BABELVERSE: Starting with a vision

Since starting Babelverse a in Sept 2010, we’ve been eager to catch up and write a series of blog posts sharing our story and the inspiring places and people we’ve met along the way. Continue reading BABELVERSE: Starting with a vision

APPS: Auto-Update for Nightly-Builds of Browsers on Mac OS X (WebKit, Chromium, Firefox, Opera)

In my current development projects, I’ve been using a lot of new features of HTML5/CSS3/etc, and fortunately the different browsers have been adding support at a fast pace. Of course, features don’t appear right away in the stable releases that everybody runs, but rather in various alphas, betas, and other pre-releases, with the most bleeding edge being the nightly builds. These builds are (usually) compiled every day, reflecting the current state of the source code repository, with all the latest changes made by the developers.

It’s quite a hassle having to download and install a new version of three or four browsers every day, so I made a Mac OS X app for each browser (Apple Safari aka WebKit, Google Chrome aka Chromium, Mozilla Firefox aka Minefield, and Opera) that checks if a new version is available, automatically downloads and installs it, and then launches it. If you already have the latest version, it will launch or focus it directly, allowing you to have only those 4 icons in the dock, and always use them to access your browsers.

Click here to download them.

FYI, using the latest builds of each browser (as of 2009-6-9), here are the results of html5test.com :

  • WebKit : 220 + 7 bonus points
  • Chromium : 217 + 6 bonus points
  • Firefox : 176 + 9 bonus points
  • Opera : 129 + 4 bonus points

For those interested, these apps consist of bash scripts embedded in AppleScript app-bundles, so you can modify them for your own needs (note that by default they are setup to install Intel and/or 64bit builds when available). Please share any enhancements or fixes you might make.

Update 2010-6-12 : Fixed the Firefox updater, so you can use it on 32bit system by changing the line :
my_arch=”mac64″;
to :
my_arch=”mac.dmg”;

APPS: InstaReader : Bridging The Gaps Between Google Reader and InstaPaper

InstaPaper (“a simple tool to save web pages for reading later”) is an awesome service that I use a lot every day, and so I took some time to make things a little easier and thus gain some precious minutes during every feeding frenzy (feed as in RSS feed, get it? 😉

  • InstaReader Sync is a service to automatically sync your Starred Items in Google Reader, with your InstaPaper‘s read-later list. So that when you’re skimming the thousands of items flowing in from you favorite sites, you just have to click ☆ on the ones that seem interesting, and they will automatically be available in InstaPaper a few minutes later. It also works with NetNewsWire‘s Flagged Items.
    You can try out the service here, and I’ll also soon be releasing the source code so you can run it for yourself.
  • The InstaReader bookmarklet adds a button to your browser to read the current page in InstaPaper‘s nice text-only (+images) mode, which removes all the distracting menus, sidebars, ads, etc… to provide a comfortable reading experience (example).
    Bonus point : it works with Google Reader, opening the currently selected article in a new tab. Its especially useful for reading sites that don’t offer the full articles in their feed.
  • InstaReader for NetNewsWire is an AppleScript that adds a command to NetNewsWire to open the current article in InstaPaper’s nice text-only (+images) reading mode. Its especially useful for reading sites that don’t offer the full articles in their feed.

Full details here

UPDATE: The service is now discontinued due to Google Reader’s shut down. You can achieve similar results using Feedly and IFTTT.