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Pukka 1.8.2 & Meerkat 1.2.2

I've just released two updates: Pukka 1.8.2 and Meerkat 1.2.2. Both feature official support for Mac OS X 10.4 through 10.6. In addition, both include new features and both include some minor bug fixes.

You can grab Pukka and Meerkat in their usual places, or you can update within the respective applications via the app menu > Check For Updates... item.

Below are summaries of the changes.


New Features

  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard support. Pukka now supports 10.4 through 10.6. Please see our blog post regarding future support of 10.4.
  • Search menu is now horizontally resizable from a minimum of the default width to a maximum of half of the screen width.
  • Added a new preference to sort search results by visit count.
  • Posted-to account has been added to the search tooltips.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where the account selection popup could sometimes change inadvertently.
  • Fixed a window resize bug that affected progress spinner placement.
  • Search bar now remains unloaded into memory until first used.
  • Search bar now auto-places to the right if screen size demands it.
  • Search bar now auto-places properly after monitor & resolution changes.
  • Search result selection should reset on new search results.
  • When a caching error occurs, dismissing the error dialog with the "Ignore For Now" button will ignore further errors until the preferences have been edited, including across app relaunches.

And Meerkat:

New Features

  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard support. Meerkat now supports 10.4 through 10.6. Please see our blog post regarding future support of 10.4.
  • Any tunnels that are active at app quit are re-activated on next launch if launch happens within a minute or so.
  • The command-line tool now accepts tunnel name substrings. For example, meerkat myServer up will activate every tunnel whose name contains myServer.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed some data storage issues that could cause error messages when saving or deleting several tunnels in a single run of the app.
  • SSH ControlMaster support is now disabled for all tunnels. In current versions of OpenSSH, ControlMaster does not work with tunnels.

Enjoy, and please don't hesitate to post any comments, problems, or suggestions to the forums!

Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard

With the imminent release of Apple's Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard next month, it comes time to examine the state of our apps as well as their operating system support. Pukka was originally released in early 2006, in the time of 10.4 Tiger (and updated to support 10.5 Leopard in late 2007). Meerkat was originally released in mid-2008, supporting both Leopard and Tiger out of the gate.

We've made the choice so far to sacrifice many (but not all) advantages offered by Leopard in the name of Tiger support. However, with Snow Leopard's upcoming release, we will be shifting to support only Leopard and Snow Leopard going forward.

Beginning with the next major releases of both Pukka and Meerkat (likely 1.9 and 1.3, respectively), we will no longer be including support for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

Current release versions will be supported for Tiger users, but little or no new functionality will be added going forward.

PowerPC architecture will still be supported, though of course Snow Leopard will run only on Intel-based Macintoshes.

Snow Leopard support is expected in the next point release of each application (e.g., Pukka 1.8.2 and Meerkat 1.2.2). We expect to have each of these released in the next month.

We would love to continue Tiger support indefinitely, but as the operating system was released in 2005, we would rather move ahead and take advantage of the new technologies that Apple is providing to developers in order to create the best possible experience for the broadest user base.

If you have any questions or comments about this announcement, please contribute to the forum post on the topic.

Update: Please see the Pukka and Meerkat forums for the latest betas of each, which work with Snow Leopard right now.

Update 2: Official, stable releases of both apps are now up. Please see the announcement.

Pukka 1.6.6 is out!

Posted in

Just a note that Pukka 1.6.6 final is out! Grab it here. For more details on the changes involved, see the last post. This release should iron out any remaining crash problems that users have been seeing on Leopard.

Pukka beta: Leopard reliability

Posted in

I've been hard at work trying to tackle some lingering Leopard stability issues with Pukka and believe that I have a solution. I'm releasing this fix as a prerelease (i.e. not advertised in the auto-update mechanism and not posted to the download sites -- please do not post it for me!) since the problems don't affect everyone and I'd like to have some feedback from those who are affected before making this version live.

Cut to the chase: download the prerelease version 1.6.6-pre2 for Tiger or Leopard. If you have any questions or concerns with this build, please contact me here.

(You may note that I'm using the same link for both OS versions -- I'm just trying to get some rudimentary usage stats by separating out the download URLs ;-)

If you're interested in some more technical info, read on.

It seems that Leopard has some lingering crash issues when using NSURLConnection, particularly when behind a proxy and/or using HTTPS and/or using authentication. Of particular concern are the last two conditions, as all Pukka traffic through, Ma.gnolia, and most alternative sites is over HTTPS with authentication. I have rarely been able to reproduce these crashes myself (which is the main reason I did not catch them in prerelease versions of Leopard), but I have received crash logs from issues with severity ranging from occasional problems to repeated crashing, including crashing on launch. Needless to say, this has been very frustrating.

