OK, let's switch gears and not talk about cats for a while shall we? Although fair warning, this post will only be interesting to somebody who does iOS programming. Hey sometimes that happens. Last week I sold my car so California could get it dismantled. If you don't want programming articles ask me about that sometime, and maybe I'll write a post about that.

OK, if you're still around you have some interest in code. Let's dive in. I have a few bits of code that are shared between the two iOS projects I'm working on currently. One is a dirt simple category that lets you quickly access controllers in an iPad UISplitViewController. In theory accessing the left controller is a single line of code, but it's a complicated line:

- (UIViewController*)leftController {
    return [[self.viewControllers objectAtIndex:0] topViewController];

And this is really the way I think of split views: there's a left controller and a right controller. I understand why that is represented as an array of UINavigationControllers but the whole point is that UISplitViewController should be an abstraction. When I think "OK, we need to notify the left ViewController that I just opened the map view so it can update the UI elements" I just want the left controller. I don't want to start thinking about stacks of controllers contained in an array and figure out the proper string of messages to get the left controller.

And I do that all over the place. I kept copying that damn string of messages around and every time the "Keep it DRY" birdie would hoot shamefully in my ear. So I finally got fed up enough to make a category to make UISplitViewControlller do what I want. Of course, this wasn't that DRY because I had two projects and they each had these source files but it was better.

Today I finally got around to sorting out how to put the category in GitHub as its own project, make a local repository, and then pull those files into both projects. This is actually the small code trial run for doing the same thing with some code that works around an iOS bug involving NSMutableCharacterSet. More on that later!

Anyway, if this category sounds useful to you I cleaned up the source, figured a modern Creative Commons license for it and put it on GitHub. Enjoy and let me know if you have any issues!