SimpleMark is updated

Two quick issues have been solved in SimpleMarkPPC.

First, the great Cameron Kaiser reported that SimpleMarkPPC did not run in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Well, it ran, but it did not produce any elegantly formatted Markdown text. The culprit was my internal build of multimarkdown which was linked against 10.5 SDK. He compiled mmd linked against 10.4, replaced it in the app, and success. I’ve updated the app download which includes his compiled version for maximum compatibility. Let me know if it works for you.

Second, I noticed a potential showstopping bug in that as you scrolled through a larger document in the “live preview”, the app would keep updating the file even if you had stopped typing. You would keep losing your place if you were reading or checking out the results of your exhaustive MarkDown editing. Part of this relates to the numerous, repetitive disk writes that I will eventually solve, but the other part was figuring out a way to let the live preview have the focus when you were browsing it. For now, I hacked it to work. As long as your mouse is in/around the preview area, it should not refresh. I’ll fine tune this a bit more with testing, but please check it to see if it works on your end.

Oh, and I crafted a simpler, colorful icon.

— Nathan

Say hello to SimpleMarkPPC

A couple of days ago, I was whining. I was trying to mock up a MarkDown app for PowerPC machines, and I kept running into stupid, silly bugs. I thought the story was over.

Then I woke up the next day with a fresh insight and perspective to these nagging bugs, and I found a way forward.

Today, I introduce to you the “alpha” release of SimpleMarkPPC (download).

a better icon for SimpleMarkPPC

SimpleMarkPPC is a very simple MarkDown editor for Power Macs. Essentially, it’s just a wrapper for the wonderful multimarkdown command line utility. You can create and load text files, mark them up with the elegant and responsive MarkDown code, and export them to html, LaTeX, or RTF. Though it may seem simple, MarkDown is actually quite complex and capable of a lot of cool stuff. Best of all, you don’t have to use brew to install multimarkdown yourself – I’ve embedded a compiled copy which should work on most Power Macs.

The app updates what you type on the fly by converting it from MarkDown into html, giving you a live preview of how your finished product might look. The conversion is darn good, although it is free of CSS. I’ve kept the app down to the bare bones and will work on polishing the user interface some more in the future.

I hope this is useful to you. It will remain free.

Here’s a tentative road map of what I will tackle next as I sharpen the program:

  • Reduce writes. Right now, to produce the live preview, the text and html files are saved to the disk every few seconds. I’ll find some ways to thrash the hard drive a little less.
  • Print. Got to add some printing capabilities.
  • Support for window resizing/full screen.
  • Font and window transparency options.
  • Making sure I am free software license compliant.
  • Get a better icon.

Please, please, please give it a whirl. Right now, it has been tested on my Power Mac G5 and my Mac Mini G4 in 10.5.8. What about a machine running Tiger? What about a G3 or older G4 Mac? I’d love your feedback.

— Nathan