Rob Fahrni

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Saturday Morning Coffee

Good morning from Charlottesville, Virginia! ☕️

Spicy Mexican CoffeeJust poured my first cup, letting it sit a spell while I get started. Kolby and Gracie are chillin’ at the moment, which is nice. It means I don’t have to get them to leave the cats alone. Even though Flynn usually starts the loud morning play fest.

The leaves have started falling off the trees and early mornings have been extremely cool. It’s really nice and is a signal to me fall is coming. 🍁

However, Charlottesville weather is unkind and likes to play mind games. This is fake fall. Next week daytime highs are forecast to be in the 90’s. Ugh. 🥵

I hope you enjoy the links.

Rolling Stone

Jimmy Buffett, the singer-songwriter known for his enduring anthem “Margaritaville” and businessman who transformed the 1977 song into an empire that encompassed restaurants, resorts, and more, has died at the age of 76.

RIP Jimmy.


One interesting choice we’ve decided to stick to throughout the years and on to this new project is to have the app infrastructure (networking, authentication, data synchronization and persistence, feature data backends, etc.) done using the same technology as the backend (in Rust, see more in Production Environment) and shared across iOS and Android.

I like this choice. I’ve tried to sell this idea inside WillowTree but I think we’ll be doing more React Native going forward. Look, if your primary business is not shipping applications it makes sense to use cross platform tooling. From what I’ve seen of our React Native work it’s quite good and you can’t tell the difference.

If you are an application developer and want to get some shared code across native platforms, Rust is a good alternative to languages like C and C++ — even though I still really love C++. 😁

Using Rust for all that common code just feels right to me.

Jennifer Sandlin • Boing Boing

According to Pizzagate conspiracy theorists, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Pizza Hut boxes are encouraging Satanic ritual abuse

I watched the YouTube video linked from the piece and boy do these folks have to do a bunch of mental gymnastics to make this stuff up. It is crazy. If the entire Q phenomenon did anything it was to create a legion of complete nut jobs.

Heck we all thought al-Qaeda was a threat to our nation. We’ve been able to screw things up from the inside with things like the Orange Menace, the GOP, and Q. No outside help necessary.

Denise Yu

Your job title says “software engineer”, but you seem to spend most of your time in meetings. You’d like to have time to code, but nobody else is onboarding the junior engineers, updating the roadmap, talking to the users, noticing the things that got dropped, asking questions on design documents, and making sure that everyone’s going roughly in the same direction. If you stop doing those things, the team won’t be as successful. But now someone’s suggesting that you might be happier in a less technical role. If this describes you, congratulations: you’re the glue. If it’s not, have you thought about who is filling this role on your team? — Tanya Reilly

This is why I wanted to become an Engineering Director at WillowTree. Turns out I was good at team building but horrible at all the management stuff, like reviews.

Now that I’ve gone back to an engineering role I can focus more on team building from a technical perspective, which I love. Sure, I do day-to-day coding, but I also help other grow and do whatever needs doing.

Keri Blakinger • The New York Times

The first time Tony Ford played Dungeons & Dragons, he was a wiry Black kid who had never seen the inside of a prison. His mother, a police officer in Detroit, had quit the force and moved the family to West Texas. To Ford, it seemed like a different world. Strangers talked funny, and El Paso was half desert. But he could skateboard in all that open space, and he eventually befriended a nerdy white kid with a passion for Dungeons & Dragons. Ford fell in love with the role-playing game right away; it was complex and cerebral, a saga you could lose yourself in. And in the 1980s, everyone seemed to be playing it.

My brothers, their friends, and I were part of that nerdy set who played D&D in the 80s. I have wonderful memories of that time in my life. An easier time. The 80s was a great time to be a teenager and D&D contributed heavily to that greatness.

Tim Hardwick • MacRumors

Apple will receive all of TSMC’s first-generation 3-nanometer process chips this year for upcoming iPhones, Macs, and iPads, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes.

Isn’t it wild to think Apple will take the entire capacity of a chip manufacturer? Heck, I think Intel is finally at 10-nanometer and is expected to move to 7-nanometer this year — maybe they already have, I’m not sure.

It makes me wonder if Intel could get to the point that they’re manufacturing chips for Apple?

Is saying “NO DUH!” too sarcastic? Big oil, gotta love ‘em. 🤬

Thomas Ricouard

I’ve seen countless of tweets and stories lately about modern iOS architecture. I’ve been a huge fan of trying new architecture on iOS, and in the past I have worked with Redux / TCA like architecture because I believe unidirectional data flow is the only way to have a good & robust architecture.

Thomas is a super smart fella and is worth a read. He’s the author of the excellent iOS Mastodon client, Ice Cubes. He’s done an amazing amount to work in the area of SwiftUI performance tuning. Give his piece a read.

George Wright • BBC

Canada has issued a new travel warning to its LGBT citizens planning to visit the United States.

This doesn’t surprise me. Our nation, as a whole, has taken so many steps backwards. Most of the nation wants to move forward but the GOP wants to take us back. They hate women and want them to stay home and be baby making machines, they want to exterminate trans folks, they’re racist, and they’d like to destroy the planet in the name of capitalism.

Meanwhile the sane people want healthcare for all, would like to see an educated America, let the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities exist and be first class citizens, amongst other things.

The choice has always been easy for me. I believe in people and want the best for everyone. We’re all so much better off being a diverse nation.

Sam Gold •

SwiftUI is really good. (Stop booing me, I’m right.) However, there comes a time when you may look at your app and think, “this reeks of SwiftUI.” System-provided list layouts, the same typography, the same colors as every other app.

It’s always been a bit hacky to do a good job of theming an iOS App. Especially if you want to support dynamic text in your app, which you most definitely should.

I’m always on the lookout for articles that try to solve this problem.

This article isn’t about that as much as it’s about how to make your app shine in multiple ways.


Managers should not use the budget cuts as an “explanation” for compensation decisions for individual employees and instead should emphasize that the employee’s own “impact” determines “rewards.”

This guidance feels so scummy. Just say you had to do because of budget cuts. Sure, folks will be pissed off they’re missing their raise because of the cuts but do you think allowing them to believe they didn’t get a raise because of their lack of performance is better?

Maybe the goal is to get people to quit? If that is the goal, I think this is a good way to do it. Nice work.

Xe Iaso

WebAssembly is a compiler target for an imaginary CPU that your phones, tablets, laptops, gaming towers and even watches can run. It’s intended to be a level below JavaScript to allow us to ship code in maintainable languages.

I love they this article uses the term imaginary CPU. That imaginary CPU is a computer program that interprets the WebAssembly and executes it on your particular platform. Yes, in almost all cases, it’s going to be a JavaScript runtime.

If you’d like to learn more about WebAssembly you should read the official docs but I’d also encourage you to read my colleagues work on the subject. I’ve mentioned Nish Tahir before. The man’s pretty much a genius and can make a computer do anything he wants with any language. Oh, he can also handle DevOps as well as anyone. A real glue engineer if ever there was one. WillowTree is really lucky to have him.

Tiny Apple Core