Tim Duncan Western Conference Player of the Week jussayin.
I’ve made some promising headway into my final project, and although the steps seem small, I am fairly proud of them. One must keep pounding the rock to make it crack, as they say.
For the past couple of weeks my task has been to figure out how to store the list in my to-do list app on the device, and I’ve finally worked through the process of reading/writing files in Objective-C. For a while, my lack of direction led me down some interesting but not-useful paths as I tried to figure out the way to retain a list, or array, or something that would exist once the app closed. It seems simple to me now, thinking in terms of file reading & writing, but feeling around in the dark for a bit was somewhat disorienting.
The tool I finally found was a slap-on-the-forehead obvious one: I returned to the Objective-C tutorial on Lynda.com. Of course Lynda would be my guiding light here. But it seems that I’d become so wrapped up in Xcode that I’d forgotten how little I actually knew of the language I was working with. And of course, it’s nothing all that difficult.
After attempting to look at class creation, and revisiting segues for useless amounts of time, I finally discovered Chapter 9 of Simon Allardice’s Essential Training in Objective-C, which looks at File Management. These four short videos gave me the hugely powerful tools that I’ll be working off of for the rest of my project: reading and editing text stored in a file on the device. I practiced alongside his work on strings, editing and displaying them in the experimental app that I currently have going, although I think the video I’ll find most useful and will return to most is the one on archiving objects and creating property lists with keys.
It makes the most sense to me to use keys and property lists to story to-do list items, because I can continue to build on the properties of each item as I make the app more complex, and give the user more options in terms of descriptive data for each item. Playing around with property lists was slightly more complex than reading strings from text files and appending strings to the files, but I now feel empowered to really make this app work in the fundamental way I envisioned it. Yes, it’s a very basic aspect of coding, but I still feel proud at these moments. And that’s really what it’s all about, right? The pure joy of figuring it out and making something work? That feeling of empowerment to accomplish a task and solve a problem?
My next task is to determine the essential structure of the app I want to continue with, specifically in terms of the list display. It seems very simple to use a label and display text, or even an array, but I’m also thinking about using a table view controller that populates with an array, that can then hold notes and dates and values within the properties of each item.
I also need to figure out how the counter element will work in whatever context I end up with, because I still want to somehow gameify the app even if that just means a simple score kept for checked-off list items. But honestly, even though all of these pieces are complex in their own way, I feel totally empowered to figure them out. I’d forgotten the feeling of crossing that border between total stupefied powerlessness and comprehension, and it feels good. And even if it’s just for this brief moment in the broader timeline of the project, I will enjoy it for all it is.