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There are safety protocols in place that cannot be deactivated without the approval of two commanding officers or the captain to protect users of the Holodeck from potential harm. However, every time the Holodeck is ever used in a nontrivial manner, no matter what the safety protocols say, the Holodeck turns into a deathtrap.

Unless you believe yourself to be adept at constructing a forcefield from your communicator and 19th century Earth tools, or you're at the very least not wearing a red shirt, you are strongly advised not to attempt to use the Holodeck until a designer comes up with a safety protocol that doesn't kill you whenever somebody looks at it funny. Even when you're not on the holodeck. Or in the same quadrant. Or time period.

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Permalink 02/19/09 at 06:38:24 am, by Ed, 470 words   English (US)
Categories: Programming

If there's one thing I've learned from HTML development, it's that I shouldn't use <table>s. And if there's one thing I've learned from iPhone development, it's that I should use tables.

Allow me to expand on this: <table>s should only be used to display tabular data. Like the calendar over there. That is a valid situation in which a table can be used. To create the layout of a website is a totally, completely invalid situation to use tables.

Don't look at me, I didn't design this website.

Anyway, most anything that could be done using tables, should be done using DIVs and stylesheets. It makes it much quicker for the browser to render it, and much easier to make a dynamically-sized site.

On the flip side, the iPhone's suggested method of showing information in any form is to use a UITableView. They're everywhere and everything. The settings application is nothing but tables. Contacts are shown in a table, when you view an individual contact, it shows the different aspects of that contact in a table, most of their example code uses a table to navigate. According to them, it's essentially useless to have any other UI controls in your application. You could probably write a text adventure using tables if you wanted to.

Except their tables are broken. There are two bugs we've discovered in less than a week with their implementation of tables alone.

It's not just the tables, there are many bugs in their framework. Their NSDateFormatter class is my favorite example. You pass in a date, and get a string. For example, you pass in a date representing the 5th of May, 2009, at 5:30 PM, Central Standard Time, and you request a string of the format "MM/DD/YYYY". It will return "05/05/2009". If you request it in the form of "MMM 'YY" it will return "May '09". Essentially it's a way to format data in a nice, user-friendly format.

But here's the catch: There's a bug. For most years, a seemingly random number of days at the end of the year will show up as belonging to the next year. The only year I've seen that isn't affected is 2005. For other years, it will decide to show, for example, a date representing the 28th of December, 2008 as "12/28/2009".

"Wait," you think to yourself. "That doesn't seem right".

I know! On average, it's 3 days at the end of the year that will show up as in the next year. I've seen as many as 5, as few as none, but that's not often. You would think some gigantic bug like that would get noticed. Apparently not.

I've sort of rambled on this one, but it's only because I've been trying to take up time waiting for my thing to finish uploading. It hasn't yet.

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