10 Years of Making Apps

The Daily Ollerum


How to ship your app DOA

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Yes, you could ship a completely buggy, unusable app. You could also write something none needs. But you could also clone a successful app and sell it for 99 cents.

I use ForkLift on a daily basis, meaning: they know how to write good apps. But why do they have to go down that stupid path?

Happy Easter!

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Bordlerless Printing and Backdrop Images with Bill

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As of Version 1.8, Bill allows borderless printing and therefore the use of your existing invoice designs as backdrop images since many of you requested that.

But let me be clear: Writing software for more than one user always has to do with compromises and making the best out of what is available to you. Using WebKit and allowing you to use HTML and CSS to create your pixel perfect invoice designs has many, many, many advantages – but, of course, and as always, some drawbacks.

WebKit and printing being a bitch is the biggest. WebKit and proper paginated printing is the queen of all bitches.

It took me four months and two Apple engineers to build a working solution for proper paginated printouts with footer using WebKit. But this only works when there actually is a border that I can manually draw the footer onto afterwards using really ugly C code. That’s the way you have to go if you want the resulting PDF to be searchable, which you really want; and your customers as well :–)

So – if you want to print borderless – not only must your design and printer support this, but the footer will also be gone.

If you want to use your existing design as a borderless backdrop image – not only must your design and printer support this, but the footer and the searchability (for your company details in PDFs) will also be gone.

If you want to use a backdrop image and want to have a nice footer on each page – you will have to live with a border.

Pro Tip: The » Mark my Water Template is a good starting point for that…

If using your existing design is more important to you and you don’t want to build it completely in HTML and CSS, you can use it as a backdrop image and print out borderless with Bill. Of course, this requires some setup and some work.

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1. Create the Backdrop Image

WebKit (at least in the way Bill makes use of it) is pixel based, meaning you need to use/create a pixel based image of your design with at least 300 PPI and with the correct measurements (e.g. 8.5 x 11 inch for US Letter) needed for your printouts. Just directly using the PDF with only 72 PPI will probably not work and look pixelated on printouts. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about here, just get in touch with the the designer who created your invoice design in the first place :–)

Then just drop that PNG or TIFF image onto the ‘Logo Image View’ in the Bill Preferences and enable the ‘Print borderless’ option.

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2. Create the matching Design

By using the » DesignBuilder, an app like » SimpleEdit, or the Design tab within the Bill Preferences you can create (or modify) a template that matches your existing design.

Here you will find the build your own design » Tutorial.

Pro Tip: The » JustDropIt! Template is a good starting point for that…

Yes and again, you need to know what you’re doing and some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. But don’t you worry! I’ve got you covered: The » DIVs for Dummies Tutorial.

What you need to know about WebKit and paginated printing recap: WebKit is a bitch! Meaning you may have to tweak your design (and sometimes your backdrop image) a little in order for you printouts to fit perfectly.

Care for an example? Here you are: Sizing the backdrop image with CSS to 8.5 x 11 inches may cause a page break (depending on your settings and printer) and by just tweaking it to 8.5 x 10.967 inches it will work perfectly.


Seriously, don’t complain if you still see a border on your printouts. None of the printers I use for testing is capable of printing really borderless. Should you know of one that does and that is any good – please let me know. Thanks!

My favorite TL;DR Wikipedia entry

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More tl;dr knowledge needed?

The (Currently not so) Daily Ollerum

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Heartbleed walks into a bar…

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The Daily Ollerum

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Escher! Get your ass up here.

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Richard’s guide to software development

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RIP Frankie Knuckles

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I’m pretty sure, wherever you are now, there have to be two or three Technics :–)

What I really hate!

What I really hate is Apple turning on Bluetooth again with every fucking iOS update without asking just because of their stupid iBeacon.


Update for SimpleEdit available

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Apple has just approve the latest version of SimpleEdit – Your first second text, code & markup editor- and the non Mac App Store Version is also available for direct download. This update fixes a bug with the line number view, improves support for files with corrupted headers and encoding and fixes some other minor glitches…

SimpleEdit Website
Download SimpleEdit
SimpleEdit on the Mac App Store