Sparkle 2.8.2, an important update!

While just a minor dot release, this version of Sparkle includes a very significant amount of engineering effort aimed at fixing many small niggles and tuning performance and memory use.

First off, support for right-to-left text is a huge addition for who writes in Hebrew, Arabic, Farsi and other right to left scripts. This was more a matter of understanding the issues than a coding problem, so many thanks to the testers who helped out.

After adding labels to galleries, a popular request was to be able to place the labels next to the gallery image, or just below it. We have unlocked this, so it’s now possible to place the labels anywhere on the page.

We found a rare edge case that would cause incremental publishing to not work, if you were affected you need to publish once to get Sparkle “back on track”, and from there on it will be publishing only changes. Hurray!

All complex software needs to strike a time-space balance, for example Sparkle’s publishing cache stores compressed images in a disk cache, this uses a bit of disk space in exchange for quicker publishing of unchanged images. Of course sometimes excessive time or space use are just bugs. We fixed a few bugs but also tuned the balance, and the result is Sparkle has never been as fast or memory efficient.

It pains us to think of Sparkle users living with buggy old versions. And it’s not just about bugs either, the web is evolving, browser bugs come and go, and the upcoming macOS Catalina and iOS 13, particularly on iPad, have changes that alter the way existing sites work, we have solved these in 2.8.2.

We really really want you all to come over to 2.8.2, please update, or let us know if there’s anything holding you back from updating.

Sparkle 2.8.2 is a free upgrade from any previous version of Sparkle, and is still compatible all the way back to macOS 10.9 Mavericks.

We believe in keeping you on the latest update so strongly that when a major Sparkle release comes, we still will want everybody to upgrade. We haven’t mentioned Sparkle 3 publicly so far, it is in the works and doesn’t have a release date yet. While the plan is not all fleshed out fully, the thinking is you will be able to continue using all the Sparkle 2.x features for free in Sparkle 3, precisely to get all the improvements and fixes to baseline features.

So how to update? If you have the AppStore version of Sparkle you’ll find the update in the AppStore itself (the AppStore sometimes needs a refresh of the updates page, or logging out and back in, the update is there). If you have the version of Sparkle from our website you can go to the Sparkle menu and select “Check for updates”.

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