Version 5.3: Wawona Tunnel

July 31st, 2014

5.3 has been a long time in testing and we would like to thank all those that volunteered their time during the beta tests to make this a solid release. This is our release with the most beta versions ever. The fundamental internals of the program have changed to be memory managed so as to be more compatible going forward. We’ve been pushing the limits of backwards compatibility to give everybody the best program possible, but looking forward the next big version is likely to go 10.8+ only.

Along with  all the improvements, better ISBN searches, faster speeds, UI tweaks and bug fixes that come with 5.3, what I want to highlight in particular is all the work done by Alex over on the Doghouse Online Library side. This is the beginning of easier sharing with friends as well as having your library on the go, should one  – gasp, the horror – not have Pocketpedia. Do test it out and let Alex know about any bugs you might find. With such a massive undertaking and in the early stages there is still a lot to add and tweak, but it’s best to do so live with web applications so that we can receive a broader feedback.

The programs are running great on Yosemite, so if you are one of the lucky few in the Yosemite open beta do not hesitate to give the new version a try. There’s still lots of work to do for OS X Yosemite, but we have left all this UI work and new features for after Yosemite launches as the final design and internals could change between the beta and the public release of Yosemite.

Hence why this post is called Wawona Tunnel. This is one of the most famous view points at Yosemite park and reached via the southern entrance to the park. From the Wawona Tunnel view point, one can look all the way down the length of the park to Half Dome. So that’s where we are at with the Pedias: in Yosemite but still not down on the valley floor with our camping all set up.

Beta Version 5.2.2, Yosemite Edition

July 10th, 2014

The next beta version, 5.2.2, of the Pedia programs is out. This one is a major overhaul of the memory internals, making all the Pedias faster and lighter. It also addresses a number of issues with the upcoming Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, due out in the fall.

Bookpedia Beta
CDpedia Beta
DVDpedia Beta
Gamepedia Beta

Some of the changes include the new system font of Helvetica Neue which is now used in the details view for Yosemite, table headers match the new Yosemite style and several freeze and bug fixes for Yosemite. One of the few changes that will appear for all users, regardless of OS X installed, is a thinner divider line between the views in the main window. Also included is the final version of the new Doghouse online library option.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 2.38.38 PM

 

A couple of known bugs with Yosemite are the gray background and incorrect highlight in the collection view and deleting text from the internal search does not update the results. These are Yosemite bugs that hopefully will get fixed in an upcoming beta version, but otherwise will work around them after the release of the Yosemite Golden master.

If you happen to be testing the beta version of Yosemite do give 5.2.2 a whirl and let us know about any other issues you experience. Especially usability issues such as freezes and crashes. If you’re not running Yosemite do test the betas all the same to make sure the modernization of the code for Yosemite did not break any functions all the way back to OS X 10.5. We’ll be releasing an official new version soon on our web page followed by the Mac App Store version.

The next version of Pocketpedia with fixes for both iOS 7 and iOS 8 is also in the works and should be out in a couple of weeks.

New Users Online Library

June 25th, 2014

We here at Bruji are always looking for ways to make our user’s lives easier, it’s what we do. So we’re very happy to announce the new User’s Online Library feature.

What is this, you might ask?

It’s a seamless way to view and share you pedia libraries with anyone in the world without any extra effort on your part.

We’ll give you a unique link to our doghouse website and your pedia libraries will be displayed there automatically, like magic.

Sound awesome, where do I sign up?

There is no sign up form or anything dreary like that. All you need to do is access your unique link for any web browser and that’s it.

Libraries are private by default, only the original user can view them. If you want your library to be public you have to explicitly make it so.

You will need the latest beta of the pedias.

The only thing you have to do to send the initial sync to our servers is open the Pedia Doghouse -> Settings window, check the box that says Sync my Library to Doghouse and click Log in. You need to do this only once, even if you’re logged in, it tells the pedia to send your library to our servers. From then on, the Pedia knows to keep your library up to date in Doghouse.

Instructions for everything can be found here.

How much does it cost?

Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

You’re welcome.

Parting thoughts

This is version 0.9 (beta) of this feature so we very much welcome your feedback on it. Please use the Forum instead of email to make it easier for everyone to follow along.

New DiscoGS Authentication Requirement

June 23rd, 2014

Discogs
Discogs will start requiring authentication for searches starting August 15th. Unlike the previous image download authentication requirement that was implemented without announcement, this change has been announced via email to developers. This gave us plenty of time to work the needed changes into the upcoming releases. Especially important since the review time on the Mac App Store slows down immediate fixes. The latest CDpedia beta already has the new code in place for authentication.

The Discogs API already implemented a technology called OAuth for user authentication to private data such as collections and want list access. Although this is the wrong technology for the general search API, because it requires too much user interaction, it’s easier to integrate for developers. Taking this in mind it seems the Discogs developers have been generous enough to leave the search API without any limits on a per account basis, allowing for a single account sign on and the API to continue to operate without friction. So the new plugin is authenticating automatically with a CDpedia Discogs account and will continue to be as ease to use.

