Monthly archives for September 2008

Published on September 20, 2008

While working on some iPhone and iPod Touch apps, I found that the iPhone OS automatically masks and overlays your application icon for quick and easy development. You supply a square 57×57 pixel image, and it rounds off the corners and overlays the Mac-like gloss to create a consistent look.

When developing an icon for a Touch-based application, it’s handy to be able to see what your rendered creation will look like without going through the hassle of exporting your icon, compiling your code, and running your software every time a change is made. To that end, I present a small Photoshop file which very closely mimics the iPhone-applied mask and gloss, which you can place over top of your in progress icon layers to approximate the final result. Also, if you dislike the gloss, or have something special in mind, you can set a certain flag in the application’s Info.plist to disable the gloss… I hope my Photoshop file will help others create great looking Touch app icons!

Update: By request, I’ve added a 512×512 version of the template as well, so you can get a good feel for what your icon will look like when displayed in iTunes. Both files are now combined in a zip archive, downloadable here.

Published on September 13, 2008

For those eagerly anticipating Widerbug: Widescreen Firebug for Firefox 3, the wait is over. Firebug 1.2.1 was just recently released, and I’ve merged the Widerbug modifications into the latest version and tested them under Windows XP and Mac OS X on Firefox 3.0.1.

Head on over to the Widerbug page to grab the latest version and get coding, widescreen style!

Published on September 11, 2008

With all the recent iPhone and iPod Touch news, I was curious what the pricing distribution looked like for apps on the App Store, so I concocted a super-basic App Store pricing chart. While it only covers the 100 most popular App Store prices, it should give developers an idea of where the “sweet spots” for pricing lie.

Published on September 6, 2008

fmTuner is a WordPress plugin for retrieving song details from your Last.fm profile and publishing them anywhere in your WordPress theme. It provides options for choosing among your Recent, Loved, or Top tracks, as well as tools to adjust the update frequency and appearance:

Settings - fmTuner: A Last.fm Plugin for WordPress

Of particular note is the customizable Display Format option. Using simple tags like [::artist::] and [::image::] intermixed with regular HTML, you can tweak your Last.fm tracks exactly how you like, or however your WordPress theme requires. You have full control!

Download

Download the latest fmTuner from WordPress.org

Requirements

  • WordPress 2.7 or newer.
  • PHP 5 or newer
  • Basic knowledge of PHP, HTML, and WordPress.

Installation

  • Upload fmtuner.php to a directory inside /wp-content/plugins/ directory. For example: /wp-content/plugins/fmtuner/fmtuner.php
  • Ensure /wp-content/plugins/fmtuner/ is writable by your webserver.
  • Activate the plugin through the “Plugins” menu in WordPress.
  • Set up options in the “Settings” menu in WordPress.
  • Place the PHP code if(function_exists('fmtuner')) { fmtuner(); } in your templates, to call up fmTuner.

Release History

  • fmTuner 1.1
    Released on Feb. 1, 2010
    Added a placeholder image field to the fmTuner Settings page, which will be substituted when tracks have no artwork.
    Tested under WordPress 2.9.1.
  • fmTuner 1.0.8
    Released on Nov. 3, 2009
    Fixed a bug with the [::url::] fmTuner tag that caused Last.fm links to appear incorrectly.
  • fmTuner 1.0.7
    Released on Apr. 23, 2009
    Tracks with foreign character sets now display more accurately.
  • fmTuner 1.0.6
    Released on Mar. 29, 2009
    You can now display more than 10 Recent Tracks, and you should get fewer tracks without artwork.
  • fmTuner 1.0.5
    Released on Mar. 22, 2009
    Track information is now properly escaped to handle $ signs, quotes, and other non-alphanumeric characters.
  • fmTuner 1.0.4
    Released on Dec. 14, 2008
    Made minor tweaks for fmTuner Settings page under WordPress 2.7.
  • fmTuner 1.0.3
    Released on Nov. 15, 2008
    By request, a [::number::] fmTuner tag has been added, which emits a sequential number for each track (starting at 1). This is particularly useful for CSS and JavaScript display purposes.
  • fmTuner 1.0.2
    Released on Oct. 5, 2008
    Added a cURL-based alternative to file_get_contents to hopefully resolve “URL file-access is disabled” issues. If allow_url_fopen is disabled in the php.ini, cURL will be used to fetch the Last.fm feed instead.
  • fmTuner 1.0.1
    Released on Sept. 9, 2008
    Added better failure checking and informational messages, removed development code, and updated instructions.
  • fmTuner 1.0
    Released on Sept. 6, 2008
    Initial release.