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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

iOS developer woes

I am working on a new iPad program. It will allow an anesthesiologist at a facility to shift around the appointments of the providers in his group. Scheduled surgeries run late and there are a variety of other reasons to shift things about.

I got back into the CGContext side of programming under iOS and have the time margin, row headers and basic grid painting up and running. I wanted to see how this looked on the physical device before I got much farther along. Not allowed.

My iPad has been updated to iOS 5.1x. I am targeting iOS 5.0x but since the iPad has received the OTA updates it is past that. You are not allowed to get the iOS 5.1x SDK without Xcode 4.3.x and you are not allowed to get Xcode 4.3.x without Lion.

A couple of things stink here. Before Apple moved Xcode to the App Store you could download the DMG file and extract the iOS 5.1.x SDK files and use them with Xcode 4.2.x. That is no longer the case. In fact it appears you need to uninstall Xcode 4.2 before you install 4.3 as the new install directory is App Store based and not developer based like it was before.

Reviews of Xcode 4.3 are not glowing. Appears to be more crash happy than 4.2. Xcode has always been a flaky IDE but it is the only one in town. Yes you can use AppCode from IntelliJ but you still need Xcode installed for debugging and Interface Builder.

We need to upgrade to Lion but that is silly to do when Mountain Lion is due out in a week for $20. That means I need to wait but there will probably be an onslaught of others upgrading at the same time and it will not be a small download. Servers will be hit hard and heavy.

Xcode is a massive download at 1.43g but am I allowed to get that now? No, the App Store will not allow me to download that since I don't have Lion. I will have to fully upgrade before I can start the next monster download. This is going to take multiple days with me leaving the laptop on overnight for downloads. I can't queue things up either.

I think this will be my order of execution:
Uninstall Xcode 4.2
Upgrade to Mountain Lion
Install Xcode 4.3 from App Store
Hope all my projects still work, Mountain Lion is stable and Xcode is not super crash happy.

I could downgrade my iPad to iOS 5.0 to do my testing. That would work as a temp solution but it is not my iPad, it is used by QA and Technical Writing. Since the update is OTA and it will ask about it there is a very strong chance it will be updated again once it is off my desk for a few minutes.

I just hope nothing goes wrong during all these changes. I was using VNC on my PC to do Mac programming. It is my understanding that VNC is rather broken under Lion and I have not heard that they addressed that under Mountain Lion. My whole development environment is being turned upside down.