One of our assignments this semester is to create an App.net client for class. I have been looking for some clear-cut explanations about how to make a microblogging app utilizing an API, but it has been rather challenging. Most of the documentation out there has been about how to create a Twitter app.
I decided to spend today working with this tutorial explaining how to create a simple Twitter app.
I have to say, I am disappointed with some of these tutorials. Every time I try to run one it crashes on me with weird unknown errors. The debugger says that the code is fine but then when I try to run it the program crashes.
For this tutorial I was able to download a completed version of the code and run it on my machine. It looks like the same thing I have been doing, so I really don’t know. I am wondering if I have something set up incorrectly in the new Xcode.
One thing I will focus on soon (probably not today) is getting better at debugging things. I will add more NSLog statements and breakpoints to see exactly where my code is going off the rails.
Anyway, back to the point of this exercise. I hoped that doing this tutorial would give me ideas about how to do an App.net client. Sadly, this does not. There is a built-in framework for both Facebook and Twitter that was created by Apple with a lot of methods coded in to maximize productivity for coding clients for those two technologies.
Interestingly, there are three microblogging sites that the frameworks supports. The third one is Sina Weibo, or the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
I did notice that the site I am going to for most of my tutorials has everything in either English or Mandarin. I guess this is fitting in with Apple’s apparent market strategy of targeting China. I should get my butt in gear and actually learn Mandarin one of these days. I just worry that knowing Chinese will be the equivalent of learning Japanese in the 80’s.
Final verdict: This tutorial would be fine for someone wanting to write a Twitter client but it doesn’t help me very much currently with my App.net client. It does give me an idea of what a social networking framework would include and it might indirectly help me when we get into ADNKit and some of the other user created frameworks out there.
I will probably come back to this one when I start delving deeper into the finer points of debugging. There is no reason that I can see why my code would have crashed and I need to delve deeper into figuring it out.