PixelNote is my iPhone-only programming language for generating animated 8-bit pixel GIFs with one-line programs. I hadn’t updated it since V2.0 back in 2018, so I got the message from App Review a couple of weeks ago:

It still worked fine, and I find Apple’s approach here somewhat wrong, arbitrary, and annoying, and I’m already running behind plan for TimeStory 3, and life has been extremely busy lately. But I enjoy PixelNote and want to keep it available; it’s a sort of app which is uncommon in the Apple ecosystem, unabashedly focused on casual, hobby programming, for its own challenge and reward. And it was due for a refresh, and in the end, I’m actually glad to have been made to do it. (Don’t tell Apple, though; I still disagree with their approach!)

PixelNote 3 is now available in the App Store. (Free; no ads; no logins.)

The code is 100% Objective-C, heavy on the C. I haven’t done Objective-C since 2018 either, and found I still enjoy it. I’m also still pretty pleased with PixelNote’s internal architecture; it parses to an AST, from which it generates a custom internal instruction format which the interpreter runs. This makes it easy to jump in and work on language features and interpreter capabilities separately.

And good grief, Objective-C compiles quickly on this M1 Pro, compared to Swift. And, although I appreciate Swift’s aggressive evolution, it’s very nice that I had no language changes to catch up on.