Archive for the 'Keep It Together' Tag

KIT: Some Things You Can’t Do

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

I just added this to the KIT FAQ. A frequent request is to have the ability to drag email messages from Mail or events from iCal to KIT. Unfortunately, this can’t be done, because neither Mail nor iCal put anything on the clipboard for other applications to use.

Clipboard viewer screenshot showing super-secret Mail drag

If you use Entourage, you can drag emails and events to KIT because it does put some usable data on the dragging clipboard. You can drag the text of an email from Mail, but this isn’t quite as convenient.

KIT and Yojimbo

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

I wouldn’t normally compare one of my apps to one of its competitors on this blog, but I am frequently asked what differentiates Keep It Together from Yojimbo.

Superficially the two apps appear to be very similar: both allow you to store and preview documents, web archives and bookmarks, create notes, etc; both KIT’s groups and Yojimbo’s collections work more like iTunes playlists than regular folders, where a file can exist in more than one group at a time and there is no hierarchy.

However, Yojimbo has special formats for things like passwords and serial numbers while KIT will work with any kind of file including images, movies and even formats it can’t preview. KIT keeps all the originals as files on disk (or uses aliases to link to existing files), Yojimbo keeps everything in a database. Some people prefer one approach to the other, so that’s cool.

In a nutshell, KIT is more about files, whereas Yojimbo is more about data. At times, the feature sets of the two collide, but that could apply to any number of applications in this genre. I’m actually very happy about Yojimbo because when I released KIT back in 2004 it offered a fresh approach that not everyone seemed to understand. That changed after the release of Yojimbo and interest in KIT renewed, so it’s certainly done me some favours there.

In the future you can expect to see KIT further differentiate itself for Yojimbo. I have some very exciting plans for the app, some of which will be seen sooner rather than later.

KIT Instabilty and Input Managers

Monday, September 4th, 2006

Some people experience instability with KIT where it can crash at random moments, while for others, developer included, it appears to be mostly rock solid. The recurring theme of random, mysterious crashes and KIT seems to be input managers with the crash occurring in Apple code – i.e. nowhere near anything I can change.

John Gruber has already written an excellent description of Input Managers in a post about Smart Crash Reports on Daring Fireball, so I may as well quote him here:

Input managers are loaded by most Mac OS X applications — including all Cocoa apps, but also many modern Carbon apps as well — soon after they launch.

The supported purpose for input managers is to allow developers to define new ways for users to enter text. However, the code in an input manager can pretty much do what it wants to inside an application’s address space, and so thus, input managers have turned into an unofficial channel for hacking system and application behavior. E.g., most of the hacks euphemistically described as “plug-ins” on Jon Hicks’s Pimp My Safari web site — such as Saft and PithHelmet — are input manager hacks. “Plug-ins” implies the use of a legitimate API intended for extending or modifying an application; Safari, unfortunately, has no plug-in API, so any developer wishing to extend or modify Safari must resort to unsupported mechanisms such as input managers.

As stated before, every installed input manager loads into (nearly) every application. Input managers that are targeting one specific application, such as the way Saft and PithHelmet patch Safari or the way Smart Crash Reports patches Crash Reporter, typically perform some identifier checking so as only to deliver their actual payload inside the application they’re targeting. But, no bones about it, the nature of input managers is such that they’re loaded into every app on your system.

I have a suspicion that problems occur because KIT swaps a lot of views in and out and I have a workaround in mind, but due to the seemingly random nature of these crashes, can’t be sure that it will solve every (or any) problem.

I must stress that it’s not all input managers that seem to crash KIT. I know of people running Application Enhancers and APE (from Unsanity) without a problem. Unsanity themselves stress that it is important to ensure these are up-to-date, and that goes for any software that can potentially modify every application in the system.

KIT Post-ZOT Catchup

Monday, September 4th, 2006

The MacZOT promotion seemed to go very well and it appears KIT was the application that made most people very happy after a fraught week. That feels great. I am currently sifting through quite a lot of emails, some of which are very long – but all feedback is welcome.

The plan is to release KIT 1.2.3 soon to address a few problems, including one where KIT hangs when trying to choose a custom library location – this was highlighted in the NeatLittleMacApps podcast last week, I just didn’t have enough time to get the fix out before the ZOT.

I also hope to post a few tips about KIT to this blog soon and answer some more general questions about the app.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in feedback, I’m reading every one and replying as appropriate. Some replies might take longer than others as I need to look into things further.

If you would like to get in touch either use the Support pages on this site or choose Help > Send Feedback from the menu in KIT. Thanks!

Oh, and I should also give a shout out to Ben Hiller for being the first person since KIT’s release two years ago to ask whether Keep It Together is a reference to Eddie Murphy’s character in Bowfinger. It is. Well done, Ben! 😉

KIT, rooSwitch and hawkeye Bargains on MacZOT

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

macZOTIt’s been a rollercoaster week for MacZOT regulars as they have been subjected to the psychological strain that is a StoryZOT, a new mutation of the frequent MyzteryZOTs, where the daily deal site sells a bundle of applications at a really knock-down price for a day without the buyers knowing what those apps will be.

StoryZOT has put a twist on this by running the stories of three developers for a week, promising that none of the apps have been featured on MacZOT before and throwing in a free game. For most of the week information has been slowly drip-fed while the identity of those apps remained shrouded in mystery. There did appear to be a leak on TUAW yesterday that made it onto the front page of Digg, but today all is revealed.

The three apps in question are my very own Keep It Together, rooSwitch from roobasoft and hawkeye from nito – a bundle of apps normally worth $69.85 all for $5.95.

Keep It Together rooSwitch hawkeye

You can still buy this bundle today, on the MacZOT site. The deal runs until 11:59 pm PST Saturday, September 2nd, 2006 or until it’s sold out.

Update: The offer has now sold out.