Recurse Center Week 5

I don’t have many notes from this week … really any. I’ve been working a lot on my project, and I’ll mention it now, and should making more noise about it very soon. It’s been on github and open source since I started (so feel free to see how the Swift has evolved), so I’m sure some have seen it without my direction to it.

I’ve been working on MacVimSpeak, inspired by AshleyF’s VimSpeak. It’s a native Mac application (oh, I have so many posts I can write about Swift and Mac development!) that you run that responds to voice commands and translates them into Vim commands (note, you have to change focus from MacVimSpeak to your chosen Vim instance … I hope to add sensing for focus to the app soon!).

For example, you can say “3 down” and the command ‘3j’ will be executed. Voice-controlled Vim!


[this is literally the only note I wrote along this week:] Ack symbols didn’t work, refactor!

What really happened Monday was the realization (also over the weekend) that my app was you know … done. I completed the functional task I set out to, and this week was for UI, polish, landing page, etc. Or as Chiu-Ki described it on Thursday, “sprinkles” 🙂 There was the surprise about symbols (ack!!) but pairing with Viraj, we figured out the source and I wrote a solution fairly quickly.


Tuesday was the least app-driven day, with reading and workshops in addition to app work; I spent the morning reading about Cryptography for Crypto reading group (I added some links in the link library). I also went to a workshop on robotbotbot, an internal app someone is working on for chatbots, where Andrew covered some ops-y stuff that I know most of, but can always hear about someone’s workflow. Ex. I didn’t know that you could use Vagrant to deploy to AWS! It makes sense, but it was very interesting.

With the app, I struggled heavily with working on the UI components – Mac is just different enough from iOS to make it very hard to find examples and tutorials that work, and most tutorials out there (esp. in Swift I suspect) are for iOS. I made a plan to pair with some folk Wednesday.


Wednesday I did a lot of pairing. Malko helped me with UI, and I really have no idea how long it would’ve taken without his experience. The app, it has colors! In the afternoon, I paired with Damien, who had unassumingly said “oh, you’re working on Swift stuff? We should pair!” and then taught me like 6 cool things in Swift as we refactored some code. It was awesome.


I “worked from home” (more like lived at coffee shop – I went to the coffeeshop from literally 10-1pm, eating breakfast and lunch there. Love them) in the morning before heading to speak on a panel atthe fantastic Write/Speak/Code. Working in the coffee shop, I figured out how to package my app pretty quickly, and I think think this means I’ve successfully written a Mac app and published without having to fork over $99 to Apple.

If you’d like to see MacVimSpeak in the app store, I will accept donations to get me a developer account 🙂 I’m a bit fond/proud of making the whole app without having to resort to getting an account.


I’m really nervous but proud of the app. I think it’s really awesome. I probably need to tell the wider world about it in a big post. Monday?

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