at that time which is Incorporation Copy, PAN # (As company we don't recall getting a PAN Card), ID Proof as my personal passport copy. Their delivery person came all the way to our office door and and simply went back saying my address proof is wrong and they rudely cancelled the order.

What nonsense? Since when a company has passports? When you ask for ID proof, we can only provide a personal one. How can they check this against company's address? It will not match. This is crazy. Firstly the above documents will not have company's address. When they realize this is the case they should have simply asked us to send something else as proof. Instead, they waste all precious time as the person shows up wastes my 20 minutes time when he wanted me to call the company again. The Anish guy again in a rude manner says "Your order is rejected by management because of wrong ID proof". I suppose the management here is the lady called "Rekha Rao" whom we had personally complained about the delay. She has no courtesy to call and ask me for any clarifications.

Here is a vendor who doesn't want you as customer. That is fine. We will take the business elsewhere. You should do too.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

James Gosling Has left Oracle

It is sad see him leave Oracle and by inference stepping away from guiding the Java language development in the future. Personally, I owe a lot to Java as through developing apps in Java that whatever improvement in technology, process extra that I had gained.

James, Thank you for all your contributions.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Interest in our Panchangam Lite 2010 application

Recently we published our Panchangam Lite 2010 iPhone app. It is interesting to see that there are some 300 users who downloaded within 5 full days of launch. Here is a google map showing various countries from which the users came from.

View Panchangam Lite downlod status in a larger map

Friday, May 23, 2008

Return to blogging

There has been a pause in blogging here not because of dearth of any material, but for lack of time.

I have tons of stuff to share and expect a series of regular blog posts from now. My writings will focus on experience with Ruby On Rails, JRuby, J2EE deployment and quite a bit of Ruby on Rails plugins as well.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Asrock wasted precious several hours of my time

Motherboard manufacturers compete in terms of no of functions they have. In the process of cramming all kinds of functions even in low end mobos, they just don't pay attention to the quality aspect of what they do.

After several months of running ok, a computer I had it assembled (AMD Sempron, Mobo: AsRock K8Upgrade-VM800) for a friend of mine starting giving BSOD, slowness etc. Not having faith in anybody locally in his location to fix, I had it shipped to Bangalore to have a look.

Boot up at my location, it came up properly. Looking at the event log it has a bunch of following errors several times since the date he complained:

Event Id: 26
Source: atapi

The driver has detected that device \Device\IdeIdePort0 has old or out of date firmware. Reduced performance may result

Event Id: 51
Source: disk

An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk0\D during a paging operation

Event Id: 9
Source: atapi

The device \Device\Ide\Ideport0 did not respond within the timeout period.

XP didn't let me finish a Acronis True Image backup complete. It would fail close the end of the backup job. I bought TuffTest just for this and ran the CD-ROM based diagnostics. The surface test gave disk time out errors after 20 mins or so.

Suspecting disk first, moved the disk alone in another AMD Sempron based machine with different Asus motherboard, the disk worked properly and the Acronis Backup running on top of Bart PE just went fine as well as much faster than the time it took (40 mins) before it failed on the other machine.

Now that disk is ruled out and backup is done moved the disk back to the original machine to further troubleshoot. While playing with BIOS settings, I bumped into the SATA Operation Mode option which was set to "RAID". The XP was using it as a IDE disk though. Changed it to "Non-RAID" at BIOS, booted XP again came back fine. It still took 40 mins to do Acronis Backup but went through just fine. So is the TuffTest surface analysis test.

Works but slow. Found that this is due the transfer mode for disk is running in PIO mode only though the disk is capable of DMA mode. Tried all kinds of solutions like messing with registry changes etc to let XP recognize it as DMA disk. So, the first conclusion to make is, though operating as RAID at BIOS, it still allows the OS to recognize the disk as IDE albeit at a much slower PIO mode. Installed the AsRock supplied disk drivers. Still no luck.

I found a RAID driver in their website and literally has to reinstall over the current XP to change the disk driver to the RAID one. All of a sudden, the speed of disk became DMA mode. So, the Mobo guys only allow full speed DMA mode under RAID driver only.

By not doing either of the following, they really wasted a lot of my time.

1. RAID is the default so force the XP to recognize this as a RAID device and ask for the driver during install time. This would have avoided me unknowingly thinking that disk is IDE and everything is fine.
2. If allow the dual mode of recognizing RAID as IDE when only one disk is present, then let the drivers access it in full speed DMA mode.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Java Docs Search made easier

About a couple of years ago, as we were developing with J2EE and whole bunch of open source libraries (perhaps some 20 in number) one of the things I observed to be clumsy is locating Class names or method signatures while coding. At times you only remember a part of a class name or a method name. You end up having to go to the web to look for it. Each library's JavaDocs are in different places and it does waste you time.

There was a need for a tool to search across multiple JavaDocs. Upon Googling at that time, we found that there was a desktop based utility available (I don't recall it's name right now) to search Java Docs across multiple libraries or JDK versions. The beauty of it is that it takes the actual Java Docs files as it is and indexes them. The negative side of it is it needed to be installed in each developers PC and we had over 30 of them in the team.

I felt that it would be a good small project for someone to make the above as a web based application to save the deployment effort each time a library changes. When we were welcoming a couple of new colleagues, this project was a obvious choice for one of them when we needed him to get familiar with Struts.

Hence the "API Search" tool was born and used internally fairly regularly. From the beginning, I wanted this to be open sourced as a way of paying back to the community and also for collective improvement and maintenance of it. For one reason or the other (though not directly due to my previous employer as I did have the approval to contribute to FOSS wherever I see it fit) it wasn't done and I also left my previous employer last year.

My friend and ex-colleague Karthik attended the with me in last November. He was very much impressed by the FOSS approach there and went back with the renewed vigor and one of the first thing to come out of this fresh energy is releasing of APISearch as a open source tool under GPL license. I am going to join this project as a developer myself and contribute anything I can to this. I am certainly proud of Karthik for this.

Go check it out. Please give feedback there or comment in this blog and we will take this further.

Return of Waterfall Methodology

Many of the thousands of readers of this blog(ok. ok. two or three readers) know that I really enjoy attending technical conferences as a way to keep myself up to date and often motivate(ok. almost coax them) others to do so.

After returning to Bangalore, I do miss all the good stuff on the conference front that goes in the US. As much as it is very expensive to attend a conference in the US, here is one conference I have decided to spend the hefty $5000 and attend. I seriously recommend you check this out.

I like what Andy's blog says about it:

For those interested in returning to Real programming, you might be interested in attending Waterfall 2006, a new conference designed to celebrate the joy of slower, sequential, plan-based development. It'’s sponsored by the United States Postal Service, the SEI, and Lager'’s Pub of Canton MD.

Be sure to click on the "Register Now" button, it really captures the flavor of this... er... event.