Introducing Touché

November 14th, 2016

When Apple announced the new MacBook Pros, featuring a hardware Touch Bar above the keyboard, I was immediately intrigued.

Apple provided a “simulator” to developers, so they can get a sense for how the Touch Bar works, and test their own apps with the Touch Bar, without having to buy a new MacBook Pro.

The simulator is cool, but I immediately noticed a few shortcomings:

  • You have to download Xcode to use it.
  • It’s cumbersome to activate and deactivate.
  • Taking screenshots of the Touch Bar is awkward.

Touché is my answer to those shortcomings. If you’re an everyday user who just wants to play around with the Touch Bar concept, a developer who wants a an easy way to toggle the virtual Touch Bar off and on, or a designer who needs to share screenshots from the Touch Bar frequently, then I think you’re going to love Touché.

Touché is free for all to download and use. I hope you like it.

Automatic Window Tabbing

September 24th, 2016

I wrote recently that there were no known problems with our apps on macOS Sierra. It turned out I had overlooked one subtle aspect of the update, which did have a negative impact on two Red Sweater apps.

Automatic window tabs grant the ability to almost all apps on the Mac to organize multiple documents in tabs, the way you have been able to do for a long time in Safari.

Unfortunately this functionality doesn’t lend itself perfectly to MarsEdit or Black Ink. In MarsEdit, it permits tabbing in the main window, where it doesn’t make much sense, and also creates a confusing arrangement of tabs in document windows, because the preview window and main document each get their own separate tabs. In Black Ink, the issue is worse, because enabling tabs and pushing the “+” button causes a crash in the app.

I have updated these apps to disable automatic window tabbing functionality. “Check for Updates” or download the latest version from the Black Ink or MarsEdit home pages. Updates for the Mac App Store are awaiting review by Apple.

I’ll be looking into the tabbing functionality in the future to see if I can adapt it to the apps without causing unwanted side-effects.

macOS Sierra Compatibility

September 20th, 2016

macOS Sierra (12.0) went live today.

There are no known issues with any of Red Sweater’s apps on the new OS.

I have been running macOS Sierra on my personal development Mac for several months, and it’s been a pretty solid update both with respect to Red Sweater apps and with respect to most other software that I run.

That said, please do drop me a line if you run into anything unexpected.

Second Level Of Security

May 20th, 2016

An issue MarsEdit users are running into with increased frequency is a challenge, when trying to connect to a blog, for a “second level of security” password. This panel is usually only displayed when a blog has been configured with an HTTP Basic protection to ensure it is completely private:

SecondLevel

However it is recently being erroneously displayed for many users who have no such (intentional) protection set up.

The problem is rooted in web hosting administrators increasingly restricting access to the interface that MarsEdit uses to connect to blogs, called the “API.” For example, on a typical WordPress blog the API will usually be located by a URL like:

http://www.example.com/xmlrpc.php

Many web hosting teams have instituted a blanket ban on accessing URLs like these, and the way they configure the host causes an error code to be returned to MarsEdit that it mistakes for a “second level of security.”

The solution to this problem is to contact your web hosting team and ask them to explicitly whitelist access to the API Endpoint URL (you can find yours in MarsEdit’s blog settings) for your blog. It may help to provide your web hosting team a log of the conversation between MarsEdit and your blog:

  1. Open MarsEdit
  2. Select Window -> Network Log from the menu bar.
  3. Clear the log if it’s not already empty.
  4. Try to refresh the blog again from MarsEdit.
  5. Copy the network log contents.

Once they have fixed the configuration of your server, the annoying security request should stop appearing in MarsEdit.