Blogger Connection Failures

May 26th, 2015

I am disheartened to confirm that as of today, May 26, 2015, MarsEdit will fail to connect to any blogs hosted on Google’s Blogger/Blogspot service.

MarsEdit has supported Blogger for many, many years. A side-effect of having supported it for so long is the app uses an authentication method, ClientLogin, which has been phased out over time, and is no longer supported by Google.

Although I knew that Google was encouraging developers to adopt a newer authentication method, I was not aware that the ClientLogin mechanism would be shut down this month, or even this year.

I am committed to maintaining supportĀ for Blogger in MarsEdit, but adapting to a new authentication method is a non-trivial change, and not something I can turn around immediately. I will make it a priority to update MarsEdit as soon as possible, and will post again on this blog when a beta release is ready for testing, so that Blogger users who are anxious to return to MarsEdit can give it a try.

In the mean time unfortunately I don’t know of any workaround that will allow Blogger users to continue using MarsEdit. I appreciate your patience while I work to update the app.

MarsEdit 3.6.9: Apple Photos Support

May 15th, 2015

MarsEdit 3.6.9 is available now from the MarsEdit home page and will be submitted to the Mac App Store approval for approval by Apple.

This update adds support for browsing images stored in Apple’s new Photos app, released with OS X 10.10.3.

Other changes include bug fixes affecting the post editor, application of the preview filter to posts on some blog systems, and an issue with pasting URLs copied from another application such as Safari.

  • Fix to include photos from Apple’s new Photos app to Media Browser
  • Fix “Apply Preview Filter Before Publishing” for Tumblr and Movable Type blogs
  • Fix a rare crash that could occur when a document window’s content changes while closing
  • Fix a problem with dragging images from Flickr or Catalog panes of Media Manager to HTML Text edit area
  • Fix an issue pasting HTML e.g. from a copied link in Safari
  • Fix a bug that prevented find/replace from working when replacement string contained a single quote (‘)

Enjoy!

MarsEdit 3.6.8: Retina Image Uploads

March 4th, 2015

MarsEdit 3.6.8 is available now from the MarsEdit home page and the Mac App Store.

This update includes a large number of bug fixes as well as one important change in the way that MarsEdit handles the uploading of images intended to be displayed at a “Retina” compatible resolution.

One of the problems with handling Retina graphics well is that there is a huge variety of solutions in use by different web sites, depending on the priorities for bandwidth, ease of editing, backwards compatibility, etc. My expectation that MarsEdit users would want the app to support this variety has kept me thus far from releasing any solution at all to the problem. In the interim, I have been adopting the workaround myself of uploading images at twice the resolution I wanted them to display at, and hand-editing the HTML to reference them at half-size. So, if I wanted a 400x400pt screenshot on my blog, I’d upload an 800×800 image and hand-edit the HTML to look like:

<img src="..." width="400" height="400" />

As of MarsEdit 3.6.8, a checkbox when uploading or inserting an image to Treat as Retina image will enable behavior like the above, completely automatically.

That is to say, if you want a 400×400 image on your blog to look nice on Retina displays, just supply an image at least 800×800 and check the “Treat as Retina image” checkbox. MarsEdit will produce the expected HTML and upload the image at twice the width and height.

This solution will not meet everybody’s expectations for how Retina images should be handled, but it’s a good step up from what MarsEdit has offered thus far. This solution has the benefits of being both simple and backward-compatible. The main downside is that readers with standard-resolution displays are forced to download a higher resolution image than necessary. As high resolution displays become more and more popular, and bandwidth use becomes a less typically critical issue, I think the adoption of a compromise like this one will be common.

Here is a list of all the specific changes that went into this release:

  • Address issues with images being uploaded for display on Retina screens:
    • Images are now uploaded at 2x specified dimensions when Retina checkbox selected
    • Width and height fields now show size as “points” instead of “pixels”
    • Width and height fields now limited based on size of image and Retina setting
  • Rich and HTML Editor bug fixes
    • Fix a bug where pressing return in a blockquote could cause a new blockquote to be created
    • Fix a bug where smart quotes, etc. were erroneously allowed in plain HTML
    • Fix a bug that prevented images from being pasted into post editor content
  • Other media-related fixes
    • Fix a bug that caused Tumblr images to publish at constrained size even if the size is changed in Media Manager
    • Fix a bug where media style macro was not applied to re-inserted, previously uploaded images
    • Fix a bug where media style macro with prefix and suffix did not wrap the active selection
  • Other bug fixes
    • Fix a bug that prevented post documents from showing unsaved changes after changing custom field contents
    • Fix a bug in “Show Text Statistics” sample script that caused inaccurate word count to be shown
    • Fix a bug in Media Manager that failed to show the entire folder name for folders with periods (.) in their names
    • Default newly added Blogspot blogs to “Apply Preview Filter” before publishing, to ensure paragraph tags are added if needed

Let me know if you have any questions or run into any problems!

Clarion 2.1: Modern Times

January 12th, 2015

Clarion 2.1 is available now from the Clarion home page. I also intend to submit this version to the Mac App Store, for what will be Clarion’s debut on the store.

Clarion is Red Sweater’s utility for practicing the recognition of musical intervals (the distances between two pitches). It’s the oldest of my shipping apps, and over the past several years I had lost sight of how far into disrepair it had fallen. Very cool features such as its ability to customize from a variety of built-in synthesizer sounds were no longer functioning. I’ve brought that back in Clarion 2.1:

Screenshot of the Clarion musical instrument chooser.

Additionally, Clarion had not seen any updates since the advent of Apple’s high-resolution “Retina” displays. I’ve updated the graphics in Clarion’s main quiz window to look sharp on these screens:

Screen shot of Clarion's main window.

The playful VU-meter-styled gauge in the middle of the screen reflects your overall accuracy for a given quiz session. Up until now, the “needle” just jumped to its new location whenever you made a guess, but starting with 2.1, the needle animates smoothly to the new location, making a further approximation of its real-world equivalent.

Complete list of changes in 2.1:

  • Screen graphics optimized for Macs with “Retina” displays
  • Slight update to UI incorporates always-on piano keyboard in main window
  • Fix a bug that caused many instrument names to be listed as “Unknown Category”
  • Now recovers gracefully from bad synth settings that could be set in previous versions
  • Fix a bug that prevented changing Apple Synthesizer settings on recent OS X versions
  • Now supports automatic checking for future software updates

If you want to develop your ear for musical intervals, give Clarion a try!