Archive for February 10, 2020

Monday, February 10, 2020

Avalanche for Lightroom 1.0.5

Ric Ford:

Avalanche is a native Mac app from CYME that promises to quickly migrate Aperture photo libraries to Adobe Lightroom or Lightroom catalogs to folders of files while using AI for some processing assistance…

Claudia Zimmer:

Avalanche was born out of our need to move massive amounts of photos from Aperture to Adobe Lightroom. We tried many different ways to achieve this and it was frustrating because it was often incredibly slow, and lots of edits were lost in the process.  Then we started to work on CYME’s ambitious photo project and realized that the first building block was a component that would understand the inner structure of all major photo cataloging apps (Aperture, Photos, Lightroom, Luminar, CaptureOne,…). Having this component to read from and write into any catalog format, would indeed allow us to convert between them. So we decided to release a first product that would be that converter and gradually add more input and output formats to it.

Claudia Zimmer:

One of the promises of Avalanche is to preserve the visual aspect of the migrated images by applying some clever algorithms to derive the adjustments in Lightroom (for example) from the adjustments in Aperture.


The idea behind ML is to learn from a set of images that have been adjusted in Aperture and Lightroom, what are the “functions” to apply to the set of parameters in Aperture, in order to find, one by one, the value of each parameter in Lightroom.

Other migration tools simply bake the adjustments and metadata into the image. Avalanche tries to migrate the master images and then set up equivalent non-destructive edits. Of course, this won’t always be possible, as the Aperture and Lightroom engines are not documented and don’t support all the same features.


But Avalanche goes one step further by attempting to migrate all the adjustments made to images into the destination catalog.


Avalanche does not require Aperture to run on the Mac. It can read the Aperture Catalog format natively.

Whereas Aperture Exporter needs to talk to Aperture via AppleScript.


Update (2020-02-17): See also: Matthieu (via John Gordon).

macOS 10.15.4 to Warn About Deprecated KPIs


At WWDC19, we announced the deprecation of kernel extensions as part of our ongoing effort to modernize the platform, improve security and reliability, and enable more user-friendly distribution methods. Kernel programming interfaces (KPIs) will be deprecated as alternatives become available, and future OS releases will no longer load kernel extensions that use deprecated KPIs by default.


Below is a list of deprecated KPIs as of macOS 10.15. In macOS 10.15.4, use of deprecated KPIs triggers a notification to the user that the software includes a deprecated API and asks the user to contact the developer for alternatives.

Via Howard Oakley:

Normally, this requires you to run the app (or its installer), during which it and macOS should prompt you to open the General tab of the Security & Privacy pane, authenticate, and agree to the kernel extension being installed. This consent is only available for a relatively short time: if it occurs when you’re out, it’s possible that it will vanish, and you may have to repeat the process to catch it. This is what Apple calls User-Approved Kernel Extension Loading, and doesn’t involve the Privacy tab, with which you’re probably now more familiar.


Sometimes, even after closing the app or installer and restarting, the kernel extension doesn’t get installed properly. You can repeat the process, maybe even a couple of times, restarting after each attempt. But in some cases – in Macs with a T2 chip only – the kernel extension won’t load properly unless you disable Secure Boot.


Taika Waititi on MacBook Keyboards

Sam Byford (video, Hacker News, Reddit, MacRumors):

“Apple needs to fix those keyboards,” he said. “They are impossible to write on — they’ve gotten worse. It makes me want to go back to PCs. Because PC keyboards, the bounce-back for your fingers is way better. Hands up who still uses a PC? You know what I’m talking about. It’s a way better keyboard. Those Apple keyboards are horrendous.”

“I’ve got some shoulder problems,” Waititi continued. “I’ve got OOS [Occupational Overuse Syndrome, a term used in New Zealand for RSI] — I don’t know what you call it over here, this sort of thing here (gestures to arm), that tendon which goes down your forearm down into the thumb? You know what I’m talking about, if you guys are ever writing.

Daniel Jalkut:

It’s only because Apple allowed the MacBook Pro keyboard problem to go on SO LONG that it could possibly have become a talking point in an Oscar awards interview. I hope some lessons have been learned.

John Gruber (tweet):

Yes, there’s a new keyboard with scissor-switch mechanisms in the 16-inch MacBook Pro. It’s a pleasure to type on. But we’re still months away from the rest of the MacBook lineup being updated to use that new keyboard. And that’s a presumption on my part, that all MacBooks will get the new keyboard sooner rather than later. It certainly wouldn’t make any sense if they didn’t — but the whole butterfly-switch saga has never made any sense.

