TweetFollow Us on Twitter

NSConference 2010

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 07
Column Tag: Conferences

NSConference 2010

NSConference 2010

by Dave Dribin

What is NSConference?

NSConference is a multi-day conference put on by the venerable Steve "Scotty" Scott of the Mac Developer Network. Scotty does a lot of wonderful things for the Mac and iPhone developer community, including his podcast, the MDN Show. In 2009, he decided to branch out into putting on his own conference. This first year, the conference took place only in the United Kingdom. For 2010, Scotty expanded the conference to the United States and put on the conference in both the UK and US. In interest of full disclosure, I was a speaker at this year's conference.

The Structure

There were three days of sessions and one day of longer training workshops. The three session days were broken down into two days of Mac-related sessions and one day of iPhone-related sessions. As with most Mac and iPhone-related topics, however, there was a lot of crossover between the two types. For example, my talk was on clean code was part of the Mac sessions, but pertained equally well to iPhone programmers (at least I hope it did).

The sessions at the UK and US versions were generally the same. There were minor differences due to scheduling conflicts, and the speakers were free to change up their presentation slightly. I've included a list of all the sessions at the end of this article. The full-day workshops were classes concentrating on a single topic. The topics were generally quite technical in nature. Some were about specific APIs or technology, along the lines of presentations you might expect at Apple's WWDC. Others were topics that you would never see at an Apple sanctioned conference, and still others were more abstract in nature.

I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at this year's conference, which means I got to attend both the UK and US versions. The UK version was held in Reading, not too far from London, and the US version was held near downtown Atlanta, Georgia on the Georgia Tech campus. The UK version had the day-long workshops first, followed by the Mac and iPhone sessions while the US version had the day-long workshops after the other sessions.

Each session was about an hour long with about thirty minutes between sessions. The long breaks between sessions were nice because it allowed for socializing with other attendees. While the technical content of the sessions is no doubt the focal point, the social aspects of conferences like WWDC have been of great value to me. I was glad that Scotty recognized this and incorporated it as a core part of NSConference.

The Sessions

I'm not going to give opinions on any of the other sessions, as that would be a little awkward, given that I was a speaker. I can, however give a brief overview of my talk and then list all the presentations. The video of all sessions are available for purchase on the NSConference website. The video for the workshops are not yet available.

My Clean Code Session

My presentation was titled "Clean Code" and while technical, was not about any specific APIs or technology. Writing clean code is very important for real-world projects, in my opinion. While it is important for an application to function properly, it is only part of the problem we programmers face in day-to-day coding. Clean code, to me, is about the quality of the code itself. The quality of the code plays a huge role in how fast new features can be added or bugs can be fixed. Anyone who has been programming for more than a few years knows that spaghetti code is much harder to understand, and hence, to extend or modify.

The core of clean code, to me, is about readability and understandability. The compiler doesn't care how well the code is written or what language it was written in. Thus code should be written with other programmers as a prime audience. A quote I used from the Abelson and Sussman textbook, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs adequately describes how I feel about this:

"Programs must be written for people to read and only incidentally for machines to execute."

I gave some specific tips on what clean code is and how to recognize it, such as the Don't Repeat Yourself or DRY principle along with the advantages of small classes and methods. I went over a few "before and after" examples of how shortening methods to about fifteen lines of can drastically help readability. I also discussed the differences between the main techniques to reduce coupling between different layers of the application: delegates, notifications, and key-value observing. If you want to hear more about these topics, along with why I think the singleton design pattern is almost always a design smell and should be avoided, download the full video, complete with some good Q&A.

List of All Sessions

Here is a full list of all the sessions. Remember that if you find any of these interesting, you can purchase videos of many of these on the NSConference website.

"Engineering Life" - Mike Lee

"Spelunking OS X" - Jonathan "Wolf" Rentzsch

"Clean Code" - Dave Dribin

"Signing Your Apps" - Graham Lee

"Data Presentation in Mac Apps" - Drew McCormack

"Core Animation" - Marcus Zarra

"Cocoa Design Patterns that Leverage the Objective-C Runtime" - Jeff LaMarche

"Brushing Up on Open CL" - Andy Finnell

"Meet the User" - Mike Lee

"Hard and Fast OpenGL ES" - Jeff LaMarche

"Core Data Synchronization with ZSync" - Marcus Zarra

"The Physics of Sumo" - Drew McCormack

"Supporting Online Play and GameKit in Your Application" - Jeff LaMarche

"The Many Faces of Data Persistence" - Aaron Hillegass


Dave Dribin has been writing professional software for over eleven years. After five years programming embedded C in the telecom industry and a brief stint riding the Internet bubble, he decided to venture out on his own. Since 2001, he has been providing independent consulting services, and in 2006, he founded Bit Maki, Inc. Find out more at http://www.bitmaki.com/ and http://www.dribin.org/dave/.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

