James Turner

James Turner

James Turner, contributing editor for oreilly.com, is a freelance journalist who has written for publications as diverse as the Christian Science Monitor, Processor, Linuxworld Magazine, Developer.com and WIRED Magazine. In addition to his shorter writing, he has also written two books on Java Web Development ("MySQL & JSP Web Applications" and "Struts: Kick Start"). He is the former Senior Editor of LinuxWorld Magazine and Senior Contributing Editor for Linux Today. He has also spent more than 25 years as a software engineer and system administrator, and currently works as a Senior Software Engineer for a company in the Boston area. His past employers have included the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Xerox AI Systems, Solbourne Computer, Interleaf, the Christian Science Monitor and contracting positions at BBN and Fidelity Investments. He is a committer on the Apache Jakarta Struts project and served as the Struts 1.1B3 release manager. He lives in a 200 year old Colonial farmhouse in Derry, NH along with his wife and son. He is an open water diver and instrument-rated private pilot, as well as an avid science fiction fan.

Developing Enterprise iOS Applications Developing Enterprise iOS Applications
by James Turner
December 2011
Print: $24.99
Ebook: $14.99

Great Java Web Programming Great Java Web Programming
by James Turner
December 2009
Video: $119.99

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Upward Mobility: Avoid This Simple App Store Bounce

March 24 2014

There’s nothing worse than submitting your first app to the iTunes app store, and having it get rejected. Well, OK, there are plenty of things that are worse, but it still isn’t pleasant. Bounces can happen for a variety of … read more

Upward Mobility: Animating the Leaves of Fall (in Australia)

March 17 2014

One of nicest features of iOS development is that, frequently, you can pull off visual effects that look amazing without having to write a lot of code. It may be about to start the spring season here, but Down Under … read more

Talking to Chromecast from iOS

February 24 2014

Now that Google has opened up the Chromecast API for anyone to play with, it’s possibile to create iOS applications that can leverage the $35 device as a way to display to HDMI devices wirelessly. In this series of tutorials, … read more

Talking to Chromecast from iOS

February 24 2014

Now that Google has opened up the Chromecast API for anyone to play with, it’s possibile to create iOS applications that can leverage the $35 device as a way to display to HDMI devices wirelessly. In this series of tutorials, … read more

Upward Mobility: Your phone is your robot’s best friend

February 03 2014

Recently, Glenn Martin wrote an article describing how robotics in moving out of the factory and into the house. And while Glenn restricted himself mainly to the type of robots that pop into your head when someone says the word … read more

Upward Mobility: TVs are the new mobile

January 27 2014

One of the perennial technologies that regularly appears at the Consumer Electronics Show is the smart TV set, but they never seem to gain the kind of traction that the manufacturers hope that they will. This may finally be coming … read more

Upward Mobility: Predictions for 2014

January 06 2014

It is a generally accepted requirement that all technology pundits attempt a yearly prognostication of the coming 12 months. Having consulted my crystal ball, scryed the entrails of a falcon, and completed a 3 day fasting ritual in a sweat … read more

Update Mobility: The Year in Mobile

December 16 2013

As the end of December approaches, it’s time to take a look at the year that was. In a lot of ways, 2013 was a status quo year for mobile, with nothing earthshaking to report, just a steady progression of … read more

Upward Mobility: 3 Unanswered Questions About Mobile Technology

December 09 2013

I spend a lot of time on this blog focused on the very short term issues regarding mobile. Is Apple better than Android. Will Blackberry survive? What’s the best strategy in Candy Crush? But sometimes you need to pull up to … read more

Upward Mobility: The Forgotten Mobile Platforms

December 02 2013

When thinking about the mobile development space, it’s easy to make the mistake of restricting it to smartphones. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and the stragglers dominate the news, and seeing someone typing away at a handset has become ubiquitous. But below … read more

Upwardly Mobile: IPv6 For Mobile?

November 25 2013

IPv6 is the global warming of the computer industry, an impending disaster that most folks don’t seem to be taking as seriously as they should be. We’re well into the exhaustion phase of the IPv4 address space, but most ISPs … read more

Upward Mobility: The Terror of iOS App Submission

November 18 2013

One of the major topics of my Enterprise iOS book is how to plan release schedules around  Apple’s peril-filled submission process. I don’t think you can count yourself a truly bloodied iOS dev until you’ve gotten your first rejection notice … read more

Upward Mobility: Microsoft’s Patent Arsenal Is Full of Blanks

November 11 2013

It is with some amusement that your humble servant read this week of Microsoft’s lucrative business licensing their patents to Android handset makers. How lucrative? Evidently, over two billion dollars a year, five times their revenue from actual mobile products … read more

Upward Mobility: The Mobile Payment Problem

November 04 2013

There was a time when the two big unsolved puzzles of online finance were micropayments and mobile payments. Micropayments were a problem because no one seemed willing to make sub-dollar transfers economically viable, while mobile payments had a chicken-and-egg solution … read more

