Blogs

Simon 3.6b3 released

Here's another beta of Simon 3.6. This has a tweak based on a recent Simon forum discussion, and updated help and localizations. This will probably be the last beta before general release.

  • Now considers the check frequencies for successes and failures when calculating the Up Time percentages, to make them more accurate.
  • Updated the help book and online help.

Download Simon 3.6b3 now!

Happy holidays!

Simon 3.6b2 released

Here's another beta of Simon 3.6.

This version includes:

  • Added a new Notification Center notifier plug-in, that displays a notification in OS X's Notification Center, with various click action options. (Note, it is only available on OS X 10.8 and later.)
  • Added a Notification Center default notifier use the new Notification Center plug-in. By default, clicking the notification will select the test in Simon.
  • Added a Twitter Update default notifier that tweets using the first account alphabetically. It can be edited to specify a different account.
  • Added a MySQL default service that uses the MySQL plug-in, to make it easier to use this existing feature.
  • Updated the help book and online help.

Download Simon 3.6b2 now!

Simon 3.6b1 released

It's been a while, but here's a beta of the next version of Simon, my flagship Mac app to monitor websites and servers.

Version 3.6b1 includes:

  • Added a new History filter plug-in, that keeps track of the input text that it has seen, and can set a result if the text is or isn't unique in that history.
  • Added a Change Only If Unique default filter to result in a Change if the input text has never been seen before by this filter, or Unchanged if it has.
  • Added a History Always Repeats default filter to result in a Failure if the input text hasn't been seen before, or Unchanged if it has. It's easy to add additional variations if you need them.
  • Rewrote the Twitter notifier plug-in to work with the latest Twitter API. It now uses the Internet Accounts from System Preferences, so you don't need to enter your Twitter credentials in Simon.
  • Removed the Twitter service plug-in, since it would have taken a lot of work to rewrite, and feedback indicates that pretty much nobody uses it. If you do, please contact me.
  • Added support for escaping braces (curly brackets) and square brackets in report templates, so they are output in the report instead of being interpreted as Simon variables or blocks.
  • Added support for custom date/time formats in report templates. For example, could use NextCheck format="yyyy-MM-dd 'at' HH:mm:ss".
  • Updated the Variable Test report template to include the LastChangeTextWithHTML and LastChangeTextWithoutHTML variables, and mention escaping braces and brackets.
  • Fixed an issue with the Other... option for the Save Locally report kind.
  • Updated the help book.
  • Rebuilt for Mavericks using Xcode 5.
  • Many changes to improve Mavericks compatibility.

Download Simon 3.6b1 now!

Bitcoin

We Accept BitcoinBitcoin is a relatively new internet-based currency, that is slowly gaining traction around the world.

I'm wondering if the time is right to add support for it as a payment option on the Dejal site?

If you are interested in buying Dejal apps via Bitcoin, please contact me.

Dejal home page tweak

Something I've been meaning to do for a while: I've changed the Dejal home page to show graphics with links to my main apps.

Just for fun, it picks a random feature graphic to show at the top. (Though I could override that for featured new releases.)

For now, the latest blog post is still displayed below those. Mainly because I can't figure out how to convince Drupal, my content management software, to omit it. But it is useful.

I've also replaced the short URL service used with the Dejal site, for go.dejal.com links. I migrated over the most important ones, but if you use a go.dejal.com link and it doesn't work, let me know.

Simon on MacUpdate Promo

Simon is now available for 25% off at MacUpdate Promo, for a limited time!

They are offering the Platinum license, which supports unlimited tests, for just $374.00!

Plus they have the Bronze license, with up to 15 active test configurations, for just $36.99, and the Silver license, with up to 40 tests, for just $74.49!

Don't miss these great prices!

(2013-05-21: Updated links and prices for the extended deals.)

Simon 3.5.1 released

Here's a quick update to Simon, to version 3.5.1.

This update fixes an issue that prevented the Apple Mail transport method of the E-mail notifier plug-in from working properly.

It also improves the reliability and debug logging of the Web (HTTP) plug-in.