Should you for any reason want to authenticate with your own account, this can be done in the Preferences -> Sites by double clicking the gear button to the right of Discogs in the list of sites. It will expand the details view to full screen and load the Discogs site. Here you need to login, if not already logged in, and then approve CDpedia for access. From then on your own generated tokens for CDpedia will be used to authenticate into Discogs.

Also integrated into the update is a small change to beef up the genres. The styles information now goes into genre field if there is no custom field named “Styles”.

For big fans of Discogs, do take the CDpedia beta for a spin and if you find any issues with the new authentication please me us know.

Bruji on Facebook

June 17th, 2014

We don’t do much advertising here at Bruji. Every once in a while we run a Google AdWords campaign or sponsor a blog like Daring Fireball. Our main advertising “campaign” has always been word of mouth from our users but nowadays word of mouth doesn’t necessarily mean that people talk to each other by the water cooler, instead they exchange links on Twitter and Facebook.

We’ve been on Twitter for a while (you’re following us, right?!) but for some reason we never made it onto Facebook. That has finally changed and we’re ready for friending, liking and posting lots of cat videos and baby pictures. (We don’t have any cats here at Bruji, so we’ll post dog pictures instead.) Here is our new Facebook page now you can tell your friends you ‘like’ us.

We’re still figuring out how it all works, including Facebook Ads, but hopefully this new step will help us reach even more Mac users and spread the Pedia love. Thanks for your help and support!

Family Sharing

June 6th, 2014

Along with all the other new goodies that Apple recently announced at WWDC, they also included family sharing which lets members of a family easily share photos, calendars and purchased apps from the App Store and iTunes Store through the cloud.

This is great news for the Pedia programs because our regular serial numbers (the ones you get when you purchase the programs from us directly as opposed to the Mac App Store) are already family licenses which allow everyone in the same household to use the same serial number. Now we can offer that same freedom to our customers on the Mac App Store and iTunes as well.

Apple has also announced that they will bring bundle sales into the App Store and iTunes Store as well so hopefully we’ll be able to offer that our customers soon too.

We’re still playing around with all the other new features Apple has revealed but once we get to know them and see what fits well with our programs we will work on integrating more of them into the Pedias.

Heartbleed bug

April 19th, 2014

By now, you might have heard of this thing called the Heartbleed bug, which is making the rounds on most Internet news sites.

The truth is, it’s not as bad as it sounds. The vunerability was pretty bad, but in practice, for any of our users the risk was minimal.

First, the bad news: some of your data might have been exposed to anyone sniffing our traffic. The operative word here is might. Chances are very, very slim that any sniffing took place, plus this was not a breach in our database, they didn’t have access to any of the data we keep there (user name and email address, if you provided one) they would only been able to grab your password if they were sniffing online at the actual time you logged in. Think about it, with the trillions of web pages out there, the chances of someone actively sniffing Doghouse pages are what? A quadrillion to one?  An Octodecillion to one? Something crazy anyway.

As I say, extremely unlikely.

The good news:

  1. We have patched all our systems so the Heartbleed bug is no longer an issue.
  2. If you are worried about this bug, change your password in Doghouse. Here’s a link explaining how.

Which services were affected?

Only Doghouse, and only when you contribute any data from the Pedias or when you logged in to admin.bruji.com or doghouse.bruji.com (they’re the same page). If you only use Doghouse for searches and have never contributed any entries you have nothing to worry about.

What data do you store?

We only store your user name and your email address if you provided one so we can communicate with you if the need arises. We never sell or expose your data to anyone, ever, under any circumstances. You can view our privacy policy right here.

What about my password?

Your password is stored with high-grade encryption and looks like this:

e8afdd90d1dec343128b090e39e77eb08f859d4d78ce88262db6fb8f3d9a314ab7a486508567c21ded896bf3c32048fa6abd8987b5d57a1f46fcf6441a30d59a

That doesn’t mean that even if someone got a hold of it they could use it to login with your username because we also use an added security measure appropriate called a salt and there is no way to reverse this encryption to figure out what the password really is.

But, I repeat, nobody but us has access to this data not even through the Heartbleed bug.

OK, this sounds good, but I’m still worried, what should I do?

Just change your password if you use it elsewhere and are worried someone might have caught it as you were logging in and you’ll be fine.

New Web Design

April 2nd, 2014

Main Site

The web page finally got a make-over after two years of patiently waiting on our to do list and several months of work and careful planning to roll it out simultaneously across the main web site, the store, the blog and the forum. All of which run different software so we had to coordinate several different templates.

It took us this long because the main priority has always been our apps and Doghouse. Nora and I have seen our time consumed by the Pedias and Pocketpedia, so we let Alex, our Doghouse guru (the man responsible for the results you get when searching), tackle the job. He gave the web site time on weekends and when he needed a break of thinking about all the moving pieces that is Doghouse administration. Since finishing the migration to new servers and a Padrino API he has found himself with more time, so work quickly accelerated.

