Software · Mac OS X · Simon
Monitor websites and servers for changes or failures
New in 3.5.1:
(2013-04-14, R 3028)
- Fixed the Apple Mail transport method for the E-mail notifier plug-in.
- Improved the reliability of the Web (HTTP) plug-in helper.
- Added more debug logging to the Web (HTTP) plug-in helper.
New in 3.5:
(2013-03-11, R 3027)
- Moved the main functionality of the Web (HTTP) plug-in into a helper app, so any issues with it won't affect Simon.
- The Web (HTTP) plug-in now respects the charset of the source page, so for example the source of a Japanese site will be passed to filters and notifiers correctly.
- Similarly, the Preview and Show Source windows now respect the charset of the source web pages.
- Fixed some issues with the Twitter plug-in.
- Fixed some issues with the Calendar plug-in.
- Improved split handling in the Script editors.
- The Email plug-in's helper no longer appears in the Dock.
- Updated the Speech notifier plug-in to use modern APIs, and support stopping speaking while editing the notifier.
- Fixed an exception when using the FilterIndex variable in a script.
- Fixed an off-by-one error in calculating the Statistics values (they were one second higher than the actual duration).
- Increased the wait on waking from 15 to 30 seconds, to allow time for the internet connection to be ready.
- Removed the hidden preference to use the legacy Automatic email transport, as it doesn't work when building for Mountain Lion.
- Fixed a crasher when canceling a New Test editor.
- Added a license button to the Preferences window, when unlicensed, to make it easier to buy the app.
- Fixed display of license entry date in the Licenses editor.
- Improved full-screen support.
- Fixed a bunch of memory leaks.
- Updated the UI layouts to better support localization.
- Updated the German, French and Japanese localizations.
- Rebuilt for Mountain Lion using Xcode 4.
- Many changes to improve Mountain Lion compatibility.
- The standard edition of the app is now signed with a Developer ID to support Gatekeeper on Mountain Lion.
- Simon now requires an Intel Mac and a minimum of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
New in 3.4:
(2012-03-20, R 3022)
- New tests now use the Change filter by default, to avoid confusion over new tests not detecting changes. (You can of course alter that to a more specific filter, or disable it.)
- Replaced the Email notifier's Automatic transport with a new one, now called Apple Mail, that sends the message via Apple's Mail app. (Standard edition only)
- The From field is now replaced by a pop-up menu of mail accounts for the new Apple Mail transport. (Standard edition only)
- The Reply-To and X-Header fields are now disabled in the Apple Mail transport, since those are not supported by the new mechanism. (Standard edition only)
- Added a hidden preference to switch back to the old Automatic transport, just in case (it will be removed in a future version). It can be enabled via defaults write com.dejal.simon EmailUseLegacyTransport YES in Terminal. (Standard edition only)
- Also updated the SMS notifer plug-in to send email via Apple Mail, and use a pop-up menu for the From address. (Standard edition only)
- The license button in the Simon Monitor window now shows the Licenses window instead of going to the Dejal Store web page. (Standard edition only)
- Fixed issue where an offline test wouldn't check again until checked manually.
- Fixed an issue that prevented the second check of a new test from detecting a change. (Note that new or edited tests don't register a change for the first check after editing, in case the configuration was altered.)
- Fixed an incompatibility with Mac OS X 10.7.3.
New in 3.3:
(2011-12-06, R 3018)
- Enhanced the Ping service plug-in to enable specifying the number of bytes to send.
- Updated the Growl notifier plug-in to support the latest version of Growl. It no longer offers to install Growl, as that is not supported by Growl anymore.
- Where available, the Username and Password field values are now used in New/Edit Test when using the in-window Show Source and Preview buttons.
- Fixed issues where the minimum size of editor windows could keep growing, and some incorrect display behavior.
- Improved the handling of the (Success) value in the custom results table for the Script plug-in. (Standard edition only)
- Added helpful text to the Licenses window to assist with a common support query, adding an Upgrade license without the original one. (Standard edition only)
- Updated the Ping and Growl pages in the help book.
- Updated the localizations. (Standard edition only)
New in 3.2.1:
(2011-10-05, R 3015)
- Fixes for improved Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) compatibility.
- Fixed test limit in the Express edition.
New in 3.2:
(2011-08-24, R 3014)
- Added full screen support on Lion.
- Fixes for improved Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) compatibility.
