Archive for April 30, 2019

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

End of the Line for Aperture

Apple (via Joe Rossignol, tweet):

In June 2014, Apple announced the discontinuation of development of Aperture. Since that time, Apple has released five major macOS updates. For technical reasons, Aperture will not run in future versions of macOS after macOS Mojave. To continue working with your Aperture photo libraries, you must migrate them to the Photos app included with macOS, or migrate them to Adobe Lightroom Classic.

Frankly, I’m surprised that Apple maintained support for this long. They recommend using Lightroom’s built-in migrator. But, unless things have changed since I investigated it, Aperture Exporter is a much better option.

What has surprised me is the level of progress with Photos. I didn’t expect it to come close to matching Aperture, but I still find it more clunky and less featured than iPhoto (though, obviously, it does some things iPhoto couldn’t). Still, if you can live with Photos, it does have the advantage of not forcing you to choose between discarding and baking in your Aperture edits.

Jeff Carlson:

I’ve written extensively about this transition since Aperture was shuttered in June 2014. The good news is that there are lots of options now for managing and editing your photo libraries, not just Apple’s Photos app. Luminar, Picktorial, Exposure X4, On1 Photo… In fact, the newest version of Picktorial adds the ability to open Aperture libraries directly, without any type of conversion.

If you want specific step-by-step instructions, pick up a copy of my book Take Control of Your Digital Photos. My book walks you through the steps that will preserve your edited versions, along with ratings and other metadata that can get stripped during the migration process.

Clark Goble:

Lack of an Aperture like app that uses the Photos iCloud backend remains an inexplicable failure by Apple. Lots of people want to use Photos but hate the limited UI & features of the app on Mac.

This is one reason I’m skeptical about the iTunes breakup. Sure, it sounds great to have a powerful backend provided by Apple. The first-party app can be basic, third parties can add more features and options and pro interfaces, and it all interoperates and syncs because of the shared backend. But the reality is that the backend is going to be designed and tested for the cases that Apple is itself using. Trying to build on that would be both limiting and risky. Even in seemingly simpler domain like calendars, apps like Fantastical end up talking to the server themselves, rather than relying on the API for Apple’s backend.


Update (2019-05-01): Nilay Patel:

I’m all in on Lightroom now but Aperture was my first love, and it’s so weird that Apple sells so many cameras with such lame software to support them

The iOS / Mac photo experience is a prime example of how lock-in at scale insulates meh products from competition — Photos is “successful” because millions of people use it by default, not because it’s good or even at parity with the competition

My father just e-mailed to ask how to copy from Photos to a USB stick. With iPhoto, he could always just drag and drop, but Photos has a longstanding issue with promised file drags and so sometimes when you drag and drop nothing happens.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.2

John Wilander:

As of ITP 2.2, persistent cookies set through document.cookie are capped to one day of storage when both of the following conditions are met:

  1. A domain classified with cross-site tracking capabilities was responsible for navigating the user to the current webpage.
  2. The final URL of the navigation mentioned above has a query string and/or a fragment identifier.

The rest of this blog post explores this in detail.

I’m not using the beta, but I wonder whether ITP is the source of some problems I’ve been having. I recently tried to update my billing information with GoDaddy, but got a blank white pane instead of the reCAPTCHA. This happened again after restarting Safari, but it worked when I unchecked “Prevent cross-site tracking” (and also worked in Firefox and Chrome).

I continue to have problems with bank and credit card sites (not to mention Apple’s iCloud and developer sites) not remembering that I have previously logged in.


.DS_Store File Format


#MacOS ‘.DS_Store’ files have now their binary format description on @kaitai_io now.

It means it is now possible to easily parse those files in many programming languages!

Kaitai Struct:

Kaitai Struct is a declarative language used to describe various binary data structures, laid out in files or in memory: i.e. binary file formats, network stream packet formats, etc.

The main idea is that a particular format is described in Kaitai Struct language (.ksy file) and then can be compiled with ksc into source files in one of the supported programming languages. These modules will include a generated code for a parser that can read described data structure from a file / stream and give access to it in a nice, easy-to-comprehend API.


Improved Twitter Data Export

Cabel Sasser:

Holy smokes — Twitter Data Export has been massively upgraded. In January I exported my data: 42MB. Today, I get a 3.03GB (!!!) json-based archive of everything — followers, DMs, and most importantly, ALL MY MEDIA! Photos and videos! THIS IS VERY GOOD 🎉

wow according to account-suspension.js i was suspended briefly from twitter?? what’d i do?? also mildly interesting to look at my ad-engagements.js