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Default Folder X 5.5.3 can ignore cloud-synced files, is smarter about iCloud and more

December 4th, 2020 by Jon

So a cool new feature introduced in Default Folder X 5.5 wasn’t so cool for some folks. While it’s really handy to have the Recent Files menu show files that are synced from other devices via iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc, there are situations where it just gets in the way.

For example, if you share Dropbox folders with a bunch of coworkers, every time one of them changes a file, it shows up in your Recent Files menu. And the file’s enclosing folder is added to the Recent Folders menu. Pretty soon, your menus are full of everyone else’s files, many of which you may not even care about.

So yeah – it’s a great feature if you’re just using a cloud service for your own stuff. But if you’re collaborating with a team, maybe not. So in Default Folder X 5.5.3 you can turn the feature off – right here:

On the other hand, if you like the feature and leave it turned on, this new release handles iCloud files and folders more intelligently. It ignores changes some apps make to hidden files that you’re not supposed to see, and also makes sure that changes in iCloud Documents and Desktop folders show up as they should.

There are also several bug fixes, one of which is very important for Big Sur users. It corrects a problem that could cause Open and Save As dialogs to stall and just sit there – sometimes for quite a while. Make sure you update to 5.5.3 to avoid this!

As usual, detailed release notes and download links are on the Default Folder X release page.

Go64 1.2 checks apps for 64-bit compatibility and for Apple Silicon support

November 20th, 2020 by Jon

The new version of Go64 is a universal app that natively supports both Intel and Apple Silicon powered Macs. It still scans all of your installed applications to tell you which ones are 32-bit, meaning that they won’t work on macOS Catalina or Big Sur.

What’s new, however, is that it now also shows you which of your applications are built for Apple Silicon, so you can get the most out of your fancy new M1-powered MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or Mac mini.

Just launch Go64 and perform a new scan. The “Architecture” column will show the type of each app that it finds. Click on the column header to sort the results by architecture type, and you’ll then be able to quickly see which of your apps will run natively on Apple Silicon. And now you’ll know which developers you need to pester to update their apps so they also take advantage of Apple’s ridiculously fast new processors 🙂

Default Folder X 5.5.2: Big Sur 11.1 compatibility and a bug fix

November 20th, 2020 by Jon

Version 5.5.2 of Default Folder X is available. It works on Apple’s recent macOS 11.1 Big Sur beta release.

Amusingly, the biggest problem on macOS 11.1 was the new version numbering scheme that Apple is using for Big Sur. Default Folder X checks the OS version and had always assumed that if the minor revision number (the ’15’ in 10.15.7, for example) changed, it was a major new OS release, because that’s the way it’s always been in the past. Big releases like going from Mojave (10.14) to Catalina (10.15) generally require significant testing and development to ensure compatibility, so it just disables itself and waits for me to finish a compatibility update.

So when Apple went from Big Sur 11.0.1 to Big Sur 11.1 beta (with a version number change that surprised a lot of us developers), Default Folder X said “Oh no, it’s a major OS release! I don’t know what to do, so I’ll just be safe and do nothing” and refused to even look at the Open and Save dialogs. So yeah, redoing the OS-version-checking logic and making a minor functional tweak was all that was actually necessary to get things working on 11.1.

In the process of testing Default Folder X on the Big Sur 11.1 beta, I did find a bug that could potentially cause file dialogs to lock up for what seems like an eternity (potentially as much as 2 minutes), so that’s also fixed in 5.5.2. Because of that, you should update if you’re running Big Sur, even if you’re not using 11.1.

Release notes and download links are on the Default Folder X release page.

Default Folder X 5.5.1: A fix for version 5.5’s failure to launch, and how to update if you’re stuck

November 11th, 2020 by Jon

TL;DR: There was a bug in Default Folder X 5.5 that resulted in it failing to launch correctly. Version 5.5.1 delivers a fix. If you’ve been affected and are having trouble updating to version 5.5.1, read on.

What Happened: First, my apologies. Default Folder X 5.5 introduced a new feature that tracks changes to files and folders synced via the cloud. Part of the startup process is to look at your current cloud settings to determine which folders need to be watched. In the case of Google Drive File Stream, Default Folder X didn’t properly read old settings files, resulting in the launch process being disrupted and leaving it running, but with no user interface (no icon in the menu bar, no toolbar in Open and Save dialogs, etc). This also breaks the auto-update mechanism, so you have to update to version 5.5.1 manually.

So yeah, big oops. In retrospect, I should have coded that even more defensively than I did so that the error would have been caught. I’m sorry.

