FAQ's

I've been working on improving my FAQ's for the last few weeks. In general I've added quite a few entries and gone for a more 'traditional' FAQ layout (questions/answers).

I was using Accordion which is a fabalous plugin but it made doing searches on the web site a little tough, let me know if you like these new 'web 1.0' style FAQ's.

In order to avoid total loss of eye candy I've also included a comment and rating to each entry. check it out

PlusKit
Lockdown
RapidBlog
SiteMap
Comments

Warning to RapidFlickr users

If you use RapidFlickr I wanted to pass along a note that I just discovered that Flickr implemented a new method for constructing photo API's. What does this mean to you? New pictures will now start occasionally returning 'photo not found' I'm not sure when the exact cutoff date is but I believe anything before April should still work fine. I'm working on a fix that should be available in a few days.
Comments

Updates

In case you haven't noticed I"ve been steadily running through my collection of plugins with small, but important, updates. See the respective change logs for details.

Tonight I pushed up a new version of RapidBlog -- A few small enhancements & bug fixes, most important is there is now a RSS Title field that you probably want to change from the default of "A Great Blog"!

I've had a few niggilng issues I'm still tracking down on RapidBlog but I feel I'm close to calling it 1.0 and starting to work on some major enhancements and new features including a archive overhaul, date localization and improved comment system.

-Jm
Comments (1)

New comment system

I've turned on comments but I'm not terribly happy with them yet. The biggest problem is they really slow down page renders since each post has to ask blogger "how many comments are there". This really seems to slow down page renders quite a bit (although I've not timed it). If you are reading this can you give me a sense of how fast it renders for you? (using the comment system of course)

It also uses a lot of the blogger comment system which is both good and bad.... Anyway work in progress.

I've also started a rapidflickr FAQ . It was inspired by a customer who said "You have great e-mail support but wouldn't it be easier to write some of these down and put them on the web?" Of course he was right.


Oh, and happy new year!


Comments (7)

TUAW mention

Rapidflickr got a nice mention at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (or TUAW as it's known to its friends).

http://www.tuaw.com/2006/04/03/publish-flickr-images-to-rapidweaver-with-rapidflickr/

The great thing is that they used it in a way that I never considered but it works out to be a pretty neat solution.

If you've tried Rapidflickr and want to purchase a registration to get all of the features I've set up a 10% off coupon to sweeten the deal. Simply use
T
UAWRPDFLK
R
at checkout to get your 10% off (note the coupon is limited use so when it runs out it's done)

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Rapidflickr 1.0 - Crazy Delicious

After a seemingly endless stream of Beta releases I'm happy to announce the release of Rapidflickr 1.0

This release is very similar to 0.9.3b7 with a small number of changes that honestly I doubt anyone will notice. As I've mentioned previously this plugin is really a labor of love so I'm pretty excited to be able to call this 1.0.

The next 'big' thing for Rapidflickr is new output styles... I've been doing some research on different types of albums/gallery's/etc and I've got some ideas....

To celebrate I've set up a coupon
CPN4934344478
which provides a limited number of 10% off any order at loghound.com (e.g. you can use it for rapidflickr or lockdown).

If you have 0.9.3b7 then no urgent need to get 1.0 but feel free to grab it if you like.

Get all of the 1.0 goodness here As always change notes are here


Comments

0.9.3b7

The crazy parade of Rapidflickr releases continue.

I just put up
which mostly just fixes HTML rendering. I've spent a LOT of time on rapidflickr recently and the rate of change will probably slow down a lot for a while since I've been ignoring rapidblog. If 0.9.3b7 doesn't have any major problems I'll probably call this 'version 1.0'.

When I first started Rapidflickr I had a few ideas of what I wanted.

* Robust (e.g. it makes it hard to make a mistake)
* Easy to use & predictable (e.g. hide the complexity of the flickr web services API, PHP, etc.)
* Support .mac (e.g. provide for semi-static pages)
* Support live updates (e.g. allow for a dynamic web page that's always up to date)

In fact I'm willing to share 'loghound.com' super-secret design documents... This is pretty much what I started with with when I was first trying to pull together this plugin... In looking through it I'm pretty happy with how close the final product is (in truth, the final product is I think better than I captured here) View the vision
(warning 1MB)

It's taken me longer than I expected but it's been really satisfying -- Thanks to everyone for all of the support. Don't get me wrong, I'm not done developing it I'm just enjoying getting (very) close to this major milestone.
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A story of releases

I hate the release process of software.

