Letter to Tim Cook regarding Christian holidays in Apple’s calendars

I just sent an e-mail to Tim Cook about his company’s decision to include a series of Christian holidays on their built-in “U.S. Holidays” calendar, and to configure them with alerts to ensure their visibility:

Mr. Cook,

This past Sunday, I was surprised to find a notification banner on my Mac alerting me to the occurrence of Palm Sunday. Then I checked my iPhone, which proudly displayed the same alert on its lock screen.

At no point did I opt in to notifications of Christian religious holidays. But apparently Apple has chosen to add Christian holidays to its built-in “U.S. Holidays” calendar and configured them with default alarms.

This is more than just annoying; it is disheartening to see this from a company that champions diversity and respect. Apart from the first day of Passover (erroneously named to as to imply that the entire holiday lasts one day), Christianity is the only religion whose holidays are deemed important enough not only to be present on my calendar by default, but to actively notify me of their passing!

Where is Yom Kippur? Or Eid al-Fitr? Or L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday? Their absence implies that Apple cares not for any religion other than Christianity. And why should any of these holidays appear under a calendar entitled “U.S. Holidays”? I’m reasonably certain that Palm Sunday is not in fact recognized by the federal government of the United States.

Mr. Cook, you have personally expressed your support for the cause of equality, from marriage equality to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Yet your company’s devices and services are actively proselytizing for Christianity. Worse, they are claiming to do so under the U.S. flag, reinforcing the pervasive sentiment that “Real Americans” are Christians.

The mere inclusion of Christian holidays on your default calendar is an exclusionary act. Please remove them and show that you really do care about diversity and respect.

I have filed Radar 16646358 about this issue.

–Kyle Sluder

WWDC Suggestions

If you’re going to WWDC, and prefer to avoid chain restaurants, Irish pubs, and Starbucks coffee, I’ve assembled a Foursquare list of personal recommendations. I might add to this list over time, so saving the list to your own Foursquare account will keep it up to date.

And if I personally know you, please friend me on Foursquare and share your suggestions with me. I’ll add your recommendations to my list of suggestions from others!

An Auto Layout Adventure: NSCell, -intrinsicContentSize, and -constraintsAffectingLayoutForOrientation:

Recently my coworker Tom was having a hard time with converting a Mac NIB to Auto Layout. The NIB contained a split view; on the left was an instance of OACalendarView, and on the right was a scroll view. The holding priorities of the left and right panes were 251 and 250, respectively, and the scroll view had a required width constraint of greater-than-or-equal-to 150.

For some reason, the left pane insisted on being as wide as possible, squeezing the right pane down to 150 points wide. Dragging the splitter had no effect. How do we figure this one out?

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How to think about UIScrollView.contentInset

Up until three months ago, my time at the Omni Group had been spent programming solely for the Mac—I hadn’t written any iOS code professionally, and I’d only dabbled the slightest bit on the side.

That all changed when iOS 7 was announced, and I’ve now spent a solid three months as an iOS developer. For the most part, it was an easy transition; I’d picked up quite a bit of iOS knowledge peripherally, and I learned a lot more very quickly through hands-on experience. But one thing bedeviled me: UIScrollView.

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Auto Layout Slides and Video Available

On Thursday, January 10, I gave a talk at Seattle Xcoders about Auto Layout, explaining the benefits and workings of this new technology and sharing some tips learned from our adoption of auto layout.

I’ve uploaded the slides from my talk. I’ll upload the video once I’ve found a place to put it.

Update: Thanks to Paul Goracke of Seattle Xcoders, the video of my talk is now available as well. Unfortunately, for some reason the cursor got disassociated from the actual mouse position during the demos, and I don’t have any way to fix it. Sorry! (rdar://problem/13011198)

Seattle on a Sheet

It seems like @burritojustice‘s Islands of San Francisco map is flying around the ‘net. I just saw a retweet from Mike Jurewitz (aka @jury) that referenced it unsourced.

While his map is far more beautiful and informative, he credits me with inspiring him by producing a map I titled “Seattle on a Sheet.” I made this map in 2010, shortly after moving to Seattle, to help orient myself and flex my OmniGraffle skills. Unfortunately, all links to that file are now dead, as I’ve changed my online handle and web host since 2010.

Seeing that tweet spurred me to go looking for the original Seattle on a Sheet map, and after a brief trawling through Time Machine backups of a computer I’ve long since wiped and given to my mom, I found the map I thought was lost!

Here it is: Seattle on a Sheet.

edit: And now available in poster form from Zazzle!