MarsEdit 4.2.3: Image Quality, Gutenberg, and More

December 21st, 2018

MarsEdit 4.2.3 is now available at the MarsEdit home page and on the Mac App Store.

This update addresses a few bugs, including one that caused copy-and-pasted images on Macs with Retina (high resolution) displays to be downgraded upon pasting into a lower-resolution image. For example, a screenshot capture taken at 400×400 pixels would be pasted in MarsEdit as a 200×200 image.

I also addressed a minor, but annoying issue when editing posts that contain “blocks” added by WordPress 5.0’s new Gutenberg editor. In MarsEdit 4.2.2 and earlier, editing these posts in MarsEdit’s Rich Text editor would cause additional, blank paragraphs to appear between the WordPress blocks.

Finally, I fixed a couple issues with formatting text in Rich Text mode, and restored the ability to copy and paste text from Microsoft Word to MarsEdit. Here’s the complete list of changes for this update:

  • Fix a bug where images that are copied-and-pasted into MarsEdit could lose Retina resolution precision
  • Restore copy/paste functionality from Microsoft Word to MarsEdit’s post editor
  • Fix issues that prevented font changes in Rich Text mode from being applied reliably
  • Improve behavior with Rich Text editor and WordPress Gutenberg content, to avoid adding superfluous paragraphs
  • Fix a bug where text in the editor could switch to the wrong color in Dark Mode after running a formatting macro

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.

Touché 1.1.3: Mojave Fixes

December 20th, 2018

It’s been about two years since the last update to Touché, our free utility for running Apple’s Touch Bar interface even on Macs that don’t have a hardware Touch Bar.

I just published Touché 1.1.3 with a couple fixes that keep it looking sharp in macOS Mojave 10.14:

  • Fix appearance of the Preferences window on Mojave 10.14
  • Support Mojave Dark Mode for About Box and Acknowledgements window

I don’t actually use Touché much myself, but I get a good amount of feedback from folks who appreciate having it around. I actually used it the other day on my MacBook Pro, even though it has a Touch Bar: I was using an external keyboard and didn’t want to reach up to touch the real touch bar!

WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg, and MarsEdit

December 6th, 2018

Congratulations to the open source WordPress team on the release of WordPress 5.0: Bebo. Although WordPress’s versioning scheme doesn’t place significance on the “round number” versions, this update happens to include a major rethinking of the default web-based WordPress editor, which they call “Gutenberg.”

What’s the Big Deal?

The fundamental change in WordPress 5.0 is a new “block based” approach to composing content. Instead of writing posts as a single stream of content, semantically meaningful chunks representing different sections, image elements, etc. can be created and manipulated by dragging them around inside a post.

This change to the editor is part of a trend with WordPress of moving away from the dedicated purpose of blogging, towards satisfying the more general-purpose needs of a full-featured CMS. Typically blogs feature a unified design for posts, so that in the process of writing individual posts, you can focus more on the content than on the layout and organization of the piece. Time will tell whether block-based editing ends up being common in blogging contexts.

What’s it Mean for MarsEdit?

After updating to WordPress 5.0, you can continue using MarsEdit to download, publish, and edit posts on your blog. If you also edit posts in the WordPress web editor, you’ll have the option of using the new Gutenberg editor, or opting to restore the “Classic” WordPress editor.

If you add new posts to your blog using the Gutenberg editor, you can edit that content in MarsEdit, too. Because blocks are implemented using HTML, any app that can edit HTML source, as MarsEdit does, can also edit the content of these blocks.

Known Issues and Caveats

When editing a post with block-based content in MarsEdit, you will see the raw HTML for your blocks when editing in Plain Text mode, and a rendered version of the HTML in Rich Text mode. Unlike the WordPress web-based editor, you will not see a visual representation of the blocks as separate entities in your posts. But when you edit and publish changes to your post, the block information should be preserved.

As of MarsEdit 4.2.2 there is a bug in MarsEdit’s Rich Text editor that may cause additional paragraphs to be inserted between blocks. This is a side-effect of the fact that blocks are implemented with HTML comment nodes, and MarsEdit’s Rich Text editor makes an effort to ensure that posts are separated into high level “p” nodes. I’m working on a fix for this.

Looking Forward

In the short term I am not planning to add much in the way of block-specific functionality to MarsEdit. As I mentioned above, I think that blocks are going to appeal more to web authors who are managing full-fledged sites, and less to bloggers who appreciate the streamlined workflow that MarsEdit emphasizes.

In the longer term I’ll be keeping my ears open both for feedback from my customers, and to see how Gutenberg is received both by bloggers, and by the larger WordPress community. If enhancing MarsEdit to support block-specific workflows seems like it will be widely-appreciated by MarsEdit users, then I will start planning to make those changes to the app.

I hope this post has helped to answer any questions you might have had about WordPress 5.0, the Gutenberg editor, and how it will affect your use of MarsEdit to edit your blog. As always, feel free to drop me a line if you have any additional questions.

FastScripts 2.7.4: Standardized Menu Sorting

December 4th, 2018

FastScripts 2.7.4 is now available for download from the FastScripts home page and on the Mac App Store.

This update improves the sorting of items in the FastScripts menu, so that they are ordered in the standard localized order. Previously items were sorted by a crude alphanumeric sort, so that for example “100” would be sorted before “50”, because the 1 is less than 5. Now FastScripts sorts things in the same manner as other apps such as the Finder do.

This update also includes some minor bug fixes. Here’s the complete list of changes:

  • Fix the ordering of items in the script menu to be sorted by standard localized order
  • Fix a bug that could cause a renamed script to appear twice in the menu if only the case of the name was changed
  • Fix a bug that caused Quick Action Workflows to be offered for installation when attempting to edit them
  • Fix a bug that caused the focus on the shortcuts table to be lost after setting a shortcut value
  • Add a new FastScripts Help menu item to easily open help on the web

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.