The 16-inch Macbook Pro’s keyboard is apparently more reliable and has more travel, but I think it’s still inferior to the pre-2016 keyboards. It’s less comfortable to type on because the keys feel hard, perhaps due to the reduced travel. And the Touch Bar makes it harder to type the F keys because you can’t feel where the key is, can’t be sure when you’ve pressed it, and can “press” it accidentally just by touching it.

Todd Ditchendorf:

From his description, I’m remotely diagnosing this guy with “Radial Tunnel.” Ergonomically speaking, Apple’s input devices are criminally bad.


Update (2020-02-14): Edgar Wright:

The funny thing is though he’s not joking. And he’s right!


Oh my god, I’m glad to know someone else feels my pain. This is my current keyboard, I ended up taping over several keys because they’re a nightmare when writing.

France Fines Apple for Throttling iPhones Without Telling Users

Romain Dillet (Hacker News):

France’s competition watchdog DGCCRF announced earlier today that Apple will pay a $27.4 million (€25 million) fine due to an iOS update that capped performance of aging devices. The company will also have to display a statement on its website for a month.


Many users may have noticed that their phone would get slower when they play a game, for instance. But they didn’t know that replacing the battery would fix that. Some users may have bought new phones even though their existing phone was working fine.

France’s DGCCRF also notes that iPhone users can’t downgrade to a previous version of iOS, which means that iPhone users had no way to lift the performance capping feature.

Via Nick Heer:

I don’t know — or, frankly, care — if €25 million is a fine that is too small, too big, or not worth issuing at all. What I do know is that it is ridiculous to defend Apple’s decision not to explain this to users at the time.


Of course it would not have been easy for Apple to explain why this decision made sense — Warwick alone spent about a thousand words retelling this saga. But it would have been right, and avoided accusations that the company was being underhanded and sneaky.


To be clear, there’s no indication that this wasn’t publicized at the time to avoid poor PR; that’s something Warwick implied. If anything, this seems like an example of stupidity, not malice.

It’s such an odd story. Recall that, after it became clear what was happening, Tim Cook said that people who didn’t know about the throttling weren’t “paying attention.” I’ve seen no evidence that anything was ever reported that people could have paid attention to. Then Apple retroactively added “improves power management” to the iOS 10.2.1 release notes, still without any indication that this meant it might slow down your phone.


iOS 13 Cursor Placement and Text Selection

Federico Viticci:

The new operating systems remove one of iOS’ marquee and historical features – the magnification loupe – in the name of a revised text selection mechanism that lets you directly pick up the cursor and select text with gestures. While it is still possible to press on the keyboard with 3D Touch (or hold the space bar) to move the cursor, you can now simply pick up the blinking cursor and move it onscreen to drop it in a new position. When picked up, the cursor will enlarge slightly; in iOS 13.1, it’ll also subtly snap to the beginning and end of lines.

When you’re moving the cursor this way, iOS 13 will not show you a magnification loupe. The removal of that useful visual detail could be ascribed to the new text selection behavior in iOS 13: now, instead of double-tapping to enter text selection, you can tap, hold, and swipe to start highlighting text.

I like this new text selection gesture (even though it took me a while to get used to it), but I don’t buy the theory that removing the magnification loupe was necessary to avoid conflicts between old and new gestures. iOS could and should still display a magnification loupe when performing text selections: in the months I’ve been using iOS 13, I’ve found myself unable to tell with precision whether I was selecting the right portion of text because my finger was covering it and there was no magnification loupe on the side to double-check the text I was selecting.

Benjamin Mayo:

In the WWDC 2019 presentation, Craig Federighi praised the new UI for text selection, saying “there’s no need to double tap and no magnifying glass getting in your way”. I remember doing a double-take when he said it because that’s not really true at all. The magnifying glass was a convenience, rather than annoyance.

Mike Rockwell:

The text selection system in iOS 13 is absolute garbage. I can never tell if I have my selection point at the right place because my finger is always in the way.

The new design has been widely criticized, but I like it. It feels much faster, and I don’t miss the loupe because I can just slide my finger down after picking up the insertion point so that it doesn’t cover the part I’m looking at.

Rebekka Honeit:

Tap and hold the cursor until the cursor symbol appears bigger. Then drag the cursor to its new position and let it go.


Selecting a word, sentence, or paragraph has become a lot easier.


There are also new gestures for copy and paste.


To undo, swipe to left with three fingers.

To redo, swipe to right with three fingers.