Saturday, January 24, 2009

Notable Software Updates : Jan 2009

By Doug McLean

Default Folder X 4.1.1 from from St. Clair Software is a maintenance and stability update to the Open and Save dialog-enhancement utility. Bugs addressed include a crash when you log out or restart your Mac, an Applescript bug preventing other applications from retrieving the current URL in Firefox when Default Folder X is open, and a bug causing repeated error messages to appear in the Console regarding failed Finder queries. Also, support for Hazel has been improved by mitigating a file labeling conflict issue. ($34.95 new, free update, 10.2 MB).

QuickTime 7.6 from Apple brings several updates to the multimedia software. Changes include enhanced single-pass H.264 encoding quality, more reliable Motion JPEG media playback, heightened AAC encoding fidelity, improved export consistency for audio tracks from MPEG video files, and increased compatibility with iChat and Photo Booth. Apple has also released a separate security document detailing the accompanying bug fixes. Issues addressed mainly include maliciously crafted URLs and movie files that lead to application crashes. The update is currently available via Software Update and from Apple's Web site. (Free update, 72 MB)

Script Debugger 4.5.2 from Late Night Software is a maintenance update to the AppleScript authoring environment. Issues addressed include the Scripting Additions window failing when displaying the Leopard version of Standard Additions.osax, a series of stability bugs with the Dictionary Explorer, a Text Substitution indenting problem, and more. For more information on Script Debugger 4.5, check out Matt Neuburg's "Script Debugger 4.5 Offers Power Editing to AppleScripters" (2008-11-26). ($199 new, free update, 10.7 MB)

Cyberduck 3.1 is a significant update to the popular open-source FTP client. The new version's biggest addition is native support for uploading to Amazon CloudFront (in conjunction with Amazon S3) and Cloud Files from Rackspace - two major content distribution services. Other updates include pre-configured protocol settings for MobileMe iDisk, the capability to send commands over SSH using the Send Command function, archive and unarchive capabilities, clickable URL fields, and enhanced WebDAV interoperability. A full list of changes and enhancements is available on Cyberduck's Web site. (Free, 11.1 MB)

Mellel 2.6 from RedleX brings a host of new features to the increasingly powerful word processor. Freshly added is a sophisticated QuickLook plugin that enables users to access document quick-views that appear identical to printed versions. Also new is the Spread View feature, which displays a document's pages as they would appear in a book or magazine spread. The new version also now sports an improved statistics palette, support for automatic updates, the capability to save directly to PDFs, and smart style matching for switching between style sets. A full list of changes, improvements, and bug fixes is available on RedleX's Web site. ($49 new, free upgrades for purchases since December 2006 or $19 otherwise, 33.3 MB)

Sandvox 1.5.4 from Karelia Software is a minor maintenance update to the template-based Web site creation tool. The biggest change is added support for the JS-Kit commenting service Comments. The JS-Kit Comments service enables site administrators to foster social networks, encourage user-generated content, communicate directly with users, and provide a fully functioning commenting engine. According to Karelia's Web site, the new version apparently comes with other undisclosed changes as well, presumably minor performance enhancements or bug fixes. ($49 Regular/$79 Pro, free update, 26 MB)