Download Simon 3.5.1 now!

Caboodle 1.5 released

Caboodle 1.5 is now in general release.

This update is primarily to properly support Gatekeeper on OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion). It is also built with the latest developer tools, and includes various fixes and improvements.

An important note: as previously warned, this version requires an Intel Mac and at least OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). The previous version is still available if you're still using a PPC or 10.5 machine.

Here are the release notes:

  • The standard edition of the app is now signed with a Developer ID to support Gatekeeper on Mountain Lion. (Standard edition only)
  • Rebuilt for Mountain Lion using Xcode 4.
  • Many changes to improve Mountain Lion compatibility.
  • The license button in the Caboodle window now shows the Licenses window instead of going to the Dejal Store web page. (Standard edition only)
  • Added a license button to the Preferences window, when unlicensed, to make it easier to buy the app. (Standard edition only)
  • Fixed a bunch of memory leaks.
  • Updated localizations.
  • Caboodle now requires an Intel Mac and a minimum of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

Download Caboodle 1.5 now!

Caboodle 1.5b1 released

It's been a while, but here's an update to Caboodle, to 1.5b1.

This update is primarily to properly support Gatekeeper on OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion). It is also built with the latest developer tools, and includes various fixes and improvements.

An important note: as previously warned, this version requires an Intel Mac and at least OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). The previous version is still available if you're still using a PPC or 10.5 machine.

Here are the release notes:

  • The standard edition of the app is now signed with a Developer ID to support Gatekeeper on Mountain Lion. (Standard edition only)
  • Rebuilt for Mountain Lion using Xcode 4.
  • Many changes to improve Mountain Lion compatibility.
  • The license button in the Caboodle window now shows the Licenses window instead of going to the Dejal Store web page. (Standard edition only)
  • Added a license button to the Preferences window, when unlicensed, to make it easier to buy the app. (Standard edition only)
  • Fixed a bunch of memory leaks.
  • Caboodle now requires an Intel Mac and a minimum of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

Download Caboodle 1.5b1 now!

Want to go to WWDC? Simon can help!

There's a great sense of antici...pation in the developer community, awaiting tickets for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference to go on sale.

The problem is, in recent years the tickets have been selling out in mere hours. In 2009, the 5,000 tickets sold out within a month. In 2010, they sold out in about 10 days. In 2011, it was only 12 hours. And in 2012, it only took two hours.

How fast will they go this year? Less than an hour? Half an hour? Minutes?

So there are a number of websites that offer to notify you when WWDC is announced, so you can get your ticket as quickly as possible — some where you pay to get notified sooner.

Of course, Dejal Simon is designed for just that kind of job. If you already have Simon, you can easily add a test to get notified. If you don't, you can download the free trial and try it yourself.

It's easy to add such a test. Simply create a new test (perhaps called "WWDC"), set the frequency to whatever interval you like (e.g. 5 minutes or even 1 minute), choose the Web (HTTP) service, and enter the http://developer.apple.com/wwdc URL. (The Cookies will automatically populate.)

If you like, you could add a second test for http://developer.apple.com/wwdc/tickets, in case that is updated first.

There's no need to alter the default Change filter on the Filters page; that will detect any change on the page. Since there isn't dynamic content to ignore, that's fine.

To get notified when a change is detected for this test, add whichever notifiers you want to the Notifiers page. Why not go crazy and add email, sound, Twitter and speech... and have the page open automatically in your default browser while you're at it:

Some of those notifiers you may need to configure, if you haven't previously, e.g. set up the email and Twitter ones. You can configure them to say whatever you like:

I hope this tip helps you manage to get a ticket!

Tweeps 3.2 released

Twitter has changed its API, so here's an update to Tweeps, my iOS app to help manage Twitter accounts. It has been updated to version 3.2.

This update includes these changes:

  • Added support for Twitter's new version 1.1 API.
  • Improved loading the accounts list and profile view.
  • Replaced the buttons in the Profile view.
  • Now uses a tinted status bar on iPhone.

It is currently available for a special price of just $4.99, for a limited time.

