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The iOS software development kit (SDK) includes the popular SQLite library, a lightweight yet powerful relational database engine that is easily embedded into an application. In this course, Bill Weinman teaches you how to build an RSS reader for iOS devices, integrating XML data and a streamlined interface. He explains how to use the SQLite database, display information in a table view, code view controllers, and create a preferences pane for your app. The resulting application is optimized for all iPhone and iPad displays.
The application we'll be using for this course is a simple RSS feed reader. I call it BW RSS, and it's available for free in the App Store. This app is designed to be simple for the purpose of demonstrating how to retrieve, parse, store, update, and use data from an external data source on the iOS platform. It's clean, fast, and reliable, and it's not cluttered with lot of features. Here is how it works. The main screen has a list of available feeds. You select one, and it displays a list of items in that feed.
You select an item, and it displays that item in a web view. You may add a feed by pressing the add feed button, this little plus sign up here. You can enter the URL of an RSS Feed here or a web page that has a link tagged in the header with a link to the RSS Feed, this is sometimes called RSS Auto Discovery. Once you've added a feed, you can use it immediately.
You may delete a feed at any time by pressing the Edit button and selecting the red Delete icon of the feed you want to delete, or you may delete an item by swiping it. As new items come in on each feed, older items are automatically deleted. There's a setting available in the Settings App to select the maximum number of items retained by the feed.
BW RSS is a universal app, and it works especially well on the large iPad screen. It uses a split view on the iPad to take a maximum advantage of the iPad's large screen while conforming to Apple's human interface guidelines. As we go through the course you'll see how these techniques were coded and how you can apply them to the applications that you've built for your own purposes and for your clients.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about iOS SDK and SQLite: Building Data-Driven Apps.
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A: The RSSDB library had to be updated to work around a bug in the iOS 7 SDK.
There is a bug in the iOS 7 SDK that prevents the BWDB fast enumeration implementation from working on a device. The symptom is code that runs fine on the emulator, but not on a device. iOS devices use an ARM processor, while the emulator runs on your Mac's Intel processor. This points to the LLVM ARM code generator as the source of the bug. Because the bug appears to be in the LLVM compiler, it may be some time before it is fixed.
As a workaround we have changed the getFeedIDs and getItemIDs methods in the RSSDB library so they don't use Objective C fast enumeration.
Please note that this same bug also affects some of the BWDB testbed code in Chapter 2. The result is that it will run on the emulator but not on a device.
"Used type va_list (aka_builtin_va_list) where arithmetic or pointer type is required"
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