MarsEdit 3.5.9: Significant Bug Fixes

April 5th, 2013

MarsEdit 3.5.9 is now available. This is a free update for licensed MarsEdit customers. The update will be submitted to the Mac App Store today and will be available there when Apple approves the update.

This is quite a significant update, in spite of it being entirely composed of “bug fixes.” I’m still working a major update to MarsEdit that will accommodate the Mac App Store’s sandboxing requirements. Until that is ready, I’ll keep fixing bugs in the app but will not be able to add significant features.

MarsEdit 3.5.9 changes:

  • Fix a bug from 3.5.8 that disabled draft support for Squarespace 5
  • Fix a bug where uploaded images were not resized correctly on Retina Macs
  • Fix a bug where the preview window could sometimes show the wrong blog’s theme
  • Fix a bug that caused malfunctioning Screen Capture and Image import services in rich editor
  • Fix a bug that caused unpredictable behavior with Paste contextual menu item
  • Fix a bug that prevented URLs with apostrophes from being linked in rich text mode
  • Fix a bug that could lock up the app if close box clicked on authentication panel
  • Fix a bug that prevented favicons from being downloaded from some blogs
  • Fix a bug where switching quickly to HTML Text mode after opening a post could clear the content
  • Fix a bug where images would sometimes fail to load in main window preview
  • Fix a bug where unchecking all categories for a post would not update categories correctly
  • Fix a bug where ExpressionEngine authentication failures did not prompt the login panel to appear
  • Fix a bug where the last change to an image’s name or size did not “stick”
  • Fix a bug where some errors would display as simply “(null)” instead of with meaningful text
  • Fix a crashing bug that could occur while editing the preview template
  • Fix a bug that caused drawing defects in some preferences text fields

Enjoy!

Toggle Calendar Focus

January 16th, 2013

Michael B. Johnson wondered out loud on Twitter about the possibility “focusing” on a single calendar in Apple’s default Calendar app for the Mac:

In a nutshell, he wants to be able to go from his “usual” setup to zeroing in on just one calendar, and then back to the usual setup.

Folks chimed in with suggestions that almost hit the nail on the head, but not quite. For example if you hold the command key while clicking the enabled checkbox next to a calendar, it will toggle all your calendars on or off. So getting to the state of focusing on just one is fairly routine: just toggle them all off and then click one back on.

The problem is when you’re done focusing on the one calendar, unless your usual configuration is to leave all calendars checked, you’ll have a tedious task of checking each of the (possibly many) calendars you want to enable again.

Calendar

This is a strictly theoretical problem for me, because I only have a few calendars, and frankly I don’t use any of them all that much. But Michael says he has around 25 calendars, about 20 of which he keeps enabled routinely. That could certainly get annoying!

When I see a problem like this that seems “unsolvable,” I become very curious whether there is a scripting based solution. Unfortunately the AppleScript dictionary for Calendar doesn’t seem to expose the “enabled” attribute of calendars. You can access the color or title of a calendar, but not the equivalent value of clicking that checkbox next to the calendar’s name.

I found a marginal solution in GUI Scripting, which I can use to inspect the various rows of the Calendars source list, to determine whether a named calendar is enabled or not, and to toggle its checkbox based on my own criteria. If this is the kind of thing that interests you, you might want to give the solution a look. Note that the script is designed to work on Mac OS X 10.8, and apparently does not work well on 10.7.

Click to download Toggle Calendar Focus.

What happens when you run the script?

If there are two or more calendars selected… the script assumes that you want to focus in on the single calendar that is highlighted in the Calendars source list. It checks the box for that calendar and unchecks all others. Before doing this it saves the names of all checked calendars to a temporary file.

If there is only one or no calendars enabled… the script assumes you would like to toggle “back to normal.” That is, it systematically checks the boxes next to all the calendars that were saved off above, and unchecks all others.

So in practice, you would select a calendar to focus on, and run this script to turn off all other calendars. Then, when you’re ready to go back to normal, just run the script again.