Mind you I like actually developing software and talking to people about it, getting feedback and improving it but the process of releasing it I hate. It takes much longer than it should and I'm always worried that something was broken in the process.

The worst however is that feeling when you put something up and hold your breath for 8 hours to see if you made some huge mistake. I almost did that last night. I made a 0.9.3b6 and put it up and then started doing a bit more testing before bed (and posting to the forums that it was up)

Horrible! So many things were broken I didn't know where to start, it was late, I was tired and i was dreading re-releasing it. So I took it down, put an explanation in the change log and went to sleep.

Of course the problem was very simple and in fact a classic C mistake. I had a check and instead of using '==' to test for equality I had used '='. The check was part of my continued zealous hunt for adding error checking but it happened at a spot that had a lot of 'bad' consequences.

Anyway I'm happy to report that a proper 0.9.3b6 is up on the server. This one seems pretty solid but like i said earlier there are a LOT of changes so more so than most this one could have problems (although I think it's pretty clean at this point)

I've also put together a
of rapidflickr ideas. If you have an idea or if you use rapidflickr in a fun or interesting way send me a note and I'll add you to the list.
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0.9.3b6

Hot on the heels of 0.9.3b5 is 0.9.3b6.... out so quick because (as I feared) I found some problems with overzealous error checking.

See changelog & download
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0.9.3b5 & group support

I have group support working so now you can view photos via Groups. They can be public, private, invite only and you can even narrow your search via tags within a group (or leave tags empty and get the 'N' most recent groups) -- of course groups work with lives updates -- The only restriction is you can only view groups you've subscribed to (I think this should be OK?)

However I don't have 0.9.3b5 up on the server yet
... Group support which I did as 'a quickie' turned into a massive amount of changes partially due to the fact that groups act strangely different than the other elements of flickr and partly to the fact that I, personally, never use groups much so I didn't do a good job initially planning for it.

Consequently I've had to make a HUGE number of internal changes, a good part of it was much needed maintaince so I can't completely blame groups but the result is it's late and although it seems to be working well, I really haven' tested it enough (and it's getting very late where I live) so I decided to let it 'sit' for another 24 hours before I unleash it on the public.

The good thing is I found a number of potential problems that are now (I hope) no longer issues AND I've continued to improve error handling AND I've fixed a major worry I've had since 0.5 -- How do you handle a situation where a person isn't on the network? Now rapidflickr detects if you don't have a network connection and recovers gracefully (e.g. it tells you "can't connect to flickr")... Great for folks editing their sites with a laptop away from a wlan hotspot.

I've put an example of groups
, it's the RapidWeaver users group... Look for 0.9.3b5 about 11:00PM california time/Monday.




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Update

First a rapidblog update... Progress has been slow for several reasons not the least of which Is I think I caught Nik's cold from across the pond. I'm still inching along but I refuse to continue to put out estimates of the first public beta.

Now a Lockdown update. Just put 1.1 up, download it
and see the change log
.... This fixes an annoying problem I was getting about once every two weeks where someone was able to get the password prompt but the password was never accepted. Turns out in some cases I wasn't pointing to the password file correctly. I also took this opportunity to fix up some error handling & messages.

Finally a rapidflickr update. This continues to soak up a lot of my time... It's sort of a labor of love for me at this point... The number of people who are heavy flickr users & rapidweaver users isn't so big but I just enjoy the idea of this plugin so much I can't stop adding features. On dock is Group support and a modified 'lightbox' effect to make it seem a bit, well,
plus a few other misc bug fixes & clean ups (Sadly, group support has turned into a bit more work than i expected as they don't function like other parts of Flickr... Look for a new version later this weekend)

Comments

0.9.3b4

Just put
up. Thanks to the persistence of Nik & Seb I've tracked down a number of nasty little problems that were keeping some folks from having the live updates working properly.

If you've tried it in the last few days and not gotten live updates to work try this release. It should be much more robust!

