flickery v1.9.45 with critical bug fixes now available

flickery Icon

flickery v1.9.45, a critical bug fix release, has just been released both on the Mac App Store and via the app’s update mechanism.

What’s flickery?

flickery is a full-featured desktop client for flickr, allowing you to manage your photo stream, favorites, albums, galleries and more.

That’s still around?

I admit, flickery hasn’t seen an update in quite a while (the last one on October 24th, 2014 – it’s quite embarrassing).
Managing and maintaining five different apps is quite a task for one person, and in the case of flickery, one thing just lead to another and I somehow was never able to keep updating it regularly.

I had started development of version 2.0, but as that Yahoo sale happened, I paused again, not knowing where things would go.
Now flickr is in the hands of SmugMug, and after a very brief first conversation with them, I’m thinking flickr’s in a good place. Let’s see where things go from here.

What’s New in flickery v1.9.45?

  • A crash was fixed that occurred when loading galleries (which sometimes lead to a crash during authorization)
  • A crash was fixed when cancelling an upload
  • A bug was fixed where you couldn’t take screenshots anymore from within flickery’s upload section
  • Due to the Mac App Store’s API restrictions, flickery now uses AVFoundation for its video playback instead of QuickTime, leading to increased system requirements (macOS Lion 10.7.3 or newer is now required)

Increased System Requirements

flickery used to use the QuickTime and QTKit frameworks for video editing and playback. Trying to compile that code lead to several errors, as the frameworks are not available anymore on macOS High Sierra (possibly earlier), so (with invaluable help from Phil Dennis-Jordan (twitter) ) I had to copy them over from macOS Snow Leopard, since that’s the version of macOS I was targeting.
Building worked, and I was confident I could release right away, but then this happened:

Xcode warning: Deprecated API usage

Apparently, Apple no longer accepts apps that use the QuickTime or QTKit APIs (even if you’re targeting very old versions of macOS). So back to Xcode I went, assessing how much work it would be to move everything from QuickTime/QTKit over to AVFoundation.

The most critical parts were, of course, video playback so you could watch videos posted to flickr. Other parts where I used those APIs were recording photos and videos with your Mac’s FaceTime camera and trimming videos that were longer than allowed for upload, but I decided to scrap those features for now so I could release quickly. I’m guessing they were rarely used anyway, if at all.

Updating the remaining code turned out to be a couple of hours of work (it wasn’t all that difficult, to be honest), but resulted in increased system requirements, as AVFoundation is only available on macOS Lion (10.7) and up.

I wanted to keep supporting macOS Snow Leopard (10.6) with flickery 1.x, but I would have had to take out video playback for that build, and I didn’t want to.

Availability

Version 1.9.45 of flickery is a free update for existing customers of the app, both on the Mac App Store and from the website.

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How-To: ‘Gray out’ Files in Finder

When copying files in Finder, you might have noticed that the newly created, still-being-written-to files are ‘grayed out’, conveniently informing the user that the file is not ready yet.

'Grayed out' file in Finder

I wanted to replicate that for an upcoming upgrade of Transloader (along with a progress indicator, as you can see in the screenshot above, but that’s another topic), and after trying a couple of things, I found out how to do it.

I tested this on macOS High Sierra only, since it’s the OS version I’m targeting right now, but I don’t see a reason why it wouldn’t work on earlier versions of macOS.

It’s All in the Date

After digging around on the internet, I found that all that needs to be done is to change the file’s creation- and modification dates to one specific date, namely:
January 24th, 1984, 09:00:00 AM

Source code for setting the creation- and modification dates of a file

And it works great – the created file appears ‘grayed out’ in Finder.

There’s a downside, however:
When copying a file in Finder, and trying to move that still-being-written-to file, Finder will display a convenient message that tells the user the file is in use and moving it might cause problems.
This doesn’t happen when using this date-setting approach.

So I kept digging.

The Solution

What I did, then, was use Terminal and the ‘mdls’ command to list the meta data of the still-being-written-to file:

Using the mdls command in Terminal

At first, coming from the date-approach, I noticed the kMDItemFSCreationDate item, stating
1904-01-01 00:00:00 +0000

However, setting that as the creation date does nothing at all.

Then, I noticed the kMDItemFSCreatorCode and kMDItemFSTypeCode fields (red arrows in the screenshot of Terminal above).

Setting those like this…

Setting the creator- and type codes in code

…does exactly what I wanted – it ‘grays out’ the file in Finder, and displays the convenient Finder error message when trying to move it:

Finder error message when trying to move a still-being-written-to file

Mission accomplished – we’re done!

Please keep in mind, though, that the user may still choose “Continue” to move the file, so you should definitely use an NSFileCoordinator to take care of that.

ScreenFloat v1.5.14 released – Maintenance Update

2 ScreenFloat Icon 3  dragged

I’m happy to announce the immediate availability of ScreenFloat v1.5.14 – an admittedly long overdue maintenance update that fixes a couple of issues:

  • A semi-rare crash, that occurred when dragging the mini-icon of a floating shot, was fixed
  • Cancelling a mini-icon-drag by pressing ‘esc’ actually works now
  • Fixed a bug where a cleared keyboard shortcut would reset to its default after a restart of the app
  • Fixed an interface bug where, after sharing a shot, the standard window buttons would appear on the floating shot
  • Fixed a bug where the app would seemingly freeze when “Save as…” and “New Folder” was selected

What’s ScreenFloat?
ScreenFloat lets you take screenshots that float above all windows, so as to keep information always visible (following you around different spaces, windows and full-screen apps).

  • Need to transfer bank account information from a mail to your online banking tool? ScreenFloat!
  • Want to keep a reference image visible? ScreenFloat!
  • Want to just remember a bit of information for a minute? ScreenFloat!
  • The use-cases seem endless (and *are* endless – believe me, I use it all day, all the time ;) )

While the main “raison d’être” is this floating functionality, ScreenFloat offers a Shots Browser that keeps all the screenshots you take in a neat library you can curate (via titles, tags and (smart) collections).

Each floating shot has a draggable mini-image-icon at the lower left, so you can quickly drag any screenshot you take to other apps, like Messages, Mail, or Twitter, for example.

Links:
ScreenFloat Website (with free, 15-day trial)
ScreenFloat on the Mac App Store

What’s Next?
Looking ahead, I’m working on a substantial v2.0 upgrade of ScreenFloat which will include features like annotations and sync (via iCloud), and I’m also looking into an iOS companion app down the road.
So, although there haven’t been a lot of updates lately for ScreenFloat (mainly because Yoink has been keeping me very busy), I do have lots of plans and love for the app.

 

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Stay up-to-date on all things Eternal Storms Software and join my low-frequency newsletter (one mail a month at most).
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