Blogs

Tweeps 3.2 released

Twitter has changed its API, so here's an update to Tweeps, my iOS app to help manage Twitter accounts. It has been updated to version 3.2.

This update includes these changes:

  • Added support for Twitter's new version 1.1 API.
  • Improved loading the accounts list and profile view.
  • Replaced the buttons in the Profile view.
  • Now uses a tinted status bar on iPhone.

It is currently available for a special price of just $4.99, for a limited time.

Learn more about Tweeps.

Simon 3.5 released

Announcing the general release of Simon version 3.5!

Firstly, please note that Simon now requires an Intel Mac, and a minimum of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). If you are using Simon on an older machine, you can continue using version 3.4 or earlier (there are download links on the Simon site).

Simon 3.5 includes a number of improvements and fixes for OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) support. It also includes improvements to the Web (HTTP) Twitter, Calendar, Script, Email and Speech plug-ins.

Here are the full release notes for the details:

  • Moved the main functionality of the Web (HTTP) plug-in into a helper app, so any issues with it won't affect Simon.
  • The Web (HTTP) plug-in now respects the charset of the source page, so for example the source of a Japanese site will be passed to filters and notifiers correctly.
  • Similarly, the Preview and Show Source windows now respect the charset of the source web pages.
  • Fixed some issues with the Twitter plug-in.
  • Fixed some issues with the Calendar plug-in.
  • Improved split handling in the Script editors.
  • The Email plug-in's helper no longer appears in the Dock.
  • Updated the Speech notifier plug-in to use modern APIs, and support stopping speaking while editing the notifier.
  • Fixed an exception when using the FilterIndex variable in a script.
  • Fixed an off-by-one error in calculating the Statistics values (they were one second higher than the actual duration).
  • Increased the wait on waking from 15 to 30 seconds, to allow time for the internet connection to be ready.
  • Removed the hidden preference to use the legacy Automatic email transport, as it doesn't work when building for Mountain Lion.
  • Fixed a crasher when canceling a New Test editor.
  • Added a license button to the Preferences window, when unlicensed, to make it easier to buy the app.
  • Fixed display of license entry date in the Licenses editor.
  • Improved full-screen support.
  • Fixed a bunch of memory leaks.
  • Updated the UI layouts to better support localization.
  • Updated the German, French and Japanese localizations.
  • Rebuilt for Mountain Lion using Xcode 4.
  • Many changes to improve Mountain Lion compatibility.
  • The standard edition of the app is now signed with a Developer ID to support Gatekeeper on Mountain Lion.
  • Simon now requires an Intel Mac and a minimum of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

Download Simon 3.5 now!

Simon 3.5b4 released

One last (hopefully) beta release of Simon 3.5.

This beta release just includes updated German, French and Japanese localizations.

I want to do the general release next week, so please test this version and let me know if you experience any issues.

Download Simon 3.5b4 now!

Simon 3.5b3 released

Here's another beta of Simon 3.5. Please check that everything works as expected, and let me know ASAP if you find anything wrong. Thanks!

This update includes:

  • Updated the Speech notifier plug-in to use modern APIs, and support stopping speaking while editing the notifier.
  • Changed the new Web (HTTP) helper to only send back the data on completion, rather than for each block received.
  • Fixed an off-by-one error in calculating the Statistics values (they were one second higher than the actual duration).
  • Fixed a bug with the previous betas that prevented Reports from being uploaded to remote servers.
  • Fixed a crasher when cancelling a New Test editor.
  • Updated the UI layouts to better support localization.
  • Updated the German localization.

Download Simon 3.5b3 now!

Simon 3.5b2 released

Here's a second beta release of Simon 3.5.

This update includes more improvements, including something I've wanted to do for a while: split up the Web (HTTP) plug-in to make it more failsafe. A small number of customers, that use this plug-in extensively, sometimes find that it starts failing after waking the computer. Hopefully this change will solve that. Plus it's better for security and future sandboxing.

There's also an improvement that Japanese people in particular will enjoy, though I'm sure others will benefit too.

