05 December 2017

Panic Button 4.0.1 released!

This minor release of the new WebExtension version of Panic Button contains a few improvements. It is now available for download from Mozilla Add-ons and the AE Creations website.

If you already have Panic Button installed, it will be upgraded for you if automatic extension updates are enabled. Otherwise, open Add-ons Manager (Tools → Add-ons), then right-click on the entry for Panic Button in the list of installed extensions and choose Find Updates.

What's New
  • In the extension preferences page, the "http://" prefix to the replacement web page URL will now be added automatically if it is missing.  Also, a message appears for the Hide and Replace action, making it clearer that is not compatible with Private Browsing mode
  • The title of the extension preferences page is changed to make it less conspicuous

Things You Should Know About

This release has most of the features from version 3, but with the following differences:
  • The Hide All Windows action is not available
  • The Close All Windows action doesn't actually quit the browser, unless there are no other open windows (e.g. bookmark manager)
  • The option to set a password on the Hide and Replace action is not available
  • The shortcut key for invoking the Panic Button action cannot be changed to a different key; the F9 key for the Panic Button action can only be enabled or disabled
Also note that any customizations (e.g. toolbar button icon, custom toolbar icon image) from previous versions of Panic Button will not carry over to this new version.

Help and Support

Questions and comments about Panic Button should be directed to the AE Creations Help and Support forums, hosted on Google Groups.

20 November 2017

Clippings 6.0.1 released!

A minor update to Clippings 6 has been released, and is now available on the Mozilla Add-ons page and the AE Creations website.  This release fixes a few major issues, including the failed import of backup files that was occurring with some users.

If you already have Clippings installed, it will be upgraded for you if automatic extension updates are enabled. Otherwise, open Extension Manager (Tools → Add-ons), then right-click on the entry for Clippings in the list of installed extensions and choose Find Updates.

What's New
  • The Welcome to Clippings page will now detect if the Clippings database is inaccessible (due to Private Browsing mode turned on in Firefox, or the database is not set up correctly), and will display a message with instructions on how to fix it
  • The New Clipping dialog and Clippings Manager page will now detect if Private Browsing mode is turned on; and if so, display a message saying that Clippings won't work in Private Browsing mode
  • Bug fix: Pressing the Delete key in Clippings Manager deletes the clipping/folder instead of deleting a character in the name or content textbox
  • Bug fix: Can't dismiss folder picker popup in New Clipping dialog

Things You Should Know About

This release has most of the features from version 5.x, although there are a few which are not available; most notably:
  • Adding or editing color labels on clippings
  • No prompts for placeholder values are displayed when pasting a clipping containing placeholders. Does not affect built-in placeholders (e.g. for the date)
Other things to note about the upgrade from previous versions of Clippings:
  • Due to WebExtensions being restricted from using any keyboard shortcuts that start with CTRL + ALT, the keyboard paste key has now changed - it is now ALT+SHIFT+Y (Cmd+Shift+Y on macOS). 
  • Clippings won't work in Private Browsing mode. Your clippings will not be accessible, and new clippings cannot be created, from a Private Browsing window.
  • If there were labels on clippings in the imported data source, they will be brought over to Clippings 6 with the import; the color labels will appear on the Clippings context menu.  However, labels cannot be edited for existing clippings, or added to new clippings. This will be fixed in a future release. 

Help and Support

Known issues with Clippings 6 are listed in this blog post.

Questions and comments about Clippings should be directed to the AE Creations Help and Support forums, hosted on Google Groups. 

15 November 2017

Known issues with Clippings 6

By now, many users who have upgraded to Firefox 57 (a.k.a. Firefox Quantum) have also upgraded Clippings to the new WebExtension version.  There have been a few reported issues and questions as a result of the upgrade, and so I have compiled them here, along with answers or suggested solutions.

I'm prompted to import my backup file after the upgrade, but I didn't create one.

Problem: Some users either forgot to, or didn't get around to, creating a backup of their Clippings, or they somehow missed the user messages in Clippings 5.5 to do so, or they did not upgrade to Clippings 5.5 to see the user messages in the first place. Regardless, the clippings are seemingly "lost."

