Prematurely Published Drafts

February 19th, 2016

A WordPress bug was brought to my attention in which changing the publish status of a post from “Draft” to “Published”, while also giving the post a specific date, for example to schedule it for the future, would cause the post to be unexpectedly published immediately, instead of scheduled for the future date.

I looked into this and discovered the problem is in WordPress’s server-side infrastructure. Specifically, there were changes late last year that expose clients such as MarsEdit to the problem. I submitted a fix for the issue to the WordPress team. Hopefully they will review and agree that it merits including in a future update!

In the mean time, if you use MarsEdit with WordPress, you should beware if you take advantage of both the ability to publish posts as drafts to WordPress, and the ability to later turn that draft into a scheduled post by setting a future date in MarsEdit.

Unfortunately, the only reliable way I know to avoid this problem from MarsEdit is to give your draft post a date before you ever send it to WordPress. If a draft post starts out with a date specified, the bug will not occur on later edits to the post, for example when you switch the publish status to “Published.”

I hope this bug is fixed in a public update to WordPress, soon!

MarsEdit 3.7.4: San Francisco Typeface

January 28th, 2016

MarsEdit 3.7.4 is now available from the MarsEdit home page, and will be available soon for update on the Mac App Store.

Sharper, more typographically sensitive eyes pointed out that the font for the main window lists in MarsEdit 3.7.3 and earlier was stuck on the old system font, Lucida Grancde. Starting in OS X 10.11, Apple adopted their own custom San Francisco font. This update fixes MarsEdit to use the new typeface when running on OS X 10.11 or higher. This update also addresses an issue with the size of text fields for some Tumblr fields.

  • Fix to update main window font from old Lucida Grande to new San Francisco system font
  • Fix a discrepancy in font size for some text entry fields e.g. Tumblr quotations

Enjoy! Let me know if you run into any problems.

FlexTime 1.3: Auto Save And Interface Update

January 26th, 2016

FlexTime 1.3 is now available from the FlexTime home page, and will be submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

This update fixes a few pesky bugs and also brings an updated look to FlexTime’s document window design. I decided to finally get rid of the decidedly out-of-date “polished window” reminiscent of iTunes from a decade or more ago.

I took the opportunity with this update to also take advantage of OS X’s “auto save” functionality so that you can not only quit and reopen FlexTime without worrying about saving, but also revert to previously saved versions with OS X’s built-in Time Machine history browser.

Here is the complete list of changes for this release:

  • Support for OS X Autosave and Document versioning
  • Clean up the document window interface to better match look of OS X
  • Fix a bug that caused an additional untitled document to appear when reopening the app
  • Fix a bug that could cause a crash when closing a running routine
  • Fix a bug that prevented completely empty routine documents from opening
  • FlexTime now requires OS X 10.10 or greater.

Enjoy, and let me know if you notice anything amiss!

Shush Is Now Swish

January 20th, 2016

After a period of unavailability due to legal challenges, I am happy to announce that the app formerly known as “Shush” is available once again. It’s now called “Swish.” You can check it out on the iOS App Store.

Swish is a minimalist static noise generator, producing both static white noise (actually, pink noise) for your ears as well as visual white noise along the lines of what some of us remember from the television sets of our youths.

Image of Swish running on an iPhone

I came up with the idea for Swish in 2008, after my oldest son Henry was born. Static noise is soothing to many babies, and with the crying fits I was enduring, it seemed worth a shot. It did the trick for Henry, and has helped many other parents looking for an “always in my pocket” soothing source of static. Shush seemed the perfect name, because it embodies not only the verb meaning of trying to quiet somebody, but the sound of the static noise itself.

Because it was a whimsical side-project, I never expected to make a ton of money off Shush. And I haven’t. However, I maintained the app over the past 8 years, and released a major update when my second son, Matthew, was born. Needless to say, this project has been personally very meaningful to me.

A little over a year ago, I received a message from Apple that another developer had challenged my use of their trademark. Although I had been using the trademark myself for 7 years, they filed a trademark registration, and set to work demanding that I, and probably others, cease using the mark. I pushed back as long and as hard as I felt that I could without risking huge legal costs. I am confident that if I could justify the expense of defending the trademark, I would have prevailed because of my clear prior use of the mark. I could not, however, justify that cost. Hence the name change to Swish.

Swish is available for both iPhone and iPad. Before the trademark issue came to a head, I had built and submitted a version for Apple TV. It seemed like a perfect fit to me: I have witnessed fake static that ships with televisions, and is far inferior to the static I’m managed with some OpenGL tricks on iOS. I stripped the faux-television chrome from the UI and was left with an app that simply makes static when you launch it, and stops when you quit. Apple deemed the app too simplistic and suggested that I add more functionality. I continue to stew on that advice, but in the mean time, at least it runs on my television. I have the pleasure of occasionally turning my living room into an absurdly, amusingly vintage static noise environment, very reminiscent of my youth.