Undiplomatic UIKonf 2015 Retrospection


I was in Berlin. At UIKonf 2015. My first UIKonf. Just some links and ideas before they fade from memory… Trigger warning: I always have a strong opinion on things and little time/energy left to rephrase them in a diplomatic way. …and one thing before I start: I really liked the UIKonf experience. Very well organized, great location, easy to navigate in Berlin, awesome social events, interesting insights into our community. I really enjoyed it!

Mike Lee

First talk by Mike Lee was about our future on Earth. He actually did something marvelous, he transformed a scientific paper into a keynote presentation which communicated the content of the paper in just 30 minutes to people usually not used to deal with science everyday. That is awesome! At the same time this keynote shows the gap between the issues we right now deal with and solve as a developer and the issues we maybe should care about and solve to rescue our planetary existence.

Mike Lee at UIKonf 2015

Source: List of UIKonf Videos 2015

A paper about Human-Nature Interaction in World Modeling with Modelica as PDF (Depublizierungsschutz). There are more publications available on the „Principles of Object-Oriented Modeling and Simulation with Modelica“ which was used to model the world after the research results of the Club of Rome. It’s also interesting to give www.donellameadows.org a visit. Mike’s talk actually had the most impact on me.

Reminded me of this…

Source: ink361.com


Source: sustainablehuman.com


Source: Movie Avatar/Pandora

…and this…

Source: evogeneao.com

Exkursion: Don’t panic!

If you prefer to listen to some Don’t panic!-talks by Hans Rosling which focus on one single variable instead of interconnected complexity, please do so, but please consider reading the news and check how Hans Rosling does very elegantly manipulate you to think everything will be okay by using his extraordinary presentation skills.

logarithmic manipulation

I pretty much dislike tricking people by using log-scaled values to actually make gaps vanish, but maybe the name „gapminder“ is basically telling truth about what they actually do. I once really adored Hans Rosling for his extraordinary communication skills to explain & entertain at the same time. But I slowly feel he just started loving his own graphs and the beauty of graphs more than the truth they are telling. Especially when he log-scales the income, he intentionally hides inequality and that is a very unsocial perspective. But Rosling does opportunistically switch scales if it helps him making a point.

Switching scales like you need

Here he just switches to a linear scale (or completely leaves out any scale at all) to display that airplane traffic uses up half the fossil fuels burned. Had he used a log-scale here, to also hide the inequality he never would have been able to make his point clear. But actually the linear scale here tells the truth. Ask yourself, why he doesn’t use it for the comparison of the income.

But back to UIKonf

…the other talks which touched me in short words and sentences…

…following stuff to be continued, extended & updated soon…

Tom Adriaenssen

Do it asynchronously without rocket science… and profit. I really loved this talk.

This is a standard problem every developer faces: Loading data and asynchronously updating the UI. Even Apple fails often and miserably at this in their own apps. Tom presented a standard solution to be applied to it. That is much more than I expected. Great to see a solution to this well known problem. Now I just need to get to know this solution to implement it.

Ash Furrow

That’s what I do, and it helped me, you might care too. This talk was well balanced and really stroke a chord in me. Since I blog for over 10 years now, I found this was really was a talk telling truth. My blog was always more a private repo in the public than a business tool but well… maybe I just are bad in business. Who knows! But actually if I can choose between stackoverflow and a blog I would always choose the blog.

Halle Winkler

How I do it and what I do not do anymore and how that allows me to make a living… still on the edge. This was a developer closest to my own situation. I would not call myself an „Indie“ though, I am a franchisee and my franchisor is called Apple Inc. Though my apps perform quite okay, I totally felt all the pain Halle was expressing in the talk. I have huge respect because I know how difficult that is to be on your own to keep up a business.

JP Simard

Attention / Trigger Warning: Warning issued above applies especially here!

It’s not Apple’s fault they introduced a language without the proper tools being available it’s just pretty straight forward you know. It’s your fault not fixing it. Community. Community. Community. Do what I do. Community. Community. Look I do it. Community. Community. Though no one will pay you and Apple is a profit oriented company avoiding risk at all costs, you should go full risk, risk the time of your life to be sherlock’d by Apple and fix Apple’s bugs. Because you know, Community, Community, Community. We are *not* profit oriented like Apple, we are all idealistic and we love to fix the worlds problems right? Community, Community, Community. Do tools! Apple is great!

Marcel Weiher

We still did not make any progress in reusing software components after all those years.


