Gilman News? There's an App For That

Gilman News? There's an App For That

By: Michael Johnson

We have gone mobile. This school year the Gilman News will introduce a Gilman News iOS application, functioning as your go-to tool for everything Gilman. First and foremost, the app will feature select articles from current and past issues of the Gilman News. Much like the Gilman  News website, gilmannews. com, creator Davis Booth (‘17), Managing Editor of the Gilman News, explained, “You can go back [through] years and years [of articles]” in addition to articles from the latest issue of the Gilman News.

Besides a page showcasing a myriad of Gilman News articles, the application contains a page outlining daily announcements. “If you have ever received Mr. Smith’s email that comes out daily, there is a page that essentially does that at an upgraded level,” Booth adds. The News app goes one step beyond the usual information — assembly speaker, trainer’s list, lunch menu — presenting Gilman sports results -which include details like wins, losses, and scores - availabilities of the Writing Center, Math Lab, and Science Lab, a weather forecast, and other important miscellaneous updates like exam locations, school delays, or early dismissals. The most pertinent information will hopefully be sent in push notifications says Booth: “I do think that I will be able to send out push notifications with delays, cancellations, [and] news updates that are really important.”

To give insight into the construction of this resource, Booth has dedicated around four months to the project, starting in late April. Booth took AP Computer Science at Bryn Mawr last year; the class focused on web design and the coding language JavaScript, whereas Booth built the app in Objective-C, a computer programing language. Booth states that the class cultivated an enthusiasm to create the Gilman News App. His first step in creating the application was familiarizing himself with Apple’s app designing software Xcode. Subsequently, Booth educated himself in the language with which to write the app: first Apple’s coding language Swift, but later the aforementioned Objective-C. He details the reasoning behind the switch: “I started in Swift ... everyone says it’s really easy; it’s not. It’s really hard.” After learning and selecting the correct language, Booth determined which features should be included by “asking other people what they thought should be on the app.” Since then, Booth has worked on and refined the application, tirelessly pushing to complete it by the start of the school year. While this was a primarily solitary endeavor, Booth occasionally sought the advice and assistence of classmate Clayton Hebert (‘17).