Author Archives: bayhoff

DataOrganizer 1.0 Beta 5 Now Available

The fifth beta of DataOrganizer is now available.

(If you would like to give it a try, please send me an email at beta at bayhoff.com.)

Release notes:

The number of permitted fields for some field types has, once again, increased in this version.

The appearance of the rating field has changed slightly.

Help > DataOrganizer Help now opens the Getting Started Videos page in your chosen browser.

Remaining known issues that were not fixed in this beta:

Although DataOrganizer “supports” Mojave’s dark mode, it looks terrible at the moment.

There seems to be a “permission problem” with contacts and calendar events. Like iOS, macOS will ask you for permission before accessing your contacts and calendar information. This works fine on High Sierra. However, Mojave seemingly denies access without asking, rendering the contacts and events fields useless at the moment.

For reasons that I have yet to figure out, a crash appears to occur in the sidebar/source list. (It is also possible that the crash is really occurring in a relationship field’s library/stack chooser, as it uses the same code as the source list.) DataOrganizer tries to insert a stack (in a library) below a stack that does not exist.

DataOrganizer may crash when attempting to drag a a new field out of the field bar. This bug may be related to (the same?) source list bug mentioned above.

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DataOrganizer 1.0 Beta 4 Now Available

The fourth beta of DataOrganizer is now available.

(If you would like to give it a try, please send me an email at beta at bayhoff.com.)

Release notes:

Fixed the following issues:

In prior versions, the Bento importer would crash if there were too many fields of a certain type. The number of permitted fields for some types has increased in this version.

In prior versions, a relationship field would crash the app because it appeared that it did not know what library or stack it had formed a relationship with. It turns out that this bug had nothing to do with the import process, nor did the relationship field somehow forget what library it had previously formed a relationship with. A crash occurred when trying to do the following on a prior beta:

  1. Add a Relationship Field to a library. (However, do not select a library or stack in the field’s chooser.)
  2. Create a new library.

Upon creating a new library, the relationship field’s library and stack chooser would notify the relationship field that a new library needs to be added to the chooser’s list. Sadly, the relationship field would improperly use this information which would ultimately force the field to access the library or stack that it shares a relationship with. Because a library or stack has yet to be selected (the chooser is still present), DataOrganizer would suddenly become very confused and subsequently crash.

Remaining known issues that were not fixed in this beta:

Although DataOrganizer “supports” Mojave’s dark mode, it looks terrible at the moment.

There seems to be a “permission problem” with contacts and calendar events. Like iOS, macOS will ask you for permission before accessing your contacts and calendar information. This works fine on High Sierra. However, Mojave seemingly denies access without asking, rendering the contacts and events fields useless at the moment.

DataOrganizer may crash when attempting to drag a a new field out of the field bar.

Beta 3 of DataOrganizer 1.0 Now Available

DataOrganizer Beta 3 is now available.

(If you would like to give it a try, please send me an email at beta at bayhoff.com.)

Release notes:

DataOrganizer Beta 2 sometimes crashed when attempting to delete a field. This issue has (hopefully) been fixed.

Fixed an issue with CSV import where the import would fail if the last value of a row consisted solely of spaces.

In prior betas, the search field would not edit (Command-Option-F) if the source list/sidebar was hidden (View > Hide Sidebar). This was because the search field is part of the source list and the source list was not visible. As of Beta 3, the source list will now show itself prior to search field editing should the source list be hidden.

In addition, some minor internal changes were made that should not be noticeable.

Remaining known issues that were not fixed in beta 2:

Although DataOrganizer “supports” dark mode, it looks terrible at the moment.

There seems to be a “permission problem” with contacts and calendar events. Like iOS, macOS will ask you for permission before accessing your contacts and calendar information. This works fine on High Sierra. However, Mojave seemingly denies access without asking, rendering the contacts and events fields useless at the moment.

The Bento importer crashes if there are too many fields of a certain type.

For whatever reasons, a relationship field may not know what library it has formed a relationship with. (It is hard to tell at the moment whether or not this is a bug with the import process.)

 

DataOrganizer 1.0 Beta 2 Now Available

DataOrganizer Beta 2 is now available.

(If you would like to give it a try, please send me an email at beta at bayhoff.com.)

Release notes:

Fixed an issue with CSV import where the import would fail if the data contained an empty value.

Fixed an issue with CSV import where all columns would import as a text field even if a different field type was chosen.

Fixed an issue where DataOrganizer would crash if the source list selection changed while a multi-line comment field was editing.

In addition, some minor internal changes were made that should not be noticeable.

Remaining known issues that were not fixed in beta 2:

Although DataOrganizer “supports” dark mode, it looks terrible at the moment.

There seems to be a “permission problem” with contacts and calendar events. Like iOS, macOS will ask you for permission before accessing your contacts and calendar information. This works fine on High Sierra. However, Mojave seemingly denies access without asking, rendering the contacts and events fields useless at the moment.

The Bento importer crashes if there are too many fields of a certain type.

For whatever reasons, a relationship field may not know what library it has formed a relationship with. (It is hard to tell at the moment whether or not this is a bug with the import process.)

DataOrganizer sometimes crashes when attempting to delete a field.

First Beta of DataOrganizer Now Available

I am happy to announce that the first beta of DataOrganizer 1.0 is now available. If you would like to give it a try, please send me an email at beta at bayhoff.com.

