URL encoding an NSString on iOS

I’ve been working on an iPhone app for the last few weeks, which I’ve really enjoyed. Every now and again, though, you hit what seems like a bug in the iOS SDK.

 This seems to happen much more frequently than it ever did when I was coding in C#. As a result, my default debugging approach – that any problem with my app must be my fault rather than something in the framework – has shifted slightly. I’m now much more likely to question the framework itself, and with a quick Google search it’s common to find other developers who have experienced the same problem.

Here’s one that bit me recently. NSString has a method calledstringByAddingPercentEscapesUsingEncoding, which purports to make the string safe for use, say, as a parameter to a URL. There are several characters that are reserved in parameters toURLs – for example the slash character, or the ampersand, because these are characters that are used to delimit the URL itself. Therefore we encode these, and this is done using the percent encoding scheme.

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Customer development: a few tools and resources (or how to become an excellent stalker)

Following on from Justin’s post last week on the empty hamburger dilemma, I’ve been doing some research into what tools and resources are out there on customer development, and who’s using them. 

Unsurprisingly, it’s the usual suspects who have been putting this methodology into practice: start ups and the people advising them. As Justin pointed out, it doesn’t look like this approach has been adopted by agency land yet, primarily because their source of dollar is the client not the customer, which tends to derail their priorities.

But how can we take some of the lessons that have been learned and implemented by the start up community and apply them to the agency worldview? Here’s a few thoughts pulled together from what other people are already doing.

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Vote for our SXSWi panel suggestions

Made by Many has an opportunity — actually, three — to host panel discussions at South by Southwest Interactive Festival in March 2011, but we need your votes to make it happen.

We attended SXSWi 2010 en masse and absolutely loved it — the people, the networking, the keynotes, the panels and the tequila. By bringing together a huge number of creative, freakishly intelligent people SXSWi acts as a sort of ideas incubator for our industry.

The sessions delegates attend set the tone of the year to come: they raise the issues we talk about and tease out the problems we try to solve. The best sessions kick off conversations that lead to technical innovations, new ways of working, unexpected collaborations and all kinds of general awesomeness. Hosting a panel discussion is an opportunity to start some of those conversations.

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Would the real John Hegarty please stand up

About a week ago (August 5th) a new Twitter account appeared. Nothing strange in that. But this one belonged to John Hegarty, Worldwide Creative Director of BBH. The BBH whose offices we share.

His account accumulated over a thousand followers in a matter of hours as word spread that one of the most well known ad agency creatives in the world had joined Twitter.

However, within a day or so people began to suspect that this wasn’t the real deal. The language was poor and the tweeted quotes hackneyed. “Not the language of Hegarty” people cried via Twitter.

On Monday night I tweeted that I was unfollowing the account. The 1990s management speak and trite ‘creative’ blatherings were too much. This was obviously an imposter. And I think I know who it is…On Monday night I tweeted that I was unfollowing the account. The 1990s management speak and trite ‘creative’ blatherings were too much. This was obviously an imposter. And I think I know who it is…

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