This is a simple app that I built with Apple Automator that I’ve been using to upload files to this blog. Overall, WordPress’s web page uploader works well, but it requires a browser window be open. Sometimes I just want to send a file quickly and not bother with that. One of the reasons people like my Post to WordPress plugin for Ulysses is that it avoids having to open up WordPress to save a draft post.
The Ulysses app can do a lot besides writing. I’ve written a lot about how I abuse the poor thing. Its export options offer a variety of formats. One that was convenient was the RTF option. It meant I had one click export to a standard rich text format that’s usually requested by publishers. The v2.1 Ulysses update replaced RTF with DOCX, the new Word 2007 format. These files aren’t usually accepted via email because of the chance that they carry a macro virus.
I’ve made a significant update to my app Post to Wordpress for Ulysses today. I’ve improved it so that there’s no need to edit the Automator app or need two parts (app & code file) for everything to work. The blog information (user name, password, URL, and SSL preference) is now stored in a separate file. Also, all the posting code is now inside the app, and the user doesn’t need to create a ~/bin folder to keep the Ruby code file in.
One of the neat things about Magna Studio EX (Clip Paint Studio EX if you buy the downloadable version) is it’s book making abilities. It shouldn’t be a surprise since the whole app revolves around making comics and comic books. The panel-based nature of comics also makes for a pretty neat layout tool for image heavy books or magazines. In my case, it’s also a substitute for Adobe InDesign. For the occasional layout jobs I have, it’s not worth another subscription on top of Lightroom+Photoshop.
The one constant about indoor events is the poor lighting. It’s not usually bad lighting. The people that set up the stage want the event to look good. There’s usually plenty of light from the audience’s perspective. What the camera sees is a different story. When Hillary Clinton campaigned in Phoenix the event was held in a high school gym. I’ll wait while you finish shaking your head. So you can imagine the base lighting.
There’s an old tech-support joke about important data. Tech: Does this drive have important data on it? Customer: Thanks for asking, it does indeed. Tech: Good. I’ll erase it now. Customer: Nooo! I’ll loose everything! Tech: If it’s that important, you’ll have a backup. Customer: What’s a backup? In short, if it’s on a computer and it’s important, there should always be a backup. We’ve gotten better about this. Dropbox was the first service to really break through the noise about backups.
Note: there is now a GitHub repository for this project. Get the latest code there, including a downloadable Automator app After sleeping on this I decided there were a few things I could do better. Having to put raw source in the document was annoying. I looked into several ways to do this, but found Ulysses had the answer. If a line of text is “marked” in Ulysses (that’s the :: notation) it gets exported as its own paragraph, but no other HTML tags are applied.
Note: I’ve updated this app, and you can find out more info in the updated article. Plus it’s even easier to install and set up. Or go directly to the GitHub repository for this project. Ulysses does a lot of things right as a writing tool. But it’s not designed to be a HTML or Markdown editor. It’s also not able to post directly to a blog. But its export friendly nature makes it easy to build helper apps.
After using GitHub to contribute to a project the other day, I got to thinking about other uses for Git. One was to keep a backup of my ~/bin folder. I write a lot of one-off scripts to make my life easier. Most of the time they’re under 20 lines and previous versions aren’t really needed. But sometimes1 I break things. Other times I’ll go back and wonder what the hell was I thinking.
I have a few projects up on GitHub, but it’s more of a “code storage” place than a “get work done” place. But the other night I ran across a project that I could make a quick contribution to. Besides helping out the project, I also learned a few things about how pull requests work. Including how to clone a pull request and work with the pull request author directly.