Any other Cocoa programmers who use NSURLConnection will note that it is pretty much the way to do asynchronous downloads to memory (i.e. not to a file as NSURLDownload does) while easily working with requirements such as the ability to cancel, authentication, transparent proxy support, and cache management. I've been in a bit of a bind for a workaround, but after some discussions with (extremely helpful!) fellow Mac developers such as Daniel Jalkut, Jon Wight, and Fraser Speirs, I've settled on the solution of using CURLHandle routines in a dynamically loaded bundle when on Leopard for the time being, linking them against a Leopard-targeted CURLHandle framework to bypass cross-development issues with the framework. This required a fair amount of re-architecting since CURLHandle is not intended to be a drop-in replacement for NSURLConnection (in fact, it's a subclass of the Tiger-deprecated NSURLHandle class). It's a stable and reliable fix for Leopard until this bug is resolved, if not super-ideal for me as a developer. But them's the breaks!

For the reference of the Cocoa developers reading this, you can check out some bookmarks I've gathered (and will continue to gather) about issues with NSURLConnection over the years here and I've reported the Apple Radar bug and it resolves to the original at rdar://problem/5575834.

Update: I just released 1.6.6-pre2 to fix an issue that a couple people have noticed with double encoding of text when posting. The links have been updated above.

Pukka bug fix release

Posted in

I've just released Pukka 1.6.3, which fixes several issues on Tiger and Leopard, including a hang and a potential crash.

As usual, you can update right in Pukka itself by choosing Pukka -> Check For Updates... while the application is running, or you can download Pukka from its page.


Bonjour, Leopard!

I've been alerted by a number of users that there seem to be some odd issues with Bonjour support in Pukka on Leopard, particularly a slow startup time and/or a delay after launch. I'm working on this issue, but in the meantime, you can work around these issues by disabling Bonjour in Pukka's preferences.

Thanks for your patience and stay tuned for an update!

Ready for Leopard!

I've just released Pukka 1.6.2, which provides full compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard", due out today at 6pm Eastern. I've also corrected a small bug with the File -> Close menu item so that it works as expected when the preferences or about windows are in front. As always, you can get Pukka on its product page.

On the topic of Leopard, as many developers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 have noted, despite having prerelease versions of Leopard over the past year or so, we do not actually get the final version as it ships tonight until we either go out and buy it ourselves or wait for our developer copy (in a few weeks?) So, to the best of my knowledge, Pukka will work with the Leopard release, but in the event that something unforeseen crops up, I will rectify it this weekend.

Now go get Pukka!

Update from the Pukkaverse

I said in my last post that I was behind and it shows in the number of things that I have to talk about regarding Pukka!

First up, my patch to the open source Vienna newsreader has made it into the stable version, which you can read about here. This helps with getting highlighted text out of Vienna and easily into your Pukka post.

Next, Seth Dillingham has reported on this blog that he has exceeded his fundraising goal for the Pan-Mass Challenge. I was able to donate some copies of Pukka to his effort and I'm glad to see that he reached (and exceeded) his goal!

Third, a few notes about social bookmarking in general and in particular. I have been testing out the preview of the next version of and will be keeping up on any changes that come about as a result of that. I also noticed a great video, which then ended up on the blog, about how to explain social bookmarking to people who are unfamiliar with it -- so check it out if you just don't get why you'd use Pukka.

Next, thanks to a post by Workshop friend Red Sweater Software, I was alerted to an app that recently added integration with Pukka. As of version 1.2.1, EagleFiler can capture post information from Pukka for better archival if you so choose. Neat!

I've also been keeping tabs on Apple's Leopard OS and to my knowledge, Pukka is doing fine on the latest build -- but please report if you find differently! I'm very excited for the Big Cat to arrive and very much looking forward to using some of its features full time next month!

And lastly, on a general business note, I wanted to report that I've been investigating how to better make Code Sorcery Workshop more green and sustainable and a better environmental citizen. I ran across a post by friend-of-the-Workshop Daniel Morrison about his efforts. Like his business, I too have minimal office needs. I also am able to take advantage of working remotely as well as DC's excellent public transportation in order to round out nearly a year now of essentially no driving for work. However, I do fly to conferences (though not many!), so that can always be reduced. I was also happy to learn last month that my webhost of eight years, pair Networks, has gone carbon neutral and is making other efforts to remain sustainable. This is a good trend! You can read more about pair's efforts here.

Whew! I think that's all for now. As I said, vacation is over and I'm back to working hard after playing hard. On a personal note, if you'd like to check out pictures from my 3,500 mile trip across the American Southwest, you can find them here. Enjoy!

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