Mar 26

Today: 26-Mar-2009: Living on the iPhone for a day

Category: today

Today in Toowoomba is our show holiday where in theory we go to an overpriced agricultural show to look at animals and go on even more overpriced rides. As you can tell I am a great supporter of the event. I have attended as a child when I was less jaded however it has worn off I guess.

Instead I ended up with the girlfriend, her sister and husband and our housemate travelling to Brisbane for the day. This meant that I really spent a lot of time workng off my iPhone getting through my inbox and trying to get my backlog of blogs online.

The majority of my time has been spent using the WordPress iPhone application. Typing in landscape mode is a lot easier than the portrait mode however not so much faster than I would have hoped. Being in a car for a significant period of time typing was a bit more challenging as the car shakes so I’m not entirely sure if it is representative. What it would like is a time out for when I’m typing and miss the top row it doesn’t immediately shift the cursor but instead ignored the input and continued typing properly.

Another interesting effect that I managed to do was lock a particular post that I thought I had saved, even through restartng the application. I managed to unlock it by refreshing/rssyncing the post listing but it was still a bit of a worry and I wonder if I lost any data. It didn’t look like I did however I will never know. I’m not sure how I did it either so I can’t file a bug report though I might have a bit of an experiment. As most of the stuff I’m doing is already on my site I’m also doing online drafts not local drafts, which had interesting side effects as I moved in and out of coverage. If I didn’t have coverage I could open up an online draft from the list so obviously the syncing only gets a list of posts and not their actual content. It would be nice to have a mode where I can pick up the posts and copy them all down onto the phone and use it’s local storage.

Another annoyance of mime is that it won’t let me back date my posts on my phone. I can’t see any good reason for it and even worse it tries to reset the date to the current date on older posts you are working on. Even worse though was one post where I accidentally switched to the publish date screen and toyed with it a bit. My last extensive testing of this functionality was on the previous version of the WordPress software and I hadn’t seriously taken it to task under the newer version of the software. So I toyed with it for a while and then when I got bored of it not letting me set a date or time in the past (even a few minutes into the past seemed impossible) I gave up and returned to my post to find that it had been completely blanked with all of my local changes lost. I quit from the completely blank post and didn’t save it fearing it’d take even more with it and reopened to find all of my changes lost. But even worse just now whilst writing that section on my iPhone I hit save to store it back on the server. Strangely in this version there is some form of a background saving functionality (that also broke in my comments above and locked the post until I resynced) but if the saving the post fails for whatever reason then you lose your changes to your post. Major bummer! In my case I believe there was a temporary network issue to the server that my blog is hosted on that caused all active connections to it to be reset for some reason. The why is not so concerning as it went down temporarily and then came back up again, the issue is that the iPhone application shouldn’t have lost data. In fact the previous version would remain at the edit screen so any failures whilst saving would result in you being returned to your post with all of the information. There was one point where I actually retyped the post from my iPhone and I thought I was hard done by at that point, this makes it sound like a godsend.

I think that is enough ranting, now to go through and see how many posts I managed to write up properly and post them before I sleep.

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