Thursday, January 30, 2014

Announcing SVGgh - A library for rendering SVG in iOS

I've spent the last several days putting the finishing touches on open-sourcing my code for rendering SVG: SVGgh. This is the first time I've put anything public up on GitHub, and I hope my fellow developers can find it and make use of it. It's under MIT license, so I expect there will be no problems using it in your projects or extending it for your own uses, or even just as a tutorial for understanding Core Graphics or Core Text.

Here are a few highlights:

  1. SVGDocumentView - A view to replace UIImageView with a nice, crisp, re-scaleable SVG image. Configurable from a Storyboard or nib.
  2. GHButton - A UIControl button which can draw a nice chrome appearance, and have an embedded SVG icon.
  3. SVGRenderer - A class capable of rendering an SVG into a CGContextRef, so if you wanted to convert an SVG to a PDF or some bitmap format, that would be doable. 
Limitations:
  1. It doesn't do everything in the SVG spec. No animations, SVG Fonts, filter effects.
  2. It has code that needs some bug fixing. Just today, I realized my gradients weren't working properly with entities that had a transform attribute set.  But in general, I've been using this code for over a year in my own apps and it's been fine. 
  3. It's not necessarily the best code for making an editor.
I've cleaned the code like crazy the last couple days. Renaming classes, cleaning up parameters, adding Doxygen style header comments, and moving code around to have better organization. It should be in good shape for others to just pop in and use. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Signal GH app Reviewed by Solid Signal Blog

One of the multitude of problems with alerting potential users to my apps is getting independent reviews, and when an app requires special hardware, as is the the case with my Signal GH app to monitor the signal quality of over the air digital TV streams, that problem is multiplied. So I eMailed Stuart Sweet, the author of the Solid Signal Blog, if he'd review my app if I were to ship him my own HDHomerun, and he kindly agreed. He was also agreed to ship it back, I paid for all this Fed-exing, which he promptly did; thankfully my wife gets a good deal on shipping. Luckily, between Christmas and New Years, there isn't much on broadcast TV, and my other single tuner HDHomerun was able to grab all but 2 shows I'd otherwise have watched.

And he gave it a positive review, saying  "This app is a total must-have for the HD HomeRun user...". so the trouble was well worth it.

The near-irony here is that as a top-500 Amazon reviewer, I get requests nearly daily to review someone's gadget, iPhone case, or book and I nearly always refuse due to either time constraints, the fact that I don't review novels, or not feeling comfortable taking something that I might have to slam in my review. (I have no problems slamming products I get through Amazon's own Vine program, as I don't get those directly from the manufacturer.)

Anyway, thanks to Stuart for taking the trouble to review Signal GH in his fine blog.
 
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