Solution: Follow these steps:
  1. Use the file manager application on your system (e.g. Windows Explorer) to find the Clippings data source location. Depending on your previous settings, it may be your Firefox profile folder, or another folder located elsewhere.
  2. Open the data source folder and locate the Clippings backup folder. It should be named "clippings-backup" or ".clipbak".
  3. Open the Clippings backup folder and locate the most recent backup file. Copy this to your Desktop or Documents folder.
  4. Open Clippings Manager, then Tools → Import, and then select the backup file.

Import of the Clippings backup file failed.

Problem: When attempting to import the clippings backup file in the Welcome to Clippings 6 page, or from Clippings Manager, the clippings don't appear.

Solution: The database that Firefox uses to store extension data may be inaccessible, corrupted or otherwise not set up correctly. Do the following:
  1. Check that Private Browsing mode in Firefox is not turned on.  Clippings won't work in Private Browsing mode.  Then restart Firefox and try again. 
  2. If that doesn't work, Refresh Firefox, then reinstall Clippings and import your clippings backup again

My clippings disappear when I'm using Private Browsing mode.

Problem: When opening the Clippings menu on the browser's context menu while Firefox is in Private Browsing mode, none of the clippings and folders appear.  They reappear when switching to a normal browser window.

Solution: None at the moment, other than to avoid using Clippings in Private Browsing mode.

The keyboard paste shortcut key has changed to ALT+SHIFT+Y.  Why?

Problem: The keyboard paste key was changed in Clippings 6 to be ALT+SHIFT+Y.  Many users are having difficulties adjusting to it, while others hate it with a passion.

Response: Get used to it.  The old CTRL+ALT+V shortcut key had to be changed because WebExtensions are not allowed to use CTRL and ALT together (apparently, it conflicts with the AltGr key on European keyboards). Alternatives were considered, but ALT+SHIFT+V displays the View menu in the top application menu bar in Firefox, and CTRL+SHIFT+V pastes as plain text.  Emacs users may find the new shortcut key to be vaguely familiar, as the paste ("yank") key used in that text editor is CTRL+Y.

I don't see the placeholder prompt dialog when pasting a clipping with custom placeholders.

Problem: In past versions, users would be prompted to fill in the value of a placeholder when pasting a clipping.  No such prompt appears when doing the same with Clippings 6.

Response: Placeholder prompts were not included in Clippings 6 due to time constraints.  There were also usability concerns with the noticeable delay in displaying popup dialogs from WebExtensions.  This will be fixed in a future release.  For now, you'll have to manually edit the pasted clipping to substitute the custom placeholders with actual values.  Note that built-in placeholders (for the date, time, etc.) will be automatically substituted, just like in previous versions.

I want to share my clippings with my other machines on my network. Can I do this in Clippings 6?

Problem: Users have set the Clippings data source location to a network share so that they can use the same clippings on different machines.  But Clippings 6 no longer stores its data in a data file like it did in previous versions.

Response: WebExtensions such as Clippings can no longer access the local file system on their own, so Clippings 6 couldn't store its data in a data source file like it did in previous versions. It now stores all its clippings in a database provided by Firefox.  For now, your options are either to manually import and export across your computers, or consider installing Firefox ESR on your machines so that you can continue to use Clippings 5.5.x and be able to access your clippings on a network share.

Need more help?

Please post your questions to the AE Creations Help and Support forums.  Be sure to read through other recent posts, as your question may already have been asked and answered.

Thanks to everyone for their patience and for sharing their feedback, bug reports and workaround solutions.

14 November 2017

Clippings 6 released!

The new WebExtension version of Clippings is now available for download from Mozilla Add-ons and the AE Creations website.

If you already have Clippings installed, it will be upgraded for you if automatic extension updates are enabled. Otherwise, open Extension Manager (Tools → Add-ons), then right-click on the entry for Clippings in the list of installed extensions and choose Find Update.

