Red Sweater Blog https://red-sweater.com/blog Official blog of Red Sweater Software Tue, 02 Jul 2019 22:29:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Stonewall Promotion Yields $850 Donation https://red-sweater.com/blog/3491/stonewall-promotion-yields-850-donation https://red-sweater.com/blog/3491/stonewall-promotion-yields-850-donation#comments Mon, 01 Jul 2019 20:53:43 +0000 https://red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3491 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!

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Remembering Stonewall https://red-sweater.com/blog/3489/remembering-stonewall Sat, 29 Jun 2019 03:06:34 +0000 https://red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3489 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.

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Early Catalina Updates https://red-sweater.com/blog/3486/early-catalina-updates Thu, 27 Jun 2019 13:19:52 +0000 https://red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3486 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

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

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

Clarion

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

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

Caveat

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!

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Accessible Crosswords https://red-sweater.com/blog/3483/accessible-crosswords Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:59:32 +0000 https://red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3483 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!

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Improving the WordPress API https://red-sweater.com/blog/3477/improving-the-wordpress-api Fri, 24 May 2019 21:45:07 +0000 https://red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3477 Some MarsEdit customers may have run across a problem where posts that were published as “Draft” posts to WordPress end up getting stuck with the original draft publish date as the actual publish date when the post is changed to Published.

I took on the task of identifying the source of this problem and fixing it in the open-source WordPress project. That was 7 months ago. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been integrated yet. Here’s my post about the situation:

Unloved Patches

MarsEdit’s functionality is often limited by the capabilities of the blogs to which it publishes. WordPress is unusual in that it is open source, so anybody can contribute improvements to the platform. If those improvements are never accepted, however, it may as well not be open source.

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MarsEdit’s Secret Title Bar Preference https://red-sweater.com/blog/3474/marsedits-secret-title-bar-preference https://red-sweater.com/blog/3474/marsedits-secret-title-bar-preference#comments Thu, 23 May 2019 02:11:27 +0000 https://red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3474 Michael Tsai wrote today about the accessibility challenges presented by Mac toolbars that do not have text labels. These are an unfortunate consequence of opting for macOS’s “no titlebar” style appearance, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. As Michael points out, MarsEdit is among the apps that has embraced it. This is how it looks by default:

Screenshot of toolabr icons from MarsEdit with no text labels.

The good news, for folks who don’t prefer this style, is MarsEdit supports a “secret preference” to change back to the more traditional style with a title for the window, and with the option to show or hide text labels. If you’re comfortable setting defaults from the command line, you can run this from Terminal to enable the labels:

defaults write com.red-sweater.marsedit4 ShowMainWindowTitleBar YES

If you’d rather avoid the command line, MarsEdit should apply the setting for you if you click this link:

Show MarsEdit’s Main Window Titlebar

Now, quit and relaunch MarsEdit. If the toolbar icon labels are not visible, select View > Customize Toolbar from the menu bar, and select the option to show “Icon & Text”. Here’s how it looks:

Screenshot of MarsEdit's toolbar icons with labels.

And if you decide to switch back, this link should do the trick:

Hide MarsEdit’s Main Window Titlebar

Ideally Apple would fix this mode so that some kind of appropriate compromise could be made to support the streamlined title-bar-free mode, while also supporting the display of labels. I’m not holding my breath on that, though. Hopefully this workaround will give those of you who either prefer, or outright depend upon the labels for accessibility reasons, something to tide you over.

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MarsEdit 4.3.2: Fixing the Fuzzy Icons https://red-sweater.com/blog/3469/marsedit-4-3-2-fixing-the-fuzzy-icons Fri, 17 May 2019 20:23:24 +0000 https://red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3469 MarsEdit 4.3.2 is now available at the MarsEdit home page and on the Mac App Store.

This update primarily addresses a problem that snuck in to the app recently, causing the icons for some blogs to appear blurry in the main window side panel, and in the Preferences list. It also includes a couple other small bug fixes.

Complete list of changes for this release:

  • Fix a problem that caused some icons to appear fuzzy or too large in the blog list
  • Fix an issue that caused the built-in crash reporter to fail to launch for some users
  • Refine the error message when uploading an image to Blogger fails because of their disabled API

If you enjoy MarsEdit, please consider writing a review or rating the app on the Mac App Store, spreading the word on Facebook or Twitter, and of course, writing about the app on your own blog! Thanks for your support.

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MarsEdit is Now Available on Setapp https://red-sweater.com/blog/3465/marsedit-is-now-available-on-setapp https://red-sweater.com/blog/3465/marsedit-is-now-available-on-setapp#comments Thu, 16 May 2019 12:42:14 +0000 https://red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3465 Great news for Setapp users: MarsEdit is now available as part of the lineup of apps. This means that Setapp subscribers can use the app, with all its functionality unlocked, for free.

Sign up for a free Setapp trial.

If you aren’t already a Setapp subscriber, using the link above to sign up will help me. Try it out for free, and if you end up subscribing, I will receive a perpetual commission from Setapp based on your $9.99/month membership fee.

I have been thinking for years that it would be great to offer an alternative subscription pricing version of MarsEdit. I may still pursue that, but offering the app via Setapp seems like a great way to bundle it with several apps that my potential customers may already be using.

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FastScripts 2.7.7: Dark Mode Switching Fix https://red-sweater.com/blog/3463/fastscripts-2-7-7-dark-mode-switching-fix Thu, 02 May 2019 18:38:29 +0000 https://red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3463 FastScripts 2.7.7 is now available for download from the FastScripts home page and on the Mac App Store.

The main thing this update addresses is a problem where the FastScripts icon might not adapt to changing its color when going from Dark Mode to Light Mode, or vice-versa. The update also includes another minor bug fix and a tweak to hide file extensions from more types of scripts. This is the complete list of changes:

  • Fix a bug that could prevent the menu icon color from adapting to Light/Dark Mode changes
  • Fix a visual glitch with the focus ring displayed when editing a keyboard shortcut
  • Omit the file extensions for .applescript, .py, .rb, etc files in the script menu

If you enjoy FastScripts, please consider writing a review or rating the app on the Mac App Store, or spreading the word on Facebook or Twitter! Thanks for your support. Questions or concerns? Get in touch at support@red-sweater.com. Thank you.

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MarsEdit 4.3.1: Fixes For Crashes and Glitches https://red-sweater.com/blog/3461/marsedit-4-3-1-fixes-for-crashes-and-glitches Wed, 24 Apr 2019 12:40:21 +0000 https://red-sweater.com/blog/?p=3461 MarsEdit 4.3.1 is now available from the MarsEdit home page and on the Mac App Store.

This update is a minor update with a few bug fixes:

  • Fix a crash when a blog has a favicon that cannot be rendered
  • Fix a crash when opening some posts from Nifty Cocolog blogs
  • Fix a visual glitch in the Find/Replace panel
  • Fix a bug that prevented system highlight color from applying to Rich Text in Dark Mode

If you enjoy MarsEdit, please consider writing a review or rating the app on the Mac App Store, spreading the word on Facebook or Twitter, and of course, writing about the app on your own blog! Thanks for your support.

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