How to Fix It: If you’ve been bitten by this bug, you have to manually download and install Default Folder X 5.5.1. Ostensibly, that’s not hard – just download 5.5.1 5.5.2 from this link:

https://stclairsoft.s3.amazonaws.com/DefaultFolderX-5.5.2.dmg

Once the download completes, double-click on the .dmg file and drag the Default Folder X app to your Applications folder.

Now here’s the rub: If you ran the old, broken version 5.5, you may get an error message saying that you can’t replace it.

It’s still invisibly running, but there’s no clear way to quit it. The regular macOS “Force Quit” procedure – accessed by pressing Command-Option-Esc on your keyboard – won’t show Default Folder X even though it’s running. Here’s what to do instead:

1. Run Activity Monitor. It’s located in /Applications/Utilities.

2. Use the search field in Activity Monitor’s toolbar to locate Default Folder X in the process list.

3. Click on the (x) icon in Activity Monitor’s toolbar.

4. Choose Force Quit when prompted.

Now you’ll be able to drag the new copy of Default Folder X 5.5.1 to your Applications folder. Once it’s there, just open your Applications folder and double-click Default Folder X to launch it.

Again, my apologies for the hassle!

Default Folder X 5.5 supports Big Sur, cloud services and more!

November 6th, 2020 by Jon

Version 5.5 of Default Folder X is finally done and available for download. It’s a universal application that runs natively on both Intel and Apple Silicon powered Macs, fully supports macOS 11.0 Big Sur and includes a number of benefits for users of older macOS versions as well.

One new feature is nearly invisible, but can be super convenient. Default Folder X now keeps track of changes in shared folders that are synced from the cloud. If something gets synced to your Dropbox or OneDrive folder, the changes will appear immediately in Default Folder X’s Recent Files and Recent Folders menus. So if your coworker updates a document in a shared Dropbox folder and then accosts you on Slack to review it, you can just select it straight from your Recent Files menu. I’ve tried to be an equal-opportunity cloud supporter: This feature works with iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box Sync.

Along with updating Default Folder X’s internals to work with Big Sur’s Finder and Open / Save dialogs, this release also updates its look to fit in with Big Sur’s iOS-ish look and feel. As you may have seen in the beta releases, Default Folder X has a new app icon and new toolbar icons all around. It’s not an enormous change, but it does integrate more smoothly with Big Sur.

There’s also smarter handling of Finder windows when you have more than one “Finder” running (meaning you’re also using Path Finder or ForkLift), some additional “hidden preferences” (see the release notes – the documentation’s being updated now, so doesn’t show them yet) and some important bug fixes.

Full details and download links are on the Default Folder X Release Page.

App Tamer 2.6: Ready for Big Sur

November 2nd, 2020 by Jon

App Tamer 2.6 is available, supporting macOS 11.0 Big Sur. This release updates App Tamer’s application icon and preference icons to conform with Apple’s latest UI makeover on Big Sur, while also adding native support for the Apple Silicon processors coming soon to Macs near you.

It also corrects a bug that could result in App Tamer slowing down some Spotlight searches, and fixes issues with it repeatedly showing notifications when an app fails to quit or hide when App Tamer tells it to.

Full release notes and download links are on the App Tamer Release Page.

And yes, there are still a couple more Big Sur updates coming!

Default Folder X public beta 5.5b5 for Big Sur

October 29th, 2020 by Jon

A new public beta version of Default Folder X is available, updating support for Big Sur so DFX works with the macOS 11.0.1 beta that Apple released today.

Version 5.5b5 also refines the toolbar icons that Default Folder X displays next to all of your Open and Save dialogs (screenshot over there ➜) and polishes up its preferences window in preparation for a final release (this image ⬇︎).

I’ve also addressed a few issues that people have reported, including getting the front-to-back order of Finder windows correct when you’re running alternate Finder apps like Path Finder or ForkLift. And the menu and drawer buttons that Default Folder X puts in your Finder toolbars will no longer keep jumping back to their default positions after you’ve carefully reordered them exactly the way you like.

Things are looking very good for a final release soon, so if you’ve been a slacker about reporting a bug in a beta version of Default Folder X, hurry up and let me know about it! You can reach me on Twitter @stclairsoft or via email at DefaultFolderX@stclairsoft.com.

You can download Default Folder X 5.5b5 from the Beta Testing Page, where you’ll also find a list of all the changes made since version 5.4.6. Note that you don’t need Big Sur to run the beta – it supports macOS 10.11 or higher, and provides fixes and enhancements there too. You just won’t get the nifty outline icons that Big Sur folks see – what a loss!

HistoryHound 2.3 for Big Sur and Apple Silicon

October 27th, 2020 by Jon
And it has a new icon too!

