WWDC 2014: Philosophy is the “Golden formula”

The creators of the first iPhone was tormented by doubts. Even when all began to seem very good when his show was received with a standing ovation and it became a major topic in the media, doubts does not leave them even for a minute. Vivid take-off, a minute (or two) of glory and delight, and… zilch. The fate of most sensations, including in the world of digital arts. Remember NeXTcube? Remember iCube? Lessons cost Steve dearly, but if not for them the fate of the iPhone could be just that.

One of the discoveries Steve was the “Golden formula” that determines the ideal size of a mobile device with a touch interface in accordance with the dimensions and physiological properties of the human hand.

In this formula, everything was right, only one bad moment was missed. Instead of reason, the public (i.e., crowd) is driven by emotions. Her desire is irrational. She doesn’t need amenities, it is unreasonable for the atoms need to stand out from the background. And paid mobile Orgy they.

The formula lasted until the iPhone 4s, then she had to change. The fact that it came on her shift and made his debut together with the iPhone 5, let’s call the “silver formula”. She lived, and confirmed the unwillingness of the current philosophy to more other dimensions.

Imagine how happy iOS developers when they had to redo the application, which, with faith in the promises of Apple, the screen size is considered a constant. And asked the coordinates of the display elements directly. The iPhone 4s it worked. Hell, gnashing of teeth, moaning. Was.

The development environment was developed taking into account the “Golden formula”. That is, to changes in the sizes of the devices it was not adapted at all. The iPad had its own formula, almost not related to the formula for the iPhone. Instead of automatically reallocate on-screen items in their designated space, it was necessary to develop an interface for iPhone and iPad separately.

This is a continuation of a series about WWDC 2014, previous parts here:

First part: WWDC 2014: Apple’s 25th WWDC;
Second part: WWDC 2014: Remembering QuickDraw 3D;
Third part: WWDC 2014: Metal is a very seriously;
The fourth part: WWDC 2014: Swift;
Fifth part: WWDC 2014: Continuity (Continuity);
Sixth part: WWDC 2014: Purgatory cancelled.

The life and death of the Golden formula

This approach had real advantages: the interfaces are designed for larger spaces used wisely, the results were amazing. Apple spoke of this circumstance as another major victory.

But the raging ocean of emotion (the audience) are being increasingly demanded of devices with large screen sizes, and competitors happily walked towards the audience. In 2013, it became clear that even from the “silver formula” will have to give. In the end, she is a legacy of Steve jobs, but not a dogma.

And not to repeat the hell of hell and the gnashing of teeth, and now had to change not only the height (in portrait orientation), but all at once, and even in two variants, the escape routes from their positions began to prepare in advance. In the spring or summer of 2013.

Before Luke Hestermann, engineering project Manager, set the task: “best to keep the negative effects to minimize, to turn iOS interface with an adaptive interface in the industry.” Tasks with no solutions is exactly what these psychos (Apple engineers) went to work at the company. 2 Jun 2014 in the second half of the day, what they did was first presented to the participants of WWDC 2014.

Then, in detail, with examples, the mysteries of the “new philosophy” revealed to them in a dozen sessions devoted to Adaptability (adaptability, ability to adapt). To replace gold and silver formulas in iOS 8, came a philosophy of adaptability, because of what Luke Hesterman compared the scale of the changes in iOS 8 SDK with scale creating SDK in 2008.

According to the law of evolution

If Steve was still in charge of the company (in the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors, but it does not change anything), it would change the philosophy personally. He would not miss the opportunity to beautifully and convincingly confirm the intellectual superiority of the Apple, Recalling that natural selection kept alive organisms who are best able to adapt to changing conditions.

And no matter how powerful was not the dinosaurs that reigned on the planet hundreds of millions of years, the law of evolution did not spare even them.

After learning about the statement of Luke Hesterman, the experts considered an indicator of the scale of iOS 8 the numbers: 4,000 new API (record many), and perhaps even more the number of API declared deprecated in iOS 8 (another record). But Luke was referring to the change of the philosophy of the SDK, the shift of emphasis and a new era in the history of iOS.

But Steve was not. No one audience explained.

Everything was

Before iOS 8, the software tools to respond to the resize was already working in Android and Windows Phone. The number of device sizes on these platforms has long exceeded all conceivable limits. Customers liked it, they pay for it, and in 2014 or 2015, getting to work (and in the subway, something happened, burned some cables, and had to go to a crowded trolleybus 27) the man in front of me pressed to the ear unit the size of a small entrenching shovel, and told the chief he would be late.

His hand was huge, but even for him, as I thought this trick was not easy. But his face glowed with pride for himself and for his digital friend.

And to make life easier for developers, the screen elements on these devices just moved away from each other.

The philosophy of adaptation to changing conditions allows you to apply old recipes to new conditions, focusing not on the device type and its orientation, and the whole system of relations between objects of several classes to make the right decisions.

The first reaction to the Adaptability of the experts from the “other side” was not Apple’s claims of theft. They were amazed at the complexity invented, predicted the unworkability of such a system. I wasn’t far wrong – there were lots of problems.

But they, as usual, underestimated the mental inadequacy of Apple engineers. Jacob Xiao, one of the leading developers of a new philosophy, presented several important aspects that transcendent plain English & incredibly meticulously. Listening to him I believe that they can.

As one would expect, the mechanism to work, but without fail, was not. Prior to his debut was three and a half months, officially registered iOS developers tried this mechanism in field conditions and in complete secrecy (nondisclosure agreement not a thing, sanctions for violations of fierce), reported the found bugs. With each new beta version of the mechanism fell less, and in the last beta, in my opinion, it has worked perfectly. The release of the iPhone with unusual sizes, everything was ready.

Technical details about Adaptability, I have set aside for the future. Someday, when I get my hands on, I will write about them. I don’t know when.

To be continued

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