Red Sweater Blog http://www.red-sweater.com/blog Official blog of Red Sweater Software Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:36:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 MarsEdit 3.6.7: Jumpy Text Cursor http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/3009/marsedit-3-6-7-jumpy-text-cursor http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/3009/marsedit-3-6-7-jumpy-text-cursor#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:15:13 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3009 MarsEdit 3.6.7 is available now from the MarsEdit home page, and has been submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

This release comes hot on the tails of 3.6.6, mainly because of a harmless but nonetheless obnoxious bug that was introduced in that release. While typing in either the HTML source or Rich Text editor, if you manually save a local draft of a post (as many people compulsively do), the insertion point cursor in the post would jump to the end or beginning of the post. Frustrating!

3.6.7 addresses this problem and also includes my workaround for the WebKit bug I described in depth a few days ago.

  • Fix a problem from 3.6.6 where saving a local draft caused the insertion point in the post to jump
  • Work around a bug cause a crash when closing documents with active JavaScript running
  • Fix a bug where a long list of blogs could draw funny when scrolling off the bottom of the source list

Hopefully this update will get you back to saving as compulsively as you like, without any resulting hijinx in the editor!

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Burn After Releasing http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/3007/burn-after-releasing http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/3007/burn-after-releasing#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 23:25:34 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3007 For folks interested in the more technical side of Red Sweater, I’ve written up a fairly long technical analysis of a recent MarsEdit crash report I received and how I ended up fixing it:

“I love it when customers take the time to write something about the circumstances surrounding a crash. Often even a little clue can be enough to lead to the unique series of steps that will ultimately reproduce the problem.”

I used to write more about this kind of stuff right here on the blog, but in general I leave most of this “programmer-level” stuff on the Indie Stack blog these days. Give it a look if you’re interested in reading more stuff like this.

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MarsEdit 3.6.6: Performance And Bug Fixes http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/3005/marsedit-3-6-6-performance-and-bug-fixes http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/3005/marsedit-3-6-6-performance-and-bug-fixes#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 16:33:25 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3005 MarsEdit 3.6.6 is available now from the MarsEdit home page, and has been submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

This release addresses a pair of performance issues affecting some people on OS X Yosemite, in which typing in the post editor or sorting items in the main window can become very slow.

The update also improves overall reliability, including fixes for several nuisances and crashing scenarios:

  • Fix a performance problem that caused slow typing in the post editor for some users
  • Fix a performance problem with sorting large lists of posts in the main window
  • Fix a bug in which image attachments could be removed erroneously when canceling a draft save
  • Fix the functionality of the AppleScript “save” command to save a post as a local draft
  • Fix a bug that prevented sorting posts by the Tags column
  • Fix updating of post editor window contents when left open after publishing
  • Prevent a crash when pasting text with invisible characters
  • Fix a bug that could prevent the main category from being changed by the category popup

Let me know if you notice anything unusual after updating to the latest release!

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Black Ink 1.6.2: Fix New York Times Login http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/3003/black-ink-1-6-2-fix-new-york-times-login http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/3003/black-ink-1-6-2-fix-new-york-times-login#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:49:32 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3003 Black Ink 1.6.2 is now available from the Black Ink home page, and will soon be submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

Starting with version 1.6.1, Black Ink supports the ability to download premium puzzles from the New York Times, prompting for your username and password as needed.

The main purpose of 1.6.2 is to fix a problem that cropped up due to a change in the New York Times’s web page, making it so Black Ink did not detect the need to authenticate and thus could get stuck unable to download premium puzzles.

This update also makes a minor refinement to the drawing of clue numbers within puzzle squares.

Black Ink 1.6.2

  • Fix an issue that prevented NY Times Premium login request from appearing
  • Fine-tune drawing of clue numbers so they aren’t so close to the left edge of squares

Please let me know if you run into any problems with the update.

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Yosemite’s Automation Improvements http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/3000/yosemites-automation-improvements http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/3000/yosemites-automation-improvements#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:59:20 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3000 Ray Robertson of Automated Workflows offers a good rundown of the automation changes Apple provides in OS X Yosemite and their iWork suite of apps. When you look at the mass of changes, including enhancements to AppleScript, Automator, and the addition of an all new JavaScript dialect for application scripting, it reads like a pretty huge update to the state of automation. So much for AppleScript being “dead” to Apple, huh?

