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Title-free Touché

November 29th, 2016

I have been impressed by the response to Touché, my macOS utility for testing Apple’s Touch Bar without the need for Xcode.

What’s surprised the most is the number of people asking for minor usability changes. These are not the kinds of things you fret about when you’re using a utility here and there for a quick test, but when you are committing to run a utility full time:

  • It should move out of the way when the Dock appears
  • It should slide off and on the screen like the old Control Strip
  • It should be oriented vertically to stick on one side of the screen
  • It should be a menu-bar icon, instead of appearing in the Dock
  • It should appear correctly in full-screen apps
  • It should position itself under menus so it can be kept at the top of the screen
  • It should support hiding the title bar in the Touch Bar window

I made Touché as a sort of gift to developers, designers, and yes, end-users who want to check out Apple’s Touch Bar. I didn’t anticipate it might garner a comparable amount of feature requests as my other software does!

I am probably not going to be able to put a ton of time into supporting Touché or adding to its feature set. I like the simplicity of it, and I have a lot of other work to put the majority of my time into. However, I pick one item off that list: Touché 1.1 now supports an option to hide the Touch Bar window’s title bar.

Enjoy!

15 Responses to “Title-free Touché”

  1. Tozzophoto Says:

    Hi,

    This new version does not seem to work as smoothly as the prior release. Is there something special one needs to do when updating from an older version? For me the buttons did not change when I changed my app focus….

  2. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi Tozzophoto – if you got 1.1 and not 1.1.1, then be sure to “Check for Update” from the app to get the very latest (or download it again from the home page). There was a problem with 1.1 that caused it to become the active app when clicking the Touch Bar. That might be what you were seeing.

  3. Tozzophoto Says:

    Hello,

    I had 1.1 and t was the new 1.1.1 update that did not work for me. I had to revert back to 1.1. I’ll try t again… count me as one of the people who like to use this as an always on utility!

  4. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    @Tozzophoto thanks for letting me know – that is surprising because it’s just a fix for activation that I added to 1.1.1, absolutely nothing else. Maybe it had a side effect I didn’t expect. Will you please email support@red-sweater.com so we can follow up on this outside the blog comments? I’d love to figure out what is going on.

  5. Conor Says:

    Why not open source it. Let others add the changes, and just merge any push request for the ones you like. Does take some time to admin a project, but less than dealing with adding the features yourself. From my part, thank you for all the work you have already done and the free utility for developers.

  6. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    @Conor if it were easy to open source it, that is probably the route I would have taken. But whenever it comes to putting together an app designed to be usable and behave the way I expect it to, I rely strongly upon my own internal frameworks built up over years. I’m not prepared to open source those, and pulling out just the parts that Touché uses would be more work than I’m willing to put in for that.

    There are open source alternatives to Touché that people should feel free to get involved with, if motivated. A Touché-like, user-friendly standalone app could be built using the techniques demonstrated for example in https://github.com/bikkelbroeders/TouchBarDemoApp

  7. David Says:

    This utility is awesome. Would love for you to have more time to work on it. You should consider open sourcing it to allow others to add and change your design. Thanks again for your creativity and hard work.

  8. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi @David, thanks for the kind words!

  9. Conor Says:

    I should have know the answer. I rely heavily on my own frameworks. I have ended up with a monolithic framework that I embed in everything I do. I had assumed that Touché was so different it might be more decoupled, but developers get used to having all those helper functions. I am surprised how often, I use methods that I now believe to be Apple’s but are really part of my internal frameworks. In fact still using my own implementation of firstObject, even though the method has been around since 10.9.

    In short thanks for all the work put in so far on a free product. Carry on with the bread and butter.

  10. Tozzophoto Says:

    I am curious about the build of Sierra that is needed for this… it seems to be one designed more for macbooks, since I now have the ambientlight process running all the time… and desktops do not need that process.

  11. Shawn Says:

    I HAVE TO SAY! I F*****G LOVE TOUCHÉ!!! IT IS EVERYTHIN I NEED, EVEN AS A YOUTUBER!! IT IS SO FLUID WHEN WORKING WITH FINAL CUT PRO!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnIYWrzvpK8&t=31s

    I MADE A VIDEO ON THIS CHECK IT OUT.

    HOWEVER, I MUST SAY, I WOULD BEG OF YOU TO JUST MAKE ONE LAST UPDATE WHERE IT WORKS WITH FULL SCREEN APPS LIKE THE REAL TOUCHBAR, AS THAT IS SO MUCH MORE CONVENIENT FOR SO MANY OF US!!!

    -ShawnLoganThePhantom4Flyer

  12. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi @Shawn, I appreciate your enthusiasm :) I would love to get Touché working with full-screen apps but so far it’s proven non-trivial to get it working. I will have to carve out some time to figure out if I can crack the problem.

  13. Shawn Says:

    Dear Daniel,

    Does that mean that i can anticipate an update wherein, Touché works with full screen apps, in the future?

    If so, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

    I would REALLY be excited on the prospect of using Touché in full screen apps!!

    -ShawnLoganThePhantom4Flyer

  14. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    @Shawn, I can’t make any promises because I am not sure it’s 100% possible, and I also have a lot of other projects competing for my time. But I would like to make it happen if it seems possible and not too much work!

  15. Shawn Says:

    Dear Daniel,

    I understand. But i do hope it happens.

    But in any event, Touché is still awesome, and i wanna thank you for cooking it up for the world, and for free!

    -ShawnLoganThePhantom4Flyer

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