- Altered the Web plug-in to eliminate the shared cache of loaded HTML, since it hasn't really been used for several years, and could cause issues.
- Now saves the legacy-format frequency values, so if you run Simon 2 it will have the correct values, instead of zeroes (and thus will remain correct when going back to Simon 3).
- Fixed a bug with the Number filter plug-in that caused it to always look for changes, instead of supporting resulting in a failure.
- Fixed some filter variables, which were incorrectly output with a doubled
- Added FilterForUnchanged, FilterForChanged and FilterForSuccess variables.
- Fixed the logic for using a filter based on Any/Success/Unchanged/Changed/Failure status.
- Fixed Kind labels on the Summary pages of the Edit Notifier and Edit Report windows, plus made them go to the correct pages when clicked.
- When creating a new service, filter, notifier or report, the editor window now opens to the Summary page, like New Test does. (Standard edition only)
- Significantly increased the maximum width of the log Details columns, and doubled the length of text logged there, so they aren't unnecessarily truncated on modern large displays.
- After deleting one or more tests, services, etc, the table selection is removed, rather than just selecting whatever happened to be after the deleted item(s).
- Removed the
Remote File Attributes service from the default ones, since it was an experimental one that wasn't supposed to be there (and didn't work). (Standard edition only)
- Altered the
FTP Directory Listing and
Samba SMB service scripts to use Username and Password custom variables instead of the TestUsername and TestPassword ones, which aren't available to scripts now. If you use either of these services, you may need to edit your tests accordingly.
- Implemented a data upgrade mechanism so existing data will get the above service script changes.
- The Script plug-in now omits the TestUsername and TestPassword standard variables from its Insert variable drop-down menu, since it doesn't use them.
- Renamed the UserName variable (that outputs the name of the user logged in to the computer) to UserFullName, to avoid a clash with the Username variable (since variables are not case-sensitive).
- Fixed an issue that prevented the Escape key from closing some editor windows in some situations.
- Dates in the tests table and logs now use your preferred date and time format (as set in System Preferences).
- Fixed log dates appearing as GMT/UTC instead of local time on Lion.
- Updated the localizations.
New in 3.1.1:
(2011-06-02, R 3008)
- Restored PowerPC (PPC) support for several plug-ins, that was unintentionally stripped out of the previous release. Sorry for the inconvenience!
- Removed the license agreement window. The license agreement can be viewed online.
- Updated the Simon Help to reflect the above change, and to match the online edition.
New in 3.1:
(2011-05-31, R 3007)
- Enhanced the Web (HTTP) plug-in to fetch cookies in the background, to improve performance and avoid a risk of hanging if the OS's shared cookie storage deadlocks.
- Added a limit on the number of simultaneous checks, to avoid overloading. By default the limit is 5. If there are already that many tests being checked, subsequent ones are queued until one finishes. The limit can be changed via a hidden preference, e.g.
defaults write com.dejal.simon MaximumActiveChecks 1.
- Improved the logic for calculating the next check time, especially for tests that were due while Simon wasn't running.
- Also reduced the minimum interval between checks from 15 to 5 seconds.
- Fixed a bug with scheduling of tests that could cause performance issues with lots of tests.
- Marking tests as viewed or unviewed now updates the log tables immediately (that action was only listed in the Activity log when the next item was listed).
- The license button now updates correctly when Simon is running for multiple days. (Standard edition only.)
- The editor windows now open to the Summary page for New and Duplicate, or to the last-used page for Edit, since setting the name is usually the first thing to do for a new test etc.
- Removed all PPC code from the Express and Free editions on the Mac App Store (the standard edition still works on PPC machines, for now).
New in 3.0.2:
(2011-04-04, R 3005)
- Changes to be compatible with the Mac App Store.
- Simon Express and Simon Free for the App Store both require Mac OS X 10.6 or later, and omit the built-in update mechanism, since updates are done via the App Store.
- Simon Express is streamlined to only include the most popular services, filters and notifiers, but has an unlimited number of tests.
- Simon Free is the same as Simon Express, except is limited to up to 5 active test configurations.
- Re-added the Japanese localization (in the standard edition only).
New in 3.0.1:
(2010-11-30, R 3004)
- Enhanced the Twitter plug-in to use a combo box for direct message recipients, and sort them alphabetically.
- Fixed an issue that prevented the MySQL plug-in from loading.
- Tweaked the help book to mention the Wi-Fi hotspot option in General Preferences.
- German localization improved.
