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This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies. Posted in: Widget Central

EasyEnvelopes widget

Author Message
moki



Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Rochester, NY

Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 - 5:26 pm    Post subject: EasyEnvelopes widget Reply with quote

We're almost done with our free envelope printing widget for Dashboard, EasyEnvelopes

It's an envelope printing widget that integrates with AddressBook, handles any size envelope, graphical return addresses, is fully international-friendly (with specific formatting for various countries), and also works great as a quick one-off envelope printer.

Here are some finalized UI screenshots:





It's fully international-friendly, we're actually just finishing up some work on the Japanese localization (Japanese envelopes are "interesting" Wink )
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Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.
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BagOfHammers



Joined: 03 Jul 2005
Posts: 167
Location: under the lucky hippo tree

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 - 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. Thanks for working on a variety of envelopes!

This looks awesome. If it works as great as it looks, I'll definitely see what I can do with it!
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moki



Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Rochester, NY

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 - 10:56 pm    Post subject: [ANN] -- Ambrosia releases EasyEnvelopes 1.0.0! Reply with quote

Rochester, NY -- August 19, 2005 -- Ambrosia Software, Inc. announced today the release of EasyEnvelopes, a FREE MacOS X Tiger (10.4) widget for Dashboard that makes printing envelopes a breeze! It can be downloaded here:

http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/easyenvelopes/



You can use EasyEnvelopes to quickly print a one-off envelope, or utilize its tight integration with Address Book which allows you to quickly find a person's address to print an envelope for. It handles USPS bar codes for both 5 and 9 digit bar codes, and boasts many time-saving nicities.

EasyEnvelopes works with any country's addressing format, and is fully international-friendly and localizable. It lets you control the size of your envelope, the formatting for the return address and mailing address, and much more. Print envelopes the quick and easy way with EasyEnvelopes!

Ambrosia Software, Inc. - publisher of award winning programs for the Macintosh and Windows - distributes a full line of utility, productivity, and anti-productivity (game) software through the Internet as shareware. Unregistered versions of Ambrosia's products on CD can be obtained at Ambrosia web site, http://www.AmbrosiaSW.com/ or by calling Ambrosia's order center at 585.325.1910
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Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.
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cerberus



Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 118

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 - 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is a significant milestone for Dashboard and for DBW. IMO, Ambrosia is one of the most important Mac developers.

I notice that this widget is freeware and now it will be interesting to see how Ambrosia handles the incessant requests they will receive for Snapz, WireTap, and games widgets... Really I am not sure there could be an advantage to having them as widgets, but maybe Ambrosia will find one ?

I do want to see some games widgets. I am not a gamer, I do not have the time or whatever, but I like to take a break and do something easy and quick to unwind: such as a round of MiniDropper or DashDots or VideoPoker.

I don't have a printer so this widget will probably not be useful for me, but I hope Ambrosia will make more cool widgets.

cerberus
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moki



Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Rochester, NY

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 - 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it's worth, I think Dashboard isn't the best thing for the vast majority of games... reason being a lot of people play small games while they are doing something else. Dashboard doesn't lend itself to that very well, it's an in and out modality.

I will say that I think a lot of cool things can be done with Dashboard, and the surface has barely been scratched. It will take some out of the box thinking to come up with the truly useful ideas for Dashboard widgets though.
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BagOfHammers



Joined: 03 Jul 2005
Posts: 167
Location: under the lucky hippo tree

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 - 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only games I've looked at that seemed fitting to the Dashboard were ones either retro-arcade or puzzle/mental games, essentially, ones I could enjoy briefly.

But there are other options that are just as much or more convenient for playing such games, such as as apps or in Safari. At least for me, games on my Dashboard weigh it down. However, the kind of useful functionality that some widgets, like this Easy Envelopes offer make an efficient use of the Dashboard environment.

Not being a developer, I don't know about the potential of game widgets, but I'm not a big fan of complex games for the Dashboard. I too would rather see fun and creative yet simple and minimalistic games. A major difference is that this Easy Envelopes widget is designed to facilitate a task, make it simpler and more efficient to print envelopes, and so forth. This actually adds to the overall usefulness of my machine. I'd like to see more widgets that make new things possible or make existing capabilities more accessible (and therefore more useful), like this one does (both, I think).
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moki



Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Rochester, NY

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 - 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BagOfHammers wrote:
A major difference is that this Easy Envelopes widget is designed to facilitate a task, make it simpler and more efficient to print envelopes, and so forth. This actually adds to the overall usefulness of my machine. I'd like to see more widgets that make new things possible or make existing capabilities more accessible (and therefore more useful), like this one does (both, I think).


