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Black Ink 1.6 a step backwards?

edited April 2014 in Black Ink
Wow. I find myself disliking almost everything about the 1.6 update. Think I'll be reverting to the prior version (thank you Time Machine). Ok, being able to easily read the whole of long clues is a good thing, but for everything else...

I can no longer see what errors I made in the process of solving a puzzle. Used to be that I could tell the difference between a letter that I got right on my own versus one that I initially got wrong, but corrected after checking. I'd tell my wife "two greens on the LA Times today" (or no greens if it was a good day for me) the green checkmarks being letters that I corrected after the initial check showed they were wrong. Now there appears to be no way to distinguish. Once I correct the error, there is no way to tell that there was previously one there. That alone is huge and enough reason for me to revert.

Maybe you could use the "revealed" color for that. After all, correcting a letter after having been told that I got it wrong is pretty much like doing a reveal, even if I didn't actually use the reveal button (which I never do). *PLEASE*. Or anyway something so that I can tell. That's sort of a daily friendly competition between me and my wife - to see who got the fewest "greens" on today's puzzle.

Speaking of reverting, I despise auto-save in general. That's one reason I have not updated to OS X 10.9 (and probably won't ever do so). And Black Ink 1.6 seems to have no way to quite without saving. The closest thing looks to be to revert to some prior save. I don't want to revert. I just plain want to quit without littering my disk with old saves of puzzles from months ago.

Took me a while to find how to reopen a puzzle as unsolved so that my wife could try the same one. I used to just not save it (see above). Eventually did find it in the edit menu, though it seems to be a good way to get the app to crash (crash report sent).

I suppose the crashes are at least likely to get fixed. But the rest seem like intentional changes in a direction I consider to be for the worse.


  • Thank you for the feedback!

    I think I screwed something up in an effort to make the "marking" of square more intuitive e.g. when checking a puzzle square to see if it's right ... previously it would not do anything if it was right, and it seems like in attempting to change that so it would mark with a green check anything you explicitly "checked", I may have made it too aggressive in marking that at the end of the puzzle. Is that what you're alluding to? Everything turns to green checks?

    As far as the auto-save thing goes, I don't know if it was obvious but in previous versions of Black Ink there was also always a file created for every downloaded puzzle, and anything you opened obviously was already a file too. I guess your priority is to avoid having the typed-in solution saved to disk? Interesting. I'll have to think about this. I think the value of auto save is appealing to many folks and while I appreciate that you're not a fan, it would be most helpful to try to zero in on the specific problems it causes you and I'll think about whether I can address those moving forward.

    Thank you for mentioning the crash when opening as unsolved. I saw that crash report come through but for some reason there was no information, not even the app that had crashed, included. I'll have to look into that too. So it's good to know what you meant by starting over.

    If you do choose to downgrade to 1.5.3, bear in mind that the existing puzzle downloads you have in Black Ink's data folder, assuming you care about them, were relocated as part of the upgrade to 1.6. You'll find them now in:

    [Home]/Library/Group Containers/ Support/Black Ink

    If you want to get everything back to just how it was with 1.5.3, be sure to move that "Black Ink" folder back to:

    [Home]/Library/Application Support/

    I really appreciate the feedback. Whenever I make a significant update there are usually some missed mistakes/bugs, but also some inadvertent changes where I didn't anticipate what the impact would be on folks who are used to the app behaving as it did in the past.

  • Yes, everything being green at the end was my biggest complaint. The other stuff such as auto-save I could probably get used to eventually, but everything being green is a real bummer. Unless, of course, I really did get it all right with no help :-) I just want to be able to tell the difference between letters that I really got right the first time versus those that were wrong when I first checked, but that I later fixed. As I mentioned, maybe marking those as having been "revealed" would work, since the first check did at least reveal to me that it was wrong. I did revert to 1.5.3 for now and that went ok. I might go back up if you at least "fix" the marking. Thanks for your attention.
  • Thanks - fixing the "excessive green checks" problem is a priority for me and I want it fixed in 1.6.1. I'll post a beta here when it's ready if you're interested to try it.
  • Well, I was disappointed that 1.6.1 changed nothing that I could see to fix the problem of everything being green. Now I see that neither did 1.6.2. Fortunately, my wife asked me whether she should allow the update when it asked her because if she had updated I'd have to go undo it for her. Guess I'm staying with 1.5.3.
  • Sorry I haven't had a chance to address that yet. Please do fix with 1.5.3 for the time being if it works best for you.
  • (By the way, don't worry if you accidentally update to a later version, you can always ask me for a download link to an older one if you need or want it.)
  • I see this still isn't fixed in 1.6.3. I like other of the new features (like the ability to download older puzzles), but til this is fixed, I guess I'm staying at 1.5.3. To me, it is a deal-killer to be unable to tell how many letters I had wrong before checking.
  • Thanks for the nudge. I've had trouble carving out time to work on Black Ink recently but this is still on my list. I added the "download older puzzles" feature because I noticed it was a simple, relatively easy fix with a big payoff for usability. I understand the frustration you have with the lost functionality though.
  • Checked 1.6.7, mostly because I've been thinking about paying for a NYTimes premium subscription and it looks like your newer versions support that better. Sort of disappointed that this still isn't fixed after almost 3 years. I'd probably be willing to pony up for a paid upgrade if that's what it took. Still using 1.5.3 for now.
  • Hi rmaine - sorry this fell off my list of priorities. Always struggling to pick the things that will satisfy the most people, and Black Ink is only one of my apps. It sounds like you are still fairly satisfied with 1.5.3 but if this situation annoys you enough to give up on Black Ink let me know and I'd be happy to give you a refund.
  • I've used Black Ink enough over the years that I'd consider it unethical to get a refund on it. And I'm happy enough with 1.5.3 for most purposes. Hey, as noted, I was more inclined to pay again if that helped an upgrade happen. I do understand you having other priorities. I wish it weren't the case, but I understand.
  • Thanks for understanding. I always feel bad when I am not able to accomplish as much with the software as I wish I could. Sometimes I end up having streaks of progress in a product at once though. Hopefully I'll improve this again at some point.
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