What's New
  • Compatible with Firefox 57 (Firefox Quantum)
  • The limitation on creating and pasting clippings in web pages with HTML frames has been eliminated with this release
  • Improved clippings and folders search in Clippings Manager

Things You Should Know About

This release has most of the features from version 5.x, although there are a few which are not available; most notably:
  • Adding or editing color labels on clippings
  • No prompts for placeholder values are displayed when pasting a clipping containing placeholders. Does not affect built-in placeholders (e.g. for the date)
Other things to note about the upgrade from previous versions of Clippings:
  • Due to WebExtensions being restricted from using any keyboard shortcuts that start with CTRL + ALT, the keyboard paste key has now changed - it is now ALT+SHIFT+Y (Cmd+Shift+Y on macOS).
  • If there were labels on clippings in the imported data source, they will be brought over to Clippings 6 with the import; the color labels will appear on the Clippings context menu.  However, labels cannot be edited for existing clippings, or added to new clippings. This will be fixed in a future release.

Help and Support

Questions and comments about Clippings should be directed to the AE Creations Help and Support forums, hosted on Google Groups.

Panic Button 4 released!

The new WebExtension version of Panic Button is now available for download from Mozilla Add-ons and the AE Creations website.

If you already have Panic Button installed, it will be upgraded for you if automatic extension updates are enabled. Otherwise, open Extension Manager (Tools → Add-ons), then right-click on the entry for Panic Button in the list of installed extensions and choose Find Update.

What's New
  • Compatible with Firefox 57

Things You Should Know About

This release has most of the features from version 3, but with the following differences:
  • The Hide All Windows action is not available
  • The Close All Windows action doesn't actually quit the browser, unless there are no other open windows (e.g. bookmark manager)
  • The option to set a password on the Hide and Replace action is not available
  • The shortcut key for invoking the Panic Button action cannot be changed to a different key; the F9 key for the Panic Button action can only be enabled or disabled
Also note that any customizations (e.g. toolbar button icon, custom toolbar icon image) from previous versions of Panic Button will not carry over to this new version.

Help and Support

Questions and comments about Panic Button should be directed to the AE Creations Help and Support forums, hosted on Google Groups.

13 November 2017

Clippings 6.0 beta 2 released!

This is the second beta release of the WebExtension version of Clippings. It is being made available for testing, and although it is in a fairly stable beta-quality state, expect to encounter the inevitable bugs.  If that scares you, then stick to the latest stable release.

Because this is a beta release, no automatic upgrades to this release will be available to current Clippings users.

Clippings 6 beta 2 has most of the features from the legacy versions of Clippings, although there are a few which are not available; most notably:
  • Adding or editing color labels on clippings
  • No prompts for placeholder values are displayed when pasting a clipping containing placeholders. Does not affect built-in placeholders (e.g. for the date)

What's New in Beta 2
  • Export to an HTML document from Clippings Manager. Also fixed some export bugs
  • In Clippings Manager, you can now copy a clipping or folder from the Move To dialog, by ticking the "Create a copy" checkbox
  • Extension preferences now open in a new browser tab
  • Clippings Manager intro - view it by pressing F1

Things You Should Know About
  • Clippings 5.x users: Remember to back up your clippings data before upgrading to Clippings 6! After installing/upgrading to Clippings 6, you will be prompted to import your backup file.
  • If there were labels on clippings in the imported data source, they will be brought over to Clippings 6 with the import; the color labels will appear on the Clippings context menu.  However, labels cannot be edited for existing clippings, or added to new clippings. This will be fixed in a future release.
  •  Due to WebExtensions being restricted from using any keyboard shortcuts that start with CTRL + ALT, the keyboard paste key has now changed - it is now ALT+SHIFT+Y (Cmd+Shift+Y on macOS).
  • Clippings Manager can import the legacy Clippings RDF/XML datasource file format (*.rdf files) as well as the new Clippings 6 format; however, it can only export to Clippings 6 format. To exchange clippings from Clippings 6 with other users, they need to have Clippings 5.5 or newer installed.

How to Get It

To obtain the beta 1 release, head over to the Clippings page on the Mozilla Add-ons website, then under the heading "More information", click "See all beta versions", then locate the entry for Version 6.0b2 and then click Add to Firefox.

Help and Support

Send your questions and comments to the AE Creations forums.  If you wish to report a bug, you may do so in GitHub; you will need a GitHub account if you don't have one already.

11 November 2017

Panic Button 4.0 beta 2 released!

