bonney.io

by Matt Bonney

A Post on a Website about Tweaks Made to That Same Website

I made a bunch of changes to the CSS and structure of this site today, including:

New, optional gradient backgrounds for pages

Now, if I define a header-color tag in the front matter of a post, that color is used to determine which of a handful of colorful gradients gets applied as the post header’s background view. These only show on standalone pages (/projects and /about for example) and in the permalink-versions of blog posts (for example, my “Hello World” post). I might remove this, or make sparing use of it – the potential for it to feel gaudy is real.

Translucency and frosted glass effect in the navigation bar

Inspired by Apple and the OmniGraffle websites, the navigation bar now includes a beautiful frosted glass effect. Sadly, this is a WebKit-only effect, and only shows up in Safari on macOS or iOS, but damnit if it doesn’t look pretty:

The home page now shows full-length articles

No more excerpts and “read more” links. This was an oddly difficult stylistic choice to make; I think I like it better, though. Before, longer posts would show the first paragraph only, and you’d have to click in to the article to read the rest. I was already showing the full contents of linked posts (due to their typically brief nature), so it’s not as big a stretch to do the same for all posts.


🔗 LG’s new phone to launch eventually, cost money | TechCrunch

At one point during the presentation, a company executive described the screen. Another talked about the camera. Both are better than the screen and camera in the previous model.

Absolute gold. 😂


🔗 BONANZA! #23: He Can Go Eat Seafood for All I Care - Relay FM

Nothing makes me happier than a new Bonanza in my Overcast queue.


🔗 Overcast 3: Design walkthrough – Marco.org

The only thing I’m not super keen on is the new icon; otherwise, I am absolutely in love with all of Marco’s tweaks and changes. I hope that some day I can be half as productive as a one-man shop as Marco is.


🔗 B-Sides #27: Top Two: Computing Platforms - Relay FM

Wonderful discussion between Marco and Myke over the whole “iPad vs. Mac” debate. I find myself in an odd position on this topic; I feel like Marco’s views are far too skewed by the reality of his needs from a computing platform, but at the same time, as someone who vastly prefers the Mac to the iPad for day-to-day work, I think Myke’s insistence that iOS in it’s current state is a good-enough platform for most people is similarly skewed.


🔗 Apple Begins Selling D-Link's HomeKit-Enabled 'Omna' HD Camera With 180º Lens - Mac Rumors

I recently bought a Logi (née, Logitech) Circle home security camera, and while it does it’s job well enough, one of my biggest gripes is the lack of HomeKit compatibility. Glad to see that HomeKit-connected cameras are beginning to roll out.


Jekyll & Liquid Tags: A Dynamic Duo

Earlier this morning I made some slight design tweaks to the way the page headers are displayed. Before, each page (excluding blog posts) had the same header (“bonney.io, by Matt Monney”). This was fine for the home page, where it made sense for the “title” to be the name of the site and the author’s name. However, it didn’t feel right on the about or projects pages – on those pages it made much more sense for the title of the page to be, well, the title of that page.

Each page on this site has a small blurb called the front matter, which are a handful of lines that tell Jekyll what the page’s layout, title, subtitle (optional), description (optional), date and external link (optional) should be. This front matter is then used to fill in various elements in the <head> tag for the static page Jekyll generates, along with – in the case of the layout tag – what user-defined page layout should be used (essentally, how various elements should be laid out on-screen).

(Please contact me and let me know if I’m getting any of this wrong – this is all to the best of my understanding.)

As an example, here is the front matter for the /about page:

---
layout: page
title: "About Me"
---

This tells Jekyll that the page should follow the layout given by a file called page.html, which in turn looks like this:

---
layout: default
---
{% include header.html %}
<div class="container">
    <div class="row">
            <div class="col-md-10 col-md-offset-1">
            {{ content }}
        </div>
    </div>
</div>
<hr>

default is yet another layout that essentially sets the basic HTML structure of the page; the details of that aren’t super important. {{ content }} is simply the content of a file called about.md, which is a Markdown file with the content of the page.

See the bit right after the front matter? {% include header.html %}? This is what header.html looked like before the changes I made this morning:

<header class="intro-header">
    <div class="container">
        <div class="row">
            <div class="col-md-10 col-md-offset-1">
                <div class="site-heading">
                    <h1>bonney.io</h1>
                    <h3>by Matt Bonney</h3>
                    <hr class="small">
                </div>
            </div>
        </div>
    </div>
</header>

Every page (again, not blog posts – those use a different layout) had this same header, with <h1>bonney.io</h1> and <h3>by Matt Bonney</h3>. Not very dynamic.

Remember those front matter tags? layout, title, subtitle, description, date and external link? You can access those values in a very similar manner as {% include header.html %}. Essentially, all you have to do to reference, say, a given page’s title tag somewhere with the page, is type {{ page.title }}.

