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.


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


I just put 0.9.3b5 on up on the server, you can get it by going to change log

I'm not going to announce it widely at this point... only for folks who frequent my blog and are brave enough to risk running it.

This ended up being a big update... Externally not much has changed but a lot amount of internal code clean up. I think it's all work works fine (in all of my test cases it's fine) but I really want a few of you adventurous souls to try it out and report back thumbs up or thumbs down before I announce it on the Forum.


* Group Support... To use groups click on the 'Flickr Username' pulldown... if you have authenticated with rapidflickr and have groups they show up in this pull down to select. you can narrow your group search via tags if you like -- Of course this works with live updates also
* Preview Pane now work after a 'load' -- Previously the preview pane was only functional if you started a new pane. Now it will work after you load a saved file (but it won't actually show anything until you change something so load an old file and then change something such as authentication on/off or tags or selected group, etc.) -- It's still not working like I want but it's closer
* on-line detection. I now detect if your computer is online or not. It works fine for me and detects if I unplug lan cable, etc. but PLEASE tell me if rapidflickr reports it can't connect (for fun you can get off the network and see this working)
* Improved error checking.. I try harder to catch & detect errors from both user & Flickr.
* Dirty Bit is now set if you change things like # of columns, etc.
* Improved error messages (I think improved anyway)

Get it

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.


Step into Xcode

I just received a book last friday,
, if you are a Mac developer or considering being a Mac developer this is one of the two 'must have' books... The other book is, of course, the classic

I love collecting programming books but sadly on the mac most of them are either fairly obtuse, or try to hard to be funny (but really aren't) These two are the Crown Jems of beginning mac programming.

The Author keeps a nice weblog
which so far makes good reading.

My favorite tip so far out of this book?
, Makes some of the tedious parts of Mac OSX development in Objective C go away.. Wish I had know about this 6 months ago!



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)



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


Rapidflickr 0.93b3

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


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!


Off to Japan


Well I'm off to Japan tomorrow (for my "Day Job"), it was an odd week for me. I spent a few days updating Rapidflickr to include sets and fix some rendering issues and although it ended up taking more time than I expected I really enjoyed getting back into Rapidflickr for a few days (although at one point i got a little depressed since it reminded me how far it still is from my vision). I have decided that the next 'big thing' for Rapidflickr is live updates and that will co-incide with release 1.0 (sometime after the first Rapidblog public beta)

I also spent a lot of time this week preparing for next week which kept me pretty busy so progress on Rapidblog wasn't very much. I've gotten the syncing to RW working fairly well although right now I've got some odd date problems (I can't get my app to agree on timezones with Blogger.. In fact it's not even time zones, I get weird 5'ish minute errors after a blog entry is posted from RW -> Blogger -> RW. I'm guess it's my date formatting.

A while back I started telling people that Rapidblog beta would start mid-March.. That still feels possible and it's still my goal. I return on Friday morning (California Time) so look for the next update sometime after that (although if you are
catch an update before then)



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