DataOrganizer can import data from BayCard, Bento, and CSV/TSV files.

More information regarding DataOrganizer is available on bayhoff.com. You can also find some videos at http://www.bayhoff.com/videos.html. If you missed the original announcement, please see Building a Better BayCard.

Building a Better BayCard

Those of you who have been using BayCard have probably noticed that BayCard has not changed all that much in recent years. So what happened? Is BayCard still alive? Will there ever be another major version?

There were a bunch of things that I wanted to do in a so called BayCard 2.0. I wanted to smooth off some of BayCard’s rough edges. There were also a bunch of requested features that I wanted to add. In addition, BayCard needed to support the Mac Sandbox, which is now a requirement for all Mac App Store apps. Finally, I wanted to make the program easier to use for both novices and advanced users.

After attempts at solving the above goals, I came to the conclusion that BayCard needed a full rewrite. I then used the opportunity to rethink every aspect of how BayCard works. Throughout the process, I asked myself the following questions: What do most of you use BayCard for? How do you use it? What began as a mild retooling morphed into something very different.

Like HyperCard, BayCard was designed to be a sandbox without a predetermined purpose. Back in 2011, I wrote:

“Use it to organize your life. Or perhaps to design a presentation. You can even use it to design a simple point-and-click adventure. The best part about BayCard is that you can utilize the program in ways we never even envisioned.”

BayCard is good at doing a lot of things but not particularly great at any particular task. 

After years of email exchanges, it had become clear that most of you use BayCard as a database. With that in mind, I wanted to design a new database app that was not only easy to use, but still fun.

Below I have outlined the major changes that I have made in the new app, as well as my motivations for making such changes.

The Canvas

There were two problems with the canvas that I wanted to address.

  1. The stack size needs to be selected when the stack is created. While it is possible to change the size at a later time, the stack’s widgets do not resize themselves as the window size changes.
  2. While BayCard tries to insert widgets where it thinks you may want them, rearranging them has has always been rather inconvenient. This occasionally let to widget clutters. 

 

In order to fix these problems, it had become increasingly clear that the the canvas had to be eliminated in favor of something that would automatically resize with the window and, at the same time, make it easy to rearrange widgets.

Two Stacks, One Background

As of now, there is no way to share one background with two or more stacks. To be fair, we can get around this limitation by duplicating a stack in the Finder. These stacks will then have the “same” background. However, the two stacks have no connection to each other and changes to one of the stack’s background will have no effect on the other stack’s background. The original background was merely copied when the stack was copied.

I have received some requests over the years for “shared backgrounds”. Sadly, there was only so much that could be done because each BayCard stack is an independent document.

I felt that the only way to accomplish such a feat was clear: I needed to eliminate documents and place all stacks in one centralized database.

And while we are on the topic of a centralized database…

Related Stacks

BayCard is not relational. Lets say you have a classroom stack. Lets also say that you also have a student stack. It is not possible to list a collection of student cards from the student stack in a particular classroom card.

This is a feature that I wanted to add years ago. A centralized database makes such a feature possible.

Smart Stacks

Apple’s Mail has Smart Mailboxes. iTunes has Smart Playlists. Bento has Smart Collections. (More on Bento in a moment.) Placing everything in one database also makes rules-based smart stacks possible.

Like the related stacks feature, smart stacks is an overdue feature that that has been made possible by a centralized database.

Importing

Although it is possible to import a CSV document as a table, BayCard’s import abilities are otherwise lacking. It is still not possible to import CSV as a stack. In addition, differences between BayCard and the now-discontinued Bento made such an importer unfeasible.

When you consider that there are still some jilted Bento users out there, a Bento importer seemed very important. (Discontinued several years ago, Bento is a 32-bit app. Apple has already begun phasing out 32-bit support. Mojave is the last version of macOS that will support 32-bit apps and, as such, the last that will support Bento.)

With all of that in mind, it was clear that not only was improved import support very important, the new app had to be designed in such a way that it could import data from different types of apps.

Integration with Contacts, Calendar, Mail, and the Finder

Simply put, BayCard does not support linking to contacts, calendar events, email messages, or files.

In addition to being a useful on its own merit, such integration was needed for Bento import.

Welcome to DataOrganizer

The name of the new app is DataOrganizer. It addresses all of the above issues.

Here is a screenshot:

OverviewScreenshot

More information is available on bayhoff.com. You can also find some videos at http://www.bayhoff.com/videos.html.

Beta

DataOrganizer is not finished, although it is getting closer to beta-level status. Before the final Mac App Store release, I am thinking about releasing the app as a public beta. This will provide me with an opportunity to receive bug reports and feedback before DataOrganizer is finished. I will announce the beta release in a future post. 

Introducing TableViewIcons

Simply put, TableViewIcons lets you easily create a “table view icon” for your iPhone or iPad app. (See the Settings app for built-in system examples of such icons.)

TableViewIcons was strongly influenced by CircleIcons.

Icons are exported as Xcode image sets (.imageset). For best results, they are typically placed inside an Xcode asset catalog (.xcassets).

Steps to create a table view icon:

  • Create a template image in your favorite image editor.
  • Make a new TableViewIcons document.
  • Choose a fill color.
  • Drop the template image into the respective image well.
  • Export the icon.

Additional Info: