I use iA Writer on iOS and Mac as my primary text editor for writing blog posts. I like its Files app integration and ability to work with Working Copy and other Files app providers. It’s also really easy to get at anything written in iA Writer because they’re all stored as iCloud Documents in an iA Writer iCloud folder.
One thing I have had an issue with though is that iA Writer does markdown footnotes in a way that doesn’t work when I post it to my sites as an .md file and compile it with Hugo. For that matter, it didn’t work when I used to put it into Wordpress with markdown enabled either.
iA Writer’s footnote format looks like this:
There is a footnote at the end of this sentence[^this is the footnote].
That doesn’t convert to a proper markdown footnote in most (all?) markdown …
I use and rely on Shortcuts app for many of my iPad workflows. The most complex of them that I’ve created are for publishing to my Hugo-powered blog, and for publishing episodes of the various BubbleSort podcasts.
One issue with Shortcuts that I’d love for Apple to address, which they almost certainly won’t, is the ease with which they become too complex to manage or restructure.
Case in point is my Blog Post Publish shortcut, which I wrote in such a way that I could use it for multiple websites. This necessarily leads to multiple menus and multiple nested If statements, since Shortcuts doesn’t support the “else if” construct.
Instead, the next if clause gets forced under an Otherwise statement, so that if written in code, it would like something like this:
If (blog == “ …
In my article on supporting link posts in Hugo, I went on a short tangent about the Hugo .Summary function and the fact that I wasn’t using it, but was instead piping .Content to the truncate function.
Mainly I wasn’t using .Summary because it basically strips out the html paragraph tags and makes a big block of text. I find this an interesting choice, because who does this? No one, that’s who. Everyone who uses summaries wants legible summaries, including paragraph breaks. Hugo summaries make the assumption that a handful of words will be enough to draw your readers in, and that that’s the look you want in the first place.
Hugo does provide for overriding this by putting a summary in front matter, but that seems like a major kludge considering how easy it would be for .Summary to take a few option parameters. …
I don’t remember Gruber making the “iPads aren’t as intuitive as Macs” claim as part of his public confusion about how the iPad works, but I’m sure some people have. And, as Matt Birchler says in his excellent skewering of the “iPads are too damn complicated!” narrative, that’s ludicrous.
I think Matt’s onto something with the explanation that a case of familiarity and unfamiliarity is really the issue here, not the iPad itself. I’d say the real issue with the people I’ve seen on Twitter claiming no one can decipher the iPad’s mysteries is the inverse – unfamiliarity mistaken for counter-intuitiveness.
As I said yesterday, the iPadOS multitasking UI does have issues. I’m not debating that at all. What I am debating is that it’s so complicated as to be unreasonable, and whether every possible iPadOS feature needs to leap directly into the user’s brain the first time they pick up an iPad, or whether it’s ok that some learning is involved.
Also, the clunkiness of the …
This is a fun video. Stephen Hackett analyzes the 2010 iPad introduction keynote, presented by Steve Jobs.
It’s pretty funny seeing how limited the original iPad was, especially considering the brouhaha today from some seasoned Mac veterans lamenting that the iPad is too confusing. 🤣
I submit to you that the same people who couldn’t figure out how to work on iPad then due to its very real limitations are some of the same people who can’t figure out how to work on it now, even with its greatly increased capabilities.
There are good arguments to be made that Apple hasn’t always helped the iPad live up to its promise. Certainly John Gruber thinks so, as evidenced by both the title and body of his recent post, The iPad Awkwardly Turns 10.
My issue with what he wrote is not his claim that iPad multitasking is fiddly and unintuitive and a bit incoherent and inconsistent. It is. And it’s not his assertion that iPad multitasking is non-discoverable:
How would anyone ever figure out how to split-screen multitask on the iPad if they didn’t already know how to do it?
I can’t really disagree with that. It’s just that I don’t know how much that does or should matter.
Not everything in technology can be intuitive. Sometimes things have to be learned. And some of the people complaining about the fact that all iPadOS features don’t present themselves as fully-formed concepts directly into the user’s brain upon iPad unlock are people who created Markdown, or who are iOS programmers, or who use Photoshop, or who have elaborate writing workflows.
None of those …
Most popular blogging platforms or themes made for them support some kind of link post format as an alternative to a regular, “this is my own original content” post. The idea is that you can link to something somewhere else on the web, and add your comments in your own post. Typically the link post title links to another site, and there is a permalink URL to your own post.
I don’t plan to write a lot of link posts, that’s not the point of my site, but I knew it would be nice to do so whenever I like without having to step outside my blog post shortcuts and blog post template archetypes and manually edit things. To support this, I added the ability in all my section and home list and single article pages to check for a front matter variable called “linkurl”.
Here’s what …
On my generously sized list of improvements I need to make to this site are a couple of image handling items. I crossed off one of those today, after going down a Rabbit Hole while writing another post that I intended to publish today instead of this one.
Up until now, when I’ve put a screenshot image in a post on this site, I’ve just linked to it directly, which causes a couple issues. First, there’s the image sizing issue – screenshots are high resolution and so appear massive when just linked to inline like that. Second, alignment preferences and captioning can be an issue.
Hugo does have a figure shortcode, but as far as I can tell, it doesn’t have any way to set the image alignment. It does support setting a css class for the figure, but I couldn’t find a way using css to actually affect my image alignment when using the Hugo figure shortcode.
So I wrote …
This might fall into the frivolous category for a lot of people, but I make a lot of home screen icons for shortcuts I use frequently, so I enjoy the MacStories Shortcuts Icons tremendously.
I’ll even admit to going a little nutty and replacing several of my app icons on my iPhone home screen with them, using them as app launchers rather than icons for shortcuts, but that’s another story. I wouldn’t recommend that for most people, as it makes opening an app into a bounce-through-shortcuts experience.
Still, it’s fun to experiment with alternate looks that Apple won’t give us.
But if you create lots of shortcuts and put icon shortcuts to your actual shortcuts (whew!) on your home screen, these will help give personality to them as well as make them easily and quickly identifiable for you.
As someone who does a lot of work on the iPad, I have always wanted to be able to create efficient workflows for posting things to my various sites. This being a site that I own, it’s no exception.
One downside to moving the site from Wordpress to Hugo is that posting is basically a matter of putting the article content into a specific part of a markdown template, putting category and tag information into their designated part of the template, moving the edited file to the desired location for the post to appear, and recompiling the site with the “hugo” command.
I already knew I was going to make a shortcut to handle posting to the site for me, for the sake of ease and consistency. The beauty of automation is you never fat-finger a template edit and wind up having to fix something later when you notice. Also, …