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Up Front

Your Own Devices

by Michael Swaine

Generic image illustrating the article

Developing for iPhone or other mobile platforms can give you flashbacks to an earlier era of programming. Eric Smith says in this issue that it reminds him of a previous life writing C and C++ code on Windows. So now that mobile devices seem to have become the center of the software development universe, don’t you need all the development tools and paradigms that you’ve come to depend on in your computer software development work? Sure you do. In this issue we reveal a bounty of tools and techniques for TDD and BDD and MakingYourLifeEasierDD app development for iPhone.

Eric jumps right into iPhone Test-Driven Development with an article that will convince you that, by golly, it can be done. Rob Holland spins off from an article Ian Dees wrote for us last year and shows how iCuke can make Behavior-Driven Development (almost) easy for iPhone. And Daniel Steinberg reveals some really useful features of the brand-new iOS 4 that are not really new, but have come to iPhone for the first time.

At this point you’re muttering to yourself, “What’s with all the iPhone stuff? Has PragPub become an iPhone-only magazine? What about Android? Are you giving up on computer application development? And while I have your attention, are you ever going to write about Groovy?”

OK, you need to stop muttering. First, we’re going to continue to cover all the platforms, languages, and subjects we’ve been covering up to now; this issue just took on an iPhone theme as it came together. Second, the other people in Starbucks are beginning to stare at you.

And by the way, our lead article is not about iPhone, but about a smaller device that may also give you flashbacks: the Arduino Single-Board Computer. I dunno about you, but I’ve always been a software-only guy, not that comfortable with a soldering iron—but this device makes me want to build something. It calls to mind Steve Ciarcia’s “Circuit Cellar” column in the early Byte magazine. Maik Schmidt walks you through a simple project and makes it clear how easy it would be to build all sorts of devices with this cool tool. The possibilities, as they used to say back in those Circuit Cellar days, are limited only by your imagination.

Also in this issue: Dan Wohlbruck’s article on ARPAnet is another kind of flashback, Andy Lester helps you build your geek disaster preparedness kit, John Shade reviews movies, plus there’s the Quiz, the events Calendar, and Choice Bits from the Twitterstream.

And yes, we do plan to write about Groovy.