const app = {
lines: document.getElementById('lines'),
textbox: createTextbox(),
lineTemplate: createLineTemplate(),

const socket = connect(

initial({ lines, uuid, charLimit }) {
app.uuid = uuid
app.charLimit = charLimit

added(line) {

removed(i) {

server.onclose = (ws) => {
if (ws.line) {
const i = lines.indexOf(ws.line)
lines.splice(i, 1)
server.sendToAll({ removed: i })

server.commands = {

begin(ws) {
const line = {
hash: ws.hash,
uuid: ws.uuid,
text: '',

ws.line = line
server.sendToAll({ added: line })

run() {
console.log(`Running on port ${this.port}`)

this.wss = new WebSocket.Server({
port: this.port,
verifyClient: this.verify.bind(this)

this.pruneInterval * 1000


Steven Degutis

Full-stack software developer for hire

CocoaREST's future

August 24, 2009

As users of the open source CocoaREST library may have noticed, it hasn’t updated in a while. (To clarify: not having updates does not equate to is not being worked on.) There’s a lot of reasons for this.

One of them is specifically because Blocks became available to us before Snow Leopard’s arrival, in the form of PLBlocks, which makes writing asynchronous code fantastically simpler. I’ve done a lot of work rewriting core components of CocoaREST to use PLBlocks, and I’m waiting to see how PLBlocks works out in the long term before publishing these updates to CocoaREST itself.

Another reason is because, well, work related to my company has been overwhelming lately. You might have noticed that I have 7 applications for download on my website now (more in the works), with 6 of them for sale. While I’m fortunate to not get very many support requests, the few I do get (usually license keys not sent in email, etc) need me to actually respond to them instead of closing my eyes and plugging my ears, and that adds up over time.

On a related note, I’ve recently recoded my entire website using my very own rewritten version of Tyler Hall’s simple-php-framework. With this great move forward comes great responsibility; instead of gathering data from a bunch of .plist files on the server, my site now uses a MySQL database. While this is great for performance, it’s been hell creating an administrative tool to interface with it (unfortunately Property List Editor no longer suffices). After a few hours of researching and flipping coins, I’ve decided the administrative interface should be a Mac app with a RESTful interface on the server’s side (in PHP).

As I was writing the administrative Mac app, and the RESTful service on the other side, I noticed that it’s more difficult than it should be to create subclasses of SDNetTask for specific services. So, I ended up making a lot of changes to CocoaREST’s core, which has become an entity of its own, tentatively named SimpleHTTP. This will eventually be integrated back into CocoaREST, but will also be its own project on github, once I see how stable PLBlocks is; right now, PLBlocks is at beta 2, and the word ‘beta’ being in there makes me a little cautious.

As for Facebook support, well, Facebook decided to make this incredibly messy. See, they have horrible 2 requirements (instead of the more attrative 0, like Twitter does). First of all, Facebook’s API requires that the user be redirected to login.php on their server. This means that it’s not possible to authenticate the user by giving the user’s credentials to the server behind the scenes; no, Facebook demands (in their Terms Of Service, as well) that the user must visit login.php, log in, check whether or not they wish to remain logged in indefinitely, and then go back to your app. “Fine, whatever,” were my final words on this, as I decided to use a WebView instead of sending the poor user over to Safari or Firefox to do the dirty work.

But wait, it gets better. Doing this only allows you to get certain information from their facebook account, and limits many things you could do, including post status updates, notes, etc. In order to actually do this, the developer needs to force the user to permit this application to give them “write permissions” or something along those lines (as if giving their credentials to Facebook wasn’t enough). So, this requires yet another visit to a Facebook page in an actual browser. This process makes the user’s experience what I consider a very tedious and annoying one, and I personally don’t approve the dang thing one bit.

But that’s not why I have yet to upload these changes to my github. Showing these two WebViewss consecutively is something the developer should have to do, not the library itself, because CocoaREST is a purely non-GUI library. But at the same time, I don’t want to advocate crappy user experiences (such as sending a user to their actual browser) in my library, so I’ve been trying to think of a way to allow this “user experience” inside an app through a companion-class to CocoaREST, and still haven’t found an elegant way to do it just yet.

If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions on any of this, I welcome the conversation in the comments below!

About me


My name is Steven Degutis, and I've been writing software professionally for a decade. During that time, I've written many apps and websites, quite a few technical articles, and kept up-to-date with the rapidly evolving software industry.

If you have software needs for web, mobile, or desktop, and are looking for a seasoned software professional, please reach out to me at to set up a phone call.

Work Experience

  • Self-employed – present
  • Clean Coders – 5 years
  • 8th Light – 2 years
  • Big Nerd Ranch – 1 year
  • Self-employed - 1 year


  • Web: full-stack
  • iOS (UIKit)
  • macOS (Cocoa)
  • AWS / EC2 / ELB


  • JavaScript
  • HTML5 / CSS
  • Swift
  • Objective-C
  • Clojure


  • Node.js
  • Express.js
  • React
  • Vue.js
  • Electron

Technical articles

Over the past decade, I've written a total of 172 technical articles on various programming languages, frameworks, best practices, and my own projects, as I kept up-to-date and active in the software industry.

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Here are some of the projects I'm most proud of. They were created using a variety of technologies, running on several different platforms and OSes. They're all finished products, and many of them are open source.

Website - Online Video Store

I wrote this web store for Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin, using Clojure for the back-end, and JavaScript for the front-end. Over the course of 5 years, I took the site from a simple three-page website to a full enterprise-ready business solution, with nearly 100% test coverage.