- French localization improved.
New in 3.0.0:
(2010-11-01, R 3003)
- Simon 3 is a paid upgrade from Simon 2.
- Simon now requires a minimum of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard).
- Renamed the Notifications log as Activity, and extended it to support logging when tests start checking, and the various steps during the check (starting, stopping, service result, each filter, notifications, etc), plus other actions on tests, e.g. editing, pausing, etc.
- Added an optional Location column to the tests table. It can be shown via the View Options sheet. It shows the URL, domain, or other properties of the service, where available.
- Added a File > Save Log... command to enable saving the current log information to a tab-delimited text file. It saves just the selected lines if there are at least two selected, otherwise all lines. (You can already copy selected lines, too.)
- Sorting on the Status column now sorts so checking is at the top, followed by failure, changes, recovery, and paused at the bottom (with time-sensitive statuses in chronological order).
- Redesigned the editor windows (New / Edit Test, New / Edit Service, etc) to use separate pages instead of disclosures for each section. The old layout had grown too tall over time, so that it no longer fit on a small screen with all sections disclosed. The new layout is tidier and simpler, without losing any functionality.
- The editor windows can now be freely resized and zoomed as desired.
- Added a Summary page, that includes the name and a new Comments field, plus an overview of the values from the other pages. Click the prompt before each item to go directly to that item.
- The Username and Password fields are now only shown on the Service page when the service wants them.
- Rows can now be inserted in the notifiers, auto-pause, etc lists, rather than just adding to the end (and they'll scroll if too long for the window).
- Fixed an issue where the services in the pop-up menu in the New / Edit Test window could appear out of alphabetical order.
- Clicking the Edit Service..., New Notifier..., etc buttons in the Edit Test window now directly opens the corresponding editor, rather than opening its list window first.
- When creating a new test, service, etc, now remembers the last-chosen service in the Edit Test window, and last-chosen service, filter, notifier & report kind in the those editors.
- In the Edit Test window, the pop-up menus to choose the service, filter, notifier & report now show the new Comments text as a tooltip for each menu item, and on the chosen item, as a handy way to quickly see a description of each item.
- Added a new Filters feature, replacing the old Smart Change Detection feature in the Edit Test window. The Block filter performs the same function as that old feature, plus several other filters are supported to do other analysis of test output, and you can write custom scripts to create additional filters.
- Added a Filters window listing the available filters, and enabling adding, editing or deleting them.
- Added an Edit Filter window to add and edit filters, much the same as the Edit Notifier etc windows. It includes options to configure how the filter is used, plug-in-specific controls, and auto-pause settings.
- Added a Block filter plug-in to support the old Smart Change Detection functionality. It extracts a block of text between specified start and end text.
- The Block filter also supports new options to search from the start or the end of the input text, and search for a specific occurrence of the text, e.g. start from the 3rd occurrence from the end of the text.
- Added a Find filter plug-in. This is as easy or powerful as you want: it supports both simple text matching and regular expression searches.
- The Find filter plug-in can find one occurrence, find a specific occurrence (like for the Block plug-in), find all occurrences (outputting them separated by your choice of delimiter), or find & replace those possibilities, outputting something else for the match(es) — especially useful with regular expression searches.
- For simple text matching mode, the Find plug-in supports finding Contains, Starts With, Whole Words, and Ends With. For regular expression mode, it has a helpful menu of regular expression operators to help build expressions, including a dynamically-updating list of capture group markers for replacements.
- Find-based filters can even result in a failure if the text was or wasn't found, if desired — useful to detect text that mustn't or must be there.
- Added a Format filter plug-in. This enables the combination of values from the service and filters, via an insert variable menu, along with your own text. Handy to append the output of multiple filters, wrap something in quote marks, and other uses.
- Added a Number filter plug-in. This expects the input text to be a valid number, so is typically used after a Find or Block filter to narrow down the text. It converts the text to a number, optionally ignoring specified characters, and with a customizable decimal separator so you can match the format of the text. Then it compares that number against either a fixed number, or the number from the previous check, plus or minus some delta. It can compare using
is greater than,
is less than,
is in range or
is not in range. It then results in either a change or failure, as desired. So you can use this to detect if a disk is getting full, a price has changed by a specified threshold, a file count has changed, or many other uses.
- Added an Override filter plug-in. You can use this to alter the status of a test from Unchanged, Changed, Failure, or from a success status (the first two), or any status, into a different status, including automatically detecting if a change occurred. You can also alter the output text or error message, including using variables (similar to the Format plug-in).