This is the second beta release of the WebExtension version of Panic Button. It is being made available for testing, and although it is in a fairly stable beta-quality state, expect to encounter the inevitable bugs.  If that scares you, then stick to the latest stable release.

Because this is a beta release, no automatic upgrades to this release will be available to current Panic Button users.

Most features from Panic Button 3 have been ported over; however, there are some limitations:
  • The "Hide all Windows" action is no longer available
  • The shortcut key for invoking the Panic Button action cannot be changed to something else; the default is F9
  • The option to set a password for restoring the browser session (for the "Hide and Replace" action) is missing

What's New in 4.0 beta 2
  • You can now upload an image file to use as the toolbar button icon
  • Support for reverse contrast toolbar button icons - useful if a dark Firefox theme is in use
  • Extension preferences now appears in its own browser tab  

How to Get It

Note that the layout of the Mozilla Add-ons website has recently changed.  To obtain the 4.0 beta 2 release, head over to the Panic Button page on the Mozilla Add-ons website, then under the heading "More information", click "See all beta versions", then locate the entry for Version 4.0b2 and then click Add to Firefox.
 
Help and Support

Send your questions and comments to the AE Creations forums.  If you wish to report a bug, you may do so in GitHub; you will need a GitHub account if you don't have one already.

10 November 2017

Clippings 6.0 beta 1 released!

After many late nights and weekends, the first beta release of Clippings 6 for Firefox is now available from the beta channel on the Mozilla Add-ons website.

This release is being made available for testing, and although it is in a fairly stable beta-quality state, expect to encounter the inevitable bugs.  If that scares you, then stick to the latest stable release.

Clippings 6 is a WebExtension release that is compatible with Firefox 57 and newer (and will work with Firefox 56).  It has most of the features from the legacy versions of Clippings, although there are a few which are not available; most notably:
  • Adding or editing color labels on clippings
  • No prompts for placeholder values are displayed when pasting a clipping containing placeholders; a search-and-replace on placeholders needs to be done after pasting. Does not affect built-in placeholders (e.g. for the date)
  • Cannot export to an HTML document

Clippings 5.x Users
  • Remember to back up your clippings data before upgrading to Clippings 6! After installing/upgrading to Clippings 6, you will be prompted to import your backup file.
  • If there were labels on clippings in the imported data source, they will be brought over to Clippings 6 with the import; the color labels will appear on the Clippings context menu.  However, labels cannot be edited for existing clippings, or added to new clippings. This will be fixed in a future release.

Things You Should Know About
  • Due to WebExtensions being restricted from using any keyboard shortcuts that start with CTRL + ALT, the keyboard paste key has now changed - it is now ALT+SHIFT+Y (Cmd+Shift+Y on macOS).
  • Clippings Manager can import the legacy Clippings RDF/XML datasource file format (*.rdf files) as well as the new Clippings 6 format; however, it can only export to Clippings 6 format. To exchange clippings from Clippings 6 with other users, they need to have Clippings 5.5 or newer installed.

How to Get It

Note that the layout of the Mozilla Add-ons website has now changed.  To obtain the beta 1 release, search for Clippings, then under the heading "More information", click "See all beta versions", then locate the entry for Version 6.0b1 and then click Add to Firefox.

Help and Support

Send your questions and comments to the AE Creations forums.  If you wish to report a bug, you may do so in GitHub; you will need a GitHub account if you don't have one already.

05 November 2017

Issues with Clippings not working on Firefox 56

Some users have reported that Clippings has stopped working on Firefox 56.  Affected users have observed that the Clippings toolbar button is unresponsive (it doesn't open Clippings Manager), and the Clippings submenu on the browser's context menu is missing.

If you are experiencing this problem, check that you have upgraded Clippings. Multi-process browser tabs is gradually being enabled to users in recent versions of Firefox, and you need to have at least Clippings 5.1.2 in order for it to function with multi-process browser tabs.

Make sure you turn on automatic add-on updates in Add-ons Manager so that you don't miss any important updates. This is especially important for the upcoming release of Clippings 6, which will support Firefox 57 and newer.  More information on Clippings 6, as well as a call for beta testers, is coming soon.

Reminder to Firefox users: Back up your clippings!