  • Clojure
  • Datomic
  • jQuery / D3.js
  • JavaScript
  • ClojureScript


macOS app - Dock Utility

I made Docks in 2009 for users who wanted to swap out icons in their Dock with a single click. Its unique functionality and design aesthetic attracted the attention of Apple, Engadget, MacWorld, and led to an acquisition of my start-up by Big Nerd Ranch.

  • Staff Pick
  • MacWorld 4/5 Rating
  • MacWorld Gem of the Year
  • Featured on


macOS app - Clojure IDE

Source Code

While working on, a website written completely in Clojure, I increased my productivity by building a custom IDE for macOS designed specifically for Clojure projects.

  • Objective-C
  • Clojure
  • C / C++
  • Cocoa
  • Themeable


macOS app - Hackable Automation

Source Code

This began as an experiment to see how many languages I could use to script a custom macOS window manager using our custom TCP protocol. Eventually it had bindings for Clojure, Ruby, Python, Go, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, Node.js, Chicken Sceme, and Racket, as well as other community additions.

  • TCP / Unix sockets
  • Custom protocol
  • Highly Scriptable
  • 10+ language bindings
  • Open source community

Bubble Maker

iOS app - Bubble simulator

This toy was made in a weekend to entertain my 1 year old daughter. It lets you create bubbles with your fingers, which then simulate physics by bumping into each other and falling.

  • SpirteKit
  • Custom art
  • Physics simulation
  • iOS
  • tvOS

Quick List

iOS app - Todo list app

When I couldn't find an app in the App Store that let me make very simple lists extremely quickly, I made one myself. I use it almost every day to organize and track my activities.

  • In-app purchases
  • Custom UI / UX
  • Social media
  • App Store artwork
  • Spring animations

Website - Personal Portfolio

Source Code

This very site itself was written from scratch in about a day. It uses best practices for modern responsive web design, and a custom build phase to compile the sources into a single HTML file.

  • Node.js
  • Pug / Jade
  • LessCSS
  • HTML5
  • WebSockets


Java app - Game

Source Code

The game 2048 (created by Gabriele Cirulli) is so fun that my kids wanted their own copy. So I wrote this version in Java 8, using JavaFx for attractive graphics and silky smooth animations.

  • Java 8
  • JavaFx
  • Modular code
  • Customizable
  • Animations


macOS app - Window Manager

Source Code

I created this app to increase my productivity by letting me move windows around in macOS using keyboard shortcuts. It grew into a community-driven highly extensible app, using Lua for its plugin system.

  • Objective-C
  • Embedded Lua
  • Plugin system
  • Fully documented
  • 5,000 GitHub stars

Website - Social Network

Implementing this elite social network gave me experience integrating both Apple Pay and credit card payments (via seamlessly into web apps, for a frictionless and pain-free payment experience.

  • Clojure
  • Elastic Beanstalk
  • PostgreSQL
  • Apple Pay


Website - Live Chatroom

Source Code

This isn't just any chatroom. In this web app, you can see what everyone is typing while they type it. I made this in order to scratch my itch for making real-time apps and games, and learned how to use WebSockets in the process.

  • JavaScript
  • WebSockets
  • Node.js
  • Vue.js
  • CSS


macOS app - Music Player

Source Code

As iTunes went through many user interface changes, I wanted an app that was consistent, intuitive, and easy to use. So I created Bahamut, a minimal music player for macOS with a custom user interface.

  • Objective-C
  • Custom UI
  • Cocoa
  • Core Data
  • AVFoundation


macOS app - Chat (IRC) Client

Source Code

This was written in 2009, before the time of Slack, when IRC was the main way for programmers to get short-term assistance from each other. Its purpose was to be a beautiful app with an emphasis on simplicity and usability over technical power.

  • Async networking
  • Core Animation
  • Core Text
  • IRC Protocol
  • UI Design


macOS app - Window Manager

Source Code

This is an app I actually use every single day. It lets you move windows with global keyboard shortcuts. Since it uses Vim-like key bindings, it should feel pretty natural to any programmer. There's no configuration needed; it Just Works™.

  • Minimalist UI
  • Simple UI
  • Vim-like Hotkeys
  • Global Hotkeys
  • Zero-configuration


macOS app - Lua window manager

Source Code

As an evolution of Phoenix, Hydra was my first attempt at embedding a full Lua virtual machine into an Objective-C app, to make a lightweight and efficient window manager that focused on speed, low memory usage, low CPU usage, and overall being gentle on laptop batteries.

  • Embedded Lua
  • Generated docs
  • Lightweight
  • Memory efficient
  • CPU efficient


macOS app - JavaScript window manager

Source Code

As an evolution of Zephyros, Phoenix was my attempt to use Cocoa's native JavaScript bindings to make a more lightweight and efficient window manager, that focused on speed, low memory usage, low CPU usage, and overall being gentle on laptop batteries.

  • JavaScriptCore
  • JavaScript API
  • Lightweight
  • Memory efficient
  • CPU efficient

Smaller projects

These may be tiny, but they're interesting technical feats.

Lua4Swift Swift framework for embedding Lua with a native Swift API.
choose Command line fuzzy-matching tool for macOS that uses a GUI
music Command line music daemon for macOS that only speaks JSON
hecto Command line text editor with an embedded Lua plugin system
ZephSharp Window manager for Windows using Clojure for scripting
management Minimalist EC2 configuration & deployment tool in Ruby.
go.assert Assertion helper package for writing tests in Go.
go.shattr Go library for printing shell-attributed strings to stdout.
OCDSpec2 Objective-C based testing framework with Xcode integration.