Week Beginning 17th July 2017

This was my first week back after a very relaxing two weeks of holiday, and in fact Monday this week was a holiday too so it was a bit of a short week.  I spent some time doing the usual catching up with emails and issues that had accumulated in my absence, including updating access rights for the SciFiMedHums site, investigating an issue with some markers not appearing on the atlas for SCOSYA, looking into an issue that Luca had emailed me about, fixing some typos on the Woolf short story site and speaking to the people at the KEEP archive about hosting the site, and giving some feedback on the new ARIES publicity materials.  I also spent the best part of a day on AHRC review duties.

On Tuesday I met with Kirsteen McCue and her RA Brianna Robertson about a new project that is starting up about romantic national song.  The project will need a website and some sort of interactive map so we met to discuss this.  Kirsteen was hoping I’d be able to set up a site similar to the Burns sites I’ve done, but as I’m no longer allowed to use WordPress this is going to be a little difficult.  We’re going to try and set something up within the University’s T4 structure, but it might not be possible to get something working the way Kirsteen was hoping for.  I sent a long email to the University’s Web Team asking for advice and hopefully they’ll get back to me soon.

I spent the rest of the week returning to App development.  I’m going to be working on a new version of the ARIES app soon, so I thought it would be good to get everything up to date before this all starts up.  As I expected, since I last did any app development all the technical stuff has changed – a new version of Apache Cordova, new dependencies, new software to install, updates to XCode, a new requirement to install Android Studio etc etc.  Getting all of this infrastructure set up took quite a bit of time, especially the installation of a new piece of required software called ‘Cocoabeans’ that took an eternity to set up.

With all this in place I then focussed on creating the app version of ‘The Basics of English Metre’, which is a task that has been sitting in my ‘to do’ list for many months now.  I managed to create the required iOS and Android versions and installed them on my devices for testing.  All appeared to be working fine so I then set to work creating all of the files that are necessary to actually publish the App online.  I started with the iOS version.  This required the creation of 14 icon files and 10 launch screen images, which was a horrible tedious task.  I then needed to create several screenshots of the App store., which required getting screenshots from an iPad Pro (which I don’t have).  Thankfully XCode has an iOS simulator, which you can use to boot up your app and get screenshots.  However, although the simulator was working for the app earlier in the week, when I came to take the screenshots the app build just kept on failing when deploying to the simulator.  Rather strangely, the app would build just fine when deploying to me actual iPad, and also when building to an Archive file for submission to the store.  I spent ages trying to figure out what the problem was, but just couldn’t get to the bottom of it.  In the end I had to create a new version of the app, and this thankfully worked, so I guess there was some sort of conflict or corruption in the code for the first version.  With this out of the way I was able to take the screenshots, complete the App Store listings, upload my app file and submit the app for inclusion.  I managed to get this done on Friday afternoon so hopefully sometime next week the app will be available for download.  I didn’t have time to complete and submit the Android version of the app, so this is what I’ll focus on at the start of next week.