Stonewall Promotion Yields $850 Donation

July 1st, 2019

On Friday I announced a promotion to benefit The National Center for Transgender Equality. I put all of Red Sweater’s apps on sale for 50% off, and pledged to donate the full amount of payments made using the coupon to the charity.

I’m excited to share that when all was said and done, 40 people took advantage of the offer, yielding $843.89 in revenue. I rounded that figure up to $850, and just completed the donation a few minutes ago.

Thanks to everybody who participated and/or helped to spread the word!

Remembering Stonewall

June 28th, 2019

This weekend marks an important anniversary in the history of the struggle for gay rights in the United States, and around the world. Fifty years ago, the Stonewall riots kicked off a movement that has increasingly liberated transgender, lesbian, gay, and other people who fall outside the heteronormative status quo that continues to prevail.

In honor of this moment, I’m offering an unusually steep 50% discount on all of my apps, with all profits going to charity. This offer is good now through Sunday. Use the coupon code “Stonewall” by following this link:

Red Sweater Store – Stonewall Discount

All of the proceeds from anything purchased with this coupon will be donated to The National Center for Transgender Equality. I chose this charity because I believe trans people are less protected than most groups that fall under the LGBTQ umbrella. In the spirit of Stonewall I think it’s appropriate to support this under-represented group.

I’ll cover the payment costs, so the full 50% of list price will be donated to the charity. I will turn off the coupon on Monday and tabulate the total revenues then before making the donation.

I hope you find some great software, and also appreciate the opportunity to support our trans friends and neighbors.

Early Catalina Updates

June 27th, 2019

Apple was quick to release a public macOS 10.15 beta this year, so some of you may already be installing it to give it a spin. If you haven’t installed it yet, I strongly encourage you to be more cautious than usual.

This year’s update to macOS includes a large number of significant architectural changes that are likely to break compatibility with some of your apps. Notably, Apple has dramatically revised the filesystem in such a way that most backup solutions will need to be updated, and they have finally dropped support for older, 32-bit applications.

Luckily for Red Sweater customers, all of our apps are, as of today, compatible with Catalina 10.15. Beta macOS releases are a moving target, so I can’t vouch for them continuing to work perfectly. As always, there are risks to running beta software, and there are risks to running even production software on beta macOS releases. But for those you who are daring enough to proceed with caution, here is the status for each of our currently shipping apps:

MarsEdit and Black Ink

MarsEdit and Black Ink were ready to hit the ground running. As long as you’re running the latest version 4.3.2 of MarsEdit, and either Black Ink 1.7.11, or the much-improved Black Ink 2 beta, you should be in good shape.


FastScripts 2.7.8, available today, addresses a crashing bug that affects users who have Finder aliases of a certain vintage in their Scripts folder. The Apple frameworks for resolving these files has a bug in the 10.15 public beta, and FastScripts has now been updated to work around the problem.


FlexTime 1.4.1, also available today, addresses a bug that caused the app to crash at launch on 10.15.


Clarion 2.2 is a slightly more substantial update. It addresses a crash-at-launch bug on the 10.15 public beta, and also introduces a few additional enhancements to the app:

  • Dark Mode support for macOS 10.14
  • Clarion now requires macOS 10.12 or greater
  • Add NSSupportsAutomaticGraphicsSwitching to Info.plist to avoid depending on high power GPU
  • Fix a crash when launching on an future version of macOS

The Mac App Store version of Clarion 2.2 is not yet approved but should be available soon.


Touché 1.1.4 has been updated to address a crash-on-launch bug on the 10.15 public beta.


One change in 10.15 is that Apple now requires apps to be “notarized” in order to avoid the system flagging the app as being from an “unidentified developer.” I’m working on getting all of my apps notarized with Apple, but in the mean time if you download an app directly on the public beta, you may need to right-click it in the Finder, select “Open” and then agree to proceed with allowing the app to launch.

Anything Else?

If you run into any problems with Red Sweater apps, either related to 10.15 Catalina or not, please drop us a line!

Accessible Crosswords

June 14th, 2019

Many years ago, I set out to make my Mac crossword app, Black Ink, accessible to VoiceOver users. I failed. The assistive technology on macOS at the time simply did not seem up to the task for mapping the complex, two-dimensional, nested hierarchy of a crossword puzzle into a form that could be meaningfully conveyed over VoiceOver.

Now, as I look forward to finishing up Black Ink 2.0, I am encouraged to give it another try. VoiceOver has improved dramatically and I am optimistic that I’ll be able to ship this major update of the app with features that make it accessible to all.

I can’t do this alone. I need to know how the ideal accessible crossword app would behave, and to know that, I need advice from experienced VoiceOver users. If you or somebody you know is a Mac VoiceOver user who would enjoy helping me design the accessible interface to Black Ink, please consider joining the Red Sweater Slack so we can collaborate on this:

Join the Red Sweater Slack Community

I have some vague ideas of how to accomplish this but I’m looking forward to hearing from folks who are keenly aware of just how such an app should behave. After you join the Slack, please join me in the #accessibility channel. Thanks!