MarsEdit 3.5.8: Fix For Non-US Keyboard Layouts

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.

MarsEdit 3.5.7: WordPress Post Statuses

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:

MarsEdit 3.5.7

  • 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

MarsEdit 3.5.6: Tumblr Is Back

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:

MarsEdit 3.5.6

  • 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.

State Of The Squarespace

September 18th, 2012

MarsEdit has supported Squarespace for years, and a number of our mutual customers have come to rely upon the app as a convenient means of managing content for Squarespace sites from the Mac desktop.

It came as a surprise when Squarespace 6 was released earlier this year, that support for 3rd party editors such as MarsEdit was dropped from the service. I had some cordial correspondence with staff at Squarespace, who explained that because of the laudable flexibility of the new version, it’s difficult to provide access to the content with one of the standard blogging APIs that MarsEdit uses to connect to Squarespace 5 and dozens of other services. Of course, as a developer with customers who depend on this support, I was disappointed to learn this.

I have been holding out hope that Squarespace will eventually address the shortcoming. The two possible solutions that leap to my mind are:

  1. Somehow get support for one of the standard APIs working with their new engine.
  2. Implement an entirely new API, unique to Squarespace, that I could consider implementing support for.

I lean strongly in the direction of #1. Obviously it would be a lot less work for me, and I’m generally cautious about taking on the burden of developing support for yet another all-new, custom API with all of its own nuanced behaviors.

But option #1 would also be better for Squarespace, in that support would be instantly restored to MarsEdit and any other 3rd party clients using the Squarespace 5 API. These XMLRPC APIs, based on the venerable MetaWeblog, are not great. But they are ubiquitous, and implementing support for one of these standards opens the doors to dozens if not hundreds of clients on every conceivable platform.

So I’ve been waiting, and when disappointed customers ask me what can be done to help, I encourage them to drop a line to Squarespace requesting restored support for their XMLRPC-based API. I don’t know if this has had any real impact, but in any case it doesn’t appear to have shifted the status quo. On Twitter today, customer Rob Wells asked Squarespace about the status of such support, starting a conversation that culminated in Squarespace underscoring that they don’t have any near-term plans:

To Squarespace’s credit they have been polite and receptive to feedback about this. In a follow-up tweet, they gave some cause to remain optimistic about future developments:

Whatever the future holds for Squarespace, it’s safe to assume that 3rd party editors will not be supported by Squarespace 6 in the near future. In the mean time, users who already have Squarespace 5 sites should keep their site as it is if they want to continue using MarsEdit. New customers who are intrigued by Squarespace but want MarsEdit support can still start a new Squarespace 5 site by signing up at the classic site.

And although Squarespace has given a pretty definitive answer for the time being, if you ask me it’s always worth letting them know how you feel. If Squarespace 6 support for 3rd party editors is something you’re dreaming of, let them know how important it is to you.