One of the interesting new features in AppleScript is support for scripts exposing their own “progress” as they run. This facilitates the system displaying e.g. a busy indicator, or even a progress bar that fills up as the script moves along the steps of its work. Unfortunately the progress feature of AppleScript has not been exposed to 3rd party developers, so far as I can tell. So an app like FastScripts, or any other app that runs scripts on its own, cannot yet take advantage of showing users the fancy progress feedback.

I’m especially impressed and intrigued by the changes Apple has made to iWork to better facilitate scripting. When they launched the major updates to the suite last year, they gutted AppleScript support in the apps. They’ve been gradually adding stuff back, and the latest updates make another big leap. As described by the Automated Workflows post, they’ve gone so far as to provide custom UI in the app for labeling fields with scriptable terms. I look forward to seeing what I can do now with some automated Pages workflows that I’ve been holding back to the previous generation of the app.

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FastScripts 2.6.8: Fix Folder Aliases http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2997/fastscripts-2-6-8-fix-folder-aliases http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2997/fastscripts-2-6-8-fix-folder-aliases#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:45:39 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=2997 FastScripts 2.6.8 is available now from the FastScripts home page, and will soon be submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

For years FastScripts has supported the ability to follow Mac OS X aliases, so you can drop an alias to a script, or an alias to a folder of scripts, and it “just works.” For example, some folks found this to be a handy way of keeping a bunch of scripts on Dropbox that would be accessible from whatever computer they use FastScripts from.

At some point along the line, this functionality started breaking in subtle ways that I didn’t track down until now. The long and short of it is Apple has moved away from “alias files” in recent years, and now favors a format they call “bookmarks.” To users, the files behave the same way, and Apple continues to call them “aliases” e.g. in the Finder when it offers to make an alias to a file. However, the older system service for “resolving an alias file” does not work on bookmarks. Thus, existing aliases in your FastScripts tree may have worked, but new aliases created recently would actually be “bookmarks” and thus not work.

The problem was compounded at some point, maybe as recently as OS X Yosemite, when Apple started aggressively converting old alias files into bookmarks. So even if you had an old, functional alias to a folder in your script tree, it may have recently stopped working in FastScripts because Apple converted it … helpfully … to a bookmark.

FastScripts 2.6.8 solves this problem once and for all by using newer system services that resolve both alias files and bookmarks. You should now be able to make an alias to a folder or script, drop it into your Scripts folder, and have it show up as expected.

This update also addresses a cosmetic issue with 2.6.7, where my efforts to update the FastScripts icon for Yosemite’s “dark mode” caused it to appear inadvertently too light when running in standard mode.

FastScripts 2.6.8

  • Fix a bug from 2.6.7 that caused the menu bar icon to draw too lightly in OS X Yosemite
  • Restore proper functionality of aliases to folders within the script hierarchy
  • Fix a typo in the first-launch welcome message

Let me know if you run into any issues!

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Yosemite’s Speakable Scripts http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2993/yosemites-speakable-scripts http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2993/yosemites-speakable-scripts#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:15:14 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=2993 One of the cool new features in OS X Yosemite is a major expansion of the system’s dictation features. Not only has the dictation become more accurate and reliable (probably by leveraging the work that goes into Siri on iOS), but there are new integration points that facilitate really interesting workflows.

I developed FastScripts many years ago expressly because at the time I found it tedious to have to open a script in Script Editor, and run it. For quick-fix type scripts, it was easier to just do the thing than jump through the hoops of running it!

Over the years, Apple has improved the built-in mechanisms for running scripts, by adding their own standard script menu, and slowly increasing the ways in which scripts can be invoked through various built-in actions. Still, when it comes to organizing and invoking scripts by keyboard shortcut, I am convinced FastScripts is best.

But a nuanced feature of Yosemite’s Dictation feature actually leapfrogs FastScripts in one interesting area: it’s now possible to configure app-specific speaking commands that run arbitrary scripts.

I learned about this feature via Macworld’s Christopher Breen, who writes extensively about the new speech commands and how they can be used to create custom Automator workflows.

At first I griped that the commands could not be configured to run scripts, because that is what any reasonable person would infer from the selection of choices:

SpeakableCommand

Granted, these are all fine choices and you can perform some pretty interesting tasks by configuring a specific spoken phrase to open a file, paste a specific text phrase, or simulate a keyboard shortcut. But why can’t I run a script?

Going out on a limb I chose “Run Workflow…” and navigated in the file chooser to my scripts folder. Lo and behold, you can run a script, you just choose one instead of a workflow and speakable commands will handle it with aplomb.