HistoryHound 2.3 is now available, bringing support for macOS 11.0 Big Sur. It’s a universal app, running natively on Macs powered by either Intel or Apple Silicon processors, so if you’re lucky enough to have a “Developer Transition Kit” Mac or will be buying whatever Apple’s rumored to be announcing on November 17, HistoryHound is ready!

This release also delivers new inline search filters, similar to what you may already be using in your Google searches if you’re cool like that 😎. Specifying a phrase like “ipad case site:apple.com” will search your browsing history and bookmarks for the terms “ipad” and “case”, but only on pages at apple.com. Similarly, using “carbon wheel url:mtbr” will return only matching pages that you’ve visited that have “mtbr” in their URL.

The filters that HistoryHound currently understands are:

  • site – the website host
  • url – the full URL of the page
  • title – the title of the page, shown in the tab or title bar of your browser
  • source – HistoryHound’s source, such as “Firefox Bookmarks”

Note that these are all simple searches that look for the specified term within the relevant attribute. So “site:apple” will match pages from apple.com or appleinsider.com, since they both contain “apple”.

In addition, HistoryHound 2.3 understands custom URLs that let you save clickable searches for later use. Going to the link historyhound:apple will start a search for “apple” in HistoryHound. This can be handy when you want to repeatedly perform the same searches – just save the links in a document somewhere and click on one when you want to start a search.

As usual, there are some bug fixes and little improvements as well. A full change history and download links are available on the HistoryHound release page.

Automatically prepending dates to the names of saved files

September 9th, 2020 by Jon

So a Default Folder X user just emailed and asked this:

I have been a Mac user for 30 years and would love to find a tool that allows me to click a button (or make this the default filename) while in the “Save…” dialog box that will prepend a formatted date to the beginning of the filename. like so:

2020-09-08 Filename.ext

Now, you can set up an AppleScript to do this using Default Folder X’s GetSaveName and SetSaveName verbs. However, that would require that you run the AppleScript whenever you want the date prepended, which is a bit of a pain if you want all of your filenames formatted this way. But I realized as I was replying that you can actually automate this by using (or rather, slightly abusing) an existing feature in Default Folder X.

Default Folder X has the ability to run an AppleScript to determine the location of an application’s default folder. The script will be run whenever a new file dialog is displayed by an application, which is the perfect time to do our little filename modification. So I wrote an AppleScript that looks like this:

on getDefaultFolder(appName, dialogType, firstTime)

  -- only do this for save dialogs
  if dialogType is "save" then

    -- get the current date
    set dateObj to (current date)

    -- then format it as YYYY-MM-DD
    set theMonth to text -1 thru -2 of ("0" & (month of dateObj as number))
    set theDay to text -1 thru -2 of ("0" & day of dateObj)
    set theYear to year of dateObj
    set dateStamp to "" & theYear & "-" & theMonth & "-" & theDay

    -- then prepend that to the name in the save dialog
    tell application "Default Folder X"
      set theName to GetSaveName
      set theName to dateStamp & " " & theName
      SetSaveName theName
    end tell
  end if

  -- finally, don't give Default Folder X a default
  -- folder, so it just continues on normally 
  return ""
end getDefaultFolder

If you save this script in a file named “GetDefaultFolder.scpt” in this location:

~/Library/Application Support/com.stclairsoft.DefaultFolderX5/Scripts/

It will magically prepend the date in the format ‘2020-09-15’ to the beginning of all of your filenames in Save As dialogs. Note that you can still edit the name afterwards if the default filename (like “Untitled 4”) needs to be modified.

Jettison 1.8.1 fixes what broke in version 1.8

September 9th, 2020 by Jon

Well, Jettison 1.8 didn’t go quite as planned. It adopted a different system API to get power notifications so that it could better handle “dark wake” events, where macOS wakes up briefly to perform backups and network maintenance while it’s sleeping. While the dark wake stuff all worked as expected, it ended up causing issues with some external drives not getting ejected before sleep because sleep notifications were delivered slightly later in the going-to-sleep sequence. It didn’t make a difference on test machines here or with our beta testers, but impacted some users out in the real world once version 1.8 was released. If you’re one of those folks, I’m sorry for the trouble 🙁

Version 1.8.1 was released today, and takes a hybrid approach, using both the old and new API’s to ensure that it gets sleep notifications as early as possible. This restores the reliability of Jettison’s eject-on-sleep capabilities.

This release also allows you to turn off the feature introduced in version 1.8 that quits Music, iTunes and Photos before sleep (to allow ejection of external media containing music and photo libraries). Apparently iTunes doesn’t correctly return to the same location in audiobooks when Jettison relaunches it after waking up, which can be really annoying. So you can disable the feature by using this command in Terminal:

defaults write com.stclairsoft.Jettison leaveAppsRunning 1

As usual, full release notes and download links are on the Jettison release page.

 

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