blogassist

Mac Bundle Box 4 ends soon!

Mac Bundle Box

The Mac Bundle Box promotion ends soon. Get in quickly to avoid disappointment!

The bundle includes several great applications for just $49.00! An amazing deal. Plus 5% of each sale will be donated to Charity: Water.

My own BlogAssist is also included as a free bonus. BlogAssist is a very handy app that I use daily when writing blog posts and forum replies. It very easily adds HTML markup around text on the clipboard, or highlighted text in an app.

Visit the Mac Bundle Box site today to take advantage of this great deal, while it lasts!

Mac Bundle Box 4 now available!

Mac Bundle Box

The fourth Mac Bundle Box, a collection of 13 great applications, is now available!

$333.82 worth of software for the low price of just $49.00! An amazing deal. Plus 5% of each sale will be donated to Charity: Water.

The bundle includes my own BlogAssist as a free bonus. BlogAssist is a very handy app that I use daily when writing blog posts and forum replies. It very easily adds HTML markup around text on the clipboard, or highlighted text in an app.

Visit the Mac Bundle Box site to take advantage of this great deal, while it lasts!

BlogAssist 2.2.1 released

BlogAssist, my handy tool to add HTML tags to text via the clipboard, dragging to a floating window, or inline via the Services menu, has been updated to version 2.2.1:

  • Removed commas as a separator for repeating lists, to avoid problems with commas in paragraphs, and added bullet and vertical bar as alternatives (in addition to return, linefeed, and tab).
  • Fixed a bug that required a click before the output of the Services window would appear in the destination document.
  • Fixed an issue with the Preferences window, where edits might not be saved when quitting with the window still open (specifically when an edit is still active).
  • Updated the built-in Kagi purchasing tool to the latest version, which fixes some issues with Leopard.

This is a recommended update for everyone.

Download now!

BlogAssist 2.2 released

BlogAssist version 2.2 is now in general release. It adds some much-requested features and fixes:

  • Added a much-requested feature: the ability to have repeating formatting. For example, you can now create an ordered or unordered list simply by using a list of items as your source value, and similarly with multiple HTML paragraphs via multiple paragraphs of text. The list items can be delimited by Return or LF characters, tabs, or commas. It automatically strips off any existing list markers: it recognizes a dash, asterisk or bullet, or any short first word ending in a punctuation character. What's more, you can have lists in either the Value1 or Value2 fields (in the floating and Services windows); it will repeat the block for the number of items in the longer list, using the last (or only) item in the other field for any shortfall. So text like "1. This is an item, 2. Another item, (3) A third item" becomes properly formatted HTML.
  • The Paragraph, Unordered List, and Ordered List operations are automatically upgraded to use the new repeating block mechanism. You can easily add it to any other operations where it seems useful.
  • Added a new List of Links operation, that outputs an unordered list containing web links, using the new repeating feature. Use a list of labels in Value1 (e.g. "Simon, Time Out, Caboodle"), and a list of corresponding URLs in Value2 (e.g. "http://www.dejal.com/simon/, http://www.dejal.com/timeout/, http://www.dejal.com/caboodle/").
  • Added an Insert Variable drop-down menu to the Operations Preferences. This allows easily inserting variables and begin/end repeating block markers in the selected operation text.
  • The Operations Preferences table now used dynamic row heights, so multi-line operations are fully visible.
  • Improved the floating BlogAssist window to avoid using unnecessary processor time when drawing the web preview.
  • Fixed a cosmetic bug with the Check for Updates feature when using a general release and wanting only general releases, and a beta release is available.
  • Updated the built-in Kagi purchasing tool to the latest version, which fixes some issues with Leopard.
  • Updated the French and German localizations.

Download BlogAssist 2.2 now!

BlogAssist 2.2b1 released

BlogAssist, my always-present HTML markup assistant, now has a new beta release.

Version 2.2 adds a much-requested feature: the ability to repeat part of a markup operation, e.g. for ordered or unordered lists of items.

