Never did a bite of dog food taste so sweet

Programmers use the rather unfortunately coined term ‘eating your own dog food’ to describe using the software products they build for others in the course of their own day to day work.  The idea is that, if you use it, you will make it better.

Well, I have just installed the first version of PasswordRN on my own iPod touch and begun entering passwords in it.  And I immediately found one small thing I didn’t care for in the implementation.  Success!!!!!  ‘A good test finds defects.’

Less pleasing is the fact that it has taken me at least a dozen hours of hard work over the course of a week or more to go from a perfectly well written, finished software project on the MacBook to an installed app on my own iPod.  Sheesh.  Yuck.  Blergh.  TOO HARD!!!!!

Apple wants all apps for the iPhone platforms (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) to be distributed through the app store.  The system they provide for distributing a new app to a limited number of devices for testing, called ad hoc distribution, is almost beyond belief in how byzantine and brittle it is.  I had it working once, this afternoon, at 2pm after about 4 hours of work on this my fourth attempt.  Then, I checked the project into source code control, swapped in a new .png file for an obsolete one, rebuilt, and suddenly, I was in for five more hours of pounding my head against monitors.

I did get it installing and running again, did change a line or two of code, and did see it build and re-install once more on just the next attempt.  That makes three installs in one long, long day but at least the last two attempts worked.  Maybe I am now officially on a roll.  I SHOULD commit my changes to source code control again but not tonight.   “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

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