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.

MarsEdit 3.7.3: Restore Old HTTPS Behavior

October 20th, 2015

MarsEdit 3.7.3 is available now on the MarsEdit home page, and will be submitted to the Mac App Store approval for approval by Apple.

This is a quick-fix to revert one aspect of 3.7.2 that turned out to cause troubles: the enabling by default of support for TLS 1.1 and 1.2 protocols with HTTPS.

To make a long story short: Apple makes it easy to support these protocols, but only if you’ve linked against a newer version of their Mac development SDKs. For a variety of reasons, MarsEdit is not currently built against those newer SDKs. I thought I could work around the shortcoming myself in 3.7.2, but it turned out to be trickier than I thought. I’m reverting those changes until I can figure out how to solve the problem more permanently and robustly.

MarsEdit 3.7.2: Full Screen Crash Fix

October 16th, 2015

MarsEdit 3.7.2 is available now on the MarsEdit home page, and will be submitted to the Mac App Store approval for approval by Apple.

I mentioned previously that our apps are compatible with OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Well, you never quite know for sure until the masses get ahold of the app and start playing with it. As soon as 10.11 shipped I started seeing reports with a tell-tale indication that MarsEdit was crashing in the process of exiting full screen mode.

I got to the bottom of the problem, which has to do with nuances about how things are cleaned up when a MarsEdit editor is being closed. The issue in the crashes was something about the process of closing a MarsEdit document and exiting full screen mode at the same time, caused a perfect storm of sorts in the cleaning up process: the system was still animating the window after MarsEdit had said goodbye and thought it was done.

MarsEdit 3.7.2 fixes this crash and also included a number of other fixes I’ve been queueing up.

MarsEdit 3.7.2

  • Fix a crash that occurred when closing an editor window directly from Full Screen mode in OS X El Capitan
  • MarsEdit now defaults to HTTPS for new connections to Tumblr blogs to increase security
  • Fix an issue that prevented MarsEdit from connecting to HTTPS endpoints that require TLS1.1 or TLS1.2
  • Fix a problem where content in a post’s title could be stripped for display if it looked like HTML
  • Fix a bug in handling literal % characters in text supplied by browser bookmarklet
  • For Flickr photo browsing, supprot an option to download 500 photos for moderately high number without downloading all
  • MarsEdit’s editor window now fill all available space in full screen mode

Let me know if you run into anything unusual with the update!