The Shines-by-Comparison Edition Monday, February 17, 2020

Wikipedia Is The Last Best Place On The Internet, by Richard Cooke, Wired

Yet in an era when Silicon Valley's promises look less gilded than before, Wikipedia shines by comparison. It is the only not-for-profit site in the top 10, and one of only a handful in the top 100. It does not plaster itself with advertising, intrude on privacy, or provide a breeding ground for neo-Nazi trolling. Like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, it broadcasts user-generated content. Unlike them, it makes its product de-personified, collaborative, and for the general good. More than an encyclopedia, Wikipedia has become a community, a library, a constitution, an experiment, a political manifesto—the closest thing there is to an online public square. It is one of the few remaining places that retains the faintly utopian glow of the early World Wide Web. A free encyclopedia encompassing the whole of human knowledge, written almost entirely by unpaid volunteers: Can you believe that was the one that worked?


Apple Maps Transit Directions Go Live In Various Locations In The EU, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

Apple Maps are showing train, bus, and tram directions for users in new European locations such as France, Spain, and Germany as a new update appears rolls out across the EU.

Apple Music Replay Has Been Updated To Create A 2020 Replay Playlist, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

After missing out on the month of January, Apple Music appears to be ready for 2020's Replay. Used to generate a top 100 playlist, the service uses your listening history to update the playlist every Sunday through the year.

Instagram CEO Explains Why The Company Hasn’t Developed An iPad App Yet, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

“We’d like to build an iPad app, but we only have so many people and lots to do, and it hasn’t bubbled up as the next best thing to do yet,” Mosseri said.


An App Can Be A Home-cooked Meal, by Robin Sloan

For a long time, I have struggled to articulate what kind of programmer I am. I’ve been writing code for most of my life, never with any real discipline, but/and I can, at this point, make the things happen on computers that I want to make happen. At the same time, I would not last a day as a professional software engineer. Leave me in charge of a critical database and you will return to a smoldering crater.

Making this app, I figured it out: I am the programming equivalent of a home cook.

Bottom of the Page

Of all the rules and restrictions that Apple has placed on the App Store, the lack of programming tools for home cooks -- like Hypercard and (gasp!) Visual Basic -- is probably one area that Apple really need to re-look and re-evaluate.

The lack of programming tools on iOS is not, financially, a big deal for Apple. But this leaves a whole segment of pro users from ever migrating from Mac (or Windows) to iOS and iPadOS.


Thanks for reading.