Here are the details:

  • Moved the main functionality of the Web (HTTP) plug-in into a helper app, so any issues with it won't affect Simon.
  • The Web (HTTP) plug-in now respects the charset of the source page, so for example the source of a Japanese site will be passed to filters and notifiers correctly.
  • Similarly, the Preview and Show Source windows now respect the charset of the source web pages.
  • Improved split handling in the Script editors.
  • Many changes to improve Mountain Lion compatibility.
  • Fixed a bunch of memory leaks.
  • Prepared for localization updates.

Download Simon 3.5b2 now!

Simon 3.5b1 released

Announcing the first beta release of Simon 3.5. This update doesn't add any features yet (some may be added in a later beta), but provides full Mountain Lion compatibility via moving to the latest development tools, which necessitated a number of other changes.

One of those changes is dropping PPC support. I know that this may affect some customers, since Simon often runs on an older server machine, and I apologize if this is disappointing. But the latest development tools don't support PPC anymore. Similarly, the minimum OS version has been raised to Snow Leopard (10.6).

Here are the details:

  • Fixed some issues with the Twitter plugin.
  • Fixed some issues with the Calendar plugin.
  • Fixed an exception when using the FilterIndex variable in a script.
  • The Email plugin's helper no longer appears in the Dock.
  • Increased the wait on waking from 15 to 30 seconds, to allow time for the internet connection to be ready.
  • Removed the hidden preference to use the legacy Automatic email transport, as it doesn't work when building for Mountain Lion.
  • The license button in the Simon Monitor window now shows the Licenses window instead of going to the Dejal Store web page. (Standard edition only)
  • Added a license button to the Preferences window, when unlicensed, to make it easier to buy the app. (Standard edition only)
  • Fixed display of license entry date in the Licenses editor. (Standard edition only)
  • Improved full-screen support.
  • Rebuilt for Mountain Lion using Xcode 4.
  • The standard edition of the app is now signed with a Developer ID to support Gatekeeper on Mountain Lion. (Standard edition only)
  • Simon now requires an Intel Mac and a minimum of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

Download Simon 3.5b1 now!

Profile 2.2 released

Profile is a medical practice management app that connects to Intrahealth's server. Version 2.2 is a huge update; it is now available in the App Store.

Major changes include:

  • Added a flexible search function to the Appointments list.
  • Tasks can be filtered "for me" or "by me".
  • You can now change the Place of Service (POS).
  • Redesigned Patient Groups feature.
  • Added Folder support, to list folder members, quickly access them, and change the current folder of a patient.
  • Added a new Social page of Patient Functions, for viewing or editing social values like ethnicity and user fields.
  • Added an Additional Addresses item to the Patient Functions.
  • Added a new Alerts item in the Patient Functions list (for patient-scoped alerts), and in the Case Functions list (for case-scoped alerts).
  • Added a Notes item to the Patient Functions and Case Functions lists.
  • Added a Care Team item to the Case Functions list.
  • Reference Series can now display multiple graphs at once, and dynamically includes new form values.
  • Added a new Letters item in the Case Functions list, which displays a list of historical and draft letters, which can be edited.
  • Letters can also be added via a New Encounter, using pre-populated templates.
  • Many improvements to forms, plus historical ones can now be edited.
  • Swipe right-to-left or tap the page curl in a patient-based view to flip the page up to reveal Quick Clinical Views.
  • Clinical Views are now dynamic, able to load new values from forms.
  • Added a new Quick Contact item to the Case Functions list. Shows a popover with a list of Quick Contacts. A Quick Contact is added as a normal Encounter with a single Contact.
  • Many changes with New Encounters, including an OnTheGo setting to use a single contact or multiple contacts, and Activity, Location and Type options.
  • Syncing now uses the "IOSBusinessLogicServiceV2" web services, and has had dramatic performance improvements.
  • Tap the sync status to display a popover showing sync activity; it updates live during a sync.
  • Much nicer error display in the Sync Errors view.
  • Many changes to reference data, including the ability to reload individually, new external provider and other lookups, and more.
  • New settings for graph theme; with a new default light theme; go to Settings if you prefer the dark theme.
  • Added an info bar at the top of the screen (just under the iOS status bar) that displays the name, gender and DOB of the current patient, plus the current case, if any, and a timer of the current encounter, if any.
  • The sidebar can now be hidden in either orientation in many views.
  • Added support for the new 4" display on the iPhone 5, and built for iOS 6.0, compatible back to iOS 5.0.
  • Plus numerous performance improvements, feature enhancements, and fixes. See the release notes for details.