There are a variety of tools for running scripts like this but naturally I recommend my own FastScripts, which is free until you want more than 10 keyboard shortcuts. If you put the script in the Calendar-specific scripts folder:

[Home] -> Library -> Scripts -> Applications -> Calendar

Then it will appear in the FastScripts menu only when Calendar is the front-most app. You can also assign a keyboard shortcut that will only be active in Calendar.

FastScripts 1

I hope this solution is useful or inspires you to think about how you might tweak it to suit your own needs.



Update: the original version of this script required opening and editing a list of calendar names that should be “gone back to” when done focusing on a single calendar. The current version of the script instead assumes that when it’s focusing in on a calendar, it should save the list of all checked calendars, and restore that list when it toggling back.

Paste Safari Link In MarsEdit

January 3rd, 2013

One of the MarsEdit features that people really like is the simplicity of pasting a URL link into a post. Just copy a URL from anywhere, then press Cmd-Shift-A to transform the selected text in MarsEdit into a link.

Today a MarsEdit customer wrote with a more specific request: he would like to easily insert links to whatever page he happens to have open in Safari, while also using the title of the page as the link text. This is the kind of specialized feature that is less likely to show up as a built-in feature of MarsEdit, because if I added all the specialized features that might be handy here and there, it would quickly become overwhelming. But it’s the kind of thing where I’m very grateful for MarsEdit’s scriptability. Within a few minutes, I was able to share with this customer a script that does just what he wanted.

Click to download: Paste Safari Link script.

If you want to attach a keyboard shortcut to the script, you could use FastScripts, or you can add the script to MarsEdit’s Scripts folder, and then assign a keyboard shortcut using System Preferences:

  1. From MarsEdit’s script menu, select “Open Scripts Folder”.
  2. Drag the “Paste Safari Link” script into the folder.
  3. Open System Preferences
  4. Navigate to Keyboard, Keyboard Shortcuts, and select Application Shortcuts.
  5. Add a new shortcut for MarsEdit, specifying “Paste Safari Link” as the menu title.

When invoked, the script will insert a link to the active Safari page’s URL, using the page’s title as the text of the link. If you want to use different text as the title of the link, the just type and select it in MarsEdit before invoking the script.

Toggle iTunes 11 MiniPlayer

November 29th, 2012

Today, Apple released iTunes 11, the anticipated update that has been due “sometime in November” since they announced it earlier this year. Judging from reactions on Twitter it’s having a mixed response: the new UI is, as expected, either refreshing or distressing depending on your particular attachment to the old look-and-feel, and the extent to which the new look speaks to you.

Folks who use FastScripts or another utility to script iTunes will be pleased to know that much of its scriptability is unchanged. I’m able to use my variety of scripts for playing and pausing, showing track information, etc., without any issue. But some subtle things have changed, including support for minimizing or maximizing the iTunes window. My friend Gabriel Roth framed the problem on Twitter:


I scratched my head about a proper workaround for this. Indeed, not only does the minimized property behave differently than documented in the scripting dictionary, the new “MiniPlayer” is an independent window from the main window. Although they seem to toggle between one another, you can actually select and make both visible from the “Window” menu in iTunes.

My first thought was to simply hide one window while making the other visible. This would be a fine solution except another bug in iTunes 11 apparently prevents the new MiniPlayer window from being exposed to the scripting object hierarchy.

So the compromise is to resort to UI scripting. By simulating the selection of iTunes’s own “Switch” menu item, we can rest assured that the toggle will happen as naturally as possible given the constraints we are facing.

Download the Toggle iTunes MiniPlayer script if you interested in hooking up a hotkey or otherwise automating display of the iTunes 11 MiniPlayer.

Update: Doug Adams (of Dougscripts.com fame) pointed out in the comments that my original solution was less ideal because scripters on non-English systems would need to open and modify the script to search for the correctly named item. I was able to update the script to search instead for the item by its keyboard shortcut alone. This should make the script more immediately useful to users of iTunes 11 regardless of the primary language they run their Mac with.