It has been a long time - exactly nine months, in fact - but in the middle of the night a new version of Podcast Chapters got approved and released by Apple. Best of all, it actually includes a useful feature users have asked for: If you quit the app by accident, all text you entered will be saved, and when you re-open the app you can drag in your mp3 file, apply the saved data, and continue where you left off.
There are many things which could improve this little system, but the thing which really hit me as I was developing this was that Podcast Chapters should probably be a document-based app, where you can have multiple windows, work on multiple podcast episodes at once, and so on. I think a lot of what I just did would come for free, plus undo management and a whole lot more I am not even thinking of yet.
But that is not a project I would just start without doing quite a bit of research. I have a feeling proper research and planning can make the difference between a surprisingly smooth and quick change, and one which just drags on forever, introducing bugs and strangeness all over the place. And it is a classic situation where much of the individual things a rewrite would give me are pretty straightforward to solve in a basic way. Not that elegant, not that flexible, not as full-featured, but completely workable for what they do and a solid benefit to the app.
On the idea list it goes.
I try very hard not to create any musts or shoulds out of Podcast Chapters, I want working on it to be fun. Firing up Xcode and figuring out the things in this update was just that: fun. It makes me want to do more. Play more with code, as we discussed in an upcoming episode of Kodsnack. There has to be coding equivalents of doodling or writing short blog posts that I could do.
Now, the app is still apparently set to use Swift 3, with a prominent unsupported written next to the number. I wonder how much things will break when I bump that up to 5 …