Learn more about Tweeps.

Simon 3.5 released

Announcing the general release of Simon version 3.5!

Firstly, please note that Simon now requires an Intel Mac, and a minimum of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). If you are using Simon on an older machine, you can continue using version 3.4 or earlier (there are download links on the Simon site).

Simon 3.5 includes a number of improvements and fixes for OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) support. It also includes improvements to the Web (HTTP) Twitter, Calendar, Script, Email and Speech plug-ins.

Here are the full release notes for the details:

  • Moved the main functionality of the Web (HTTP) plug-in into a helper app, so any issues with it won't affect Simon.
  • The Web (HTTP) plug-in now respects the charset of the source page, so for example the source of a Japanese site will be passed to filters and notifiers correctly.
  • Similarly, the Preview and Show Source windows now respect the charset of the source web pages.
  • Fixed some issues with the Twitter plug-in.
  • Fixed some issues with the Calendar plug-in.
  • Improved split handling in the Script editors.
  • The Email plug-in's helper no longer appears in the Dock.
  • Updated the Speech notifier plug-in to use modern APIs, and support stopping speaking while editing the notifier.
  • Fixed an exception when using the FilterIndex variable in a script.
  • Fixed an off-by-one error in calculating the Statistics values (they were one second higher than the actual duration).
  • Increased the wait on waking from 15 to 30 seconds, to allow time for the internet connection to be ready.
  • Removed the hidden preference to use the legacy Automatic email transport, as it doesn't work when building for Mountain Lion.
  • Fixed a crasher when canceling a New Test editor.
  • Added a license button to the Preferences window, when unlicensed, to make it easier to buy the app.
  • Fixed display of license entry date in the Licenses editor.
  • Improved full-screen support.
  • Fixed a bunch of memory leaks.
  • Updated the UI layouts to better support localization.
  • Updated the German, French and Japanese localizations.
  • Rebuilt for Mountain Lion using Xcode 4.
  • Many changes to improve Mountain Lion compatibility.
  • The standard edition of the app is now signed with a Developer ID to support Gatekeeper on Mountain Lion.
  • Simon now requires an Intel Mac and a minimum of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

Download Simon 3.5 now!

Simon 3.5b4 released

One last (hopefully) beta release of Simon 3.5.

This beta release just includes updated German, French and Japanese localizations.

I want to do the general release next week, so please test this version and let me know if you experience any issues.

Download Simon 3.5b4 now!

Simon 3.5b3 released

Here's another beta of Simon 3.5. Please check that everything works as expected, and let me know ASAP if you find anything wrong. Thanks!

This update includes:

  • Updated the Speech notifier plug-in to use modern APIs, and support stopping speaking while editing the notifier.
  • Changed the new Web (HTTP) helper to only send back the data on completion, rather than for each block received.
  • Fixed an off-by-one error in calculating the Statistics values (they were one second higher than the actual duration).
  • Fixed a bug with the previous betas that prevented Reports from being uploaded to remote servers.
  • Fixed a crasher when cancelling a New Test editor.
  • Updated the UI layouts to better support localization.
  • Updated the German localization.

Download Simon 3.5b3 now!

Simon 3.5b2 released

Here's a second beta release of Simon 3.5.

This update includes more improvements, including something I've wanted to do for a while: split up the Web (HTTP) plug-in to make it more failsafe. A small number of customers, that use this plug-in extensively, sometimes find that it starts failing after waking the computer. Hopefully this change will solve that. Plus it's better for security and future sandboxing.

There's also an improvement that Japanese people in particular will enjoy, though I'm sure others will benefit too.

Here are the details:

  • Moved the main functionality of the Web (HTTP) plug-in into a helper app, so any issues with it won't affect Simon.
  • The Web (HTTP) plug-in now respects the charset of the source page, so for example the source of a Japanese site will be passed to filters and notifiers correctly.
  • Similarly, the Preview and Show Source windows now respect the charset of the source web pages.
  • Improved split handling in the Script editors.
  • Many changes to improve Mountain Lion compatibility.
  • Fixed a bunch of memory leaks.
  • Prepared for localization updates.