- Extended the Script plug-in to work as a filter, too. This enables you to create your own custom filters using AppleScript, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, or unix shell scripts.
- Added a checkbox to the Script filter editor to control whether to merge or override the result of the script with the status of the service and any previous filters.
- Added a VariablesCSV variable, that outputs a comma-separated list of all other variable names. Potentially useful when debugging your scripts.
- Added several default filters as useful examples to get you started with these powerful new features.
Services and Notifiers:
- Enhanced the Web (HTTP) service plug-in to include checkboxes in the Cookies table: checked cookies automatically update their values (as before). Cookies with blank values are now also supported; they are not sent. New cookies are recorded automatically. So you can prevent a cookie from being recorded by listing it with an unchecked box, e.g. to send the same value every time. Session cookies are now recorded as unchecked with blank values (so are not sent or updated).
- Updated the Twitter service and notifier plug-in to use xAuth (a form of OAuth) to log in to the Twitter server, since they no longer support the old-style
- Added a FileMaker Server service, which simply checks that it can connect to a FileMaker Server, and gives an error if not.
- Added an Internet Access service, which lists applications/processes that are using internet access. You could use this with a Change filter to see when such apps launch or quit, or with a Find filter to confirm that a desired or undesired app is listed.
- Reworded the TestStatusPhrase variable to eliminate the word
just, since the event may have occurred a while ago, if it is an ongoing failure.
- Script-based services and notifiers now use UTF8 encoding (instead of ASCII) for the script source, to prevent issues with special characters in AppleScripts.
- The new VariablesCSV variable is available for services and notifiers, too.
- Notifiers have access to the new filter variables, too.
- Updated the report variables to reflect the Activity log change. The old variables will continue to work, but there is now an Activity block, and new Type, Status and Details variables.
- Separated the Pause and Resume commands in the menu and toolbars, so it is easier to pause or resume all tests when there is a mixture of paused and active tests.
- The Pause interval is now remembered as a default for next time, even across launches of Simon.
- Added optional support for Wi-Fi hotspots. When enabled, Simon tries to fetch a known value when it is first launched or after the Mac wakes from sleep, and goes into a
hotspot mode if it receives something unexpected — probably a hotspot login page. This will avoid having false failures when you have an internet connection but need to log in to the hotspot. This feature is disabled by default, but can be enabled via a new General preference if you have Simon on a laptop.
- Removed the Copy to Test function from the Preview and Source windows, since it is incompatible with the new filters features. You can easily copy selected text and paste into whichever field of whichever filter.
- Improved handling of sorting all table columns.
- Clicking the window zoom boxes will now zoom the windows to ideal sizes.
- The Dock icon now displays a
static animation while the License Assistant is displayed, to help remind that the tests are awaiting a response.
- Changed the Dock icon and status menu to show the number of Unviewed marked items, rather than the number of items with the indicated status, and to draw the yellow unviewed badge in the upper-right corner over the status triangle, instead of behind, to fit with normal badging conventions.
- The Unviewed marker is now used for failures and recoveries as well as changes.
- Fixed an issue with loading test data that could result in losing data if one of the plug-ins has a problem setting itself up.
- Added a new license level, and renamed them from
- Added a help book, using the standard Apple Help Viewer. It is only available on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and later. The help is also available online.
- Added the ability to specify whether to view help in the Apple Help Viewer or your web browser: a simple selection in the Help menu.
- Significantly reformatted the help, to fit with the normal help book styles, and updated for the changes in this release.
- Many other behind-the-scenes improvements made possible by dropping Tiger support.
New in 2.5.7:
(2010-05-03, R 2053)
- Fixed a bug in the Port plug-in where it would misbehave if the text to receive or send started with a
- character. This could affect many people, as the default Incoming Email (POP) service uses this when the server doesn't accept the login.
- Fixed an issue where a notification could fail if the TestChangeCount, TestFailureCount or TestRecoveryCount variables are used.
- Please note: version 2.6, currently scheduled for release in July, will require Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) as a minimum OS. So this may be the last version that supports Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).
New in 2.5.6:
(2010-03-08, R 2052)
- Changed the reports to trim off the filename for the OutputLocation report variable when using the file:// protocol, to avoid breaking reports like the iPhone template.