If you haven't backed up your clippings to prepare for the upgrade to Clippings 6, do it now!  Read the Clippings 6 page on the AE Creations website to learn how to prepare for the upgrade to the WebExtension version of Clippings.

Users of Clippings 5.5.x should be seeing reminders to prepare for Clippings 6 in Clippings Manager, and in the "Get Ready for Clippings 6" menu item in the Clippings context menu in Firefox.

14 October 2017

Clippings 5.5.1 released!

This update to Clippings 5.5 fixes an issue experienced by users running Clippings on non-English locales.  It is now available from Mozilla Add-ons and the AE Creations website.

If you already have Clippings installed, it will be upgraded for you if automatic extension updates are enabled. Otherwise, open Extension Manager (Tools → Add-ons), then right-click on the entry for Clippings in the list of installed extensions and choose Find Updates.

What's New
  • For Firefox users - information on how to prepare for the upcoming upgrade to Clippings 6, available from the Clippings context menu or in Clippings Manager
  • Added ability to export to Clippings 6 and CSV files from Clippings Manager
  • Support for the new Clippings 6 file format when importing from Clippings Manager
  • The Clippings backup folder name is changed to "clippings-backup" so that it is not hidden on macOS and Linux
  • New "Show Backup Location" button is added to the extension preferences dialog, Data Source panel
  • Redesigned status bar icon for Thunderbird

Things You Should Know About

Clippings 5.5.1 requires Firefox 52 or newer, and Thunderbird 52 or newer.  It is not compatible with Firefox 57 beta.

Currently, only the English (U.S.) language is supported.  If you wish to contribute translations to Clippings, please post to the AE Creations Help and Support forums (see below), or open an issue on GitHub.

Help and Support

Questions and comments about Clippings should be directed to the AE Creations Help and Support forums, hosted on Google Groups.

13 October 2017

Clippings 5.5 issues

There have been reports from some users that Clippings no longer functions after the upgrade to version 5.5.

However, these reports are being posted to the Clippings page on the Mozilla Add-ons site, with missing details on OS, Firefox or Thunderbird version, and any error messages observed.

Without these important details, I'm unable to troubleshoot to determine the cause, and ultimately find a fix for these reported problems.

If you are encountering problems after upgrading to Clippings 5.5, please post to the AE Creations Help and Support forums.  Please indicate which version of Firefox or Thunderbird you are using, as well as your operating system and its version.  If there were any error messages that appeared, please provide the error message contents as well.  (If none were visible, open the Browser Console by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+J or Command+Shift+J, and copy/paste any messages that may appear.)

UPDATE (2017-10-14): The cause of the issue has been identified and fixed.  A new minor release of Clippings will be available soon.  For now, Clippings 5.5 is unavailable.

Clippings 5.5 released!

Clippings 5.5 is now available from Mozilla Add-ons and the AE Creations website.

This release is intended to prepare Firefox users for the upcoming WebExtension version of Clippings, which will be released in November 2017, at around the same time as Firefox 57. Learn more about how to prepare for the upgrade here.

If you already have Clippings installed, it will be upgraded for you if automatic extension updates are enabled. Otherwise, open Extension Manager (Tools → Add-ons), then right-click on the entry for Clippings in the list of installed extensions and choose Find Updates.

What's New
  • For Firefox users - information on how to prepare for the upcoming upgrade to Clippings 6, available from the Clippings context menu or in Clippings Manager
  • Added ability to export to Clippings 6 and CSV files from Clippings Manager
  • Support for the new Clippings 6 file format when importing from Clippings Manager
  • The Clippings backup folder name is changed to "clippings-backup" so that it is not hidden on macOS and Linux
  • New "Show Backup Location" button is added to the extension preferences dialog, Data Source panel
  • Redesigned status bar icon for Thunderbird

Things You Should Know About

Clippings 5.5 requires Firefox 52 or newer, and Thunderbird 52 or newer.  It is not compatible with Firefox 57 beta.

Help and Support

Questions and comments about Clippings should be directed to the AE Creations Help and Support forums, hosted on Google Groups.

05 August 2017

Panic Button/wx 4.0 beta 1 released!

This is the first beta release of the WebExtension version of Panic Button/wx, which is named as such to differentiate it from older versions of Panic Button.  It has been created in anticipation of Firefox 57, which is scheduled for release in November 2017; at that time, it is expected that older versions of Panic Button will no longer work.