Download Simon 3.5b2 now!

Simon 3.5b1 released

Announcing the first beta release of Simon 3.5. This update doesn't add any features yet (some may be added in a later beta), but provides full Mountain Lion compatibility via moving to the latest development tools, which necessitated a number of other changes.

One of those changes is dropping PPC support. I know that this may affect some customers, since Simon often runs on an older server machine, and I apologize if this is disappointing. But the latest development tools don't support PPC anymore. Similarly, the minimum OS version has been raised to Snow Leopard (10.6).

Here are the details:

  • Fixed some issues with the Twitter plugin.
  • Fixed some issues with the Calendar plugin.
  • Fixed an exception when using the FilterIndex variable in a script.
  • The Email plugin's helper no longer appears in the Dock.
  • Increased the wait on waking from 15 to 30 seconds, to allow time for the internet connection to be ready.
  • Removed the hidden preference to use the legacy Automatic email transport, as it doesn't work when building for Mountain Lion.
  • The license button in the Simon Monitor window now shows the Licenses window instead of going to the Dejal Store web page. (Standard edition only)
  • Added a license button to the Preferences window, when unlicensed, to make it easier to buy the app. (Standard edition only)
  • Fixed display of license entry date in the Licenses editor. (Standard edition only)
  • Improved full-screen support.
  • Rebuilt for Mountain Lion using Xcode 4.
  • The standard edition of the app is now signed with a Developer ID to support Gatekeeper on Mountain Lion. (Standard edition only)
  • Simon now requires an Intel Mac and a minimum of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

Download Simon 3.5b1 now!

Profile 2.2 released

Profile is a medical practice management app that connects to Intrahealth's server. Version 2.2 is a huge update; it is now available in the App Store.

Major changes include:

  • Added a flexible search function to the Appointments list.
  • Tasks can be filtered "for me" or "by me".
  • You can now change the Place of Service (POS).
  • Redesigned Patient Groups feature.
  • Added Folder support, to list folder members, quickly access them, and change the current folder of a patient.
  • Added a new Social page of Patient Functions, for viewing or editing social values like ethnicity and user fields.
  • Added an Additional Addresses item to the Patient Functions.
  • Added a new Alerts item in the Patient Functions list (for patient-scoped alerts), and in the Case Functions list (for case-scoped alerts).
  • Added a Notes item to the Patient Functions and Case Functions lists.
  • Added a Care Team item to the Case Functions list.
  • Reference Series can now display multiple graphs at once, and dynamically includes new form values.
  • Added a new Letters item in the Case Functions list, which displays a list of historical and draft letters, which can be edited.
  • Letters can also be added via a New Encounter, using pre-populated templates.
  • Many improvements to forms, plus historical ones can now be edited.
  • Swipe right-to-left or tap the page curl in a patient-based view to flip the page up to reveal Quick Clinical Views.
  • Clinical Views are now dynamic, able to load new values from forms.
  • Added a new Quick Contact item to the Case Functions list. Shows a popover with a list of Quick Contacts. A Quick Contact is added as a normal Encounter with a single Contact.
  • Many changes with New Encounters, including an OnTheGo setting to use a single contact or multiple contacts, and Activity, Location and Type options.
  • Syncing now uses the "IOSBusinessLogicServiceV2" web services, and has had dramatic performance improvements.
  • Tap the sync status to display a popover showing sync activity; it updates live during a sync.
  • Much nicer error display in the Sync Errors view.
  • Many changes to reference data, including the ability to reload individually, new external provider and other lookups, and more.
  • New settings for graph theme; with a new default light theme; go to Settings if you prefer the dark theme.
  • Added an info bar at the top of the screen (just under the iOS status bar) that displays the name, gender and DOB of the current patient, plus the current case, if any, and a timer of the current encounter, if any.
  • The sidebar can now be hidden in either orientation in many views.
  • Added support for the new 4" display on the iPhone 5, and built for iOS 6.0, compatible back to iOS 5.0.
  • Plus numerous performance improvements, feature enhancements, and fixes. See the release notes for details.

