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Mar 23 14

Check Off 5.2 Submitted to the App Store

by Lucien Dupont

Today I submitted Check Off 5.2 to the app store. The data loss bug that caused me to pull it from the store in December has been fixed. 

Some Background

The data loss bug was caused by some code that was setting up the app in-correctly after it lost track of the data file. Unfortunately this happened all too frequently, because of support I put in for moving of the file out of the sandboxed app folder. 

The folder where the data file is located is in: ~/your user directory/Library/Containers/com.chromedomesoftware.checkoff/Data/Library/Application Support/Check Off/

The data file is called ListData.checkoff. 

The original intent was to hide the fact that there is a data file – to keep things simple. The addition of allowing the data file to move was to allow for a faux syncing between different Macs. 

In attempting to keep track of the data file if it’s been moved, some fairly complex code had to be written to properly hold onto the data files new location. Unfortunately I found that the location I held on to ‘expired’ after some time or a restart. My attempts to fix this code to work properly being a sandboxed app never worked 100%. 

This is why I decided to remove the ability to move the data file outside of the sandboxed folder. 

Other Thoughts

Working on Check Off is really a ‘labour of love’ these days – it allows me to explore the state of writing a Mac app that I completely have control over. It isn’t my day job, hence the slower pace of updates. 

I have decided that future versions of the app will only support Mavericks, so that I can learn and use the newest Apple API’s. I apologize in advance if this affects you, but making a living from just this app isn’t my priority, so me targeting the latest and greatest OS will allow me to learn and explore the latest API’s from Apple, and keep me interested in continuing to work on Check Off :)

Syncing

I have an iPhone and and iPad, and I imagine a lot of you do as well. I use those a lot more than my Mac these days. Check Off syncing between two Macs is far less interesting to me than Check Off syncing between my iPhone and my Mac. 

I’ve been think about and researching different sync methods, with no decisions yet. If you follow any other developers, Brent Simmons has written a great amount the past few months on syncing Vesper, and the results are that syncing is hard and needs to be correct. 

Stayed tuned on this front for further developments.

Thank You

And as always, thanks to those loyal customers who contact me and have helped me with testing this release. 

Feb 25 14

Check Off Update

by Lucien Dupont

I’ve been slowly working on an update to fix the losing of your Check Off items. It’s been fairly hard, I have yet to be able to properly keep track of the file if a user has moved it from the default location (inside what’s called the sandbox folder, from which all apps sold on the Mac App Store have to run from). 

It turns out this was the cause of the items getting lost. 

So in the shorter term I’ve decided to remove the ability to move your file from the default location, which is inside the sandbox. If you want to try out this release, click here to download a beta build. 

If you have any issues with this one, I’d appreciate you sending me an email at support at chromedomesoftware.com and letting me know.

I’ve got a few other folks trying it, and will be submitting it to the app store for review in the next few weeks.

Dec 9 13

Check Off 5.1.2 Removed From Sale

by Lucien Dupont

Today I removed Check Off from sale in the Mac App store. This is due to a bug where at some point Check Off might lose your items. 

I’ve been investigating the cause of this, but haven’t been able to track it down yet. 

I’d recommend the following until I fix it:

  1. Create a copy of your ListData.checkoff file. You can see the path in the General preferences. By default it’s in this path: <user home directory>/Library/Containers/com.chromedomesoftware.com/Data/Library/Application Support/Check Off/
  2. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date on when it’s fixed and a new app is approved. 

Because data loss is perhaps the worse thing an app can do, I deeply apologize. I’ll be spending the time and QA effort to make sure that I’ve fixed it for good. 

 

  Lucien

Aug 27 13

Check Off 5.1.2 Is Now In The App Store

by Lucien Dupont

After testing and releasing 5.1.1, I found one side case issue that might have caused some users to potentially lose their data file upon upgrading from the non-sandboxed version (5.0.2) to the latest version.

To make sure no one loses any data, I went ahead and temporarily removed 5.1.1 from the store while 5.1.2 was being approved. That approval process took about 5 days, and 5.1.2 is now available in the app store.

Retrospective

I’ve been looking back over the past month in getting version 5.1 approved and have to really call it a failure. Things that failed:

  1. I didn’t test the initial release enough. There were glaring bugs in the sandbox migration of a users data file (ie. it didn’t work)
  2. I didn’t get others to help test the migration. It turns out there are a lot of scenarios that I missed, that I would have caught if others had been helping test.

Since this is a part time endeavor for me currently, I felt I needed to get it out there, to overcome not shipping a new version for over a year – this caused me to rush and jeopardize users data files.

My plan going forward is to do much smaller and more frequent releases, and I’ve enlisted the help of a friend who is the best QA person I know to help me test. I’m looking forward to many more smaller releases in the coming months.

Jul 30 13

Check Off 5.1.1 Is Available!

by Lucien Dupont

Update: Apple has approved version 5.1.1 and is available now in the Mac App Store. This properly transfers the settings from the previous non-sandboxed app to the current sandboxed version.

I’m proud to announce that Check Off 5.1.1 is available in the Mac App Store.

This release has been a long time coming, here’s what’s new:

Menu bar mode

This one has been a long time coming – the default mode when you first install Check Off is running as a menu bar app. A lot of owners still on version 4 wanted this feature, and it’s back!

Hot key support

You can set a hot key to show and hide the main window.

Removed list transparency settings

If you used this, sorry, but it didn’t make any sense to me, and I wanted to clean up some code.

Sandboxed the app

Check Off is now a sandboxed application, with no loss of functionality.

Newer graphics

I got a newer set of graphics done that were cleaner and retina ready.

Updated the file watching code

Updated the file watching code to be a newer version that is far faster and modern.

