Hex Color Picker 1.3 postmortem and small site lift

March 3rd, 2007

First: Hex Color Picker 1.3 is out. It is a small release, but aside from offering source code again, the big three are these:

  • Copy to Clipboard button (at the request of some people at plasq who are, I’m told, major fans) which also works around Photoshop’s bad habit of disabling all menus, including the Edit menu and the Copy command, when showing the color dialog.

  • Fully localizable. If you know a language beyond English, feel free to submit a translation. Starting from this point on, all software by waffle software will be localizable. It’s an area I’ve sadly neglected for quite some time, which is sad because a) it’s just the right thing to do and b) you get so much for free by using NIBs and Cocoa in general.

  • Prettier colorPicker file. There are two kinds of Mac OS X developers, those that like the Mac OS heritage and those that like the NeXTStep heritage. I like both, but I’m not much enamored with the way old Mac OS resources are implemented. Making the icon work took some serious voodoo magic, where by voodoo magic I mean setting an HFS+ flag and using an NSWorkspace method to set the icon. Setting an icon file produced an icon that was nasty-looking – partially inverted, the # mark transparent and so on – and so I had to settle for setting the original image, which means that the 16×16 version in the Finder is horrible-looking.

Second… well, the same link goes: Hex Color Picker 1.3 is the first to carry a slightly updated style of product page.

I hand code the waffle software site. I don’t even use SSI, and most actual magic is done by small PHP files handling redirects and chalking up download records and so on. It is hard work, but I’m slowly kicking it all into a common enough shape that I can start the process of kicking a framework and automatifying (I believe that’s the word) the whole site.

In the meantime, handcoding also gives me the benefit of being able to tweak individual pages back and forth. The newest take of the product page puts in an expandable section (a ‘flipper’) for screenshots against the trademark Aqua background. Also new is a flipper for the whole donations chunk and a smaller, more succinct source code link, with an icon of its own.

I’m always playing around back and forth with the product pages, and it’s likely that in three weeks my idea of the perfect product page would look much different, but for now I’m very happy with the way the newest version looks, especially in putting that gee-whiz interactivity to useful use.

I’d appreciate your comments on how the entire waffle software site looks and what should be made different.