Archive for September, 2009

iPhone BibleReader notes backup teaser

BibleReader to Evernote backup

BibleReader to Evernote backup

My life lately has been notes backup and Evernote. Its been fun, and I wanted to give those who are missing out on my fun a little teaser of some of the progress I am making on the notes backup. To see a sample of a note that currently exists in both the iPhone app and the Evernote servers click the image to the left.

Notice that the note contains greek, because Evernote supports unicode we believe we should have no problem preserving greek and hebrew in your notes.

So far I can push actual notes from the iPhone to the Evernote servers. I have most of the backup framework laid out and now I am just plugging in the pieces. The hardest part is going to be in keeping the two in sync, and gracefully dealing with outages either with the the Evernote service or network.

I can say that so far I am very impressed with the Evernote service both in its network communication’s responsiveness and in the elegance of the service as a whole. If you have not checked out Evernote yet, I would say go check it out. (No Evernote did not pay me to say that)

Stay tuned for more as I work through the implementation of this…

Notes Backup – update

After having such a successful day yesterday with Evernote I was anxious to get started fleshing out the details of our notes backup implementation. I spent most of the morning beefing up the login code for the Evernote servers. Making sure that we handle all errors without the app just crashing if it encounters one. Then I started looking into the right way to plug in notes backup into BibleReader. It took everything I had in me not to just start hacking away and writing code, but being that I am still a relatively new employee at Olive Tree I am still finding my way through our code base and understanding the structure of how notes are handled by our software. Being that we develop for more than one platform whatever I do needs to be easily plugged into those other ports at some point. We also want to implement a ‘pluggable’ system so that other backup methods can be used as well in the future. So, while I was hoping for a beta by the end of next week, it may be a little longer than that, but it will definitely be worth the wait, I promise. 😉

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Evernote – Bible Notes Preview

I spent the day having fun with the Evernote API and these are some screenshots showing notes I was able to send from our BibleReader application. Hoping to have a beta out next week.

Showing two notes uploaded from within the BibleReader app.

Showing more detail on a single note uploaded from BibleReader - note the tags are used to keep track of catagory, verse reference, and icon.

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Evernote API Cocoa Example

Disappointed by the lack of Evernote love for the iPhone SDK I decided to port their python example to Cocoa. This code snippet should work with Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.

#import "EvernoteBackup.h"

#import "THTTPClient.h"
#import "TBinaryProtocol.h"
#import "UserStore.h"
#import "NoteStore.h"

@implementation EvernoteBackup

- (void)Test
	NSAutoreleasePool *pool = [[NSAutoreleasePool alloc] init];
	// Keep this key private
	NSString *consumerKey = [[[NSString alloc] 
		initWithString: @"YOUR_CONSUMER_KEY_HERE" ] autorelease];
	NSString *consumerSecret = [[[NSString alloc] 
		initWithString: @"YOUR_CONSUMER_SECRET_HERE"] autorelease];
	// For testing we use the sandbox server.
	NSURL *userStoreUri = [[[NSURL alloc] 
		initWithString: @""] autorelease];
	NSString *noteStoreUriBase = [[[NSString alloc] 
		initWithString: @""] autorelease];
	// These are for test purposes. At some point the user will provide his/her own.
	NSString *username = [[[NSString alloc] 
		initWithString: @"YOUR_USERNAME_HERE"] autorelease];
	NSString *password = [[[NSString alloc] 
		initWithString: @"YOUR_PASSWORD_HERE"] autorelease];

	THTTPClient *userStoreHttpClient = [[[THTTPClient alloc] 
		initWithURL:userStoreUri] autorelease];
	TBinaryProtocol *userStoreProtocol = [[[TBinaryProtocol alloc] 
		initWithTransport:userStoreHttpClient] autorelease];
	EDAMUserStoreClient *userStore = [[[EDAMUserStoreClient alloc] 
		initWithProtocol:userStoreProtocol] autorelease];
	EDAMNotebook* defaultNotebook = NULL;

	BOOL versionOk = [userStore checkVersion:@"Cocoa EDAMTest" :
						[EDAMUserStoreConstants EDAM_VERSION_MAJOR] :
						[EDAMUserStoreConstants EDAM_VERSION_MINOR]];

	if (versionOk == YES)
		EDAMAuthenticationResult* authResult = 
			[userStore authenticate:username :password 
				:consumerKey :consumerSecret];
		EDAMUser *user = [authResult user];
		NSString *authToken = [authResult authenticationToken];
		NSLog(@"Authentication was successful for: %@", [user username]);
		NSLog(@"Authentication token: %@", authToken);

		NSURL *noteStoreUri =  [[[NSURL alloc] 
			initWithString:[NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@%@", 
				noteStoreUriBase, [user shardId]] ]autorelease];
		THTTPClient *noteStoreHttpClient = [[[THTTPClient alloc] 
			initWithURL:noteStoreUri] autorelease];
		TBinaryProtocol *noteStoreProtocol = [[[TBinaryProtocol alloc] 
			initWithTransport:noteStoreHttpClient] autorelease];
		EDAMNoteStoreClient *noteStore = [[[EDAMNoteStoreClient alloc] 
			initWithProtocol:noteStoreProtocol] autorelease];

		NSArray *notebooks = [[noteStore listNotebooks:authToken] autorelease];
		NSLog(@"Found %d notebooks", [notebooks count]);
		for (int i = 0; i < [notebooks count]; i++)
			EDAMNotebook* notebook = (EDAMNotebook*)[notebooks objectAtIndex:i];
			if ([notebook defaultNotebook] == YES)
				defaultNotebook = notebook;
			NSLog(@" * %@", [notebook name]);

		NSLog(@"Creating a new note in default notebook: %@", [defaultNotebook name]);

		// Skipping the image resource section...

