OS X El Capitan

September 29th, 2015

Tomorrow, Apple will release the latest version of OS X: 10.11 “El Capitan.”

All Red Sweater apps have been tested against the forthcoming release, and there are no known incompatibilities.

Please let us know if you run into any problems or have specific questions about our apps.

Cmd-Number Shortcuts For Safari 9

July 9th, 2015

If you’re a Safari user and you’ve updated to the Safari 9 or OS X 10.11 beta, you may have noticed a minor change in the default keyboard shortcuts for the app.

In Safari 8 and earlier, keyboard shortcuts combining the Command key and a number, e.g. Cmd-1, Cmd-2, Cmd-3, would open the corresponding bookmark bar item. So if you arranged your most-frequently-visited sites in the first few bookmark bar slots, you could easily jump to those pages by muscle memory thanks to these shortcuts.

In Safari 9, these shortcuts now switch to any open tabs you have in a Safari window. This will come as a surprise to folks who have gotten used to e.g. using Cmd-1 to quickly jump to e.g. Google News, or Yahoo Stocks.

The implicit shortcuts for bookmark bar items are still available, but you have to add the option key into the mix. So where you used to press Cmd-1, you must now press Cmd-Opt-1.

This may not be a big deal to you, and you may choose to simply adapt, but for those who got used to the old behavior and want to preserve a similar functionality, FastScripts can do the job of putting things back into order for you.

Safari’s scripting interface doesn’t support selecting a specific bookmark bar item by number, so FastScripts can’t exactly replicate the old behavior. What it can do though is bind (just about) any keystroke to a script that opens a specific URL in Safari. You might find after getting used to doing things “the FastScripts way” that you prefer it to the old Safari way, because you won’t be limited to using numeric shortcuts, and will instead be able to choose whatever shortcuts you like. For example, I use Ctrl-N as my shortcut to quickly jump to Google News.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure for adding shortcuts to Safari to open a specific URL:

  1. Download FastScripts. It’s free for up to 10 shortcuts.
  2. Launch FastScripts and find its icon in the upper-right corner of your Mac’s screen. It looks like this: MenuIconGray 2x
  3. Launch or activate Safari so it’s the front-most app.
  4. Click the FastScripts icon and select FastScripts -> Create Safari Scripts Folder.
  5. Download this script and copy it to the Safari scripts folder.
  6. Double-click the script to open in Script Editor.
  7. Change the URL in the script from “http://www.red-sweater.com” to whatever URL you like, e.g. “http://news.google.com/”
  8. Save the script and rename it to e.g. “Open Google News”.
  9. Back in Safari, hold the Command down and select “Open Google News” from the FastScripts menu. This is a shortcut to quickly change a script’s keyboard shortcut.
  10. Set the desired keyboard shortcut in FastScripts’s preferences.
  11. There’s no step 11! From now on, whenever you’re in Safari and want to jump to that URL, just press the keyboard shortcut, and you’re done.

This sounds a bit more complicated to set up than it is in practice. Once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to quickly replace however many Cmd-Number shortcuts as you like in Safari, and it might even open the door to overriding behaviors of other apps. This is an area where FastScripts really shines. Enjoy!

MarsEdit 3.7.1: Finessing Apple Photos And Google Authentication

June 24th, 2015

MarsEdit 3.7.1 is available now on the MarsEdit home page, and will be submitted to the Mac App Store approval for approval by Apple.

This update addresses a couple issues that affect a minority of MarsEdit users. One fix is for Blogger users who ran into mysterious “JavaScript disabled” errors when trying to log in to their blogs. The other should eliminate a crash that could occur while loading the contents of an Apple Photos library in MarsEdit’s Media Manager.

  • Fix a crash that could occur while reloading Apple Photos Library
  • Fix a rare issue where users could encounter a “JavaScript disabled” error when trying to log in to Blogger

Let me know if you run into any trouble with the update!

MarsEdit 3.7: Blogger Functionality Restored

June 2nd, 2015

I’m happy to announce that MarsEdit 3.7 is available now from the MarsEdit home page and will be submitted to the Mac App Store approval for approval by Apple. If you are an existing Mac App Store customer, you can download and use the direct-download version immediately. Just switch back to the App Store version after you notice it’s been approved.

One week ago today, MarsEdit compatibility with Blogger was broken by a change in Google’s authentication requirements. I’ve spent the past week adding the required changes to MarsEdit so that Blogger blogs can be authenticated with the most modern mechanism Google offers: their company-wide OAuth2 implementation.

The big change for Blogger users is that instead of the usual MarsEdit authentication panel, requesting your Google username and password, you will see a larger window pop up with web content served directly from Google:

Sign In

While updating MarsEdit to use the new system was not a trivial undertaking, it is a valuable change for the long term. The new authentication scheme offers two significant improvements to protect your Google account’s security:

  1. Your password will no longer be stored (or even handled) by MarsEdit. The Google web window authenticates you using your login information, and then shares with MarsEdit a unique authentication token, which is now stored securely in the OS X keychain. This token allows MarsEdit to connect to your Blogger account without prompting you again for permission.
  2. You retain the option to revoke that access at any time, without even opening MarsEdit. Although MarsEdit always stores passwords securely in the OS X keychain, this additional level of security ensures that even if somebody were able to gain access to your keychain contents, they would not obtain unfettered access to your entire Google account.

This has been a wild week, but I’m very relieved to be able to offer this update for Google Blogger users. Folks who don’t use Blogger should also update, because there are a few minor fixes that will, in particular, improve the experience of using the MarsEdit Media Manager for some workflows.

Complete list of changes in MarsEdit 3.7:

  • Restore functionality for Google’s Blogger blogs by supporting their modern authentication scheme
  • Fix handling of dates to ensure proper post scheduling in all locales/regions
  • Fix some visual flickering of the Media Manager’s album/folders lists while clicking them
  • Refinements to Apple Photos support in Media Browser
    • Prevent a crash that could occur in media manager when no Photos library was created yet
    • Fix a problem where some groups could be expanded even if there are no contents inside

Please let me know ASAP, either in the comments below or by other support channels, how the update is working out for you.