A break from programming…
Just had a few days break from programming…
A break from programming…
Just had a few days break from programming…
Just spent some time chasing three bugs.
One I don’t think I have nailed. It appears that on some machines users are experiencing a ‘white rectangle’ when the ‘order’ window appears during comma- or tab-delimited import. For some reason I cannot reproduce this problem and there is nothing obvious in the code. My guess is that a ‘redraw’ is not being correctly called, therefore, all I have done is rearrange some of the code in the hope that the change in call order will solve the problem.
The second bug seems to have resulted in a change in the format of some repeating events introduced by iCal 1.5. This bug has been found, and dealt with!
The third is a re-occurring problem with comma-delimited imports. It seems that the ‘rules’ on ‘comma-delimited’ format are some what flexible and dependent on the program that produces the ‘comma-delimited’ file. Having produced code that deals with several of these format variations I have now been faced with yet another. The code for ‘comma-delimited’ has undergone yet another re-write….
The build is now out with beta testers and if there are no reports of additional problems iCalMaker 1.5.2 will be released on Friday or early next week.
iCalMaker 1.5.1 released
This release includes a number of bug fixes and a couple of new features:
Bug problems with Mac OS X less than 10.3
After several long days of wrestling with bug in mailMaker which only appeared when the program was run on machines not using 10.3 it has been decided to drop support for 10.2 in mailMaker. It is a shame that mailMaker will not run on 10.2 (or 10.1) but I was left with no option (the program now puts up a warning window if you try to run it on a machine pre-10.3).
There were two problems in 10.2 that couldn’t really be nailed:
Therefore, it was decided to concentrate development efforts on mailMaker under 10.3.
Chasing very weird bugs….
A lot of digging, and testing, and I think I have finally tracked the problem down to Toast (not the bread product but the application for burning CDs)!
The clue to the problem was the programs were working fine on the a development machines, an iBook running 10.3.1, an iMac running 10.3.1 and and one running 10.2.8, however a ‘lamp-stand’ iMac running 10.3.1 was producing an error in the logs of:
## Component Manager: attempting to find symbols in a component alias of type (regR/carP/x!bt)
However, the export would work, and the error still appeared in the logs, if the mail application was launched before mailMaker sent the messages.
A quick Google showed that this error had been reported before and linked to Toast and a QuickTime component that it installs (Toast Video CD Support.qtx). However, there was no solution to the problem mentioned on any of the sites, other than removing the component, and nothing over at Apple gave a solution.
The work around appears to be to make sure the receiving application, i.e. the mail client, is running before mailMaker sends the messages, and if it is not, start it! The programs, JPEGCleaner, mailMaker and iCalMaker now do this….
MacPAD – PAD files come to the Mac?
Some time ago I joined ASP (Association of Shareware Professionals) as I liked the look of the work they were doing and I heard it was a good place to pick up tips and advice. However, the ASP is dominated by Windows people so I tend to ‘lurk’, read the posts, and see what is going on in the Windows world (if you are a shareware developer then I can recommend the ASP as they are an invaluable resource of advice and expertise).
One thing that impressed me at the ASP was something called the PAD files. The idea is that your create an XML file that is stored on your website and you register the location with software/news sites. The sites then examine the files at regular intervals and update their records to reflect the release of software updates if they detect a change. Great idea! However, support of PAD for Mac developers, both in terms of programs to produce PAD files and Mac sites that supported PAD file input, was nonexistent. Until now…..
This week saw the release of MacPAD by the folks over at MacShareware. The story has been on a number of Mac newssites and has featured in TidBITS. At present the file format is only supported at MacShareware and I hope that other software sites such as VersionTracker and MacUpdate pick up the idea and that it spreads to the Mac newsites.
What does this mean for the Mac community? I can see three benefits to different groups in the Mac world:
Busy few days bug chasing and adding new features
Bugs are funny things. No matter how much you test a program you can be sure that there is some one out there with a computer set up in such a way that your program won’t work! And ever so often a user will say ‘does your program do X?’ or ‘it would be great if it did Y’, and you think ‘why didn’t I think of that!’ (if you have some idea, or bug reports, please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
So a round up:
mailMaker: Added support for export to PowerMail. Also caught a really nasty bug which was causing the program to crash for some users on Mac OS X 10.2 to 10.2.8. There is also another weird bug that I haven’t been able to solve. It appears that if Toast is installed, and the default e-mail program is not running, then mailMaker cannot send the messages to the e-mail program.
JPEGCleaner: No bugs to deal with but support has been added for importing jfif files and exporting as jpeg.
iCalMaker: Added some new features such as support for the export of iCal "invitations" direct to Apple Mail, Eudora, Microsoft Entourage, Mailsmith and PowerMail, and direct support for the export of iCal files to PowerMail. Also caught a number of bugs.
Also, corrected some broken links in the ‘Help System’.
Re-installing an OS on an iBook
Well, an iBook had a ‘melt-down’ yesterday and the hard-disk got to the point where it needed to be erased and the system re-installed.
Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) took less than an hour to install, however, putting back all the applications and recovering the ‘home directories’ from the back-ups took considerably longer. The machine is now back in operation.
Why going ‘native’? Well, for the first time ever I have not loaded Mac OS 9 on to a machine, the machine is 100% OS X. Will OS 9 be needed? When was the last time I used OS 9? Well, I couldn’t remember the last time, or what program I was using, therefore it seemed like a good way to save a bit of disk space and the perfect time to say good-bye!
mailMaker is finally released!
mailMaker allows the creation of personalised bulk e-mails (newsletters), which can be sent via the users default e-mail client to friends, family, clients, classmates, or society/club members.
Using mailMaker it is possible to: