Archive for the 'News' Category

Snapplr 1.0

Monday, January 26th, 2009

We are extremely excited today. Snapplr finally reached 1.0! After much coding, improving, and digging around Mac OS X internals we can finally share this great utility with you.

Plans for the future are grand, but of course we cannot reveal anything yet. Stay tuned, and enjoy Snapplr!

Snapplr progress

Friday, January 9th, 2009

This year I’ve been on a trip to Rome during new year. I’ve visited Michele and we spent pretty much most of the time coding on Snapplr. After one week of rewriting the screenshot selection from scratch, we had a new beta of Snapplr available. We’re proud to say that the selection is now exactly like in Mac OS X, except that you can still decide what to do with the screenshot after it is taken.

In the previous beta one could not make screenshots of menus or utility windows. The problem was that Snapplr always activated and thus deactivated the frontmost application. That was needed because Snapplr needs the keyboard input for best usability. The system’s screen capture tool doesn’t need to activate and still receives the keyboard events. We thought that if this tool can do that, Snapplr can do that as well.

NSApplications can’t capture all keyboard events when they’re not active. This seems to only works for command line applications… and only if you do an animal sacrifice at new moon ;-). So we ended up extracting the screenshot selection into a new terminal tool that is now called by Snapplr upon activation. Unfortunately that also ment porting the NSView UI to a CoreGraphics UI.

During this week we really noticed that it totally pays out if you keep refactoring your code and if you have a good design. We could just drop a couple of classes in the main application and extract their functionality into the terminal tool without much effort.

We also updated the server-side of Snapplr. As of now it is not required to have accounts anymore. We decided that accounts are just too much of an inconvenience for the user.

The new beta is available to all existing beta users. The previous beta should automatically load the new version on launch.

Stay tuned, Snapplr just made a huge step towards final release.


Snapplr Screenshot Small


Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

I think I’ll be in Chicago tomorrow evening. I’d really love to join in for PSIG, but I don’t have any idea on how to get there best, can anyone tell me how to get there? I’ll arrive in Chicago at 5pm and I’ll stay in Downtown near Harrison-Station at the Grand Park. I guess I can’t make it to PSIG in time, but I guess you guys don’t meet up just 5 minutes 😉



Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Yesterday at Esug Conference’s Social Event the winners of this year’s Innovation Award were announced. At Georg Heeg eK I worked on seaBreeze for the last half year. I’m proud to say that our project seaBreeze won the second price. The third price was given to iSqueak, a Squeak implementation for i-devices. The first price went to Dr. Geo, a tool for schools where they teach geografie.

seaBreeze is an Interface Builder like web-application to create websites using the Smalltalk based web application framework Seaside. It is either possible to start from scratch or to scaffold a user interface and take this as a basis to start in seaBreeze.

seaBreeze is soon to be available in the Cincom Public Repository. It’s licensed under MIT License so go and try it yourself! There’s also a commercial license, in case you need warranty and support.


Cards – lightweight card manager for iPhone (and iPod touch)

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

So, a few days ago I released Cards, a freeware application for the iPhone to manage credit card. Is really easy to use and has little features, I have mostly coded it for myself but then I’ve been asked to put it on the AppStore. So, I lazily posted it on the AppStore, without doing any webpage and stuff like that.

Worst decision ever.

Apparently, a lot, and I mean a lot of people thought about something which didn’t even cross my mind: that the application may call home and report data! Indeed, there was no good reason to trust “Michele Balistreri” (I was sure I used Briksoftware name, but whatever). Now I quickly setup a page and wrote this blog post in the hope to stop triggering paranoid alerts. Thanks to the (few) ones who decided to just trust Michele Balistreri and probably Apple’s review procedure. I hope those enjoy the benefits of the application.

For those of you wondering about the purpose of the application, I’ll just say one thing: I kept my PIN codes in my addressbook under strange names because I would forget them. Not only thats not secure, but I kept forgetting which card had a certain PIN, which created awkward situations in stores.

Snapplr Beta 2

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Today we released what we call Snapplr Beta 2. In practice we’ve been releasing many updates but we now have reached some important milestones. We have simplified the first start wizard, to avoid confusion induced by the “firewalled” status that would show up quite often (correctly, but it didn’t mean that Snapplr wouldn’t work).

Now, on Leopard, Windows screenshot include shadows and we have optimized performances in Area screenshots.

We have been receiving a lot of feedback this days. I’d like to thank everyone for their support and we’ll do our best to satisfy all requests!

Snapplr’s beta: some updates

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Yesterday we released Snapplr’s beta. We thought 100 users would have been enough to gather enough feedback, and we surely wouldn’t get him in less than a week. It turns out we were wrong, there are already 200 registered users, and we think we will not pull the signup page too soon to allow more people to test the application.

Thank you very much for your interest in Snapplr!

Snapplr Beta 1

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Briksoftware is proud to announce that after months of work we finally opened the beta to our brand new tool Snapplr. Snapplr is the first product that Michele and I developed together.

Basically Snapplr is a total replacement for the system’s screenshot facilities. The only difference is that screenshots are instantly uploaded to and the link is put on the clipboard. If you have a static IP and don#t want to use, you can also host the images locally via the build in web-server. The images will be stored for 1 day currently, after that the images will be deleted automatically. We’re not sure about the time interval though, but typically you don’t need to share snaps that are older than a day.

Another very nice feature is the Live mode which allows you to choose an area, a window or a whole screen for capturing. The url is put on the clipboard and whenever you open this url it will take a screenshot and send it to the browser, perfect for showing someone what you’re working on without setting up a whole vnc session or what not.

The beta is limited to the first 100 people that sign up, so if you want to give it a try, go to and register

Press Release

Esug 2008

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

This year’s Esug Conference (the 16th!!) is going to be in Amsterdam from 25-29th August.

The weekend before Esug is Camp Smalltalk, a meeting with others from the conference where you can exchange ideas, code together with others or just hanging out with other Smalltalkers.

This is, besides C4, one of the reasons to hope the summer passes by quickly :-D.
On the other hand there’s also a bunch of parties to hope that the summer doesn’t pass by too quick 😉

Anyway, I hope to see some of you guys at one or both of the conferences!



Thursday, April 10th, 2008

For the first time me and Karsten are collaborating at a new super-top-secret-no-dude-i-really-cannot-tell-you-about-it-seriously project.

As you may know, we don’t live in the same building, or not even the same country, so we had to setup some sort of protocols.

After the initial logistic problems, we have our darcs repository in good shape and learned to avoid conflicts.

Now the process mostly goes: one implements a feature, the other makes it work properly and viceversa. This leads to this kind of dialogs: