Archive for April 9, 2024

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

OmniFocus 4.2

Ainsley Bourque Olson:

For anyone running the Pro edition of OmniFocus, this release also introduces some very exciting new custom perspective rules that support filtering based on dates, repeats, and more:

  • New “Has date in range” rule type enables filtering a perspective by assigned date range.
  • New “Is repeating” rule enables filtering repeating tasks.
  • New “Is project, group, or neither” rule type enables filtering for projects or groups.
  • New “Is in single actions list” rule type enables filtering for items in single action lists.


Also for anyone running the Pro edition of OmniFocus, Omni Automation now supports “Install Links” for simplified Omni Automation plug-in installation.

Release notes:

In direct downloads of the app, the icon chosen in Appearance Settings will continue to be used in the dock when the app isn’t running.

Ken Case:

After some heroic spelunking, debugging, and tuning of our SwiftUI outline view, we’re now testing a performance improvement for OmniFocus 4.2 which makes adding an item to an inbox with 100+ items 20x faster.

The outline performance on iOS is indeed much better.

The watch experience continues to be frustrating, with slow syncing that doesn’t trigger automatically nor always complete. After the update, the complication was stuck showing a count of actions that didn’t match the app, and the digits were truncated. I eventually fixed it by removing and re-adding the complication. I assume there’s some sort of OS issue here because I see similar problems with Lock Screen widgets on iOS, e.g. Weathergraph stuck showing a temperature from a week ago.

I’m going to try removing OmniFocus from my iPad, because even leaving it as the frontmost app doesn’t seem to get it enough background time for it to stay in sync when I don’t touch the iPad for a few weeks. My hope is that, with the iPad out of the mix, syncing will be faster everywhere and therefore more reliable on the watch.


Update (2024-04-26): Weathergraph:

Re: Widgets getting stuck (they stop updating).

I think I fixed everything I could on my side, and there is a pretty serious issue in iOS/watchOS (since 17.0/10.0), which I finally managed to catch in the wild and reported to @apple.

So far device restart is the only help :/.

Update (2024-05-07): Weathergraph:

Sadly, the answer is “we know it’s broken (and we might fix it some day, can’t tell when).”


Meanwhile, if the widgets get stuck, the only cure is device restart.

Update (2024-05-28): Ken Case:

We were having trouble reproducing the performance issues that some people are seeing, but finally found a reliable way to reproduce it today and are testing a fix now.

All of the time was being spent in SwiftUI, not our code, which made it especially tricky to track down since there wasn’t anything we could add to our code to try to figure this out. It turned out to be the result of a rounding error, so it was very dependent on the screen size, screen content, system font, and scroll position. Thanks to someone sending in an anonymized copy of their database and the steps that were reproducing it for them, we figured out that we could reproduce it with that database when we set the app’s text size to be slightly larger than the default.

So we tracked down the problematic comparison, made sure it didn’t care about positioning differences within 1/100th of a point (which was causing it to render and re-render the same content over and over again for people who were affected), and this fix will be in [4.2].

Copyright Takedown Against Hundreds of Wordle Clones

Jason Koebler:

The New York Times has filed a series of copyright takedown requests against Wordle clones and variations in which it asserts not just ownership over the Wordle name but over the broad concepts and mechanics of the word game, which includes its “5x6 grid” and “green tiles to indicate correct guesses.”

The Times filed at least three DMCA takedown requests with coders who have made clones of Wordle on GitHub. These include two in January and, crucially, a new DMCA filed this week against Chase Wackerfuss, the coder of a repository called “Reactle,” which cloned Wordle in React JS (JavaScript).

Craig Grannell:

I find it curious that this is even possible, given that Wordle itself was a straight rip of Lingo, which itself was in part based on existing mechanics. Games build on other games. The NYT denying that stops others from having the success Wordle itself enjoys.

Nick Heer:

The Times’ two most recent ideas for games were blatantly ripped from “Only Connect” but, sure, some random people on GitHub are irrevocably diluting Wordle’s reputation.

Timothy Geigner:

For this discussion, you really do need to recall that Wordle began as a free to play, simple daily game that became a quick craze nationally. It was created by one person, Josh Wardle, who made absolutely clear at the time that he had no interest in wrapping anything like intellectual property around the game. And when others did create spinoffs or clones of the game, he handled it in roughly as congenial a manner possible.

But then he sold the game to the New York Times. And the Times promptly began to strongarm these spinoffs and clones into shutting down, wielding IP threats to do so.

Nick Lockwood:

A lot of folks replying to this with “you can’t copyright gameplay” and of course that is correct, in legal terms. But with IP (as with so much in our society) it doesn’t actually matter what the law says, it only matters how much money you have.

A free software author cannot defend themselves against a billion dollar corporation in court unless they are willing to risk ending up homeless on the street.


AirTag Firmware Rollout Date

iSoftware Updates (via Sebastiaan de With):

Looks like Apple accidentally set the deployment dates for the 2.0.73 AirTag firmware to “m/d/24” instead of “m/d/2024” that has used in previous versions and which the AirTag update system uses as date format.

As a result, AirTags think the deployment dates are in the year 24 and they just skip to the 100% rollout batch 😅

Why is the goLiveDate even stored as a string when plists have a date type?


Daylight Saving Time UI Design Test

Nikita Prokopov (Hacker News):

I have five clocks in my house. All of them I have to change manually twice a year: one hour back in the Autumn and one hour forward in the Spring. Today was one of these days.

Each clock presents a unique puzzle. Three out of five have no direct controls for changing time, and manuals have long been lost, so I have to figure it out every time.