It's even intelligent enough to strip off any existing list prefix like a dash, bullet, number, etc, and supports lists from both value fields.

This version also adds an Insert Variable drop-down menu to the Operations preferences, to make inserting variables easier (plus it shows many variables you probably didn't know existed).

Read the release notes for details.

Download version 2.2b1 now!

BlogAssist 2.1.2 released

BlogAssist version 2.1.2 is now available.

BlogAssist is a helpful tool; it adds a system menu (on the right-hand-side of the menubar) with a list of operations that can be performed on text. You can copy some text, choose an operation, and paste -- the text will be marked up based on the chosen operation. The operations include HTML and forum markup. If you prefer, a floating palette is also available (to drag the text), or you can mark up inline by selecting text in your web browser or editor application, hitting Cmd->, and choosing the operation in a small window that appears, then click OK to substitute it right in the app.

Very handy... I use BlogAssist daily. For example, the product icon, release notes link, and download link in this blog post were generated very simply by BlogAssist.

Anyway, this update adds German localization, improves the French localization, plus a few other changes.

Download now!

Dejal and Leopard

LeopardAll the cool kids are doing it, so it must be my turn....

Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" is available tomorrow. It's a great update, that I've mostly enjoyed using for the past few months, so I highly recommend it to everyone. But an important consideration is always: will my existing software run on the new OS version? So here's a summary of the Leopard compatibility status of Dejal products, as far as I'm aware.

I should point out that this is based on a recent seed (pre-release version): Mac developers don't get the final version of Leopard any sooner than you do... and in fact get it later if they wait for the copy Apple sends as part of the Apple Developer Connection membership. There's been a bit of an uproar about that, but it was the same with Tiger, and will probably be the same again with the next big cat. Such is life.

Simon: My website and server monitoring tool runs fine under Leopard. It has been updated to use Leopard's window style for the Monitor window when running under 10.5, or the custom window style under 10.4 or 10.3.9. I plan on making several more Leopard improvements in a future version.

Time Out: Version 1.5 of this break reminder app was released not long ago, which added Leopard compatibility. It has no known issues with 10.5. Work on version 2 is underway (though currently paused); you can expect that in Q1 2008. It will require a minimum of 10.5, as it leverages several Leopard technologies.

Caboodle: This handy snippet-keeper app is also Leopard-ready as of the current release, version 1.1.2. I have big plans for Caboodle over the coming year, once I've done the other updates.

Narrator: My fun speech synthesis app hasn't been updated for a number of years, but appears to run okay under Leopard. I am currently working on a long-overdue new version of it -- actually a complete rewrite. The new version requires a minimum of Leopard. Watch the Dejal blog for more information about that as it progresses.

BlogAssist: This useful HTML markup tool is Leopard-ready as of the current release, version 2.1.1. It will also see some improvements in 2008, using technology being developed for Time Out.

Macfilink: My affiliate link cloaking app hasn't had an update for Leopard yet, but it seems to work okay. I haven't decided what to do for its next update, but it's possible I'll replace the data storage with Core Data for the Leopard update. It's the lowest priority, as this app does one job and does it very well as-is, so it doesn't need much tinkering.

So there you go. I hope you enjoy Leopard as much as I do. Please let me know if you discover any compatibility issues, but as far as Dejal products are concerned, you should be good to go!

Macfilink 1.4.1 & BlogAssist 2.1.1 released

Macfilink has now been updated to version 1.4.1, and BlogAssist has been updated to version 2.1.1.

These updates just include some minor changes and fixes that other apps have already received, plus some minor tweaks to ensure compatibility with Leopard, aka Mac OS X 10.5, for those running the developer beta (as I am) or to make the transition smoother when you eventually upgrade.

They are recommended updates for all Macfilink and BlogAssist users... and of course recommended apps for everyone else, too. :)

Macfilink 2.4 and BlogAssist 2.1 general releases

Just a quick note to say that the general releases of Macfilink version 2.4 and BlogAssist version 2.1 are now available. Click the links to read the release notes to see what has changed.