Change log as always is


Note, you may have to 'clear publishing cache' in order to pick up the changes in this version (not sure about that but if you have problems give it a try) you can do this from the 'file' menu in Rapidweaver

-John
Comments

Rapidflickr 0.93b3

Newest version fixes some 'small' problems.. See
for details


Comments

Back in front of my mac, Rapidflickr 0.93b1 with live updates!

Hello All,

I'm back from Japan... I always enjoy it there but it was a pretty busy trip so I'm glad to be home.

On the airplane ride home I started thinking about live updates for Rapidflickr. You see when I first imagined this plugin I originally only imagined a 'live' version... It was after I thought about the headache of supporting a non static page (plus the folks on .mac) that made me do the static version first.

Anyway I've been putting this off for too long. I'm happy to announce 0.93b1 (I know, I went from 0.92b2 to 0.93b1 without ever releasing a 0.92 final!)

Change log is
but the biggest thing you will notice is that it now supports live updates, this is very, very cool since now you can throw up a page and say things like "Show my top 10 most interesting pictures" and as you add it will always show the most interesting.

Or you can show your most recent (by upload date or taken date)... It also works with authentication so if you want to show private pictures it'll do that.

There are a few things that are not working..... Most notably the newly introduced photosets (they'll be in there for the next beta) and also the cool drop shadow effect is broken (I know why, I just don't know how to fix it yet)

I'd like to get some feedback before posting on the rapidweaver forums so if you are reading this and you have a registration code go ahead and download all of the live updating goodness


Remember please give me feedback... I'm not especially happy with my GUI choices for enabling the live updates (check box tossed at the bottom of screen... There has to be a better spot or way) Any suggestions are welcome. Also it should work pretty well (not withstanding the comments above) so if you see anything funny let me know!

-John
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Rapidflickr 0.9.2b2

Thanks to some great help testing 0.9.2b1 a few issues were discovered and resolved. See the
for the details

is now ready for download. Set support should work better now and I've further improved the HTML output (it now centers)

Enjoy
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Rapidflickr 0.9.2 coming...

Since I'm going to be gone next week in Japan and I knew I wouldn't be able to get the Rapidblog beta out before (and even if I could I wouldn't do it since I have no way of working on problems or fixing it when traveling) I decided to take a quick break from Rapidblog and add some much requested features to rapidflickr.

This will be a fairly small update with a few cosmetic changes, some fixes to HTML rendering and photoset support. You can now be able to select pictures by either 'Tags' (current method) or 'Photosets'..

If you have any other 'hot' features or annoying bugs this is a good time to let me know... No promises but i'll try, expect 0.9.2 out by saturday.

Comments

Difference between 0.9 and 0.7? .2!

I'm so excited to release version 0.9 of my rapidflickr plugin... get all the flickr+rapidweaver goodness information here

I know I've been talking about 0.7 but I spent so long getting it out and in testing it was working so well I decided to call it 0.9

Why 0.9 and not 1.0? Basically I've not had as much feedback on the advanced features as I'd like so I wanted to get it out there and see what the community thought first..

Enjoy
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Case Insensitive Compare -- Avoid it like a swarm of angry bees

So 0.7 continues to be 'just a few days away'... I've been working on some slick slideshow features that have required me to work with photosets.

Everything was going well until I started running into 'invalid signature' problems. You see when you make authenticated calls to flickr there is a particular method to creating the calls. Part of that mechanism is to create a 'signature' (basically a MD5 sum) of the arguments including a 'secret key'. It's actually kind of a slick system as it provides secure access without having to give out your flickr username & passwd.

I've had authentication working for quite a while but when i tried to use photosets (which require authentication since I'm creating & adding photos to them) it didn't work and complained about 'invalid signature' Thankfully I got help from another cocoa/flickr developer (Blake Seely) who eventually pointed out my problem, I was ordering the arguments wrong.

"How can this be" I thought "I'm using the standard NSString compare functions"... Well not exactly, you see I was using 'caseInsensitiveCompare' not 'compare'. The arguments to photoset include both photo_id and photoset_id. Guess what? Turns out that case insensitive compare sorts them one way and 'compare' the other which was the cause of my signature problem.

