Chomp Connect

Written by on April 9, 2010, 11:29 pm

I am a big fan of Chomp. It's social network driven software for iPhone app discovery. I think there are very real pain points with the app store and Chomp does a pretty good job of resolving those issues:

  • Negative Bias - Currently users are offered the option to rate apps when they are deleting them, so it is logical that there is a strong negative bias in ratings.
  • Barriers to review - I don't tend to review apps on the store because the UI is not available in the app.

With Chomp Connect I was able to add some UI to my about box which lets a user leave a review without closing my app. There is the initial barrier of a Chomp signup (if the user doesn't already use Chomp), but I think this barrier is still less than the multiple steps needed to review something on the app store.

The code to implement this functionality was trivial. I just had to include a bundle ,containing the code to show the Chomp dialog and some resources. Then add a few lines attached to my "Review on Chomp" button to show the dialog:

NSString *appID = [infoDictionary valueForKey:@"CFBundleIdentifier"]; ChompDialog *cDialog = [[[ChompDialog alloc] initWithApiKey:@"" forApp:appID] autorelease];

I did encounter a rather obscure problem when I went to submit my newly Chomified apps to the store. When I submitted the new binary, I got the dreaded generic submission message:

The binary you uploaded was invalid. The signature was invalid, or it was not signed with an Apple submission certificate.

If I didn't include the Chomp bundle, I was fine. With the Chomp bundle, I got the error. The Chomp dev team were extremely helpful sorting out this issue, which they hadn't seen for any of the numerous devs who had submitted apps without the problem. They asked me to check the contents of the bundle for any hidden files that might be screwing up the signature. What I found was quite interesting:

I downloaded the bundle, unzipped it, checked for hidden files and found everything ok. Then I copied the bundle from the downloads folder (on my MacOS HFS drive) to my dev directory (on a Windows drive). Boom! Suddenly there was a bunch of hidden files in the bundle. It turns out, when you copy from an HFS drive to a FAT32, MacOS needs to create a hidden file for some additional metadata that it can't put in a FAT32 file (fork data attributes).

So mystery solved. For any other lunatics out there that keep there source code on a FAT32 partition of their macbook, beware the lurking fork data attribute files.

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