November 17, 2016

Link: Sal Soghoian No Longer with Apple ☍

Sal Soghoian:

Q. I hear you no longer work for Apple; is that true?

A. Correct. I joined Apple in January of 1997, almost twenty years ago, because of my profound belief that “the power of the computer should reside in the hands of the one using it.” That credo remains my truth to this day. Recently, I was informed that my position as Product Manager of Automation Technologies was eliminated for business reasons. Consequently, I am no longer employed by Apple Inc. But, I still believe my credo to be as true today as ever. […]

Q. What does the termination of the position of Product Manager of Automation Technologies mean for the future of user automation in macOS?

A. Ask Apple. Seriously, if you have any questions or concerns about the future of user automation, ask Apple. If user automation technologies are important to you, then now is the time for all good men and women to reach out, speak up and ask questions. The macOS user automation technologies include: UNIX CLI (shell, python, ruby, perl), System Services, Apple Events (JavaScript, AppleScript, AppleScriptObj-C, Scripting Bridge), Automator, Apple Configurator (AppleScript, Automator), and Application scripting support in Photos, iWork, Finder, Mail, and other Apple applications.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this, as macOS’s automation tools have always been top-notch and well-developed, and certainly that can be tied to the leadership of that project. Unfortunately, it’s not merely a personnel change, but the position itself is being eliminated, which means the powers that be at Apple have decided that a Product Manager of Automation Technologies is an obsolete or unnecessary position. I doubt the next version of macOS is going to lose all AppleScript and Automator capabilities, but considering how hands-off Apple has been about iOS automation, these might be signs of things to come.

November 16, 2016

Link: A Letter to Today’s Young People ☍

Marco Arment’s piece on the election was the other item that I actively shared outside of just a retweet or a post here, so much like some friends and family, I thought it was worth passing along to you, readers of this site:

And we’ll do it again, because when you average it out over time, progress tends to only go in one direction: people being healthier, better educated, and better to each other. We have ups and downs, and we don’t end every year better than the last, but in the long run, we come out ahead.

Most people in the world are good, and want to be good to each other. Whether they vote that way or not, far more Americans believe in progressive, liberal, inclusive views than regressive, aggressive, conservative ones.

Link: What the Hell Just Happened? ☍

Normally, I try to keep politics out of my site, but I’ve been processing some of the news from the past week and think that Dave Pell’s analysis is worth sharing. I got this from John Gruber, and I wholeheartedly agree with his sentiments—the aforementioned piece sums up things much better than I could and this site should be a good place to go to think of anything else:

I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of analysis about what happened on election day. Some of it is valid, much of it is absurd. I’m gonna try to make some sense of it here. And yes, that makes me a modern day contrarian.

November 15, 2016

Link: ‘Designed By Apple in California’ ☍

Apple released a surprise new product today:

Apple today announced the release of a new hardbound book chronicling 20 years of Apple’s design, expressed through 450 photographs of past and current Apple products. “Designed by Apple in California,” which covers products from 1998’s iMac to 2015’s Apple Pencil, also documents the materials and techniques used by Apple’s design team over two decades of innovation.

This is a weird and unexpected release, both in timing and the self-congratulatory tone. As someone who lived through the resurgence of Apple over the past twenty years, I’d add this to my collection in a heartbeat. There’s also a mention in the press release that seems out of place for someone who was generally against nostalgia:

The book is dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs.

“The idea of genuinely trying to make something great for humanity was Steve’s motivation from the beginning, and it remains both our ideal and our goal as Apple looks to the future,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer. “This archive is intended to be a gentle gathering of many of the products the team has designed over the years. We hope it brings some understanding to how and why they exist, while serving as a resource for students of all design disciplines.”

It will be available tomorrow for $199 and $299, depending on size (standard and Pro sizes). No iBooks version was announced.

November 14, 2016

Article: Slowly At First, Then All At Once

Aside from a few brief posts, it’s been a bit quiet on this site for awhile. Part of that has been because my day job has kept me quite busy, while the other part has mostly been that I haven’t felt like I had much worth saying. I’ve started a few pieces, but haven’t really gotten them where I liked them. Apple’s event last week got me thinking about a few things and the reaction from Twitter and elsewhere on the Internet pushed me over the edge to figure out how to put the pen to paper, so to speak…