Mac OS X and iOS include support for JSON and property lists, two generic structured data formats, both in common use in different places. If Stack Overflow is any indication, there's a fair amount of confusion regarding the two. It's true, they're very similar, so much that it's tempting to think the differences are merely syntax choices. In some cases it's possible to read data from one format and write it to the other as-is, with no conversion. But not always. JSON isn't a property list and a property list isn't JSON, but they do have a lot in common. Both of these are generic data formats, in that they're designed to be flexible enough to store structured data for a wide variety of uses. For any given use, neither is likely to be the…

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“Don’t you just turn on iCloud syncing, and it all Just Works?”

“Just works” might be the customer experience; but developers must do more to support iCloud (or any new OS technology) than simply flipping a switch. Things can go wrong, and they often do.

Rich gets into a lot more technical detail than most of the other iCloud coverage that's come out recently.

I'm way too familiar with the technical issues described there for comfort.

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As some of you know, I've spent a lot of time over the past year working with iCloud in Mac and iOS apps. Specifically, working with Core Data's built-in support for iCloud. I'm going to be doing a series of blog posts covering iCloud in various ways. Today I'm going to start off with an overview covering how iCloud is supposed to work with Core Data and a little about how it actually works in practice. This is an overview, a starting point. Nearly everything here should be read as having an invisible parenthetical "(more on this to come)". My focus Even though iCloud has been out for a while, there still seems to be a fair amount of confusion on the question of what it is. After seeing comments made at The Verge's article about iCloud I…

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Once upon a time Apple would announce dates for their World-Wide Developer Conference and those of us who were interested would calmly begin planning our trip. The only urgency came from making sure to buy a ticket in time to get the earlybird price. Those were the days. Now, the announcement of WWDC dates triggers a mad rush to buy tickets before they're gone. Don't hesitate, don't think, or the decision is made for you. Last year tickets were gone in less than an hour. Marcus Zarra tells the story from a couple of years ago of buying a ticket on his iPad while waiting in line at passport control while returning to the USA from NSConference. That seems a little nuts except that if he'd waited until a more convenient time there wouldn't…

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After far too long I'm rebooting this site to bring it up to date, in a variety of ways. Partly to bring the content up to something reasonably recent. For the past few years I've worked as an iOS and Mac OS X contract developer for a variety of clients. Atomic Bird is not at present a Mac app developer, so there's no reason for the site to be designed as if it were. As a result of this, all of Atomic Bird's Mac titles are now discontinued and can be downloaded for free. For details see our Mac apps page. The new site will be primarily a blog aimed at iOS and Mac OS X software developers. The other part of the update was a much-needed rebuilding of the software stack that drives the site. Until recently the site was driven using an ancient…

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