Thinking outside of the box

:  ~ 1 min read

Recently, I stumbled upon a small problem: we have a product details controller which calls a factory method that creates a view with a few UITextViews that detect a website, a phone, and an address, respectively, but the latter was not working reliably. Said method only needs the product object to be passed in to properly create the view.

One simple solution would have been to also pass the controller as the target, and a local method as the selector, replace the UITextView with a button, set its title to the address and its target & action to the passed in params. Then, inside the product det […]

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Swift mirroring

:  ~ 1 min read

I recently added some tests to LTHRadioButton, and I gave mirroring a try, something I always wanted to do. What's mirroring? As Apple puts it, it's a representation of the sub-structure and optional "display style" of any arbitrary subject instance.

Benedikt has a really nice and comprehensive post about it, so I'll just very shortly cover the children of a mirror. What are children? All the properties of an object, no matter if they are public, internal, or private. And this is where mirroring becomes interesting, and powerful: you can get access to the private / internal properties of an obje […]

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Slightly easier Core Data manipulation

:  ~ 1 min read

Working with Core Data is getting easier and easier, but there are a couple of improvements I'd like to talk about, and I'd like to start with the auto-generated, generic NSFetchRequest. It's a step in the right direction, but the problem is that trying to use it without explicitly declaring its type won't work:

let request = ProductModel.fetchRequest() // <- Ambiguous use of fetchRequest().
let request1: NSFetchRequest<ProductModel> = ProductModel.fetchRequest() // <- Works properly.

I do hope it's just a matter of time until it's solved, but in the meantime, I thought it can be improved a bit […]

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:  ~ 1 min read

I was in need of a radio button recently, and it had to be designed like a Google Material Design radio button. Nothing too fancy, but I wanted to spice it up a little bit, by adding a nice animation. The idea was to:

This is the result:

The library repo can be found here, and it […]

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Adding string attributes slightly easier

:  ~ 1 min read

Say we have a composed string that looks like this:

let date = "22 July, 2017"
let value = "€ 148"
let quantity = 5
let string = "\(quantity) of your items, in value of \(value), have been delivered on \(date)."
// 5 of your items, in value of € 148, have been delivered on 22 July, 2017.

It would be nice to emphasise the important bits, and the usual approach would be to create an NSMutableAttributedString, and to add the required attributes:

let attributedString = NSMutableAttributedString(
  string: string,
  attributes: [
      NSFontAttributeName: UIFont.systemFont(ofSize: 14)
      NSForegroun […]

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Combining protocols

:  ~ 1 min read

Let's say we have a controller that can fetch some data. What would this imply? A loading spinner, the fetching of the data and the update of the UI. We can create a protocol for this, maybe Fetchable:

protocol Fetchable {
  func showSpinner()
  func fetchData()
  func updateUI()
class Controller: UIViewController, Fetchable {
  // showSpinner, fetchData and updateUI are required

But showing a spinner and updating the UI could be useful by themselves, so we could extract those into separate protocols:

protocol Loadable {
  func showSpinner()

protocol Fetchable {
  func fetchData( […]

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Queueing up async jobs

:  ~ 1 min read

I recently had this problem: at the start of the app there's a call to fetch some reference data, on which other calls depend, but it shouldn't hinder the app launch itself, nor anything else that doesn't depend on it. So, after several approaches, I decided to use DispatchGroups.

First, a struct to abstract a DispatchQueue and a DispatchGroup:

struct Queue {

  let group = DispatchGroup()
  let queue: DispatchQueue

  init(label: String) {
    queue = DispatchQueue(label: label)


This class should have a way to add a closure to the queue, that won't require waiting, basically just abst […]

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[NJS] Creating a new post

:  ~ 1 min read

Last post in the series is about creating a new post. This wasn't really needed, since the whole point of having my blog in Dropbox was to use any markdown editor I desire, save the file, run the sync command, and have it live, but for the sake of learning, I went ahead and added this feature too.

First, the routes:

router.get("/create/" + process.env.MY_SYNC_KEY, function(req, res) {
  res.render("create-post", {
    title: "Create",
    metadata: "Create a post"
})"/create", function(req, res) {
  if (req.params.token != process.env.MY_SYNC_KEY) { res.redirect("/"); return }
  const b […]

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[NJS] Dropbox syncing

:  ~ 5 min read

For Dropbox handling I chose a pretty small library, node-dropbox. To use it, I went in Dropbox's developer dashboard and created an access token (instead of using secrets and keys) and saved that in my .env. Then onto the helper:

const dropbox = require('node-dropbox').api(process.env.ACCESS_TOKEN)

function Dropbox() {}

Dropbox.getFolder = function(path) {
  return new Promise(function(resolve) {
    // This will get all the metadata for each file from the folder.
    dropbox.getMetadata(path, function(error, result, folder) {
      if (error) {
        console.log('Getting ' + path + ' fai […]

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[NJS] Database handling #3

:  ~ 1 min read

Last time we created a basic database handling functionality, but it was clear we can improve it: posts aren't the only ones that need fetching, and requiring the dbconfig file everywhere (and configuring the object) will become cumbersome. So, a first step would be to create specialized DbConfig objects: = function(page) {
  const  config = new DbConfig()
  config.offset = config.limit * (page - 1)

  return config
} = function(link) {
  const config       = new DbConfig()
  config.fields      = ['link']
  config.fieldValues = [link]
  config.limit       = 1

  re […]

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