- The License window is now brought to the front when the application is activated, if it is open, to avoid it being mistakenly hidden behind the Montor window (e.g. if it is automatically hidden).
- Fixed an issue with counting the number of active tests, where it was mistakenly counting
waiting tests as active, even if they're normally paused.
- Added a hidden preference to output debug information about the internet connection (for use with the automatic offline mode). It can be activated by entering defaults write com.dejal.simon2 InternetConnectionDebugMode YES in Terminal.
New in 2.5.5:
(2009-11-25, R 2051)
- Fixed a bug introduced in version 2.5.4 with the license regeneration feature, that affected a small number of customers. Apologies for the inconvenience.
New in 2.5.4:
(2009-11-23, R 2050)
- Fixed an issue with the Calendar plug-in that caused a conflict with the SMS plug-in on Snow Leopard.
- Fixed a bug in the license regeneration feature that could cause minor back-end issues when diacritical characters are used.
New in 2.5.3:
(2009-09-10, R 2049)
- Updated the iPhone Report Template to improve the behavior of the back button and other aspects.
- Added a hidden preference to output debug information from the E-mail plug-in. It can be activated by entering
defaults write com.dejal.simon2 EmailDebugMode YES in Terminal.
- Also added a hidden E-mail plug-in preference to use the recipient's SMTP server instead of the sender's, via
defaults write com.dejal.simon2 EmailUseRecipientServer YES.
- Added Japanese localization, thanks to Koichi Matsumoto.
- Enhanced Snow Leopard compatibility.
New in 2.5.2:
(2009-06-16, R 2048)
- Added exception handling to the Web plug-in, to catch any low-level errors that occur there. Mac OS X 10.5.7 seemed to introduce a bug with URL connections that could sometimes get stuck when reading cookies.
- Added a hidden preference to output debug information from the Web plug-in. It can be activated by entering defaults write com.dejal.simon2 WebDebugMode YES in Terminal.
- Updated the Twitter plug-in to use the latest version of the MGTwitterEngine, which fixes issues related to the Twitpocalypse. Simon wasn't affected, as it always fetches the latest tweets, but good to be up-to-date anyway.
- Changed the Report output to avoid making URLs lowercased when outputting the Location variable.
- Fixed an issue that could prevent finding licenses in very rare circumstances.
New in 2.5.1:
(2009-02-20, R 2047)
- Fixed a bug that could sometimes prevent the new SMS notifier plug-in from loading.
- Minor tweak to the SMS plug-in UI layout.
- Removed the Spanish localization, since it hasn't been updated (if anyone wants to take over maintaining it, let us know).
New in 2.5:
(2009-02-15, R 2046)
Services and Notifiers:
- Added a SMS notifier plug-in to send Simon notifications as text messages to your phone. It has two modes of operation: via the Clickatell SMS gateway service, or via email to your phone provider. For both methods, this plug-in enables you to easily add multiple phone numbers to send messages to, and you can pick them from your Address Book if desired. Clickatell is a paid service; you need to sign up for an account with them, and they charge for each message. The email mode is free, other than any charges you may incur for receiving text messages. This plug-in was kindly written by Daniel Ellis.
- Renamed the Basic plug-in as Web, and extended it to also act as a notifier. So you can now use it to get or post to a web page when a change, failure or recovery occurs, e.g. to run a PHP script to log a failure or perform some other action.
- Added a S.M.A.R.T. Status service. This script checks the S.M.A.R.T. status of all mounted disk volumes, ignoring volumes that don't support reporting S.M.A.R.T. status. Results in a failure if a problem is detected.
- Added a Drive Status service. A script service to check drive capacity threshold, S.M.A.R.T. status, and RAID health. A more comprehensive check than the S.M.A.R.T. Status service. Results in a failure if a problem is detected. Kindly written by Scott Haneda.
- Added a Pulse service. This script simply causes every check to result in a change. This can be useful, for example, to have Simon email you (via a change notifier) at a desired frequency, to reassure you that Simon is on the job.
- Added a Post to Simon Wall notifier. This is a demo of the Web plug-in operating as a notifier. It does a Post to the Dejal website, adding a line to the Simon Wall page. You are welcome to use this notifier if you wish, or can duplicate and modify it to post elsewhere.
- The E-mail notifier now alerts you if the To or From fields aren't filled in, since that is a common cause of issues.
- Changed the E-mail notifier plug-in when using the Automatic method to connect to the sender's SMTP server instead of the recipient's, since that is more correct.
