Archive for the 'Feeder' Tag

Adding Sparkle Updates to AppleScript Studio Projects

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Konrad Lawson at The AppleScript Studio Workshop has written a comprehensive tutorial about including Sparkle for automatic software updates in an AppleScript Studio project. The tutorial also mentions Feeder as a way to create the appcast feed:

Link: The AppleScript Studio Workshop – Adding a Check Updates Feature

Feeder 1.5

Friday, February 8th, 2008

I released Feeder 1.5 earlier. While this is not as big a release as 1.4 and 1.3 before it, it does include a number of useful new features and improvements, particularly for video podcasters. Just about every part of the app has been tweaked in some way though, so I’ll highlight the main changes here. The Release Notes tell the full story.

User Interface

Firstly, the user interface has been updated for 10.5 Leopard, and because Feeder’s minimum system requirements are now for 10.4 and later, gets some new controls such as date pickers and token fields for things like iTunes keywords.

Feeder 1.5 Toolbar

Feeder has worked fine on Leopard since the big cat’s release, but Leopard’s darker theme almost eradicated the subtle borders on some toolbar icons and the increased contrast made some of the colours appear too saturated. Also, the sidebar gets Leopard gradient and colours, and turns grey when the main window is inactive. These are minor changes but make a big difference.

Podcasting

Feeder’s podcasting support has been improved in particular for video podcasters. Video podcasts can now have thumbnails via Yahoo’s Media RSS extension. These thumbnails are used for video search results and application such as Miro (formerly Democracy Player).

Feeder 1.5 ToolbarUsing the Media RSS extensions is as straightforward as checking “Use Media Extensions” in the Extensions section of the Info drawer (below the iTunes extensions, if you’re using them). That will show the Media Thumbnail field in the editor, where you can drag an image file to upload or specify the URL of an image that is already online.

Finally for video podcasters, this version improves performance when reading and tagging MP4 files, including those used for iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, etc.

Publishing

Enclosures SectionAnother change useful for any podcaster is that Feeder now has the ability to redirect uploaded enclosure URLs through a site. This is useful for podcast sites concerned with statistics such as Blubrry. You can find the settings for this in the Enclosures section under Settings in the Info drawer.

Feeder’s publishing is now improved to (finally!) support password-less SFTP. This can be enabled by clicking the Options button in the Servers window for an SFTP server. It also allows the creation of additional servers for enclosures and images during publishing setup.

Sparkle

Last but not least, Sparkle appcasting support has been improved. It is now possible for Feeder to automatically generate MD5 sums and DSA signatures for enclosure files. The settings for these can be found in the Sparkle section under Extensions in the Info drawer. Finally, Feeder’s AppleScript has been improved and now includes the ability to edit Sparkle attributes.

Summary

Most Feeder releases have an overall theme and in this case it’s mostly about video podcasting, but also about further refining it in its current form. Feeder is a pretty mature product now and actually celebrates its 3rd birthday tomorrow. I have plenty of ideas and plans for Feeder for the next year, so stay tuned!

What It Is

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

Any developer will tell you that no application can remain simple for very long. This is good as further development of the application through ideas and requests means that the application can grow with a receptive audience. The difficult part is determining how.

Some applications suffer this problem more than others. The most dangerous aspect of this for a developer is to introduce something that becomes a problem, and in the worst case, a millstone around their neck. It’s not easy to remove features, even if they are problematic. Likewise, insufficiently implemented features will generate more work in support requests than they took to add in the first place. The key to keeping this manageable is to work within the scope of the application.

My two applications are oceans apart in this respect. Both have grown in ways I could never have imagined, but none more than Feeder. It started as a fairly straightforward RSS reader, but then became involved in the anything-but-simple world of podcasting. Now it’s an RSS editor, an audio / video file tagger and FTP client all wrapped up in one package.

And yet, on the surface, Feeder hasn’t changed much at all. Someone who bought the 1.0 version for creating a standard RSS feed won’t feel like the app has become something different or unsuitable. The features have integrated seamlessly because they are right for the application. There are many requested features that didn’t make the cut, and I’m satisfied that those decisions proved correct over time.

Together’s potential scope is much broader than Feeder’s to the point that I am still implementing features I thought of four years ago. On seeing the app, people have many ideas about what it should do or be. In the two months since Together’s 2.0 release I have done little more than answer emails and during that time have collected over 100 valid feature requests, filtered through what I see as the scope of the application.

Together’s scope is no different to version 1.0 and that is to store, organize, preview and search files as elegantly and efficiently as possible. In time, the scope might expand without detracting from the fundamental nature of the application, but for now, with strong demand for features that will likely take years to fully realise, there is far too much to be done. Of course, these features cannot be added all at once. People expect regular updates, so each release will prioritise the most needed requests.

Interest in Together has been so great as to be overwhelming. Even with all the work put into the 2.0 version, the potential for the application is huge and some people will be happier with its progress than others. Thankfully, there are lots of options out there, so there should be something for everyone. Obviously, I can’t keep sprinting on the support treadmill, so I’ve set up the forums and placed much more emphasis on the FAQs to try and bring the situation back under control.

As I mentioned when I announced the application, version 2.0 sets the platform from which the app will grow over the next few years. Some things are going to take time, but the future for Together looks very promising, not least thanks to everyone who has supported and contributed to Together and KIT so far. The 2.x series is shaping up to be very exciting indeed.

MacSanta

Friday, December 14th, 2007

It’s that time of year again! As you may already know, MacSanta is running through the month of December and works slightly differently to last year. Every day, 5 new developers are revealed to offer 20% off their applications.

MacSanta

Today it’s RealMac Software (RapidWeaver), Twisted Melon (Mira, Manta TR1), Loghound Software (RapidBlog, FaqMaker and more), Helium Foot Software (Mercury Mover) and, of course, your very own Reinvented Software, with both Together and Feeder.

To save 20% on the full price, enter the discount code MACSANTA07 when you check out. The 20% discount is only available for one day. After that, you can still save 10% on the full price versions using the code MACSANTA07TEN on any of the deals featured so far until the end of the year.

New software is added every day so it’s worth keeping an eye on the site or subscribing to the RSS feed. I find it’s also a great place to discover software you never knew existed. Enjoy!

Feeder Now Requires 10.4 or Later

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

I released Feeder 1.4.9 earlier today, which includes some fixes for issues discovered in the GM version of Leopard and will add atom:link tags to all feeds. This was made a recommendation in the RSS Best Practices profile on October 15 and is now required by FeedValidator, which shows warnings for feeds that do not include it.

The other big change is that Feeder now requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. This has been the case anyway with the outstanding issue of compatability introduced by QuickTime 7.2, which Apple doesn’t seem in a hurry to fix. In order to make Feeder fully Leopard compatible, Panther had to go.

This was something I was planning to do anyway in the next major version as Panther support is holding Feeder back and my testing burden just doubled with the launch of Leopard. Panther usage is minimal these days, anyway.