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Leopard Compatibility Watch: Graphical Titles

Sandvox users who are wondering if they should upgrade to Leopard just yet may want to hear about Sandvox and graphical text titles — titles that are rendered as a graphical image by Sandvox.

example of a graphical text title

We've found a bug in the initial release of Leopard, on several kinds of Intel-based Macs, that causes these graphical titles to be either colored oddly or nearly invisible. We have reported the bug to Apple — they already know about it, and will be using the testing harness we provided to help isolate and fix the problem. Soon, we hope!

So, until Apple can fix the bug and release an update to Leopard, this feature is just not going to work for many users. If your website uses this feature and you haven't upgraded yet to Leopard, you may want to wait. If you have already installed Leopard and you need to update your site, we recommend that you temporarily turn off the checkbox "Replace titles with graphical text" from the Site → Media inspector. Your title will be visible, but just not look as cool. We'll announce here when Apple has released a version of Leopard that works properly with this feature, so you can turn this feature back on and re-publish your site.

Sandvox's Leopard Roadmap

Leopard is just around the corner — just under two days at this writing.  The current (1.2.3) version of Sandvox works pretty well under Leopard, and we plan to achieve 100% compatibility very soon.

We've found a few minor fixes that we need to apply to make Sandvox be completely Leopard-compatible.  We plan on releasing a minor upgrade (1.2.4) some time in the next two weeks, once we have resolved a few issues that we will need to check against the final release version of the operating system — Hopefully Apple has fixed their bugs that affect Sandvox!

For those who are getting Leopard right away, and want to continue using Sandvox, we are making a beta version of 1.2.4 available right away.  (Normally we only make these betas available to our Yahoo! group, but we wanted to make it more generally available.)

This beta has a handful of other useful fixes, so Tiger users are of course welcome to try it as well.

Please make a copy of your Sandvox site document(s) before using the beta version, just to be extra-safe. We don't anticipate any problems, but backing up your data is always a good idea in any case!

Download the beta here.

Great Tutorial on Modifying a Sandvox Design

Sandvox ships with over forty designs, many of them customizable, but there is sometimes a need to adapt one of our designs for a truly unique look for your website.  Thomas Green did just that.  This morning on our Yahoo! discussion group for Sandvox, he announced that he has posted a wonderful tutorial (PDF) on modifying the "minimalist" design that comes with Sandvox.  Thanks, Thomas, for making such a useful resource available!

Stand-alone iMedia Browser Now Available

Today we are releasing a free utility, the Karelia iMedia Browser: a stand-alone version of the iMedia browser that we originally built for Sandvox.

Members of our email alert list have already had an opportunity to download this utility, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  It's now possible to make use of the iMedia browser from just about any application, and drag images, sounds, movies, or links from this compact window into your content.

A Community Effort

We started writing our own media browser, owing to the fact that Apple has not made available a standardized component for application developers to incorporate.  Several other companies approached us about incorporating the browser into their applications, so we made it an open-source project with a limited release.  We have highlighted some of the contributors (and users) on the sidebar of the Karelia iMedia Browser's home page; please be sure to check out their applications.

Open Source 

Now that the project has stabilized, and in order to encourage more developers to incorporate the browser into their own applications, we have opened up the gates, hosting the browser at Google Code so that any developer can download the code and incorporate it into their own application (subject to the terms of the BSD license, of course).

Sandvox 1.2.3 Released

We have just bumped up Sandvox to a new version, 1.2.3, ready for download

This release hasn't changed much on the surface from the last version, but we have improved a lot "under the hood." We have made some optimizations that greatly speed up performance when publishing large sites. Many of our beta testers have been pleased with the speedups in opening and navigating sites with hundreds of images. We have also improved the handling of images embedded with text, to speed up processing and fix a few bugs.

Some other updates of interest:

  • Many of our designs have been refreshed for better compatibility with Internet Explorer version 7. It is probably worth re-publishing your Sandvox site so that visitors using IE 7 will have a better view of your website.
  • We've added automatic support for PicLens, a Safari plugin that generates full-screen slideshows that we mentioned in our last mailing, in all photo albums and photo weblogs.
  • We've added some initial support for .Mac "personal domains" (see the Help pages for this).

Karelia's Fall User Group Tour Commences

Tonight is the kick-off for an informal "tour" of local Mac User Groups (MUGs) to showcase Sandvox.

Dan and Terrence will be appearing at MUGs in the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles area over the next few months.  This is in conjunction with a special MUG discount on Sandvox, happening for a limited time. (User group members, check your newsletter for information on the discount.)

For user groups not in our area, who want to do their own home-grown presentation of Sandvox, Karelia will provide two licenses to Sandvox Pro that can be given away as a door prize. User Group leaders can contact us for details on this (or to arrange a demo in the LA/SF areas).

The schedule so far - we'll post updates as they become available:

Monday October 1: SMUG, Palo Alto CA

Tuesday, October 16: DVMUG, Walnut Creek CA

Monday, December 17: SVMUG, Cupertino CA

Tuesday, December 18: MacNexus, Sacramento CA