It was strange to me until i looked at the ascii chart:

0 nul 1 soh 2 stx 3 etx 4 eot 5 enq 6 ack 7 bel 8 bs 9 ht 10 nl 11 vt 12 np 13 cr 14 so 15 si 16 dle 17 dc1 18 dc2 19 dc3 20 dc4 21 nak 22 syn 23 etb 24 can 25 em 26 sub 27 esc 28 fs 29 gs 30 rs 31 us 32 sp 33 ! 34 " 35 # 36 $ 37 % 38 & 39 ' 40 ( 41 ) 42 * 43 + 44 , 45 - 46 . 47 / 48 0 49 1 50 2 51 3 52 4 53 5 54 6 55 7 56 8 57 9 58 : 59 ; 60 < 61 = 62 > 63 ? 64 @ 65 A 66 B 67 C 68 D 69 E 70 F 71 G 72 H 73 I 74 J 75 K 76 L 77 M 78 N 79 O 80 P 81 Q 82 R 83 S 84 T 85 U 86 V 87 W 88 X 89 Y 90 Z 91 [ 92 \ 93 ] 94 ^ 95 _ 96 ` 97 a 98 b 99 c 100 d 101 e 102 f 103 g 104 h 105 i 106 j 107 k 108 l 109 m 110 n 111 o 112 p 113 q 114 r 115 s 116 t 117 u 118 v 119 w 120 x 121 y 122 z 123 { 124 | 125 } 126 ~ 127 del

Yup, there it is... at 95 the '_' character, right between uppercase and lowercase. Lesson learned


Comments

No 0.7 for at about a week

Hello All

Sorry but 0.7 will be delayed a week. I've been sick the last few days and I'm heading to Europe (sans mac) for my 'day job'. I have a candidate release but it really hasn't been tested enough to release yet... hopefully next sunday.

However let me share a recent build screen shot



Pasted Graphic

See the pictures to the right? That's the live preview.. I'm not 100% sure this feature will make the final release but I'm playing with it (the feature works fine, I'm just getting worried about the UI getting too cluttered). It is sort of slick that as you are changing things this little window is updating in near real time. Any thoughts? Let me know loghound @ gmail . com


Regards

-jm

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A new feature on display

Well I was originally going to have my next version out before Macworld but for a couple of reasons (including my concern over what Apple introduces in the way of iWeb) I may not make it

However I do have a teaser.... What new feature am I showing here but I'm not showing here?

It really shouldn't be that hard to notice (and the fact that the pictures on the two pages are different sizes has nothing to do with it)

Let me give you a hint. It's a feature that makes viewing 'gallery' type pages like this much more enjoyable... You sort of don't lose your place in the gallery.

Another hint. in the blog entry from yesterday you can see the new option in the GUI. (scroll down a bit to look at some of the new options)

Think you know it? Email me at loghound @ gmail . com

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Let's clean it up for the kids

Ok, day two of my blog (well technically it's day 3 since I skipped yesterday).

Some big news today, the 'rumor' sites were saying that a new iLife app, 'iWeb' is to be released at macworld next week. Depending on what Apple actually does it could be very, very bad for RapidWeaver

Let's take a look at the three scenarios, shall we?


  1. Apple puts out a doggy version 1.0 app that only works with .mac -> Possibly this is actually good for RW (get folks interested in the idea of their own web page but leave em wanting more)

  2. Apple puts out a decent app, (based on pages) and charges < $35 for it -> Probably this is the death of RW

  3. Apple puts out a decent app, bundles it with iLife -> This is the death of RW



Not too optimistic am I, only way RW survives in any meaningful way is if apple either doesn't do it or they flub it... Before we get in a panic let's see what they do next week.

Now on to a more fun topic. rapidflickr

The nice thing about how I did this app was the technology preview/beta has a ton of 'infrastracture' work complete meaning to add new features I just need to start 'hooking stuff up' in a fairly small way

For instance....

Pasted Graphic 1


Yes that's right... I have authenticated searches working... and they work great. Now you can create a photo page of any of your photos (public or private)

I'm also working on a bunch of new styles

Pasted Graphic 2

This (hopefully) won't be the Final ui... It's more of a playground right now for me but you can see what version 1.0 will look like.

Any comments or suggestions? let me know at loghound @ gmail dot com
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