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Introducing Simon 5!

Simon version 5 is now available. It is a massive update, introducing a much-requested feature: syncing the Simon data between multiple Macs, plus a Simon Status service, a Link Checker filter, improved Find filter, iMessage and Speak Error notifiers, a new app icon, and much more.

Important: please note that Simon 5 requires a minimum of macOS 10.12 (Sierra), and is a paid upgrade from Simon 4. Purchasers since September 1, 2020 automatically get a version 5 license (that also works in previous versions).

Read the Simon What's New page for details.

Tests.simon guidelines

As per the contact page, I'll try here first. I went through all the titles and couldn't find any on Tests.simon.

I'm having Simon monitor 300+ domains for our web design company. Once I opened up Tests.simon and saw it was XML I built a little php script that takes domain names from our database and generates an entry for Tests.simon. The output usually works (it worked fine until I added the other 150 domains) if not after a hiccup (restart Simon & copy new Tests.simon twice). But often Simon opens empty, doesn't mention a problem and upon exit writes a clean Tests.simon.

Is there anyway I can get info on what it's choking on? I couldn't find an appropriate log anywhere. Could it be character entity related? I'd appreciate any help, thanks very much.

- Jay

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Tests.simon guidelines

That really isn't a supported way of adding tests. Yes, the data is stored in XML property lists currently, but that may change in the future, and it isn't intended for direct manipulation. There are unique IDs and linkages that would need careful setup.

A better solution is to use the Setup Assistant, which you can access via the Simon menu. You can quickly bulk-add lots of Web (HTTP) tests using this; simply list them in a HTML file like web browser bookmarks.

Thanks for the response, I

Thanks for the response, I tried opening Safari's bookmark file but it's gibberish and zcat didn't work either. How can I name the urls I want to add for the 'Other' bookmark format? Or is this URL only? Often there're several domains per client, so I need some way of naming them so we know at a glance whose is what. I didn't reckon Simon was 'spose to' be used like I've been, but, how does progress happen? :-)


David Sinclair's picture

Re: Thanks for the response

Simply create a HTML file with lines of links, e.g.

<a href="">Apple</a>

It'll use the name from the link label (i.e. between the tags) and the URL from within the tag.

You can also include <h3> tags around group headings, if desired, but they are only displayed in the Setup Assistant.

Odd Behavior

Setup Assistant wouldn't parse my file until I removed everything but anchor tags--including newlines between tags. Then, I had to check off each of over 300 URLs individually once I figured out Simon's finicky about whitespace. Surely people have needed bulk import before! No 'Check All' wasn't fun on internet VNC, I can assure you :-)

So I get them all checked, and a popup tells me I can only import 100 at once! Now I must modify my script to put out 100 URL chunks, which isn't a terrible deal, but I do think these are useful features that, with over 300 domains and counting which is small considering just how capable and full-on a program Simon is (I'm only doing http checks atm), these features would ease administration considerably. Some sort of bulk importer with more options would be great, and of course it would be really nice if it had an API that allowed tests to be modified/created in Real Time :-D Anyway, I'll go back to dreaming (and clicking)


David Sinclair's picture

Re: Odd Behavior

If you include at least one heading before the others, you can toggle all on or off by toggling the checkbox for that heading.

The 100 limit is to prevent accidentally importing many hundreds of URLs from a bookmarks file. In most cases, people only actually want to import a few URLs for Simon to monitor.

I am planning on adding a command-line interface to Simon in the future, which could be used in a shell script to batch import and much more.


Thank you, single click bliss!!!

I hope implementing a CLI or otherwise goes well--if you need an extra tester, I'd be more than happy to help. Thanks again!

One more question

Now that I can import it all via Setup Assistant, is there any way I can apply notifiers to all of them or groups? Can I do a default notifier for any failures? I haven't read the whole manual, let me know if I should :-) Though I think I'm in for some bad news

David Sinclair's picture

Re: One more question

'Fraid so. There isn't a way to bulk apply notifiers to existing (or Assistant-added) tests. You'll need to edit them individually.

That is also something I plan to improve in a future version.

Shucks. Once more, thank you

Shucks. Once more, thank you for your help! - Jay