You can similarly do this with lots of other variables about the given page – {{ page.date }}, {{ page.subtitle }}, {{ page.description }} and so on all work. So, given that I knew I wanted each page to have it’s own unique title (and optionally a description) in the header, I changed the code in header.html to look like this:

<header class="intro-header">
    <div class="container">
        <div class="row">
            <div class="col-md-10 col-md-offset-1">
                <div class="site-heading">

                    <h1>
                    {% if page.title %}
                        {{ page.title }}
                    {% else %}
                        {{ site.title }}
                    {% endif %}
                    </h1>

                    {% if page.subtitle %}
                    <h3>
                        {{ page.subtitle }}
                    </h3>
                    {% endif %}

                    {% if page.description %}
                    <span class="subheading">
                        {{ page.description }}
                    </span>
                    {% endif %}

                    <hr class="small">

                </div>
            </div>
        </div>
    </div>
</header>

Okay, that’s way more complicated, so let me break it down for you:

  • Establish the h1 tag.
  • If the page has a title tag defined in the front matter, use that title as the content of h1, otherwise, use the site’s title (a globablly-defined variable in a seperate file).
  • Check if the page has a subtitle tag; if so, add an h3 tag and fill it with the subtitle.
  • Check if the page has a description tag; if so, add a <span> with custom styling and fill it with the description.

I then made sure the front matter for my index page has the correct tags:

---
layout: page
title: "bonney.io"
description: "by Matt Bonney"
---

And did the same for about and projects, opting to give them only a title, no subtitle or description tags:

---
layout: page
title: "About Me"
---
---
layout: page
title: "Projects"
---

And that’s it. Each page now gets it’s own unique header, rather than sharing the one generic header, and it’s completely dynamic based off the front matter tags. The header onindex now looks like this:

index

While the one on projects now, appropriately looks like this:

projects

I really love this system of tags and variables, especially being able to use if-statements in the form of {% if whatever %}. The more I dig in to Jekyll, the more I’m loving it.


First Trailer for 'Planet of the Apps' Released

At the recent Code Media conference, Eddy Cue and Ben Silverman unveiled the first trailer for Apple’s “television” series, Planet of the Apps.

And, as expected, it… doesn’t look so great. Take a look:

Recode has an in-depth explainer of what Planet of the Apps is supposed to be, so I’m not going to reiterate every aspect. Instead, I’m going to list out some issues I have with Planet of the Apps:

“Planet of the Apps” is a god-awful name

Seriously? “Planet of the Apps”? The best name you could come up with for a show to spread the story of developing for Apple’s platform is a parody of Planet of the Apes?

It’s a terrible name. Names are everything. Names are your first chance to make an impression. This name certainly makes an impression…

The “Escalator” Pitch

Recode:

Instead of an elevator pitch, developers and entrepreneurs make an “escalator pitch.” Yes, the pitch is made on an escalator.

Har-har. It’s an escalator pitch, not an elevator pitch – get it?

Calling the developer’s initial pitch an “escalator pitch” is as cringe worthy as “Planet of the Apps”. Having the pitch take place on an actual escalator is even stupider. Why? Why does the pitch take place on an escalator, other than to justify the term “escalator pitch”?

What do these celebrities have to do with app development?

I get that Jessica Alba, Will.i.am, Gwyneth Paltrow and company have money and some sort of marketing sense. But I do not understand what makes them the choices for judging the likelihood of an application’s success or feasibility. Shouldn’t the people making these calls have some sort of credibility when it comes to software development?

From the trailer, it seems like the developers initially have to gain some sort of partnership/mentorship with a celebrity, who will then accompany them to another pitch to… actual investors?

It’s so confusing and gimmicky. It feels like a parody of Shark Tank, except there’s two rounds of pitches! And celebrities! And don’t forget about the escalator!

“Apple Music” seems like a great place for original video content, what could possibly be confusing about that?

See above.

Kidding aside, I totally get why it’s an Apple Music exclusive: Apple Music is their subscription media service. Apple Music is a known brand. While Apple could certainly roll out a subscription video service, I don’t think it makes much sense, given the small amount of content that would be available on it.

Plus, what would they call a theoretical video service? Apple TV is obviously out. I suppose “Apple Movies” or “Apple Video” could work. I feel like bundling TV programming under the “Apple Music” brand is Apple setting themselves up for another “iTunes” brand, though.

Dawn of the Rise of the War for the Planet of the Apps

So Planet of the Apps is going to be a thing. I’ll certainly give it a shot when it airs(?) later this year, but as of right now, my expectations are very, very low.


Hello, World

Hello, world, I’m Matt Bonney.  I’m a PC/Mac Support Technician and aspiring iOS developer based in Midcoast Maine, where I live with my amazing fiancée and our adorable (if not a bit anxiety-riddled) dog, Lexie.

I am a nerd at heart. I love technology, nerd culture, and programming; this website will hopefully be my outlet for those loves. Expect unfiltered thoughts on Apple and their competitors, pop culture, iOS programming, web design, life and – you’re being warned – probably some politics. (I describe myself as a Moderate/Liberal Independent; read in to that as you will and set expectations accordingly.)

I’ve always toyed with the idea of having a personal blog as an outlet for my interests; a way to express ideas with more clarity than 140 characters allows. This website-slash-blog replaces the old landing page design of Bonney.io that I previously used to route people to my iOS development projects. I decided to go for something much cleaner, simpler, and less in-your-face than the previous iteration:

I admit a blog with a focus on Apple, technology, development and pop culture is not a new idea. I openly admit to being inspired by some of my favorite writers and voices of the Apple/Tech/Nerd community, including John Gruber (of course), Stephen Hackett, Federico Viticci, Matt Birchler, Jason Snell, Casey Liss, and the blogger formerly known as Marco Arment.

If you find any errors or issues with the site, please let me know on Twitter.

I hope someone finds what I have to say interesting. Thanks for reading. ❤️