How good is the Mac indie developer community?
Last night I attempted to use SearchLink while typing in the all new MarsEdit 5. Instead of it working as it always has, I received a confounding error:
The action “Run Shell Script” encountered an error: “-e:1778:in `scan': invalid byte sequence in UTF-8 (ArgumentError) from -e:1778:in `ddg' from -e:987:in `parse' from -e:2147:in `<main>'”
This was beyond me. I knew that MarsEdit 5 had a new foundational text editing platform, so I assumed whatever had changed was probably a bug related to that. I also tried SearchLink in BBEdit (another great Mac app made by legendary Mac developers, Bare Bones Software) and the problem appeared there too - which shot somewhat of a hole in my MarsEdit theory.
Nevertheless, I emailed Daniel Jalkut, developer of MarsEdit, with a support request. He quickly responded saying that he doesn’t use SearchLink, but would look into it.
I also sent a support request to Brett. Very quickly Brett asked a further diagonostic question, then while I was asleep (welcome to Australia-USA relations), he emailed me through an updated version of the SearchLink script. Brett had determined that DuckDuckGo, the engine powering SearchLink, was suddenly providing results in a zipped format. The new version 2.2.27 fixes the issue.
The Mac indie developer community is amazing. I thank them, and encourage you to support them by buying and using their products. Let’s keep this thing alive.