Site Under Construction

Published on 13th Jan 2017

This site is still under construction, please pardon the occasional glitch as things settle down.

I Added Some New "Stuff"

Published on 12th Jan 2017

I've added a new Page. It's called "Stuff".

The idea is that I will put random pieces of code that I have been tinkering with in there for you to check out if you are interested.

The quality and usefulness of the "Stuff" will vary, so use them at your own risk.

Click or Tap here to check it out.

New Year, New Website!!!

Published on 10th Jan 2017

Check it out, I finally got around to building a new website.


  • PhileCMS
  • Piwik Analytics (data is owned by me and not Wordpress)
  • 100% Custom Theme (might still need some work, but it's good for now)
  • Mobile Responsive

I am so excited, and I'm looking forward to writing more this year.

Stay Tuned!

Self-Explained Swift #1

Published on 28th Dec 2016

// Self-Explained Swift  #1
// AutoLayout... Programmatically

import UIKit // Can't do a layout post without UIKit
import PlaygroundSupport // So we can have this class run in a playground

// I will demonstrate a clear concise way to add elements, separate
// layout concerns, and configure your UI... All without Storyboards.

class OurAwesomeViewController: UIViewController {
    // For each of our UI Elements, we are going to make a lazy
    // var property, and an in-line initializer.
    // Because these are lazy, the variables will call their in-line initializer
    // once they are ready to be added to the view hierarchy. Ideally, I would
    // like these to be lazy let so that you wont accidentally change them
    // once they are on-screen, but as of Swift 3 it is not supported.
    // We could just do let, but with a let, it won't let you wire up selectors
    // to self because self is not ready at initialization.
    lazy var titleLabel: UILabel = {
        // Initialize our new label with the default initializer
        let label = UILabel()
        // Always disable this, otherwise you will get layout errors
        // in the debug log. I am not even sure why this defaults to
        // "true" anymore as you will never need it.
        label.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
        // We can set fonts
        label.font = UIFont(name: "Menlo", size: 14)
        // Set some text color (note, we are not going for design awards here)
        label.textColor = .white
        // And of course, we can set the text
        label.text = "Awesome"
        // Center our text
        label.textAlignment = .center
        return label
    // Buttons are fun
    lazy var button: UIButton = {
        // Initialize
        let button = UIButton()
        // Disable this stupid "feature"
        button.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
        // Set a button title
        button.setTitle("Press Me", for: .normal)
        // Let's also wire up a button action
                         action: #selector(OurAwesomeViewController.buttonTest),
                         for: .touchUpInside)
        return button
    // This is where you want to build your layout code. This is called by UIKit
    // when your view is being prepared to be put on the screen.
    override func loadView() {
        // Make sure you call super if you plan to use the default view
        // provided by UIKit, if you don't need it, make sure you set
        // self.view to be something
        // Customize the view
        view.backgroundColor = .blue
        // StackViews will make your life much easier. The will automatically
        // manage the layout of their owned views and expose some properties
        // to tweak that layout without manually managing potentially dozens
        // of constraints. StackViews can also be nested and given margins, this 
        // can allow for quite a bit of flexibiliy AND ease. IMHO, this is much 
        // better than manually building all of your constraints.
        let verticalLayout = UIStackView(arrangedSubviews: [titleLabel, button])
        // again, we never need this
        verticalLayout.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
        // Make it vertical, and tweak the distribution and alignment
        // feel free to play with these to get a feel for how this works.
        verticalLayout.axis = .vertical
        verticalLayout.alignment = .fill
        verticalLayout.distribution = .fill
        // If you want to have some margins on your StackView, you can enable it like this.
        verticalLayout.isLayoutMarginsRelativeArrangement = true
        verticalLayout.layoutMargins = UIEdgeInsets(top: 20, left: 20, bottom: 20, right: 20)
        // Lets create some constraints to keep our StackView layout in check.
        // This is essentially boilerplate code and you might want to create
        // a micro library to wrap up these common tasks. I will show mine in
        // another post later.
        let topConstraint = NSLayoutConstraint(item: verticalLayout,
                                               attribute: .top,
                                               relatedBy: .equal,
                                               toItem: view,
                                               attribute: .top,
                                               multiplier: 1,
                                               constant: 0)
        let bottomConstraint = NSLayoutConstraint(item: verticalLayout,
                                                  attribute: .bottom,
                                                  relatedBy: .equal,
                                                  toItem: view,
                                                  attribute: .bottom,
                                                  multiplier: 1,
                                                  constant: 0)
        let leftConstraint = NSLayoutConstraint(item: verticalLayout,
                                                attribute: .left,
                                                relatedBy: .equal,
                                                toItem: view,
                                                attribute: .left,
                                                multiplier: 1,
                                                constant: 0)
        let rightConstraint = NSLayoutConstraint(item: verticalLayout,
                                                 attribute: .right,
                                                 relatedBy: .equal,
                                                 toItem: view,
                                                 attribute: .right,
                                                 multiplier: 1,
                                                 constant: 0)
        // Now add our view...
        // And our constraints.
        view.addConstraints([topConstraint, bottomConstraint, leftConstraint, rightConstraint])
    // Here is our test function to be called when our button is tapped.
    func buttonTest(sender: UIButton) {
        // Nothing fancy here, we will just change the background color.
        view.backgroundColor = .red

// Fire up our awesome view controller in a playground.
PlaygroundPage.current.liveView = OurAwesomeViewController()
PlaygroundPage.current.needsIndefiniteExecution = true

// Layout in-code might look a bit daunting, but it allows you to become more familiar with
// the UI elements, their placement, and their properties. It improves change tracking in git
// and personally, I find this much easier to reason as opposed to the black magic of
// Interface Builder.


// You might want to know how to use this in an actual Xcode Project, rather than Playgrounds.

// First, in your project file, you might have a "Main Interface" configured, this is normally
// your first storyboard to load. Just open your project file and clear it out.

// Next

// This should be similar to your default AppDelegate. However, the only lines you need to
// change are in the applicationDidFinishLaunchingWithOptions function.
class AppDelegate: UIResponder, UIApplicationDelegate {
    var window: UIWindow?
    func application(_ application: UIApplication,
                     willFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [UIApplicationLaunchOptionsKey : Any]? = nil) -> Bool {
        // Let's create a new window. Every app needs one to start.
        // We will set its frame to be the same size of the screen.
        window = UIWindow(frame: UIScreen.main.bounds)
        // Set the window's rootViewController to be the
        // ViewController you want to start with.
        window?.rootViewController = OurAwesomeViewController()
        // This will push it on to the screen.
        // Unless you have some major failure during this function, you should
        // return true here to let your application know it's ready to go.
        return true

// And that's it for my first post, let me know via twitter (@WestonHanners) if you like this
// format and want to see more.

// Keep an eye out for my next post where we will write a few extensions to make the code
// above much easier to manage and read.