- Added Automatically add www. and .com if omitted checkbox to the Web plug-in's Service options. It is on by default, but you can turn it off to disable this automatic formatting if you need to enter a URL without a top-level domain, e.g. for WebDav.
- Fixed a bug in the Web plug-in's handling of the parameters and cookies tables, where an exception could prevent adding new ones when editing existing tests.
- Fixed a bug with loading new default services and notifiers, where they could vanish after relaunching if no changes were made manually after updating. If you deleted any of these, they may re-appear with this update; just delete them again, and they won't re-appear.
- Changed the URL display in the Save Locally report plug-in to be an editable URL, like in the Upload to Remote Server one. This enables you to edit the URL if you have a domain name for your local machine, or want to use a different variation of a file:// URL, perhaps to use localhost instead of the machine name. Clear the field to go back to an automatically determined URL.
- Changed the Save Locally report plug-in to replace any periods in the machine name with a dash, to avoid an invalid URL.
- Added LastChangeTextWithHTML and LastChangeTextWithoutHTML report variables for the Test block, so you can display the full text of the test output (between the Start and End Smart Change Detection blocks, if any).
- When a report is deleted, it now immediately stops outputting and removes its timer to avoid reporting again, as you'd expect.
- Added a Convert Domain/IP command to the Edit menu. If a field with a domain name or IP address is active, this command will change the domain name into the corresponding IP address, or vice versa. If there are multiple possible matches, a menu is displayed to enable you to choose the best one. Note that converting a domain to an IP then back to a domain may result in a different domain, if it is on a shared hosting server.
- Changed the Add/Remove buttons below tables in the Preferences, Web (HTTP) and Script plug-ins to use small square buttons instead of round ones, to fit with the modern convention.
- Fixed a rare issue where some plug-in settings could be unexpectedly modified when canceling an editor.
- Fixed an issue with the Preferences window, where edits might not be saved when quitting with the window still open (specifically when an edit is still active).
- Removed the old crash reporter, since it doesn't support Leopard crash logs.
- Updated the built-in Kagi purchasing tool to the latest version, which fixes some issues with Leopard.
- German localization improved.
- French localization improved.
New in 2.4.2:
(2008-09-03, R 2043)
- Updated the Mount service and notifier plug-in to work around an Apple bug that sometimes causes remote volumes to not unmount properly.
- Updated the Twitter service and notifier plug-in to the latest version of the Twitter engine.
- Now bundles the latest version of the iPhone report template; previously was bundling an older version that didn't work quite right.
- Fixed an issue with the RSS Feed report template, where the pubDate value wouldn't validate in some RSS feed readers.
- Fixed a bug in the Port helper that prevented it from working properly with slow servers.
- Added more logging to the Port helper to help diagnose difficulties sending text to the remote server, that solved the above issue.
- Added a hidden preference to output debug information from the helper for the Upload to Remote Server report plug-in. It can be activated by entering
defaults write com.dejal.simon2 RemoteWebDebugMode YES in Terminal.
- Fixed a bug with setting the TestLastRecoveryDate and TestLastRecoveryTime notifier variables that caused them to output the previous recovery date and time when a recovery occurs.
- Improved the date variables to output
never when appropriate (instead of a date in the distant past), e.g. if outputting the failure date when the test hasn't failed yet.
- Fixed a bug in the Spanish localization that prevented the Check for Updates feature from working.
New in 2.4.1:
(2008-06-22, R 2042)
- Fixed a bug with building the session script for the Port plug-in.
- Fixed a bug where a server that returns binary data could cause a Port-based test to fail, with an exception logged in the Console. The binary data is now correctly recorded as hex values.
- Added a hidden preference to output debug information from the helper for the Port plug-in. It can be activated by entering
defaults write com.dejal.simon2 PortDebugMode YES in Terminal.
- Also added a similar hidden preference for the Ping plug-in. Activate via
defaults write com.dejal.simon2 PingDebugMode YES in Terminal.
New in 2.4:
(2008-05-12, R 2041)
- Changed the test scheduler to better queue the checks. When multiple tests are to be checked at once, they are added to a queue, and checked at the interval specified in the Advanced preferences (one per second by default — set to zero to always check immediately). This helps spread out the load, and provides more accurate results. The Next Check column in the tests table shows
queued manually when multiple tests are queued via a Check Now command, or
queued and a time interval if queued automatically when due.