Agreed. The real power of Dashboard is giving people quick access to things; this requires developers to rethink how they might approach designing something. If EEW were an Application, it would be designed differently than it is as a widget.
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Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.
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cerberus



Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 118

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 - 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

moki wrote:
For what it's worth, I think Dashboard isn't the best thing for the vast majority of games... reason being a lot of people play small games while they are doing something else. Dashboard doesn't lend itself to that very well, it's an in and out modality.

I will say that I think a lot of cool things can be done with Dashboard, and the surface has barely been scratched. It will take some out of the box thinking to come up with the truly useful ideas for Dashboard widgets though.


I have dev mode enabled all the time, and this puts a 180 degree twist on modality since once a widget is dragged to the desktop, it floats on top of all app windows, and it can take over or surrender window focus (e.g. to receive keyboard events) just like any other window.

So if you never used EasyEnvelopes right directly next to Address Book and could just click between them without entering the Dashboard layer, then you are gonna be pleasantly shocked to discover how "EasyEnvelopes" can save users more time than you thought.

I think about 60% of my enthusiasm here is from dev mode. When I started my first widget, it was more a way for me to explore my interest in programming on the Mac.. But once I tried dev mode, Dashboard was not just a cool toy to me anymore. I suddenly felt I was writing.... like...real software... or that suddenly I was on the right track and pointed in the right direction to someday do that.

No sir ! Actually the Dashboard layer is for hiding the games totally when the boss/spouse/parent/pesky sibling/telephone interupts your game, the advantage is that most widgets halt execution when hidden and then continue where they left off when shown again (if they follow Apple's basic guidelines), so this is really nifty and flexible too.

I think you understand where I am coming from because you and I discussed the WireTap UI when it was first being developed and the solution you came up with for the release version works very well for me. The WireTap UI feels just like a widget in dev mode. But a widget in dev mode has 2 clear advantages.

1. It will persist over restarts (without adding to startup items), until it is closed .. easy easy easy ! (It is up to developers to make widgets recall their settings status over restarts. Mine do, so it can't be that hard for a developer like Panic, but whoever made the Transmit widget missed it entirely.)

2. Skinning... If you write a widget plug-in for WireTap and let the users decide what color and shape to make the UI; that would be about one step more complex than "Hello World" for the users. And WireTap would get to wear brand new clothes.

cerberus
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moki



Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Rochester, NY

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 - 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're currently wrapping up EasyEnvelopes 1.0.1, which fixes a number of bugs. We also added a cool new feature for people who are space-conscious with their widgets; check it out:

EasyEnvelopes Mini

Smile
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Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.
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BagOfHammers



Joined: 03 Jul 2005
Posts: 167
Location: under the lucky hippo tree

Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 - 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neato...like the minimize idea!
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moki



Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Rochester, NY

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 - 10:04 pm    Post subject: EasyEnvelopes 1.0.1 released! Reply with quote

Rochester, NY -- October 17th, 2005 -- Ambrosia Software, Inc. announced today the release of EasyEnvelopes 1.0.1. This minor revision to the free envelope printing widget for MacOS X Tiger (10.4) may be downloaded here:

http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/easyenvelopes/



EasyEnvelopes 1.0.1 features the following changes/enhancements:

-- Added the ability to minimize the widget by clicking on the postmark; this saves Dashboard screen space when EasyEnvelopes is not in use

-- Fixed a number of bugs where EasyEnvelopes would not properly recognize/use addresses from Address Book that were entered using older versions of Address Book

-- EasyEnvelopes widget is now a "Universal Binary", meaning it is native for both PowerPC and Intel

-- Enhanced the Japanese envelope printing support, making the envelopes printed by EasyEnvelopes properly formatting in both horizontal and vertical Japanese formats

-- Added a Traditional Chinese localization and customize Chinese envelope printing support

-- Added buffer space around return and mailing addresses so that ornate fonts are no longer clipped

-- Added localizations for Swedish, Dutch, and German

-- Other bug fixes and enhancements

You can use EasyEnvelopes to quickly print a one-off envelope, or utilize its tight integration with Address Book which allows you to quickly find a person's address to print an envelope for. It handles USPS bar codes for both 5 and 9 digit bar codes, and boasts many time-saving nicities.

EasyEnvelopes works with any country's addressing format, and is fully international-friendly and localizable. It lets you control the size of your envelope, the formatting for the return address and mailing address, and much more. Print envelopes the quick and easy way with EasyEnvelopes!

Ambrosia Software, Inc. - publisher of award winning programs for the Macintosh and Windows - distributes a full line of utility, productivity, and anti-productivity (game) software through the Internet as shareware. Unregistered versions of Ambrosia's products on CD can be obtained at Ambrosia web site, http://www.AmbrosiaSW.com/ or by calling Ambrosia's order center at 585.325.1910
_________________
Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.
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