Unread Count Tracking

I wrote up my unread count sparkline generator code. It watches my various online services and tracks how many unread items I have in each. For instance, you can see that today I suddenly got a lot of unread items in my RSS reader. I blame the Economist.

Having these graphs has had 2 interesting effects. Firstly, I’ve found it lots easier to keep my unread counts down. For instance, immediately after building it I realised I had far too many things in Instapaper, reminding me to actually read them.

The other effect it has had is that I’m slightly more inclined to read things just before I know the hourly monitoring script triggers. I know I’m being observed now. Maybe I want to deal with this email now, so the graph moves down a notch. I know this is silly and irrational. I assume it’ll fade once the novelty of the tracking has worn off. But I felt it was worth mentioning.

Flame for the iPhone

I’ve been playing with iPhone development recently, and have ported Flame to it. Well, re-implemented, really – Flame is written in Python and there’s no PyObjC for the iPhone, and nor is there likely to ever be. But Objective-C is getting easier as I get practice, and this app even has a modicum of proper memory management.

This time, the source lives in GitHub/jerakeen as git seems like the cool kid this week and I need the practice. I’d expect it to build and run in the simulator just fine, and it runs on my device, so it’ll run on yours if you know the magic hoops to jump through. It’s possible that this app might actually make it to the App Store at some point, though it’s somewhat niche.. You never know.

Let me know if you have ideas for improvements. For a start, I’d like certain services to be linkable – HTTP servers should open their web page in Mobile Safari if clicked, for instance.

Released Shelf 0.0.12

Another week, another Shelf release – this one is 0.0.12 – read the release notes or download the binary.

Loads of stuff in this one, but muttley may like the fact that you can now turn off the background poller and have Shelf look for context only when you hit a global shortcut key. This will also make life nicer for people with smaller screens who don’t want this widow popping to the foreground every time it can figure out who you’re looking at.

Other than that, there are lots of improvements. Shelf should be faster and make less gratuitous network requests. Feed display is prettier, and I make an effort to display recently updated feeds at the top, rather than in random order.

Released Shelf 0.0.11

So, I have a new release of Shelf, having finally been inspired to put a bit of effort into the scary refactorings I was putting off. It’s internally much better than the last one, though I still have places I can take it. Feature-wise, it’s only a little better, though. Feeds look nicer. It should be fast, and caches the contents of remote feeds better, so it’ll thrash the network less.

The big thing is the Google Social Graph integration. Disabled by default, because it’s a privacy nightmare, I can ask Google who the current page in our web browser belongs to, to found out a person to display in Shelf. Once I’ve got a person, I can also ask Google what other URLs they advertise about themselves, so you no longer have to stuff dozens of URLs into your Address Book cards just to see interesting things about people. Looking at Brad’s homepage is a good torture test..

I’m alwo working towards making Simon happier, with a couple of preferences determining how the window should be displayed. It’s not all the way there yet, but I’m moving..

Get the full release notes here.

Trivial iPhone / iPod Touch delicious front end

I’ve been looking for an excuse to play with IUI for a while now, and finally I found one. I wanted a way of getting at things that I and my friends have saved in del.icio.us, and the native web interface isn’t very usable on the iPod touch. So let’s implement a delicious client using IUI! Also, let’s implement it in pure client-side JavaScript, so I don’t have to run a server anywhere!

So, here’s a trivial implementation. It’s hard-coded to look at my links and friends, but that’s not hard to fix, I just don’t care. The thing I’m happiest with is the way it’s entirely client-side, and pulls in things from the delicious JSON api as it needs them. And it’s pretty small, too..

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