Quick Look, the infinitely valuable tool on the Mac that lets you near-enough instantly preview a file. It’s really impressive the number of file formats it supports, but there are always going to be a few things it doesn’t. And that’s where plugins come into it.
One great one that I discovered via twitter today is QuickLookJSON. I’m sure you’ve already guessed what it does. But anyway, I may as well show you as well.
It not only displays JSON files though, it indents them properly, applies a colour scheme, and also lets you expand and collapse any of the data. That last one alone makes it super easy to navigate through a big JSON file.
To install QuickLookJSON, you can either install it manually or do it via Homebrew. The only command you’ll need to run is:
brew cask install quicklook-json
There’s a bunch of other plugins that add further support to Quick Look, like adding syntax highlighting to code, rendering Markdown, and even allowing navigation through a .zip archive in the preview. You can find all of these on one page on GitHub, thanks to Sindre Sorhus.
Stephen Hackett on his latest project:
I’m really glad to be announcing a project that started at the end of last year. I have worked my way through every major release of macOS since the Mac OS X Public Beta and catalogued them in an extensive collection of screenshots.
Currently, the library includes 1,502 images. That’s 1.6 GB worth of screenshots.
This is something really only he could do. I’ve had a look through some of them, and it’s fun to see how the OS has evolved, and to see the iterations between big changes.
I’ve just come across a rather helpful tip on Reddit, and it’s a simple key combination to toggle hidden files and folders in Finder.
CMD + SHIFT + .
It also works in the Open/Save dialog windows.
Via u/CompiledSanity on Reddit.
I’ve just upgraded my Mac to the latest Mojave beta, and I’ve discovered a new wallpaper!
In a previous update the Desktop Pictures folder was split into two sections – Dynamic Desktop and Desktop Pictures. The first section containing the photo of the Mojave desert, which contained a dynamic, and two still (night and day) versions.
This new one is called “Solar gradients” and comes in just a dynamic format. Of course it’s a rather simple wallpaper, and the majority of the time it’s a two-colour gradient, but it will show you the sun rising, the sky getting brighter, followed by the sun fading away, and a darker blue and black combination for the night sky.
A quick tip – If you want to preview a dynamic desktop, when you navigate to the Desktop & Screen Saver pane in System Preferences, just select the wallpaper, and the preview image will cycle through the different segments.
After watching the Keynote, I was thoroughly impressed. While there still isn’t a dark mode for iOS, I can imagine it coming soon. And there are a lot of cool things that were announced.
While watching the event, I took a note of the top 4 for each OS, excluding tvOS, because who cares?
So here they are:
- Siri Shortcuts
- Screen Time
- Automatic Workout Detection
- Walkie Talkie
- Interactive Notifications
- Dark Mode
- Dynamic Desktop
- Mac App Store
I plan on doing some writing about the new features, but in more of an opinionated way, rather than a simple informative guide. You’ll find these with the WWDC 18 tag.
Tim Hardwick, writing for Mac Rumors:
Stationery Pad is a handy way to nix a step in your workflow if you regularly use document templates on your Mac. The long-standing Finder feature essentially tells a file’s parent application to open a copy of it by default, ensuring that the original file remains unedited.
Stationery Pad doesn’t get much attention these days, but it’s a neat alternative to repeatedly editing templates and using the “Save As…” command, which can lead to overwriting the original file if you’re not too careful.
I had no idea this existed. I will most certainly be making use of it in the future.
Say you write an iOS app, and now you want to write the Mac version.
Assuming there’s a data model, maybe a database, some networking code, that kind of thing, then you can use that exact same code in your Mac app, quite likely without any changes whatsoever.
I agree with Brent here. I’ve never really understood the argument that AppKit is that difficult to understand, so that’s why people don’t port native apps over. Surely the underlying logic of the app is the hard part, and linking the functionality to the interface is the easier part?
I would say I’m more of an iOS developer, simply because I’ve spent more time on it. But I’ve also made a few Mac applications. Sure, a resizing window is a bit more complex than a relatively fixed screen size, and some the interface elements are names slightly differently.
It’s just different, for both sets of people. But not as difficult as it may seem.
In a recent article by Mark Gurman over at Bloomberg, he wrote over 600 words on the supposed plan that Apple have, which would converge apps from iOS and macOS. Meaning that developers would be able to design just one app, and have it work on both platforms.
I personally dont think this is going to happen.
And if you read the whole piece, you’ll find that only 48 words out of the total 672 are relevant:
Apple currently plans to begin rolling out the change as part of next fall’s major iOS and macOS updates, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter. The secret project, codenamed “Marzipan,” is one of the tentpole additions for next year’s Apple software road map.
I’ve been hearing Mark’s name for a few years, and people always seem to make him sound like a very top Apple reporter, which I guess is why he now writes for Bloomberg. But his latest rumours, have been a bit lower in quality in my opinion.
Read the “full” article on Bloomberg.
Here’s something interesting – The guys over at iA (devleopers of the iA Writer app), have made their own font. Prevously the apps used a font called Nitti, which kind of became part of the iA brand, but they took it upon themselves to develop a more writing focussed option.
Hell just froze over. After seven years of offering no font options to write, iA Writer now comes with a choice. Next to the monospace Nitti you will now find a brand new duospace font. Duospace?
For an app that was designed as the digital equivalent of a typewriter, a monospace font is not a far fetch. But, if font choice were just a matter of style, there are better and less expensive ways to impress than leasing a high end monospaced typeface that many take for a silly Courier.
There was clearly a lot of investigastion that went into it, and I’m a fan of the results!
Read the full article on the iA Blog, and download iA Writer for iOS and macOS.
I finally got around to checking out the code for one of my apps, Qwiki.
Qwiki is a menu bar application, that lets you search and read Wikipedia articles. It can also open them in the browser, share differently formatted links, etc. But this isn’t an advertisement.
After updating it to 1.3 last year, I had other projects, university, and finding a job to do. So it got pushed right to the side. But I decided recently I wanted to modernise it, and maybe even look at adding new features.
That time hasn’t come yet, but I have spent the past few days going over the code, cleaning a few things up, migrating it to Swift 4, etc.
So in the mean time I fixed a couple of bugs, like when keyboard and mouse input get mixed up, escape key not always working, some design tweaks, and also added a preference to keep Qwiki open unless manually dismissed.
Now it’s been sent to Apple, I’ll have a few days off, and probably work updating another one of my apps. But in the very near future I plan on going back to Qwiki, and seeing what real features I can add!
If you have any ideas at all about Qwiki, then i’d be really happy to heat them. Even if it’s pure criticism, it all helps.
Check out the Qwiki website, or find it on the Mac App Store.