		EDAMNote *note = [[[EDAMNote alloc] init] autorelease];
		[note setNotebookGuid:[defaultNotebook guid]];
		[note setTitle:@"Test note from Cocoa Test."];
		NSMutableString* contentString = [[[NSMutableString alloc] init] autorelease];
		[contentString setString:	@"<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?>"];
		[contentString appendString:@"<!DOCTYPE en-note SYSTEM \"\">"];
		[contentString appendString:@"			<en-note>Here is the Olive Tree Test note.<br/>"];
		[contentString appendString:@"			</en-note>"];		
		[note setContent:contentString];
		[note setCreated:(long long)[[NSDate date] timeIntervalSince1970] * 1000];
		EDAMNote *createdNote = [noteStore createNote:authToken :note];
		if (createdNote != NULL)
			NSLog(@"Created note: %@", [createdNote title]);

	[pool drain];


Again your mileage may vary but I think this gives you the gist of how to talk to the Evernote servers.

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Evernote API and iPhone SDK Setup

I was surprised by the lack of details on this topic so I decided to post my experiences with getting Evernote’s API setup in an iPhone application.

Note: Don’t forget to ask for an Evernote API key.

Steps for geting Evernote API compiling for the iPhone.

1. Grab thrift cocoa runtime:

$> svn co thrift-cocoa

2. Grab latest Evernote API from

$> wget

3. Unzip Evernote API

$> unzip

4. Go into the evernote cocoa source directory and replace every occurance of <Cocoa/Cocoa.h> with <UIKit/UIKit.h>

$> cd evernote-api-1.13/src/cocoa
$> perl -pi -e 's/<Cocoa\/Cocoa.h>/<UIKit\/UIKit.h>/g' *.h
$> perl -pi -e 's/<Cocoa\/Cocoa.h>/<UIKit\/UIKit.h>/g' *.m

5. Open XCode and add a ‘3rdParty’ group with the group “Evernote” beneath it

6. From the 3rdParty group click “Add existing files” and select the thrift-cocoa folder.

7. Expand the thrift-cocoa folder and delete the references to the folder server and everything contained within it.

8) Expand the transport folder and delete TSocketClient.m & TSocketClient.h (Evernote does not appear to need these and they won’t build with the iPhone SDK.)

9. From the “Evernote” group click “Add existing files” and select the cocoa folder under evernote-1.xx/src/cocoa

10. Try to build the system. I am using 1.13 and for whatever reason the cocoa is borked and needs some massaging. If you get errors like ‘EDAM_MIME_TYPES’ undeclared (first use in this function) then you have two choices. Install boost and thrift idl and run the thrift files in evernote-api-1.xx/src/thrift through thrift and it should generate good files otherwise you need to look at the errors and determine if you can fix them using some simple replacements as I have done below…

# Replaces the erroneous EDAM_ with EDAMEDAM_
$> perl -pi -e 's/ EDAM_/ EDAMEDAM_/g' EDAMLimits.m
$> perl -pi -e 's/ EDAM_/ EDAMEDAM_/g' Types.m
$> perl -pi -e 's/ EDAM_/ EDAMEDAM_/g' UserStore.m
# But this breaks the function definitions so I refix them here.
$> perl -pi -e 's/\+ \(int32_t\) EDAMEDAM_/\+ \(int32_t\) EDAM_/g' EDAMLimits.m
$> perl -pi -e 's/\+ \(NSString \*\) EDAMEDAM_/\+ \(NSString \*\) EDAM_/g' EDAMLimits.m
$> perl -pi -e 's/\+ \(NSSet \*\) EDAMEDAM_/\+ \(NSSet \*\) EDAM_/g' EDAMLimits.m
$> perl -pi -e 's/\+ \(NSString \*\) EDAMEDAM_/\+ \(NSString \*\) EDAM_/g' Types.m
$> perl -pi -e 's/\+ \(int16_t\) EDAMEDAM_/\+ \(int16_t\) EDAM_/g' UserStore.m

Your mileage will vary. 😉

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Philippians 4

Two things stand out to me this morning, and the first thought motivates the second.

First at the end of Phil 4:5 Paul says “the Lord is at hand” meaning He is coming at any moment. Having this mindset should drive our every deed and thought. We should be mindful that the Lord is at hand, but so often I forget that and do what I want to do anyway. What if the Lord did return when I was in a moment of disobedience. How would I feel at that moment, yet I brush it off as not very likely. I need to be mindful of His return, that it is imminent.

Second I am reminded in verses Phil 4:8-9 that we are to think on things that are good. I think if I could have these two ideas at the forefront of my mind each day the struggles I have with sin would be easier to manage and fight off. How many times have I done what I knew was wrong because I did not have the Lord’s imminent return in mind and was not thinking on things that were Holy and righteous.

Lord help my thoughts today that they would be pure and upright, pleasing to you. Help me to be reminded continually that your return is coming, that you are coming for your church and I want to be counted worthy when you do return. Help me see You in all that I do.

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Galatians 5:16

As I was reading this passage this morning something struck me that has not struck me before about this reading. Paul is not saying Do not walk in the flesh and you are automagically walking in the Spirit. He very clearly says the opposite, walk in the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh, i.e. walk in the flesh. 5:16

I so often think that because I am not doing bad things I am walking in the Spirit but here I am reminded I need to walk in the Spirit rather than walk not walk in the flash.

Lord help me to walk in the Spirit today. Help me to understand practical ways in which I can do this. Help me to see when I am walking in the flesh or when I am relying on my not walking in the flesh rather than walking in the Spirit.

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