littlelogs

Keep a social journal of your work progress as you make and learn things.

Tagged #exist

March 2017

belle

Left #exist for #ios alone over the weekend to see how well my #healthkit background updating would work. Today I had a look at the logs and it looks like all my data is updating without me opening the app, but not as often as I’d like. A change I made to stop duplicate updates occurring seems to be stopping a lot of non-duplicate updates getting through, so I had to try a different approach to de-duping the updates. I also noticed the app is getting a lot of “Network connection lost” errors when trying to send requests. Not sure what that’s about yet, as I haven’t been able to reproduce those errors to debug them. Still, getting closer and closer to releasing the #applehealth #sleep update to beta testers!

belle

Yesterday I tried using beginBackgroundTaskWithExpirationHandler to ask #ios to give my app more time to complete tasks in the background. This seems to have fixed the #exist for iOS bug @josh and I have been struggling with for a week now. Certain calls, usually when my app was in the background, were taking ages and eventually timing out during the handshake stage with the server. It seems like it was actually iOS killing the tasks, but I don’t know why it was taking so long to do so. I didn’t try this beginBackgroundTask method earlier because everywhere I’ve seen it mentioned it seems to be used for continuing tasks in the background that were started in the foreground, which isn’t what I’m doing, but it seems to have worked anyway! #laterlog

belle

Aaaargh #applehealth! I’ve had the majority of the #sleep integration in #exist for #ios done for days now, but I’ve been fighting with getting the background observers working. I can’t watch the logs run in realtime, because I’m testing for #healthkit waking up my app in the background and telling it to send new data to Exist, and it won’t do it every time I add new data, because it wants to save battery. So I’m stuck adding data and waiting an hour or so before grabbing the log file to see if anything happened.

belle

Fixed a bug in #exist for #ios today that was causing the app to crash when users turned on location tracking for the first time. Also continued some refactoring of #healthkit code in an effort to get background observers working for #applehealth #sleep and other HealthKit data. The idea is that iOS will notify my app when the user syncs new data to Apple Health, rather than me checking for it regularly. Still trying to get that working for activity data, but it seems to be working well for sleep so far.

belle

Making great strides today with #applehealth #sleep integration in #exist for #ios! Thanks to some help from @josh last night I got on the right track and today I figured out why I wasn’t adding up all the sleep data per day correctly. I fixed that, and also added some code to check what the longest period of “time in bed” is per day, so I can get bedtime and wake time from that record, in case there are multiple “time in bed” periods. I also added a check to make sure I only use data from one app per day, so if users record data from multiple apps for the same day I’ll just take the first app’s data and ignore the rest so they don’t get doubled-up data in Exist.

February 2017

belle

Still slogging away at #HealthKit refactoring in #exist for #ios as well as adding sleep data from Apple Health. Got some help from @josh to help me figure out the best ways to make my HealthKit code as generic and simple as I can, and after implementing his suggestions I’ve probably cut about half the code involved in the Apple Health integration. I’m expecting lots of bugs to work through, but really happy about cleaning this up, as it’s definitely been the most complicated, messy code in the app.

belle

Not a lot to report today, except that I started a new branch in #exist for #ios, ready to tackle #AppleHealth sleep data, which we’re always getting requests for. I expect It’ll be a painful few weeks (or longer) getting this working and bug-free, but I’m really looking forward to giving users what they want so they can ask us for something else :)

belle

I’ve been testing my new year ago mood feature in #exist for #ios for a couple of days, so this afternoon I’m going to send it out to beta testers.

Yesterday I fixed a small bug in the year ago mood feature and sent an update of Exist to the App Store with a small bug fix. #laterlog

belle

What a week! Spent the past three days feeling stupid, frustrated, and confused, because I couldn’t get this new year ago mood feature working in #exist for #ios. Grappled with two different third-party libraries that didn’t work as I expected them to and roped @josh into an afternoon of helping me debug my #autolayout issues before giving up and building the UI myself from scratch.

This afternoon I managed to get the whole UI built and working with some more help from @josh, so now I can test it out. Hopefully I’ll be able to send this out to beta testers this week.

belle

Wrote the #HelloCode monthly report for January today, and published the blog post version of the same.

Also sorted through all the suggestions for #exist that we got on #changemap over the past couple of days—only 1/5 was not a duplicate. It’s so frustrating when users ignore the message right on the suggestion form that asks them to search for their idea before suggesting it. It creates a big waste of time for me and doesn’t help anyone. /rant

Also updated the Exist FAQs page, as it was quite out-of-date in a few areas.

belle

Spent most of yesterday afternoon debugging an issue in #exist for #ios affecting a couple of users. For some days (but not all), their steps and distance data from #AppleHealth (but not any other data) was super low and incorrect. Lucky @josh was able to help me debug it because I got really stuck and wouldn’t have figured it out by myself.

Turns out the issue was due to me asking HealthKit for data for each day up to midnight for the following day, which sometimes included a tiny number of steps and distance right in that first second of the following day. Once we figured out why I was getting the extra data (totally my fault) and how to exclude it from the results I was sending to the Exist API, the fix didn’t take long. And thankfully Apple approved the update overnight, so it’s already in the App Store. I think that’s the quickest I’ve ever had an update go through Apple review. #laterlog

January 2017

belle

Yesterday I did some more work on #exist for #ios. I’m still working on building in the new feature to show your mood note and rating from this day a year ago after you submit a mood rating for today. I wanted to re-use layout code for the mood note and rating UI but being the n00b I am, I hadn’t made my old code generic enough, so I spent a good chunk of yesterday afternoon decoupling my code and making it more generic. #laterlog

belle

Yesterday I cleaned up my extra #exist for #ios #git branches and started a new one for a feature that’s been in the Android app for a while—your mood rating and note from this day a year ago. Started working on the API call after you rate today to check if you have a rating and note to show from a year ago. Still need to finish this off and add the UI to show the data to the user.

belle

So far this week I’ve been mainly working on bug fixes in #exist for #ios and some small refactoring to make my code simpler and easier to maintain. I have a couple of new features on my to-do list to bring the app up to par with @josh’s Android version, so I’m hoping to have all the bug fixes done soon so I can get on with those.

belle

Changed my #rescuetime hours this week to be 4 hours every morning so I have afternoons off for #HelloCode. I was finding it hard to be totally switched off from Hello Code for 3 days a week, and to plan everything I need to do for RescueTime in just 3 days. This setup seems to work better.

