Starter Step

Archive for September 2009

Last night Apple’s latest commercial premiered with our mobile travel app, TripCase, as the first application demoed in the advertisement.

It ran during Heroes, House, and Gossip Girl, and Apple plans on running it for the next several months in various time slots.

If you haven’t seen it yet you can view it on Apple’s website here:

http://www.apple.com/iphone/gallery/ads/#dine-large

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I did a write up a while back on a custom UIAlertView that displays a list of options to the user. I’ve gotten some questions on how to use the component so this is a quick write up on just how to do that. Let me first say that I have not done iPhone development for a few months….I have been hard at work getting TripCase (http://tripcase.com) working on Windows Mobile. I hopped back into XCode this evening and felt lost!

So to recap the component, the intent is that you have a list of options you want to show your user. In our case we are geocoding a location that can be resolved to multiple places. We want our user to choose from a list of places returned from our geocoding service. We could have taken the user to another page and had them make a selection and then taken them back to the original page. We weren’t crazy about that…so we rolled this little gem.

Also, just as an fyi, this may not even be needed anymore. I have not looked at how the 3.x sdk would handle this. There might be a nicer approach to this all together. But for those who have asked, here is a sample ApplicationDelegate class body that should get you going. I’ll also attach a zipped up version of the sample app for you to download and use.

- (void)applicationDidFinishLaunching:(UIApplication *)application {    

    // here we just create a button to invoke our alert view.  this of course would be done by some event in your code somewhere.
	UIButton *button = [UIButton buttonWithType:UIButtonTypeRoundedRect];
	button.frame = CGRectMake(60, 100, 200, 30);
	[button setTitle:@"Invoke the Alert View" forState:UIControlStateNormal];
	[button addTarget:self action:@selector(createAlertView) forControlEvents:UIControlEventTouchUpInside];
	[window addSubview:button];
    [window makeKeyAndVisible];
}

-(void)createAlertView {
	[[[[AlertTableView alloc] initWithCaller:self data:[NSArray arrayWithObjects:@"one", @"two", @"three", @"four", @"five", @"six", nil] title:@"Did you mean..." andContext:nil] autorelease] show];
}


-(void)didSelectRowAtIndex:(NSInteger)row withContext:(id)context {
	[[[UIAlertView alloc] initWithTitle:@"Selection Made" message:[NSString stringWithFormat:@"Index %d clicked", row] delegate:self cancelButtonTitle:@"Ok" otherButtonTitles:nil] show];
}

//-(UIView*) viewForOptionAtRow:(NSUInteger)row {
//}

This sample app just creates a button and throws it on the screen. The click handler for the button is where the use of the new AlertTableView comes into play. The AlertTableView is created with an array of option strings. The caller is “self” because I want this same class to handle the callbacks for the component. I am passing in a nil context because I dont need a context for this small example. I then show the AlertTableView as you would a regular UIAlertView.

Once we have created our new alert, there are two important delegate methods we have at our disposal. The first is didSelectRowAtIndex which will be called when the user clicks either an option in our list, or the cancel button. This method will receive the index of the selected row or -1 if cancel is clicked. It will also get the context that was passed into the creation of the alert. This is where you actually “do” something based on your users selection. The other method you optionally implement is viewForOptionAtRow. This method gives you the ability to customize the view that is displayed in the option list.

That’s pretty much it…. Of course the component needs work..it uses absolute postioning…and makes some bad assumptions…but it gets the job done.

Link to project
Ok so wordpress wont let me upload a zip file…? So I just googled for a free file hosting service and dumped it here Example App.

If you have ever chatted with me about programming languages, its terribly obvious that I love ruby. Its just plain fun to write ruby code. I wouldn’t call myself a ruby nazi, but I would say that I get excited when I can do ruby like things in other languages. I have been working with C# for about two months getting TripCase on the Windows Mobile platform. My appreciation for c# is actually growing more and more. We use lambdas quite frequently in our Windows Mobile implementation which makes our code look alot like ruby.

Just yesterday I wanted to titleize a piece of text. My goal would be to just call:

   "jake loves ruby".Titleize();

Unfortunately the method wasn’t available….until I wrote this:

public static class StringExtensions
    { 
        public static string Titleize(this string text)
        {
          CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.TextInfo.ToTitleCase(text)
        }
    }

Now I can call my Titleize method as if it were a method on an instance of the String class. Cool huh….yeah I thought so. You can read more about extension methods (thats what the c# kids are calling it) here

Update:
While this is cool, I could not figure out how to take an already existing method on a class and extend its behavior. In ruby we can do this with our method alias trick….but still..props to c# for extensions.



  • Dave: I can tell you're a ruby guy because you forgot the 'return' keyword. Thanks for the tip though!
  • Chandrashekhar H M: Hi, Thanks its working fine in iOS 6 but not in iOS 7.0. Any Suggestion on this.
  • Coeur: To change a rootViewController, without all this TVNavigationController : myNewRoot = [[UIViewController alloc] init]; myNavigationController.view