I am a huge fan of Marcel Weiher, because of one single small app: PdfCompress 6.3.1 It is one tool of a kind I still use now for all those years. And it still solves problems for me when sending huge PDFs. I have huge respect for Marcel, because he is actually a part of my everyday work.

Graham Lee

Let’s do the time warp again! Those unwilling to learn are doomed to repeat history. Welcome to a new 20-year-repetition-loop in 2015.

All the slides

This is the same issue which happens to each conference always: „Do you have your slides anywhere online?“ Nowadays slides are no slides anymore… they are small amounts of data spilled all over the web. So from slideshare to speakerdeck to github, blogs, and everywhere else…

So I went into my HTML editor, scraped the table from the UIKonf website and then went to twitter and slack to research for all your slides and removed enthropy.

Oh and btw, here are the videos of UIKonf 2014 and the slides of UIKonf 2014.

UPDATE: All the videos from 2015

From the proposals the following talks were chosen.

Mike Lee World Modeling youtube
Natasha Murashev Swift Thinking slideshare
Eli Perkins Staters Gonna State github/pdf
Junior Bontognali Monads are not Monsters speakerdeck
Claus Höfele Practical WatchKit Development speakerdeck
Marcel Weiher Software Architecture in iOS and OS X applications github/pdf/keynote
Tom Adriaenssen Async View Controllers speakerdeck
JP Simard Fixing the Swift Tooling Problem speakerdeck
Ash Furrow Teaching and Learning speakerdeck
Halle Winkler Duct-taping the gates of chaos shut: the weird, little, useful, sustainable indie (by design) other/blog
Brian Gesiak iOS API Design: Swift Patterns speakerdeck
Joe Burgess Learning Swift Through Lessons in Haskell github/pdf
Chris Eidhof Functional View Controllers github/code
Hector Zarate iOS at Spotify: From Plan to Done youtube
Jens Ravens Functional Reactive Programming without Black Magic – Build your own ReactiveCocoa from scratch slideshare
Saniul Ahmed Prototyping Touch Interfaces (and my open-source story)
Maxim Cramer A Journey into Design speakerdeck
Graham Lee Object-Oriented Programming in Objective-C blog
Nick Lockwood React Native dropbox

Talks I would still like to listen to…

This is my favorite collection of talks which were not chosen from the cfp.

Others reflecting & new blogs


I really need to transition my wordpress installation to Ghost. It’s so much cleaner and really fresh compared to my dated non-responsive theme. But at the same time I would loose all the advantages of being able to write HTML in my posts. But being able to copy some HTML elsewhere and dropping it in my posts is essential for my work. Also writing in markup only is not favorite thing to do. So after having visited Ghost’s specs I think Ghost will not be the right direction to go. Maybe a better wordpress theme will be the better way to go…

Why do I blog this? Ash Furrow hold a really great talk about blogging at UIKonf. I really appreciated it a lot and was reminded of my own blog I now have for more than 10 years. So I just want to take some notes related to UIKonf.

I found it quite refreshing to set things into a perspective to the whole world. That is what Mike Lee did successfully. Many people may have disliked that, because it confronts them with an inconvenient truth derived from data. But that is why I liked it so much, it was an interruption to the business as usual happening in the software industry for years now.

I also liked the talk by Graham Lee a lot. Someone actually took the time to have a look back to where we started. Seeing how Apple will now repeat the same error again was worth the time travel back into the year 1995 (That was when I entered university).

I liked a lot of the talks but explicitly disliked the talk by JP Simard because in my humble opinion it was pure propaganda and Apple whitewashing. It was really hard for me to listen to this and upset me quite a lot.

I also disliked all the very code-centric talks about swift. Source code is not per se something that fits into a presentation. Reading and understanding code burdens the visitor with way above average attention and imagination under high pressure to do all this in a short period of time (the time the slide is visible). Usually it is not possible to process the code presented in this short timespan, especially if the speaker elaborated on this piece of code for weeks.

That is why I disliked all the swift talks. None of the swift talks I listened to, did emphasize a broader perspective. They all lost themselves into the details of the grammar of a new language. I would have really enjoyed a talk about „Mastering Transition“ from Obj-C to Swift, but nobody seems to care about this. though all developers in the room are actually living this transition right now.

Raving about language details this early in swift-language-history was completely lost time to me. The guys explaining monads? For me they are just winging it. IMHO, the really important things about swift were missing at UIKonf. If there wasn’t Graham Lee, I would have been completely disappointed by the talks taking care of the new language & paradigm dropped upon the developer community.

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