Remember, Profile requires an Intrahealth Profile server; you won't be able to do anything if you're not an Intrahealth customer.

If you're curious, you can learn more about Profile and see screenshots on the Profile product page on this site, and on the App Store.

Featured blog posts of 2012

My blog posts often just cover new releases, but sometimes I post general-interest or developer-interest topics. Some highlights from 2012 included:

I hope you enjoyed these posts.

Dejal year in review: 2012

Happy New Year!

Another year has gone by, so it's time to review what happened with Dejal apps in 2012:

My flagship product to monitor websites and servers for changes and failures, Simon, was updated to version 3.4 in 2012. This release included a new email notifier transport, and other improvements. It also reached a major milestone, turning 10 years old in December.

My handy break reminder tool, Time Out, remains one of my most popular apps, and it saw a number of updates in 2012, to version 1.7.1. I made some progress on version 2.0, but it again got sidelined by other projects. For those waiting for it, I'm sorry for the delays; it's frustrating for me, too. It remains an important and exciting update. And as previously mentioned, everyone who makes a donation for Time Out now will be automatically eligible for the full-featured paid edition at no additional cost — so you can set your own price for it now! This offer expires when version 2 is released. Thank you to everyone who has already donated; the volume of donations is really encouraging.

Caboodle, my lean clean snippet machine, wasn't updated in 2012. It still works fine, and is used by lots of people on a daily basis. I actually have a 1.5 update in progress, which will be coming out soon.

BlogAssist, my tool to help with HTML markup, was updated to version 2.4 in 2012. This update added handy new Substitutions preferences, and is fully compatible with Mountain Lion, including Gatekeeper (Developer ID) and sandbox support, among other changes.

Tweeps, an app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to easily manage Twitter accounts, was updated to version 3.1.1, including support for iOS 5's Twitter accounts, editing avatars, iPhone 5's nice 4" display, and more.

I introduced a new iOS app in 2012: Profile. This is a client for Intrahealth's powerful medical practice management system. I spent the majority of the year working on various versions of this, as contract work. The latest public release is version 2.0.1, but it's up to 2.2a12 in private testing.

So what's coming up in 2013? Lots of app updates. In the first couple of months I will do releases of Simon 3.5, Caboodle 1.5 and Profile 2.2. Then it's back to Time Out 2.0, with a simplified design to get it out sooner. Then I have big plans for more Simon, Time Out, Caboodle and BlogAssist updates, and may even introduce a new app or two as well. It's going to be an exciting year for Dejal!

Simon turns 10

My flagship Mac app, Dejal Simon, turned 10 years old earlier this month. Simon 1.0 was released on 2002-12-06. I actually missed the anniversary, but Jean MacDonald mentioned other 10-year anniversaries on Twitter, and I realized Simon's was also recent. I do like to blog about Dejal history, so I thought I'd mark this milestone too.

Like most software, Simon has undergone many changes since its inception all those years ago. An immediately obvious difference is the icon: version 1.0 had a monochrome icon, as shown to the right. The modern icon is similar, but more colorful and attractive, I think.

As for the user interface, version 1.0 looked somewhat different, though you'll recognize a number of elements that have persisted to this day:

Check out those pinstripes! Simon 1.0 worked with Mac OS X 10.1, where the window chrome was much more in-your-face than nowadays.

Back in the initial versions, Simon's editors were displayed in sheets over the top of the list windows, instead of as separate windows as now. Here's the Alter Test editor over the (cropped) main window:

Back in 1.0, all Simon did was check websites (or FTP sites), so there's no service selection. And everything's crowded into this one sheet, which only got more busy in 2.0. It was finally split over multiple pages in 3.0, which I think is much nicer and clearer.

Similarly, here's the Alter Notifier editor, also as a sheet. The only notifiers supported initially were Sound and Speech; it's much more versatile nowadays:

Finally, here's what the Simon website looked like back then; notice the old Dejal logo, and the rather dated design:

I hope you enjoyed this brief romp down memory lane. Take a look at the modern Simon 3!

Tweeps 3.1.1 released

A quick update to Tweeps, my iOS app to help manage Twitter accounts. It has been updated to version 3.1.1.

This update fixes a crash when going back before the list of profiles has completed loading. Sorry about that!

