News

Things have been quite quiet on the Neu front, but under the surface we have been doing a bit of paddling!

Available now on the beta software page is a new beta - 1.3b1 - which adds some new features.

Folder Expansion

The first of these is the ability to use folders properly as templates, and to have variables expanded in the contents of the folders (including in their filenames).

Applescript

The second big change is applescript support. You can now use Neu via, applescript, doing this sort of thing:

tell application id "com.elegantchaos.neu"
    make new document
        with properties {template:template "MyClass", extension:"hpp", replacing:yes, revealing:false, opening:true} 
        at POSIX file "/Users/sam/Desktop/"
end tell

Currently there’s also an alternative syntax, which looks like this:

tell application id "com.elegantchaos.neu"
    make new document
        duplicate template (template "MyClass") at destination name "Blah" with revealing, opening and replacing
end tell

We’re interested in hearing if people have a preference.

Finder Menu

Finally, we’ve added experimental support for a proper menu in the Finder.

This is classed as “experimental” because Apple doesn’t officially support allowing apps to add Finder menus, so it involves installing a small hack to the Finder.

You can enable this support in the new “Finder” preferences pane. Note that you may have to log out and in again before the Neu menu appears. You will also need to have Neu running.

Feedback Required

To some extent all of these features are still experimental, and there may be bugs in them.

We’re really keen to hear what you think about the features, and about any problems you encounter.

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January 07, 2013

Well, 2012 turned out to be quite a busy year for me on the contracting front.

Some of the main highlights:

  • Most of the coding for the iOS game Bag It and Bin It was actually done in 2011, but it finally came out at the end of the year, and I did a bit more work on an update during 2012. Written using Cocos2D, this was great to work on, and it was nice to get the chance to do a little game from scratch.

  • On the other end of the spectrum, I spent some time in the summer wrapping up a C++ library and turning it into an Objective-C iOS framework for another client. This couldn’t be more different from writing a game, but designing code to be used by other programmers is also something that I enjoy, so this was also a nice little job.

  • In the early spring, I started doing some MacOS X work for Karelia, which continued through the year (and hopefully on into 2013!). This work has covered all sorts of territory, from unit testing their libraries to some networking and user interface work for their main product Sandvox. They like to keep me on my toes…

  • Finally, in the autumn I also started working on the SVG import/export component of Bohemian Coding’s excellent MacOS X vector graphics app Sketch. Once again, a very different area to work in, with a whole new set of challenges, but definitely fun. The SVG standard is a bit of a monster, and making software that can understand everything in the standard would be a monumental task, so we took a pragmatic approach, trying to identify the areas that are most often used and tackle them first. It feels a bit like painting the Forth Bridge, in that by the time we’ve done everything there will probably be a new version of the standard out :)

So a pretty varied year, and those are just the highlights.

The one down side of this is that the time I’ve had to spend on Neu, Ambientweet, and some other as-yet-unreleased projects of my own, has been somewhat limited. I really hope that I can rectify that in 2013, and give them a bit more love.

The only problem is that the work for Karelia and Bohemian is continuing, and I’m enjoying it too! If anyone invents a time machine, please let me know…

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So, yesterday’s 1.1.2b5 release didn’t quite go according to plan, as it contained a rather serious bug which corrupted it’s store of cached information. The result of this was that when you relaunched it, Ambientweet encountered problems and generally ended up in a non functional state.

Luckily, I can now bring you 1.1.2b6, now with added not-so-many-bugs-honest.

Since it’s only been a day and people may not have read the previous post, it’s worth re-iterating the changes in these new versions, so here’s an edited version of yesterday’s message:

I’ve been working on some improvements to Ambientweet, for the next version, which I’m currently calling 1.1.2 (although it’s getting to the point where there are enough changes to warrant calling it 1.2).

Internally, the code that manages the communication with Twitter has been modified a fair bit. This was partly a case of tidying up some old code, and partly improving the design to make it easier to support multiple Twitter accounts at once.

I’ve not quite got as far as multiple Twitter accounts in this revision, but I have added support for multiple windows. This means that you can set up more than one Ambientweet window if you wish, and have them track different timelines. One could track your normal timeline, one could focus on tweets from a single user, and one could show the results of a search for some text or a hashtag.

Because you can now have different windows, I’ve removed the window related settings from the preferences, and instead added a “Window Options” menu to the “View” menu, so that you can set them individually for each window.

The other major change that has happened relates to the automatic update mechanism. Unfortunately this got broken in version 1.1.1, and as a result automatic updating may not work, particularly if you are running Mountain Lion. These problems should now be fixed, but if you’re running one of the versions where updating was broken, then unfortunately you’ll have to manually get yourself past this version by downloading the latest beta.

Other than that, there are a couple of minor fixes:

  • The preview display which says what tweets are being downloaded (before there are any to display) should now make a bit more sense, and shouldn’t show an ugly looking internal description for a user any more.
  • The preference for centring the window when it shows some sort of sheet (eg when you’re asked to enter the text to search for) now actually does something.

If you are feeling brave, you can download the latest version here.

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August 27, 2012

I’ve been working on some improvements to Ambientweet, for the next version, which I’m currently calling 1.1.2 (although it’s getting to the point where there are enough changes to warrant calling it 1.2).

Internally, the code that manages the communication with Twitter has been modified a fair bit. This was partly a case of tidying up some old code, and partly improving the design to make it easier to support multiple Twitter accounts at once.

I’ve not quite got as far as multiple Twitter accounts in this revision, but I have added support for multiple windows. This means that you can set up more than one Ambientweet window if you wish, and have them track different timelines. One could track your normal timeline, one could focus on tweets from a single user, and one could show the results of a search for some text or a hashtag.

Because you can now have different windows, I’ve removed the window related settings from the preferences, and instead added a “Window Options” menu to the “View” menu, so that you can set them individually for each window.

The other major change that has happened relates to the automatic update mechanism. Unfortunately this got broken in version 1.1.1, and as a result automatic updating may not work, particularly if you are running Mountain Lion. These problems should now be fixed, but if you’re running one of the versions where updating was broken, then unfortunately you’ll have to manually get yourself past this version by downloading the latest beta.

Other than that, there are a couple of minor fixes:

  • The preview display which says what tweets are being downloaded (before there are any to display) should now make a bit more sense, and shouldn’t show an ugly looking internal description for a user any more.
  • The preference for centring the window when it shows some sort of sheet (eg when you’re asked to enter the text to search for) now actually does something.

If you are feeling brave, you can download the latest version here.

more...

We’ve been pretty busy in recent months, with a number of contracting jobs, including a bit of work with the lovely folks over at Karelia software.

Live music is dear to our hearts though, so we’re planning on taking some time out this week to attend the excellent Hebridean Celtic festival, which happens each year here in Stornoway, on the Scottish island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

The festival is very much a labour of love, and although it attracts a large audience from all over the world, it’s run by a charitable trust. So when they came to me to ask about the possibility of doing an app, I was rather keen to get involved (although a little scared at how little time we had to get something ready for this year).

After a bit of nifty footwork, and a few anxious nights waiting for Apple’s review process, the result is this little app. Given the amount of time we had, we decided to keep it simple, but we’re rather pleased with the results. Hopefully, the festival organisers are too.

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