Because this is a beta release, no automatic upgrades to this release will be available to current Panic Button users.

Most features that exist in Panic Button 3 are present in Panic Button/wx; however, there are some that are missing:
  • The "Hide all Windows" action is no longer available
  • Cannot upload a image file to use as a custom Panic Button icon
  • The shortcut key for invoking the Panic Button action cannot be changed to something else; the default is F9
  • Setting a password for restoring the browser session (for the "Hide and Replace" action)

How to Get It

Head over to the Panic Button page on the Mozilla Add-ons website.  Scroll down the page and expand  Development Channel.  Click on the yellow "Add to Firefox" button to install.

Help and Support

Send your questions and comments to the AE Creations forums.  If you wish to report a bug, you may do so in GitHub; you will need a GitHub account if you don't have one already.

30 July 2017

Compatibility with Firefox 57

Many users have been wondering about plans to make the AE Creations extensions compatible with Firefox 57, which is scheduled for release in November 2017, and is expected to remove all support for legacy extensions.  Clippings, Panic Button and Send Tab URLs are all legacy extensions, and would need to be completely rewritten as WebExtensions to be compatible with Firefox 57 and future releases of Firefox afterwards.

After spending the last few months studying developer documentation, developing prototypes and understanding the capabilities and limitations of WebExtensions, I have enough information to announce plans for compatibility with Firefox 57.

Clippings

Clippings will be completely rewritten as a WebExtension.  The legacy extension will continue to be supported for Thunderbird, which is not switching over to WebExtensions at this time.

Clippings will be subjected to the limitations of WebExtensions, in that many existing features will no longer be available.  Examples are color-coded labels on clippings, ability to choose data source location, backing up and restoring the data source, and exporting clippings to HTML.

For current users of Clippings, there will be a migration step that everyone will have to perform when upgrading to the WebExtension-compatible version of Clippings.  A final legacy version of Clippings will be released in advance of Firefox 57 to make it possible to perform this migration; more information on this is coming soon.


Panic Button

Panic Button will be completely rewritten as a WebExtension.  Like Clippings, it will be subjected to the limitations of WebExtensions; as a result, some features in Panic Button 3.x will no longer be available in the WebExtension-compatible version of Panic Button. Examples include the "Hide All Windows" action, custom toolbar button icons (but the 20 predefined toolbar button icons will still be available to choose from), and changing the shortcut key for invoking the Panic Button action.


Send Tab URLs

Send Tab URLs is the least-used extension from AE Creations, with 5,786 average daily users between July 2016 and July 2017, compared to 8,354 for Panic Button and 35,962 for Clippings.  I've decided to discontinue development of Send Tab URLs, and focus on Clippings and Panic Button.

04 November 2016

Panic Button 3.0.1 released!

A new minor release of Panic Button is now available from Mozilla Add-ons and the AE Creations website.

If you already have an older version of Panic Button installed, it will be upgraded for you if automatic extension updates are enabled. Otherwise, open Extension Manager (Tools → Add-ons), then right-click on the entry for Panic Button in the list of installed extensions and choose Find Update.

What's New
  • Bug fix: On Windows 10, Panic Button icons are missing (issue #25)

Help and Support

Questions and comments about Panic Button should be directed to the AE Creations Help and Support forums, hosted on Google Groups.

02 November 2016

Clippings 5.1.2 released!

A new minor release of Clippings is now available from Mozilla Add-ons and the AE Creations website.

If you already have Clippings installed, it will be upgraded for you if automatic extension updates are enabled. Otherwise, open Extension Manager (Tools → Add-ons), then right-click on the entry for Clippings in the list of installed extensions and choose Find Updates.

What's New
  • Bug fix: New From Selection doesn't work on Outlook.com (issue #77)
  • Bug fix: On Mac OS X, the bottom content of the extension preferences dialog is cut off (issue #75)
  • A message box now appears when attempting to create or paste a clipping from a web page that is inside an HTML frame, with workaround instructions

Help and Support

Questions and comments about Clippings should be directed to the AE Creations Help and Support forums, hosted on Google Groups.