Version 3.1 added support for the new 4" display on the iPhone 5, and is built for iOS 6.0, compatible back to iOS 5.0.

It is currently available for a special price of just $4.99, for a limited time.

Learn more about Tweeps.

Time Out 1.7.1 released

Yesterday I was alerted to an issue with Time Out 1.7, where the breaks wouldn't occur for some people. It turned out that if you choose to reopen apps on login via the new option in Mountain Lion, Time Out wasn't fully starting until you brought the app to the front. So here's a fix for that, and plus a couple of other tweaks:

  • Fixed issue that prevented the timers from starting when auto-launched until Time Out is brought to the front the first time.
  • Now sets the state of the auto-launch preference checkbox from whether or not it'll actually be launched, rather than just what was previously chosen (a subtle difference).
  • Fixed the minimum OS requirement, so trying to launch it on an OS version before 10.7 will give an alert instead of unexpected behavior.

Download Time Out 1.7.1 now!

Tweeps 3.1 released

I'm pleased to report that Tweeps, my iOS app to help manage Twitter accounts, has been updated to version 3.1.

This update adds support for the new 4" display on the iPhone 5.

It is also built for iOS 6.0, compatible back to iOS 5.0.

Learn more about Tweeps.

BlogAssist Express 2.4 release

BlogAssist Express version 2.4 is now available on the Mac App Store (only a month after submission... review times are rather slow at present).

This update includes the following changes for BlogAssist Express (the standard edition has further changes that aren't relevant to the App Store edition; see the release notes for details):

  • Added a Substitutions preference page, that optionally replaces symbols and accented characters with the HTML entity equivalents. It can also be used to replace URLs, e.g. to strip off a base URL for your own domain, or change it to localhost (or anything else).
  • Updated all three BlogAssist modes to support the new substitution preferences.
  • Reimplemented the auto-launch preference to work with Mountain Lion and sandboxing.
  • Removed the quit confirmation preference.
  • Added German and French localizations (new for BlogAssist Express).
  • Updated the User Guide.
  • The app is now fully sandboxed, providing increased security.
  • BlogAssist now requires a 64-bit Mac and a minimum of OS X 10.7 (Lion).
  • Many other behind-the-scenes improvements made possible by dropping older OS versions, PowerPC and 32-bit support.

Get BlogAssist Express from the Mac App Store, or try the standard edition for free from the Dejal site.

The war on spam

In recent months the amount of spam postings attempted on the Dejal Forums and Dejal Blog comments has reached an unmanageable level.

You may not have seen any spam here, as I've had to spend increasing amounts of time each day moderating posts and comments. It's gotten so bad that a couple of weeks ago I changed the filtering rules to effectively block all posts, so everything had to manually moderated.

However, today I've installed Mollom, thanks to a suggestion in the forums. It uses text analysis to determine whether a post or comment is spam or "ham" (good). If it's unsure, it will display a CAPTCHA (those things where you enter characters to prove you're human). Learn more about Mollom....

I have high hopes that Mollom will solve the spam battle on this site. Time will tell! If you have any issues with creating user accounts, or posting in the forums or comment, or you have any other feedback about it, please contact me.

BlogAssist 2.4 release

BlogAssist version 2.4 is now in general release! BlogAssist is my handy tool to make HTML markup easier, whether you're developing websites, posting to forums, or any other times markup is needed.

A key feature of this update is the new Substitutions preferences. These optionally replace symbols and accented characters with the HTML entity equivalents. They can also be used to replace URLs, e.g. to strip off a base URL for your own domain, or change it to localhost (or anything else).

Here's a screenshot:

But wait, there's more! BlogAssist 2.4 also has changes for Mountain Lion support, including a new approach to starting on login, support for Gatekeeper (Developer ID), and sandboxing.

Important: it now requires OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later, and a 64-bit Mac. The previous version is still available if you're using an older OS version or Mac.

BlogAssist Express 2.4 has been submitted to the Mac App Store; it'll be available once Apple approves it (which can take a few weeks).

See the release notes for full details.

Download BlogAssist 2.4 now!