WhiteCap 6.7.1 - Visual plug-in for iTun...
WhiteCap is a sleek and sophisticated music visualizer and screensaver that features futuristic, wireframe mesh visuals with dynamic backgrounds and colors. WhiteCap contains thousands of visual... Read more
DiskMaker X 6.0 rc5 - Make a bootable OS...
DiskMaker X (was Lion DiskMaker) helps you to build a bootable drive from the official OS X installer app (the one you download from the Mac App Store). It detects the OS X Install program with... Read more
Lyn 1.9 - Lightweight image browser and...
Lyn is a fast, lightweight image browser and viewer designed for photographers, graphic artists, and Web designers. Featuring an extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing interface, it delivers... Read more
MacFamilyTree 8.2.1 - Create and explore...
MacFamilyTree gives genealogy a facelift: modern, interactive, convenient and fast. Explore your family tree and your family history in a way generations of chroniclers before you would have loved.... Read more
LaunchBar 6.9 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
LaunchBar 6.9 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
MacFamilyTree 8.2.1 - Create and explore...
MacFamilyTree gives genealogy a facelift: modern, interactive, convenient and fast. Explore your family tree and your family history in a way generations of chroniclers before you would have loved.... Read more
Spotify 1.0.57.474. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
VOX 2.8.26 - Music player that supports...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
beaTunes 5.0.1 - Organize your music col...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This War of Mine gets a new ending and m...
This War of Mine just got a big new update, featuring free DLC that adds a new ending to the game, among other exciting changes. The update is celebrating the game's two-year release anniversary. Apart from the new ending, which will be quite... | Read more »
Summon eight new heroes in Fire Emblem H...
Nintendo keeps coming at us with Fire Emblem Heroes updates, and it doesn't look like that trend is stopping anytime soon. The folks behind the game have just announced the new War of the Clerics Voting Gauntlet, expected to start next Tuesday. [... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
iOS publishers are pulling out all the stops this week -- there's a huge number of seriously great games at discounted prices this week. Let's not waste any time and get right down to business. [Read more] | Read more »
The House of da Vinci (Games)
The House of da Vinci 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enter The House of Da Vinci, a new must-try 3D puzzle adventure game. Solve mechanical puzzles, discover hidden... | Read more »
Solve the disappearance of history’s gre...
Blue Brain Games invites you to indulge in an immersive hands-on 3D puzzle adventure in similar vein to The Room series, with its debut release The House of Da Vinci. Set during the historic period of the Italian Renaissance (when Leonardo himself... | Read more »
Age of Rivals (Games)
Age of Rivals 3.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 3.3 (iTunes) Description: Deep civilization-building strategy in a fast-paced card game! | Read more »
Panthera Frontier (Games)
Panthera Frontier 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Angry Birds Evolution beginner's gu...
Angry Birds changes things up a fair bit in its latest iteration, Angry Birds Evolution. The familiar sling-shot physics mechanics are still there, but the game now features team-based gameplay, RPG elements, and a new top-down view. With all of... | Read more »
Sega Forever is for the retro game fans
Sega is launching a new retro games service titled Sega Forever, in a move that's sure to delight games enthusiasts with a bit of nostalgia. Sega's releasing five classic games for free. The titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II,... | Read more »
The Little Acre (Games)
The Little Acre 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

ABBYY TextGrabber 6 for iOS Implements Instan...
ABBYY has announced the release of TextGrabber 6.0.0, an important feature update to the company’s productivity app developed for iOS and Android devices. TextGrabber 6.0 now offers Real-Time... Read more
vPhone, First Smartphone That Can’t Be Lost,...
Austin, Texas based Hypori has introduced the vPhone, a virtual smartphone that affords every business user the benefits of separate work and personal phones, conveniently delivered on a single... Read more
Save this weekend with 2016 refurbished MacBo...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros by as much as $590 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
New 27-inch 3.4GHz iMac on sale for $1699, sa...
MacMall has the new 2017 27″ 3.4GHz iMac (MNE92LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1699 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Clearance 2016 MacBook Pros available for up...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $400 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple Ranks 9th In comScore Top 50 U.S. Digit...
comScore, Inc. has released its monthly ranking of U.S. online activity at the top digital media properties for May 2017 based on data from comScore Media Metrix Multi-Platform. * Entity has... Read more
10.5-inch iPad Pros available for up to $20 o...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 10.5″ iPad Pros available for up to $20 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 64GB iPad Pro WiFi: $649 - 256GB iPad Pro WiFi: $749 - 512GB... Read more
Three Off-The-Beaten-Track iOS Apps That Dese...
One of the great things about using iPads and iPhones is the vast selection of apps available for most anything you want or need to do. The three outlined in this article have been in my core app... Read more
Apple No. 1 Spot In Gartner Top 100 Vendors i...
Gartner, Inc. has unveiled the top global 100 vendors in IT in 2016 based on their revenue across IT (excluding communication services) and component market segments. In the Gartner Global Top 100:... Read more
Clearance iMacs available for up to $300 off...
B&H Photo has clearance 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs available starting at $949, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $1999 $300 off original MSRP - 27″... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* News Product Marketing Mgr., Publish...
…organizational consensus on strategy and vision for publisher tools, authoring, and Apple News Format.Carries this strategy and vision across the organization to Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject matter Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple I...
…integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:Quantitative* Year over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant till v%u00E5r...
…ethics, integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:QuantitativeYear over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.