BlogAssist 2.1b2 released

ImageBlogAssist version 2.1b2 has now been released.

As discussed in my previous blog entry, this version adds a handy new Services menu option, allowing pressing < to quickly access BlogAssist, using the selected text, and have the marked-up text drop back into your document (or web form field).

For example, to add those links above, I went to the BlogAssist release notes page to find the URL, copied it, typed "released" back here in my blog entry page (which I create in a form like for forum posts) and selected that word, then hit < to display the BlogAssist Services panel. The Web Link operation was already selected, with the selected text and URL already in place, so I just clicked OK and the selected text was replaced with the marked-up HTML, and I'm done. Took about two seconds.

This is a great usability improvement, often easier to use than the other available options, of copying, selecting from the BlogAssist system menu, and pasting... or dragging to the floating BlogAssist window and back. Those other methods are still available, since they are also useful depending on the situation and personal preferences.

If you're still typing HTML (or forum codes) manually, you owe it to yourself to give BlogAssist a try!

Cocoa topics: the case of the modal WebView

I want to include the occasional programming topic in the Dejal blog, when I encounter something that may be of interest to other Mac developers. Here's my first one.

A while back, I added a Check for Updates... window that displays a WebView of release notes, much like on my site. It works rather well. However, if a beta release has expired, I wanted it to display it modally. But for some strange reason the WebView didn't load when the window was run modally. I couldn't find a solution at the time, so I just had it redirect to the website.

I came across this issue again tonight, while adding Services support to BlogAssist. I'm introducing a handy new feature where you can just hit < in any app to display a modal panel like the existing floating window. It includes a WebView to preview how the marked-up HTML will appear. I really didn't want to have to sacrifice that.

So I found a solution: tickle the runloop! It turns out that the WebView will only work on the main loop. So rather than just call -runModalForWindow:, I use the more verbose -beginModalSessionForWindow: / -runModalSession: / -endModalSession: loop. And the key to keeping the WebView happy: call -limitDateForMode: each time around the loop, so the main loop keeps on truckin'.

Here's the code:

    NSModalSession session = [NSApp beginModalSessionForWindow:[self window]];
    int result = NSRunContinuesResponse;
   
    // Loop until some result other than continues:
    while (result == NSRunContinuesResponse)
    {
        // Run the window modally until there are no events to process:
        result = [NSApp runModalSession:session];
       
        // Give the main loop some time:
        [[NSRunLoop currentRunLoop] limitDateForMode:NSDefaultRunLoopMode];
    }
   
    [NSApp endModalSession:session];

I hope this helps others with this dilemma.

Caboodle 1.1b1, BlogAssist 2.1b1, Macfilink 1.4b1 released

I've just released beta updates of Caboodle, BlogAssist and Macfilink. These releases are mainly part of rolling out the new Dejal logo, though they include some other tweaks too. See the release notes for details.

Simon 2.2c7 released

I've just released Simon version 2.2c7, which hopefully will be the last general candidate release, and the last release of 2006.

I currently plan to do the general release next week, after finishing migrating my custom PHP-driven web pages to the new host, launching my new logo, and releasing beta versions of Caboodle 1.1, BlogAssist 2.1, and Macfilink 1.4. I'll also continue work on Time Out 2. It'll be a busy week.

MacSanta says Happy Holidays

There have been a lot of promotions involving Mac software recently - MacZOT, MyDreamApp, MacHeist, MacAppADay, etc. Each with different approaches, of creating new apps, selling discounted apps, or giving them away. But the latest is MacSanta, celebrating the festive season with 20% discounts on participating Mac software. A great thing about this promotion is that it is open to everyone - all developers and all users.

Dejal is participating in MacSanta, offering discounts of 20% or more on all products. What's more, I'm offering these discounts through the end of the year!

Just visit the Dejal Store before the end of the year to take advantage of these great prices!

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