Profile 2.0.1 released

Profile is a medical practice management app that connects to Intrahealth's server. A small update is now available in the App Store, with some improvements:

Forms

  • Added support for background and text color properties of form templates: if set, the colors are used for the field prompt.
  • If a hint is set, it is displayed below the prompt.
  • Templates that have been deleted from the server are now marked as historical, so they aren't offered when adding a form in New Encounter.
  • Fixed layout of value picker popovers where they could appear off the bottom of the screen for long forms.
  • Date and time values now default to blank instead of today; tapping to display the picker will enter today's date/time.
  • Date and time pickers now include a Clear button to remove the value.
  • Fixed live-updating of date and time values.

Other

  • Changed the Unlock Profile view to combine the Server and Port fields into a single Server field. The http:// or https:// prefix is optional (it uses https:// if no port or a port of 443 is specified). Also, if the server is hosted on myaccession.com, just a server name can be entered, e.g. just the "example" part of "example.myaccession.com/aps".
  • Fixed an issue with SSL/TLS connections.
  • Improved text colour handling.
  • Settings for Appointments and Tasks now have wider date ranges, including an All option.
  • After saving a new case, automatically reloads the patient's interventions and problems, in case the server added some for the new case.
  • Some other performance and stability improvements.
  • Tweaked the icon, to make it more distinctive from version 1.

Remember, Profile requires an Intrahealth Profile server; you won't be able to do anything if you're not an Intrahealth customer.

If you're curious, you can learn more about Profile and see screenshots on the Profile product page on this site, and on the App Store.

BlogAssist 2.4b2 release

Here's another beta release of BlogAssist 2.4, my handy tool to help with HTML markup.

This beta includes some improvements to the really useful new substitutions feature, and updated localizations:

  • Made the substitutions feature smarter, so it doesn't replace text that already has substitutions applied.
  • Added four new default substitutions (off by default), showing how this feature can be used to replace URLs, e.g. to strip off a base URL for your own domain, or change it to localhost (or anything else).
  • Updated German and French localizations.
  • Updated the User Guide.

Download BlogAssist 2.4b2 now!

Time Out 1.7 released

Time Out 1.7 adds a couple of nice enhancements to the Sound break preferences, to change the volume and loop the start sound.

But the main reason for this update is to enhance Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) support: to sign the app with an Apple-issued Developer ID for Gatekeeper support, move to the modern runtime, and related changes.

As with the recent BlogAssist release, Time Out 1.7 now requires Lion (OS X 10.7) or later and a 64-bit Intel machine. However Time Out is not sandboxed yet (and thus I can't update the Mac App Store edition); that will come in version 2.

Speaking of which, for those wondering about that great vaporware known as Time Out 2, it's still in the works — and the changes in this release are a great step towards that. I don't want to guess at when it'll be available, since various other projects keep getting in the way. It'll be ready when it's ready, but it's moving forward as time allows.

Here are the full release notes for version 1.7:

  • Added a Volume slider to the Sound break preferences, enabling sounds to be played quieter if desired.
  • Added a checkbox to enable repeating the start sound until the end of the break; useful to loop short sounds as an audio cue of the break.
  • Reimplemented the auto-launch preference to work with Mountain Lion and sandboxing.
  • Removed the quit confirmation preference.
  • Removed the in-app purchase options, since not compatible with 64-bit, and rarely used. (Standard edition only)
  • Fixed display of license entry date in the Licenses editor. (Standard edition only)
  • Fixed drafting an email if a license couldn't be found. (Standard edition only)
  • The standard edition of the app is now signed with a Developer ID to support Gatekeeper on Mountain Lion. (Standard edition only)
  • Time Out now requires a 64-bit Mac and a minimum of OS X 10.7 (Lion).
  • Many other behind-the-scenes improvements made possible by dropping older OS versions, PowerPC and 32-bit support.

Download Time Out 1.7 now!

Profile 2.0 released

I introduced Profile for iOS, the medical practice management app, about four months ago. Since then, I've been working on a major upgrade: version 2.0. This update includes many significant improvements:

  • Case Orientation.
  • Redesigned Appointments, Tasks & New Encounters.
  • Library content.
  • Forms.
  • Reference Series.
  • Lexicon.
  • On the Go Preferences.
  • And much more.

Read the release notes for full details.

Remember, Profile requires an Intrahealth Profile server; you won't be able to do anything if you're not an Intrahealth customer.

If you're curious, you can learn more about Profile and see screenshots on the Profile product page on this site, and on the App Store.

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