mojoso - Entries for the author james last entries by jamesen-gbZinniaSat, 05 Nov 2016 21:57:03 +0000TestFlightapp is dead, long live Testflight <p>I've tried most of the services offered to support beta testing of apps, and believe was by far the best.</p> <p>Apple must have thought so too, as it acquired them with Burstly in [February 2014](</p> <p>Beyond the almost immediate axing of support for Android apps,'s public twitter and blog fell silent and Apple began the job of internalising beta support into the appstore. At the WWDC in June 2014 they announced the integration of TestFlight into IOS8 and iTunesConnect.</p> <p>Today they've [announced]( that access to will cease in a month's time on 26th February.</p> <p>The version of TesfFlight that is integrated into the app store has some huge advantages. Mostly these are due to the fact that the old Ad-Hoc release process is no longer necessary. Gone are the days requiring device UDID's to be managed, provisioning profiles created, special versions compiled etc. Not only was this a huge overhead on time, developers were faced with a hard limit of 100 devices registered for testing with their account, which is no where near enough if you've a couple of apps - given the range of iOS versions and devices and the dependence on testers with perhapslimited time and goodwill.</p> <p>With the new TestFlight, you simply add the Apple Id for the people whom you want to invite to access the pre-release. You can have 1,000 per app, and each can have multiple devices tied to their Id. The binary that you compile and upload is the same as you'd submit for the app store - so there is no danger of creating a release version that is different from the adhoc version as I once did.</p> <p>So much for the good. However the whilst the new integrated TestFlight makes distribution so much easier, it has almost nothing worth while to offer for the collection, de-symbolication and presentation of crash reports. Nor does it offer any level of usage tracking to ensure that all parts of the app have been used - and only the scantest of reporting on which devices or IOS versions have been used. These are all essential parts of running a test program.</p> <p>Improvements in the handling of crash reports are promised for this year - but I do not yet know any further details or timing.</p> <p>I also believe that its still necessary to support at least IOS7 - which the integrated TestFlight won't allow.</p> <p>The old did continue to give crash reporting and allow IOS7 testing. With that being retired, developers will be forced to look at using 3rd party alternatives - at least until TestFlight offers better crash reporting and we're happy to ignore IOS7.</p> <p>So it's one step forward, but another one backwards.</p> (james)Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:46:35 +0000 developmentA Choice of Prop <p>As manufacturer Southerly offers either a standard fixed 3 blade prop, or an option to upgrade to a feathering [Max-Prop](</p> <p>As a semi-custom built yacht there is of course the further option to request something to your own specification. On our previous boat (Hanse 400) we'd upgraded from a fixed two blade prop to a [Brunton's Autoprop]( and been delighted with the results.<br /> <br />Drag whilst sailing hadn't been too bad with the original prop, but motoring wasn't too good either. The Autoprop gave better motoring performance especially in reverse with very little prop walk. Where it was outstanding was when motor sailing. With the fixed prop, if there was enough wind to sail at say 4 knots, then to increase the speed by motor sailing required running the engine at high revs. Overall our performance was as if we were motoring even when motor sailing. The variable pitch of the Autoprop meant that even running the engine at lower revs, say 1800rpm, enabled it to give a lift to the sailing performance and add a knot or two whilst motor sailing. On just about our first outing with the new prop we were heading to the West Country from Portsmouth. We left Portsmouth with favourable wind and tide at midday. During the passage the wind sometimes fell and we motor-sailed to make the tidal gates. We never exceeded 2,000 rpm and reached Plymouth at 4am the following morning.</p> <p>Engine revs are an interesting criteria. On the one hand marine diesels do like to be worked fairly hard, and too much idling with no load can result in carbon build up on the cylinders and fuel injectors. However in this scenario we are applying a load and at 2000 rpm not only is the noise level much more acceptable, but the fuel consumption is significantly less. Yanmar's Fuel Consumption data sheet for the 4JH5E shows consumption doubling from 3 l/hr at 1800 rpm to 6 l/hr at 2500 rpm. This curves may not be directly applicable for our exact setup, but I think its fair to expect a fuel saving if we can maintain the same speed at lower revs.</p> <p>![Yanmar JH5E Fuel Consumption](/static/images/content/blog/yanmar_fuel.png "Yanmar Fuel Consumption")</p> <p>Given this experience, another Autoprop was clearly on the list to consider. We were also encouraged to see that Paul and Cheryl Shard of Distant Shores had also [fitted an Autoprop to their Southerly 49](</p> <p>Southerly offer the Max-Prop, and so we would perhaps be fools not to expect that with all their experience they rate this for their boats.</p> <p>So from the manufacturers own reports and our interpretation of them, here's how I expect the pro's and con's for each prop to weigh in:</p> <p>**Fixed 3 blade:**</p> <p>* cheapest - by some way<br />* significantly more drag when sailing, even if the prop shaft is left to spin in neutral.<br />* poor performance in reverse.</p> <p>**Brunton Autoprop:**</p> <p>* Better performance motorsailing, ie more contribution to speed at lower revs<br />* Lower fuel consumption due to the lower revs<br />* Excellent stopping performance and good drive motoring both forward and astern<br />* Significantly less drag when sailing than a fixed prop, but marginally more than the Max-Prop.</p> <p>**Max-Prop**</p> <p>* Lowest drag whilst sailing<br />* Good drive motoring both forward and astern, as long as the fixed pitch has been optimally set up</p> <p>For pure sailing performance, I think that Southerly has the right decision. I'd sum up the above to say that I'd expect the Max-Prop is marginally better for sailing, whereas the Autoprop is significantly better for motor-sailing.</p> <p>We'll be setting out to go sailing and not motor-sailing, and it'd be nice to think that we'd go with the wind and take our time. On an ocean passage that clearly would to be the case. In a non tidal sea then I think that would too often be the case. </p> <p>However we live in the UK, and next year we're planning to circumnavigate the UK. We can't afford to ignore the tides, as a difference of a knot or two in speed can add hours to a passage, and that can then mean missing the opportunity to enter a harbour safely. It's a very common theme from past circumnavigators that they've motored or motor sailed far more than they expected to.</p> <p>An interesting commercial outcome was that the list price for the option to the Max-Prop from Southerly was similar to the list price for an Autoprop so both had a similar price to us before negotiating discounts although Southerly had offered a generous discount on the Max-Prop. </p> <p>So we've decided to go for the Autoprop again. </p> <p>We'd need to buy and fit the Autoprop ourselves, whereas Southerly would factory fit the Max-Prop. However following that independent route will mean that we'll end up with *both* the Autoprop fitted with the fixed blade as a spare. This is an added bonus that partly offsets the pain of the additional cost.</p> <p>It also means that I hope to have the opportunity to run a brief trial of the fixed blade before switching over - so will be able to post my experiences.</p> (james)Thu, 31 Oct 2013 22:19:53 +0000 Systems