WordPress 4.4 Scheduling Issue

December 15th, 2015

WordPress 4.4 includes a change that affects the scheduling of posts, or changing of a previously published post’s “publish date.”

The change causes a discrepancy between the date as specified in MarsEdit, and the date as recorded on the blog server. Specifically: the time specified in MarsEdit will be adjusted by WordPress, by the hours offset from GMT that your blog’s timezone is set to. For example, if your blog server is configured for New York (Eastern Time in the U.S.), then a post set to publish at 11:00PM tonight will actually be published at 4:00AM tomorrow morning. You can find your blog’s time zone setting from the WordPress admin panel, under “General” settings.

When I went to investigate the problem on WordPress’s bug-tracking system, I found an existing report which covers the issue as it affects WordPress’s own Android app. Hopefully the significance of this issue will motivate the folks who introduced the change to reconsider their approach, and to restore proper functionality to clients including MarsEdit and others.

In the mean time, a workaround is to proactively adjust for your GMT offset when setting a post’s date in MarsEdit. If you want the post to go live at 11:00PM tonight, and your blog’s time zone is in New York: schedule the post for 6:00PM instead. After your post is published, you can confirm the actual scheduled time in the published posts list in MarsEdit, where the date column should show the expected 11:00PM.

FastScripts 2.6.9: Bug Fixes

December 10th, 2015

FastScripts 2.6.9 is now available from the FastScripts home page, and will be submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

This is a minor bug fix update to address a couple issues.

One has to do with subtleties around the way shell scripts are executed by FastScripts. Previously, FastScripts was inadvertently passing the contents of the script itself to the script’s standard input. It now takes care not to do this.

The other change is a minor fix to the Preferences UI in FastScripts, where the keyboard shortcuts for scripts are set. The disclosure hierarchy for navigating scripts should be preserved across launches of FastScripts. For the past few releases this has been broken, but now it’s working as expected again.

Complete list of changes:

  • Fix to avoid copying contents of a script to the standard input when running a shell script
  • Fix a bug that prevented the keyboard shortcuts script list in preferences from remembering its expanded state across launches


Black Ink 1.6.3: Download Older Puzzles

November 18th, 2015

Black Ink 1.6.3 is now available from the Black Ink home page, and has been submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

Black Ink has always supported downloading of puzzles from a (diminishing) variety of online puzzle sources. This makes it easy to grab the latest puzzle from any of a few popular sources, and start solving immediately. A drawback to this functionality however is that if you miss a puzzle, because for example you didn’t have time last week, then you have to go to the web and manually download the puzzle file from the archives.

Starting with Black Ink 1.6.3, a minor change in the way it downloads puzzles should put an end to that hassle. Now, if Black Ink notices that it already has a copy of a given puzzle, it will skip that one and look back in time for a previous puzzle that has not already been downloaded.

So if you finish a puzzle and want to open another one to work on immediately, just try choosing the same puzzle source again, and see what Black Ink can find.

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

  • Black Ink will now try to download an earlier puzzle if the latest puzzle from a source is already downloaded
  • Fix an issue that could cause NYT login to fail repeatedly even with good login info
  • Switch to using Helvetica consistently across the board for printout text


Quick Post With MarsEdit

November 2nd, 2015

Andy Ihnatko is giving MarsEdit a spin, and had some good feedback for me with respect to a specific blogging workflow he’s trying to achieve. In short: he wants something more Twitter-like to dash off thoughts and publish them directly to a blog.

What I really want is a system-wide hotkey. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, tapping it causes a little note card window to pop up. I type a few sentences, maybe click a Twitter-style icon button to drop in a photo or paste in a link (which the app automatically grabs from the frontmost browser window), click the “Post” button, and then I’m back to what I was doing before I had this brilliant idea for a quick post.

This is in line with some other thoughts I’ve had about using MarsEdit for “micro-blogging,” since my friend Manton Reece has been playing with the idea for a forthcoming product.

It’s firmly on my “to do list” to support a feature like this, but I thought I’d put some effort into seeing how closely I can approximate the desired workflow with MarsEdit as it stands today. AppleScript to the rescue?

Click to download: Quick Post.scpt

This script takes advantage of the fact that MarsEdit’s scripting support lets you create a new post and populate it with arbitrary default values. It then uses a somewhat crude AppleScript trick of keeping the script running until the newly created document is closed. Why? Because as its parting gift, it shuts the door on its way out, so to speak, by re-activating whatever app you were using when you invoked the script.

Paired with FastScripts or another keyboard shortcut tool for scripts, you can assign a global hotkey that empowers you to quickly create a new blog post in MarsEdit, send it, and then resume work on whatever it was you were doing previously.