Joseph Jude

Technology, Psychology, and Story Telling

Tools Used To Build BlogEasy

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New applications are never built from scratch; they stand on the shoulders of others. I’m thankful for all of the tools, without which I couldn’t have built BlogEasy, an offline Blog editor for Mac.

Here are the list of tools I used:

  1. Xcode : The default IDE for building Mac OS & iOS apps. The recent version 4.4 is an integrated suite bringing code editor, interface builder and analyzers into the same tool (& largely into same window) and thus making developing applications a lot easier. Submission to AppStore is also integrated to a large extent.
  2. Bitbucket: Revision control system is the backbone of a development eco-system, more so for a lone developer. Of the available web based RCS, I find Bitbucket’s free plans suitable for my needs.
  3. Source Tree: A Mac client for Bitbucket. I used to manage with Murky earlier, but Source Tree is more flexible.
  4. MultiMarkdown: Almost all my writing is in Markdown, as it is easy for writing as well as for reading. In the first version of BlogEasy, I had used Sundown markdown parser. But it doesn’t contain extensions for handling footnotes (a feature that I think should be part of Markdown core). While searching for a Markdown parser with extensions for Objective C, I came across MultiMarkdown by Fletcher. So now, BlogEasy supports all features of MultiMarkdown.
  5. XMLRPC Library: In its current form, BlogEasy is an offline blog editor only for WordPress. It relies on its XMLRPC API, for integrating with it. There are only few XMLRPC frameworks available for Objective C. The one by jgm seems to be the grand-daddy of all of them. It is easy to integrate, only make sure to leave it out of ARC.
  6. Sparkle: I’m distributing BlogEasy within AppStore as well as outside of it. For the non-Appstore distribution, I need a way to notify updates to the apps. Sparkle is the popular (and probably only one) framework for this. Contrary to my expectations, it took me a long time to integrate with Sparkle. I’m still not sure if it is integrated well.
  7. Amazon CDN: Non-AppStore binary is hosted in the Amazon CDN. I’m using their one-year free offer.
  8. WordPress: Of course. I’ve been running few blogs on WordPress, this blog being the oldest. BlogEasy grew out of ‘scratch-my-own-itch’ for quick & easy posting. WordPress has made it easy to install & maintain a blog. These guys should be commended for a job superbly done.

What other apps will make developing Cocoa Apps easy? Leave your suggestions in the comments.


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