Upward Mobility: The Hidden Cost of iOS7

October 28 2013

As with every Apple iOS release, iOS7 started to become a serious item for developers at the WWDC held the summer before the release, when all the ins and outs of the new capabilities start to be made available to … read more

Upward Mobility: Why iBeacons Matter

October 21 2013

Fans of near field communications payment solutions were, yet again, disappointed when the new batch of iPhones failed to include NFC in their list of features. While it might indeed be nifty for iPhone users to be able to join … read more

Upward Mobility: Waiting for iWatch

October 13 2013

By all accounts, we won’t be seeing the iWatch until sometime next year. This is giving the press lots of time to speculate about exactly what the device might be. Since I can wildly speculate as well as the next … read more

You Can’t Legislate Away the Time, Money and Features Law

October 09 2013

Last week, I wrote in some detail about some of the specifics of how the Federal healthcare portal seems to have violated basic principles of good software delivery. Now I want to talk a bit about the more general factor … read more

What Developers Can Learn from healthcare.gov

October 04 2013

The first highly visible component of the Affordable Health Care Act launched this week, in the form of the healthcare.gov site. Theoretically, it allows citizens, who live in any of the states that have chosen not to implement their own … read more

Furloughed Federal Programmer? Five Ways to Keep Busy During the Downtime.

October 02 2013

For the first time in eighteen years, 700,000 Federal employees are sitting idle. Among them are software engineers working throughout the government, who may now find themselves with nothing to do and lots of time to do it. With that … read more

Upward Mobility: Getting Your Fingers on Some Security with the New iPhone 5s

September 30 2013

I’ve had a day or two to play with my new iPhone 5s, and the fingerprint scanner is one of the nicer things about it. I like the added security of being able to unlock it with my fingerprint, because … read more

Upward Mobility: Dig Out Your Tin-Foil Hats

September 23 2013

The continual drip-drip-drop of NSA secrets, courtesy of Monsieur Snowden, has provided many of us with a new piece of daily entertainment. But as much fun as it can be to see No Such Agency’s dirty laundry being aired in … read more

Upward Mobility: Dear Apple, Please Stop Hogging All the Good Stuff

September 16 2013

As I mentioned last week, the new Touch ID feature of the iPhone 5S is (at least for the moment) only usable by Apple created software. What this means is that a developer can’t take advantage of the feature to … read more

What Do the New iPhones Mean For Developers?

September 10 2013

Well, the media feeding frenzy that is an Apple product release press conference is over, and the whelmingness is definitely on the under, rather than over side. Part of the lack of drama is that, these days, it’s almost impossible … read more

Upward Mobility: Buddy System

September 09 2013

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that along with XCode, the iOS development environment also includes a ton of useful utilities that you can leverage to make your life easier. Many of them come along with the command line tools that … read more

Upward Mobility: If I Were King of XCode

September 02 2013

As the not-so-mysterious September 10th Apple event approaches, it’s widely anticipated that the final version of iOS 7 will be released at the same time. Along with it will come a new version of XCode. While XCode is a pretty … read more

Keeping Apps in the Air With TestFlight

August 26 2013

For most iOS developers, TestFlightApp has become the go-to tool when they want to distribute a development build to testers. For those not familiar with the site, you can register applications, and then upload IPA files signed with either a development … read more

Upward Mobility: Black Magic Method Swizzling

August 20 2013

This week, we’re going to depart from the basics, and talk about a piece of Objective-C black magic that, when used properly, can be a powerful tool. However, used incorrectly, it can cause devastation on a biblical scale. Let’s talk … read more

Upward Mobility: Overly Defensive Programmer

August 12 2013

By now, most meme-aware internet surfers have encountered Overly Attached Girlfriend  (and the Rule 63 counterpart, Overly Attached Boyfriend.) What isn’t as well known is that they have a brother, Overly Defensive Programmer (ODP, for short.) ODP is a mobile developer … read more

Upward Mobility: To Storyboard or Not to Storyboard

August 05 2013

Storyboarding was introduced in iOS 6, and it offers a way to consolidate all of your disparate Interface Building files into a single overarching whole. Although it’s tempting to jump on board and use it just because it’s the new … read more

Upward Mobility: A Web of Dependencies

July 29 2013

The recent unavailability of the Apple Developer’s Portal just underscores how increasingly dependent developers have become on third parties during the software lifecycle. For those who are not following the fun and games, the developer.apple.com sites, which include much of … read more

Just What Does an Architect Do?

