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.
November 9th, 2012
MarsEdit 3.5.8 is now available on the Mac App Store and directly from the Red Sweater Store. This is a free update for licensed MarsEdit customers.
After shipping MarsEdit 3.5.7 earlier today I discovered a major, crashing bug that affected only certain customers with non-US keyboard layouts including Spanish, French, and Swedish. I made changes affecting the handling of different keyboard layouts in 3.5.7, and neglected to test those changes with an extensive enough variety of keyboard layouts.
It always feels terrible to ship a serious, crashing bug. It’s even worse in the context of the Mac App Store where developers have no direct control over the approval and release of new versions of the software. After waiting 14 days for 3.5.7 to be approved, I was excited to release it as soon as it was ready. But once you approve an app for release in the Mac App Store, there’s no going back. I can’t “wind back the clock” to make 3.5.6 available again.
I decided to remove MarsEdit from sale on the App Store until Apple approves 3.5.8. Of course this means I will not be able to make any new sales until that time, but it also means I will avoid causing unnecessary grief for afflicted customers. When you remove an app from sale it also removes any updates that may be available, withholding them from existing customers. In this case, that is exactly what I want, or at least it’s as close to what I want as is possible.
Here’s hoping I didn’t screw anything else up today.
Update: After submitting the bug fix version to Apple earlier today and requesting an expedited review, I received a notice from Apple that they would try to expedite it to review within 1 or 2 business days. Luckily they ended up putting it into review and approving it tonight, so “everything is back to normal again. Phew.
November 9th, 2012
Update: Unfortunately a major crashing bug required an urgent fix and release of MarsEdit 3.5.8.
MarsEdit 3.5.7 is now available on the Mac App Store and directly from the Red Sweater Store. This is a free update for licensed MarsEdit customers.
This update includes long-awaited support for recognizing and setting the post statues “Private” and “Pending” on a WordPress blog. This is especially important because previous to 3.5.7, edits by MarsEdit to a private or pending post would cause WordPress to assume that the post should be changed to “Published” status, potentially revealing private information.
Apart from that there are a number of minor improvements and bug fixes including performance fixes for WordPress that should cause publishing and refreshing to be somewhat faster. Folks who use keyboard layouts with non-Roman characters will appreciate a fix to a bug that caused keyboard shortcuts to stop working when switched to e.g. a Thai or Greek layout.
Complete change list below:
- Improve performance when publishing to WordPress
- Support for WordPress Private and Pending post statuses
- Use Mac localized sorting for better organizing in posts lists
- Fix behavior of formatting keyboard shortcuts in non-Roman keyboards
- Fix a bug that caused dates to incorrectly display as e.g. “Tomorrow” when they should be “Today”
- Fix handling of bookmarklet requests when the app is not yet launched
- Fix a graphical glitch in the Media Browser introduced in 3.5.6
- Avoid a crash with Tumblr when exceeding their daily photo posting limit
September 26th, 2012
After two tumultuous months grappling with Tumblr’s new API while fielding confused feedback from customers about MarsEdit’s sudden lack of support for the service, I’m happy to announce that MarsEdit 3.5.6 restores support for Tumblr. This is a free update for all registered MarsEdit customers, and can be downloaded directly from the MarsEdit home page. Customers who purchased through the Mac App Store can use the direct-download version immediately, or wait until Apple approves the App Store version.
While I was under the hood, so to speak, I addressed a long-standing issue with Tumblr where edits to posts would cause Tumblr to reset the date of the post to the current date and time. I am now working around the issue by explicitly restating the published-on date when I submit an edit to Tumblr.
Another date-related fix is in MarsEdit’s handling of dates that are set on draft posts. Previously, to change the date for a post e.g. to the future, you would have to edit the date and immediately send it to the blog. The “edited date” is now saved with the local draft in MarsEdit so if you’re working on a post that is slated to be “scheduled” you can set the date to the future early in your edits.
Here is the complete list of minor fixes that went into this update:
- Restore Tumblr support by adapting to their latest API changes
- Adapt to Flickr’s recent requirement to use OAuth for authentication
- Add support for 10.8 user notifications
- Fix an issue where Flickr browser’s number of photos shown didn’t match popup selection
- Fix an issue where some embed and object HTML attributes were being stripped in rich editor
- Fix an issue where edits to Tumblr posts caused publish date to reset to current time
- Fix an issue where editing a post’s date didn’t save properly in local drafts
I’ll be particularly interested to hear if folks run into any trouble with Tumblr after updating. Thanks for your patience while I worked through this issue.