Whether or not you use FastScripts to accelerate script execution with keyboard shortcuts, I think you might find some uses for speakable scripts. Enjoy!

Update Oct 17, 3:17PM EDT: Well, my excitement may have been a little premature. It seems the scripts are run not as the streamlined items that they are but are instead sort of wrapped in an automator action and run. It’s nice that you don’t have to go out of your way to translate a script into an Automator Workflow, but unfortunately this means that “Speakable Scripts” do put up the little Automator gear icon in the menu bar, and are probably ultimately slowed down at least a bit by being run as a full-on workflow.

Update Oct 19, 5:50PM EDT: Wait a minute, maybe it is running them as native scripts. There’s just a change on OS X Yosemite with how the system runs scripts, such that they always show an Automator-style progress indicator in the menu bar. I find this pretty irksome as a default behavior because for example short-lived scripts don’t need progress to be indicated at all. I’ve also noticed that the system automation progress indicator is liable to pop up at semi-random location in the menu bar, and then leave a gap when it goes away.

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OS X Yosemite http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2989/os-x-yosemite http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2989/os-x-yosemite#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:00:40 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=2989 OS X Yosemite is now available, and if you rely upon any Red Sweater apps, you’ll be happy to know that we are good shape with compatibility. I’ve been running the beta releases for a few months and fixing little things here and there as I run into them. For the most part, Apple made this an easy transition for me, and I hope it will be an easy transition for all of you as well!

There are only two issues, both with MarsEdit, that I would point as possibly needing fixing, but they shouldn’t impede your normal use of the app:

  • The script menu icon doesn’t draw right in “dark mode.” If you flip the switch in System Preferences to favor a dark menu bar with white text, you will find that in MarsEdit the Script menu icon continues to draw darkly. This is rooted in a problem that Apple apparently plans to fix in a future update.
  • The “vibrant” translucency currently applies to the categories table in the post editor’s options side bar. I’m not sure it’s appropriate for this to happen, and it seems distracting to me. I plan to arrange for this content to always draw opaquely in a future update to MarsEdit. In the mean time, if the translucency bothers you in MarsEdit or in other apps, you can turn it off across all apps by selecting the option under System Preferences > Accessibility > Display to “Reduce transparency.”

Hopefully those little quirks are the extent of issues with Yosemite. Please do let me know if you run into anything else.

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FastScripts 2.6.7: Yosemite Ready http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2984/fastscripts-2-6-6-yosemite-ready http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2984/fastscripts-2-6-6-yosemite-ready#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 22:00:23 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=2984 FastScripts 2.6.6 2.6.7 is available now from the FastScripts home page, and will soon be submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

This is a relatively minor update but addresses a few annoying bugs, while also bring it into line for the upcoming 10.10 Yosemite release from Apple.

  • Fix display of menu bar icon in “dark mode” on Yosemite 10.10
  • Ensure that user environment variables are set-up when running shell scripts
  • Fix appearance of keyboard shortcuts when running with non-Roman keyboard layouts

If you got 2.6.6 while it was active, the only difference with 2.6.7 is that it fixes an issue from 2.6.6 that caused the menu bar icon to appear in a light gray color by default on 10.9 and earlier systems.

Enjoy!

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MarsEdit 3.6.5: Fix Flickr http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2972/marsedit-3-6-5-fix-flickr http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2972/marsedit-3-6-5-fix-flickr#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 20:24:13 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=2972 MarsEdit 3.6.5 is available now from the MarsEdit home page, and has been submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

This releases restores functionality of MarsEdit’s Flickr integration, which broke last week when Flickr flipped the switch to require that all clients access their services with more secure HTTPS-based requests.

I want to be clear that the cessation of functionality was firmly my fault. Flickr did an admirable job of giving developers ample warning about the impending change, and even staged a couple of preliminary test outages before the final switch-over. What happened in this case is I made changes for MarsEdit 3.6.4 which I thought addressed the situation in entirety, but did not. I should have done more aggressive testing to ensure a smooth transition.

MarsEdit 3.6.5 includes the remaining Flickr fixes that should have gone into 3.6.4, as well as a couple other minor fixes:

  • Restore functionality for Flickr after recent API changes
  • Fix a crash that could occur on some systems while trying to locate the Growl framework
  • Fix a bug where blank document windows were sometimes opened upon launching

Enjoy!

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