Remember, Profile requires an Intrahealth Profile server; you won't be able to do anything if you're not an Intrahealth customer.

If you're curious, you can learn more about Profile and see screenshots on the Profile product page on this site, and on the App Store.

Featured blog posts of 2012

My blog posts often just cover new releases, but sometimes I post general-interest or developer-interest topics. Some highlights from 2012 included:

I hope you enjoyed these posts.

Dejal year in review: 2012

Happy New Year!

Another year has gone by, so it's time to review what happened with Dejal apps in 2012:

My flagship product to monitor websites and servers for changes and failures, Simon, was updated to version 3.4 in 2012. This release included a new email notifier transport, and other improvements. It also reached a major milestone, turning 10 years old in December.

My handy break reminder tool, Time Out, remains one of my most popular apps, and it saw a number of updates in 2012, to version 1.7.1. I made some progress on version 2.0, but it again got sidelined by other projects. For those waiting for it, I'm sorry for the delays; it's frustrating for me, too. It remains an important and exciting update. And as previously mentioned, everyone who makes a donation for Time Out now will be automatically eligible for the full-featured paid edition at no additional cost — so you can set your own price for it now! This offer expires when version 2 is released. Thank you to everyone who has already donated; the volume of donations is really encouraging.

Caboodle, my lean clean snippet machine, wasn't updated in 2012. It still works fine, and is used by lots of people on a daily basis. I actually have a 1.5 update in progress, which will be coming out soon.

BlogAssist, my tool to help with HTML markup, was updated to version 2.4 in 2012. This update added handy new Substitutions preferences, and is fully compatible with Mountain Lion, including Gatekeeper (Developer ID) and sandbox support, among other changes.

Tweeps, an app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to easily manage Twitter accounts, was updated to version 3.1.1, including support for iOS 5's Twitter accounts, editing avatars, iPhone 5's nice 4" display, and more.

I introduced a new iOS app in 2012: Profile. This is a client for Intrahealth's powerful medical practice management system. I spent the majority of the year working on various versions of this, as contract work. The latest public release is version 2.0.1, but it's up to 2.2a12 in private testing.

So what's coming up in 2013? Lots of app updates. In the first couple of months I will do releases of Simon 3.5, Caboodle 1.5 and Profile 2.2. Then it's back to Time Out 2.0, with a simplified design to get it out sooner. Then I have big plans for more Simon, Time Out, Caboodle and BlogAssist updates, and may even introduce a new app or two as well. It's going to be an exciting year for Dejal!

Simon turns 10

My flagship Mac app, Dejal Simon, turned 10 years old earlier this month. Simon 1.0 was released on 2002-12-06. I actually missed the anniversary, but Jean MacDonald mentioned other 10-year anniversaries on Twitter, and I realized Simon's was also recent. I do like to blog about Dejal history, so I thought I'd mark this milestone too.

Like most software, Simon has undergone many changes since its inception all those years ago. An immediately obvious difference is the icon: version 1.0 had a monochrome icon, as shown to the right. The modern icon is similar, but more colorful and attractive, I think.

As for the user interface, version 1.0 looked somewhat different, though you'll recognize a number of elements that have persisted to this day:

Check out those pinstripes! Simon 1.0 worked with Mac OS X 10.1, where the window chrome was much more in-your-face than nowadays.

Back in the initial versions, Simon's editors were displayed in sheets over the top of the list windows, instead of as separate windows as now. Here's the Alter Test editor over the (cropped) main window:

Back in 1.0, all Simon did was check websites (or FTP sites), so there's no service selection. And everything's crowded into this one sheet, which only got more busy in 2.0. It was finally split over multiple pages in 3.0, which I think is much nicer and clearer.

Similarly, here's the Alter Notifier editor, also as a sheet. The only notifiers supported initially were Sound and Speech; it's much more versatile nowadays:

Finally, here's what the Simon website looked like back then; notice the old Dejal logo, and the rather dated design:

I hope you enjoyed this brief romp down memory lane. Take a look at the modern Simon 3!

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