July 15 2013

When computers were small and programs short, writing programs for them was pretty much a solo enterprise. But as computers became more powerful, and importantly, interconnected, you started to see software development in teams, and with teams came the most … read more

Upward Mobility: Android for iOS Developers, Part 4

July 08 2013

Our mini-Encyclopedia Galactica can do a few things now, but it’s hardly ready to offer up the recipe for a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster yet. If we want to take things to the next level (or at least the next screen), we … read more

Putting Developers to the Test

July 01 2013

Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re one of the world’s greatest chefs. You are a graduate of the CIA, have run a four-star restaurant, and had your own show on the Food Network. Now you’re interviewing to run the … read more

Upward Mobility: Android for iOS Developers, Part 3

June 24 2013

Now that our Android app lets you choose what planet you’re on, we should use that information to update our “Hello, world” message based on the selection. To do that, we’re going to need to handle the selection event on … read more

Upward Mobility: Android for iOS Developers, Part 2

June 18 2013

When we last left our application, it was running on the emulator, but didn’t do much.  This week, we’ll add some more controls to our activity and wire up some functionality. As a reminder, activities are roughly equivalent to view … read more

Upward Mobility: Android for iOS Developers, Part 1

June 10 2013

Like many hardcore iOS developers, I’ve eschewed learning “the other platform” because I was happy in Apple-land. In addition, the few forays I’ve made into Android development seem to show that it was a more complex and difficult platform to … read more

Upward Mobility: Give Your iOS Table Cells Some Class

June 03 2013

UITableView is the meat and potatoes of many iOS UIs, but if you restrict yourself to the off-the-shelf table cell styles, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities for customization. By using a combination of variable cell heights and a … read more

A Commencement Speech for Graduating 2013 CS Majors

May 28 2013

Graduates, parents, guests, members of the faculty of <%= college.collegeName %>. I am honored today to have the opportunity to speak with you, as you move out of the cloistered environment of higher education, and into “the real world.” Except … read more

Upward Mobility: Special Effects Wizardry

May 20 2013

Most developers aren’t great UI designers (although, as with everything, there are exceptions). But there are a few quick tricks that can dress up an app, even if you don’t eat and breathe Photoshop. Let’s look at a simple iPad … read more

Genomics and Privacy at the Crossroads

May 13 2013

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend the 2013 Genomes, Environments and Traits conference in Boston, as a participant of Harvard Medical School’s Personal Genome Project. Several hundreds of us attended the conference, eager to learn what new breakthroughs might … read more

Upward Mobility: Dump Those iOS Delegates

May 13 2013

Because so much of iOS programming involves the delegate pattern (the UITableViewDelegate being a prime example), it’s natural that when programmers are developing their own classes that need to be able to asynchronously call back to a client class, they … read more

Genomics and Privacy at the Crossroads

May 09 2013

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend the 2013 Genomes, Environments and Traits conference in Boston, as a participant of Harvard Medical School’s Personal Genome Project. Several hundreds of us attended the conference, eager to learn what new breakthroughs might … read more

Upward Mobility: Unit Testing Core Data

May 06 2013

One of the more common issues that arises in creating OCUnit tests in iOS is how to test code that uses Core Data. There are several challenges, but with a little foresight, you can be sailing right along. The first … read more

Upward Mobility: Should there be only one?

April 29 2013

As long as most people can remember, the smartphone space has been a contested one. Before the iPhone became temporarily ubiquitous, RIM and Palm were fighting it out to own the market, and today you have a plethora of platforms … read more

A Day at the 2013 Genomes, Environments and Traits Conference

April 26 2013

The GET (Genomes, Environments and Traits) conference is a confluence of parties interested in the advances being made in human genomes, the measurement of how the environment impacts individuals, and how the two come together to produce traits.  Sponsored by … read more

Agile in Name Only

April 22 2013

In politics, the term RINO is used to refer to a candidate who is “Republican in Name Only,” i.e., claiming the mantle of the party, but not conforming to the platform or belief system. In software development, there’s a similar … read more

Upward Mobility: Automating iOS builds with Jenkins

April 15 2013

One of the pleasant surprises I learned last year at WWDC is that Apple uses Jenkins to automated their iOS app builds. Since we were already using Jenkins to do the same thing at the Day Job, it was a … read more

William Gibson got some of it right

June 25 2012

"Neuromancer," written 28 years ago, predicted a technological wonderland we're still waiting for. But its corporate dystopia is already here. read more

Developer Week in Review: The overhead of insecure infrastructure

June 01 2012

The news is constantly full of companies and organizations falling victim to exploits. Software developers spend a great deal of our time defending against them. But why should they have to bother at all? read more

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Webcast: Developing Effective OCUnit and UI Automation Testing for iOS
January 11, 2011
In this one hour screencast, you'll learn how to create an OCUnit project in XCode, and then write and debug OCUnit test cases. You'll find out what the limitations of OCUnit are, and how some of them can be mitigated with testing using the Instruments...

Webcast: Open Source Language Roundtable
July 22, 2009
We all have our favorite languages in our tool-belt, but is there a best overall language? If anyone can hash that out, it will be the members of this roundtable discussion, some of the stars of the open source language space.

Webcast: Preparing Enterprise Applications for the iTunes Store
October 05, 2011
In this webcast, you'll learn about a basic checklist of things to get organized so that your product launch goes smoothly, drawn from the upcoming book Developing Enterprise iOS Applications.