Last week I sent a new update of #exist for #ios to the App Store with some bug fixes and some different bug fixes to my beta testers. I also wrote a new post for the #larder blog about why I blog about my code even though I’m not an expert.

belle

My update of #exist for #ios successfully uploaded to the App Store today. Phew! Waiting for that to get through review now.

Today I worked on a couple of drafts for the Larder #blog and some more bug fixes for the Exist iOS app.

belle

Since I’m working Mon, Tue, Wed at #rescuetime now I probably won’t have many early-week logs. But Thursdays and Fridays are #HelloCode days so here’s a #laterlog for yesterday:

  • Paid my latest #tax instalment
  • Cleared out my inbox (mostly)
  • Followed up most of the #changemap tasks for #exist that came in over the past week
  • Wrote up the Hello Code monthly report for December and drafted a matching #blog post
  • Worked on bug fixes for #exist for #ios, sent a new version to TestFlight, and tried to submit a new version to the App Store but iTunesConnect was broken yet again.

December 2016

belle

Last week I did some ad-hoc work for my new job. #laterlog

This week I’m on holidays so it’s all about relaxing!

Today we got back from holiday travel so I’m quite tired and it’s very hot. But I did send off a new version of #exist for #ios to beta testers that fixes some bugs.

belle

A very late #laterlog to mention that @josh and I spent all afternoon Sunday #pairprogramming to implement a new feature in #exist for #ios: in-app notifications! We’ve had these for a while in the web app, so users are alerted when we’ve made a major change like adding a new feature or integration, but not on mobile. Josh recently added them to the Android app and was kind enough to help me get them done on iOS in an afternoon. Just need to do some testing now, but hopefully I’ll be able to release a small update with this feature included soon!

belle

My passion for working on #exist for #ios has been reignited! I sent out the latest update including lots of new Apple Health data (workouts, nutrition, active minutes, heart rate) to the App Store this week, so I’m just waiting for it to be reviewed.

For some reason we had a bunch of users all asking us for menstrual tracking over the past week or so, and it’s something I’ve always planned to get from #healthkit but haven’t gotten to yet. So after sending out that update I was really motivated to explore getting menstrual data from Apple Health. Exist doesn’t support it yet but I’ve started working on getting the data anyway. I think my motivation really wanes when I’m working on bug fixes. It’s a very slow, difficult, lonely process for me, and I often struggle to replicate bugs and feel like updates just get stuck in limbo for ages while I worry about how to fix all the bugs. But starting a new feature is always fun and exciting—and a lot faster these days than it was a couple years ago!

November 2016

belle

Spent quite a bit of time putting together new pitches for #client #content work this afternoon. A couple of my clients have cut back my workload, so I’m in panic mode again about having enough work in the future. A stop gap job isn’t very good if it’s not stable while you work on your side project! Debating different options for improving that situation, but don’t want to take my focus off #HelloCode if I can help it.

Also published a planner review on my #blog that I’ve been meaning to finish for a while, and wrote up a long post about my analogue planner setup for next year. And did some final edits on another draft I had waiting, so I think I’ll hit my goal of publishing 4 posts on my blog this month!

Also published a short post on the #exist blog and sent it out in the blog #newsletter.

belle

Ahh keep forgetting to log lately! Here’s what I’ve done over the past couple days:

October 2016

belle

I’ve been refreshing the Google Store orders page all day, waiting for my new Pixel phone to ship! It’s finally shipped now, so I’m refreshing the parcel tracking page instead 😏

In other news, I did quite the catch-up today on #client #content work. I drafted two of my three articles due this week, and followed up all my client emails. Looks like with another productive day tomorrow I’ll have the weekend free for #exist for #ios work.

belle

HUGE day of #exist for #ios today. I made a new settings screen to handle all the new #healthkit data I’ve been adding, made some changes to how I get HealthKit data to make it more generic, fixed some bugs, and added a bunch of new constants to replace hard-coded values.

I also sent a new build of the #location branch to #TestFlight for beta testers, and took up a big chunk of @josh’s day trying to figure out why I kept getting intermittent 412 errors from the Exist server. (Turned out to be an issue with the default cache policy of NSURLRequest.)

belle

After playing with #healthkit in #exist for #ios yesterday I was on a roll, so today I tried adding some code to the app that makes HealthKit tell me when data updates, so I can do a better job of keeping user data in sync, which has been really tricky so far.

Also tried adding weight data from HealthKit, but we decided it’s better to leave that until the infrastructure changes @josh is working on are done, as it’ll be easier to keep it updated then. But after removing weight, I did add heart rate, active minutes (they weren’t available when I first added steps), and workouts!

I also did some good work along the way to make my code more generic, which should make it more stable and easier to diagnose bugs in the future. Down with magic numbers!

Phew. Plenty of testing still to be done but I’m really happy with how much I got done this weekend.

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