Forum Site

All of a sudden I load the web site one morning and everything is in place. It’s nice to see all these months of work spring up all of a sudden and even more exciting to be able to share this with all our users. Since it was a complete overhaul there will be a couple of months of tweaks and users have already started pointing Alex in the right direction. Like all software and trees the web page is changing and growing and there are always corners that need trimming; so do pester Alex if you find any broken links or missing functionality.

On the technical side, Nora and I are old school and tend to write each HTML tag in a text editor and then style it with some basic CSS. Alex on the other hand is new age and uses all the latest frameworks. Those of you who have signed up as moderators to Doghouse know all the animations and fancy designs he employs via Ruby on Rails and things called LESS and SCSS (he assures me that LESS is more). Nora and I were not quite ready to give up our regular HTML so we asked him to still use some traditional HTML with a light sprinkling of new frameworks for type and layout. Especially since we knew that the integrations with PHPBB (the forum) and WordPress (the blog) otherwise would be complicated. Not to mention eSellerate’s system (the store) that still uses ASP.

Bookpedia Site

We are quite impressed with the work Alex has done on the web site and want to thank him for all the hard work and extra hours he has put in to this. Glad to have a man of so many trades on the team, who was able to finally get this web site removed from the to do list. Hopefully the trend for flat will stay steady for a couple of years and we won’t need a redesign for a while.

Pocketpedia iOS 7

March 23rd, 2014

Bookpedia iPad iOS 7

Pocketpedia 3.2 with an iOS 7 interface is finally out. Took us longer than expected as we tried to keep backwards compatibility with previous iOS versions, but in the end it was too time consuming. The changes in iOS 7 are too many, so going forward all the new versions of Pocketpedia are iOS 7+. The old version will still be available through the App Store for those with older devices that can’t upgrade to the latest iOS.

The new version is looking great. On the iPad it was less work as we already had most of the interface matching iOS 7. The iPhone version got a serious makeover and no longer has a dedicated Doghouse search tab bar. The search is now integrated with the collection screen under the organize button (top right). This frees a lot more vertical space for the item and collection listing. Another area of notable improvement is the ability to sort by any field in Pocketpedia with a scroll picker. Selecting the same field twice will also allow to flip the sorting to descending. Not common with alphabetical sorting but handy for numbers and ratings.

As usual a number of smaller updates smarter addition of items to the selected collection without the need for user selection, localization corrections and speed improvements.

Star Wars DVDpedia iOS 7

Thank you for waiting and as always we would like to thank all the beta testers who took time to debug and improve Pocketpedia and helped us make this iOS 7 release so smooth.

Happy Birthday Bruji!

February 2nd, 2014

birthdayBruji

10 years ago today we released DVDpedia 1.0 into the wild. We never thought that this little program, which Conor initially wrote just to learn more about Cocoa and Xcode, would turn Bruji into our fulltime jobs and livelihood. But 5 people (unexpectedly) bought DVDpedia on that first day and we got a lot of feedback too so Conor kept working on it. After a couple of weeks he couldn’t keep up with the emails anymore so I jumped in for tech support.

Bookpedia followed just a few months later in May 2004 because we’re big readers and wanted a good program to catalogue our own books. Later that year CDpedia completed the trifecta. At that point we thought we were done with Pedia programs but we kept getting requests for Gamepedia and finally decided to go ahead with it in November 2005.

Of course when the iPhone debuted in 2007 we were very excited about writing our first iOS app and Pocketpedia nicely completed the Pedia family. Pocketpedia was among the first 523 apps that were in the App Store on launch day. Way back when it was possible to actually find something in the App Store.

As everyone knows though, a picture is worth a thousand words and even though some of these make us cringe, they’re too funny not to share. (All images found thanks to the way back machine and the internet archive.)

DVDpedia 1.0. Note particularly those wonderful toolbar icons. Hard to tell but there was a lot of drop-shadow involved.

dvdpedia 1.0

A slightly later version (1.x) with much more professional toolbar icons and a slightly less professional scrollbar for the summary in the side drawer.

DVDpedia version 1.5

With CDpedia we brought in a different kind of scrollbar for the drawer, not necessarily better…

cdpedia

Bookpedia’s Add/Edit window version 2.x

bookpedia

The release of Gamepedia coincided with version 2 of the other Pedia programs and brought the basic layout along that the Pedias still use today. Although it took us until version 4 to introduce the flexible Add/Edit window with the white background.

Gamepedia 1.x

If you’ve been using the Pedias for a while then you might also remember AmazonPedia, our widget, and our short-lived dabble in time management, MyTime. (AmazonPedia went the way of the dodo as most widgets did and MyTime was sold to another development company.) And if you’re a real geek then you’re probably using Bwana, our man page reader. That’s been around almost as long as Bookpedia actually but it’s such a simple program that we sometimes forget it’s there.

To celebrate we are doing 20% off everything on Bruji’s birthday February 3rd. As our loyal customer you might not need another version of our program, but do tell any friends you think might benefit from some organization in their lives.

We hope you enjoyed this little trip into the past for our birthday. Here’s to 10 more exciting years full of new versions, programs and challenges!