Fixed some nasty bugs

There were some nasty bugs in the file watching code that caused some data loss in certain instances. I also added file saving to a few more spots, so there shouldn’t be any way to lose data now.

Where’s the DropBox SDK support?

I spent a long time attempting to get official DropBox sdk support working, and it never worked the way I hoped. I’m still thinking about the best way to sync your data. For now the solution is as it was before, move the file into your DropBox or similar folder, and Check Off will look for file changes.

Mar 20 13

Check Off – State Of The Union

by Lucien Dupont

I wanted to write a post on the state of Check Off, realizing I’ve been far too quiet over all these months on what I’ve been doing on the app.

Sandboxing 

Any new app submitted to the Mac app store has to have sandboxing enabled. I’ve had this on for months now and fixed all the issues, it’s working well. 

Dropbox syncing

The previous version of Check Off implemented syncing by looking for file changed notifications and when receiving on loading in the file again. This ended up causing a lot of problems when people weren’t syncing but just editing the file. 

In the next version of Check Off I’ve gone ahead and adapted the official Mac OS X DropBox SDK. This allows me to quickly and easily check on any changes made to the DropBox copy of the file, and load in that version if somethings changed. 

This type of sync is really meant for a single user who might have Check Off running on multiple Mac’s, or a future iOS app. 

Hot Key support

Another small feature that was removed was the ability to set a global hotkey to bring the app to the foreground. I’ve added back this support

Retina Support

I’ve worked with Jake at http://www.carbonjaw.com to create 2x graphics to make Check Off great looking on those Retina MacBook Pros. 

iOS support

In attempting to use Check Off on a daily basis for my own lists of tasks, I have realized I can’t use it for all of my tasks for one simple reason – I can’t look at the list on my iPhone. 

After this release I am going to be working on an iOS version of Check Off, so I can ‘eat my own dog food’. In the mean time I’ve made some small modifications to the file format to support future iOS support.

Menu Bar Mode Support

By far this has been the largest request I’ve heard since I took over the app and code base from Second Gear software. At the time I purchased Check Off, it was in the middle of a re-write as a normal application with a dock entry and standard menu bar. There were very few remnants of the old menu bar app. 

The next release of Check Off 5 will restore this functionality. It will also have the ability to switch between being a normal application and a menu bar app. 

In Closing

I’d like to thank all of my customers for their support, and the emails I get at ( support@chromedomesoftware.com ) really keep me going, good or bad please send your ideas and questions along to me. Right now Check Off doesn’t make enough money for me to quit my day job, but at some point in the future I’m hoping it will. 

For now I’m a part time ‘indie’ developer like Manton Reece.. His partner on the Core Intuition podcast  Daniel Jalkut are both inspirations to me when I sit down and work on my own projects.

Stay tuned for far more frequent communication!

Jul 23 12

Check Off Compatibility With Mountain Lion

by Lucien Dupont

Apple recently released the golden master version of Mountain Lion to developers. Since that time I’ve been doing some preliminary testing of both version 4.1.1 and version 5.

Both versions have no issues when running under Mountain Lion. If you do run into any problems that you think are caused by Mountain Lion, please send us an email or tweet. (Support information here)

Thanks for your support. Next up is a new release of Check Off 5, which includes Sandboxing support, a new requirement for selling applications on the Mac App Store.

Apr 10 12

Upgraded to a newer, faster server

by Lucien Dupont

If you’ve tried to visit here the past week and it’s been down or very slow, it was due to my hosting provider. I’ve just finished the migration of the website to a new fast server. If you see this post, it means the dns transfer is complete.

Mar 5 12

Check Off 5.0.2 Is Available In The Mac App Store

by Lucien Dupont

This morning Apple approved Check Off 5.0.2 and it is now available in the Mac app store. I’ve updated the Check Off page with the very latest information.

Here’s the release notes for 5.0.2:

New Features:

  • Added the ability to export to HTML, OPML, Plain Text and RTF
  • Added a toolbar item to provide the ability to set labels to the currently selected task
  • Added a preference for how to handle the return key, it will either create a new task, or finish the entry of the current task
  • Command – Delete now deletes a task or folder of tasks without a confirmation dialog

Bugs fixed:

  • When editing the description for a task, don’t move the cursor while the user is editing the description
  • Fixed a few label menu commands that weren’t working
  • Fixed a rare crashing bug on 10.6.8
  • Put the Print and Page Setup in the proper spots in the File menu

Let us know how you like it by sending us an email at: ChromeDome Support

Feb 24 12

The State Of Check Off

by Lucien Dupont

So, what’s been going on with the state of Check Off lately? It has been pretty quiet on the blog front, so let’s change that!

I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from the users of Check Off, and have been learning a lot about the customer base. Here are a few of the comments:

I want Check Off to move to the next line when I hit return

This is another often requested item. This will be in the next version of Check Off. There will be a preference to have return act the way you want.

When I edit the note text, my cursor often jumps to the end

Yes, this is annoying, and fixed in the next release. In fact it’s so annoying I’m going to wrap up development and do a quick dot release to get it out to folks.

I’d like a way to set a label on an item from the toolbar.

Done. In the can as movie people say. It’s in the next quick dot release.

I miss it being a menu bar app

Many people missed the 4.x functionality of Check Off being a menu bar app. People want it to quickly appear, do some quick editing or viewing, and get it out of the way. They don’t want menus and an icon in the dock.

In the next major release of Check Off this functionality will be back. There will be a preference to show the menu bar and icon in the Dock, but it will be off by default.

 

I’m aiming to have the quick dot release out to folks in about two weeks, baring any hiccups from the Apple store review.