- Now records and displays the Check Duration and Failures Time to one decimal place — now it'll show that a check took 0.3 seconds, instead of just rounding down to zero.
- Added a preference to use simplified status triangles, by popular request. Normally, Simon displays a green upwards triangle icon when there is a new change, and the green slowly fades to grey as time goes by. Similarly, it shows a red downwards triangle for a failure, which changes to an orange upwards triangle when it recovers, and that fades over time. With this preference, you can choose to have it simply use red for a failure, bright green for a new change, and a lighter green for success (older change or recovery).
- Fixed a cosmetic issue with paused tests. If a test was paused for a specified time interval, and it was due to resume while Simon wasn't running, the status icon was being left in the paused state until the test was next checked. It's now set appropriately.
Services, Notifiers and Reports:
- Added a Calendar notifier plug-in, that enables you to add events or tasks to iCal, or events to Google Calendar. Failure and recovery events even cover the actual downtime range. This plug-in is only available when Simon is running under Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or later.
- Added a Twitter service plug-in, that enables you to monitor Twitter updates, direct messages, friends, followers, and more for changes and/or failures. For example, have Simon notify you when someone follows or un-follows you, or someone posts an update (even if you don't follow them), among other possibilities.
- Added a Twitter notifier plug-in; use it to send updates or direct messages to yourself or others via the popular Twitter service. View Simon notifications anywhere you can see tweets — on the web, in Twitterrific, or on your cellphone.
- Added Incoming Mail (POP) via SSL, Outgoing Mail (SMTP) via SSL, Mount Volume, Network Time (NTP), Port Available, SNMP Status, and TCP Port Scanner services.
- Added APC Masterswitch and Growl Change notifiers.
- Now new services, notifiers and report templates that are bundled with a Simon update are automatically added to the available ones — previously existing users would have to create them manually. It only adds them if they are new, so if you don't want any, you can delete them and they won't unexpectedly come back at the next update.
- Extended the Port service plug-in to operate as a notifier plug-in too. It is the same as for services, but includes fields for the domain, username and password.
- Fixed a long-standing issue with the Port plug-in's helper, where it could get impatient while receiving text from a slow server. It now waits for a little while if it doesn't receive what it wants, in case the desired text is on its way.
- The Ping service plug-in now supports the Smart Change Detection and Preview features. So you can now look for changes in parts of the ping output, if desired, and preview the ping session to see what is received.
- The Application service plug-in also now supports the Preview function.
- Fixed a bug with the Post method of the Web (HTTP) service, where the final form boundary was missing, which upset some finicky web servers.
- Fixed a bug with the Speech notifier plug-in, where the volume slider was only accepting zero and full volumes.
- Fixed a minor bug in the Script service plug-in, where adding a second
Success custom result would cause it to not be deletable; now only one
Success is allowed.
- Added iPhone and Variable Test report templates, kindly created by Joe Savelberg. The iPhone template is a simple iPhone web app to allow browsing the Simon monitoring from your iPhone or iPod touch. The Variable Test template shows all of the report variables and what they output, to assist in creating or customizing templates.
- Added the ability for plug-ins to specify a minimum required OS version, so they can leverage new technologies.
- Added general service and notifier variables: AppDataPath, AppLanguage, AppName, AppRelease, AppURL, and AppVersion. These output information about Simon, for use in scripts, etc.
- Also added UserComputer and UserName as general service and notifier variables, to output your computer's name and your name, in case these are useful for scripts, speech, or elsewhere.
- Added test-specific service and notifier variables: TestChangeCount, TestFailureCount, and TestRecoveryCount, that output the number of changes, errors, or recoveries that have occurred for the test. Useful for example to determine in a script if this is the first failure or just an ongoing failure, if the option to only notify for the first one is off.
- Changed the TestStatusType variable to output tidier values: Failure, Recovery, Change, Unchanged, etc.
- The Preview window for non-web services now displays the source text while performing the check, instead of waiting till done, so you can see what it's doing.
- Fixed a cosmetic bug with the Check for Updates feature when using a general release and wanting only general releases, and a beta release is available.
- Updated the built-in Kagi purchasing tool to the latest version, which fixes some issues with Leopard.
- Updated the French and German localizations.
- Added Spanish localization, thanks to Oscar A. Mata T.
- Switched the distribution method to ZIP archives instead of disk images, as it's simpler for everyone. Feedback welcome!
New in 2.3.5:
(2007-11-26, R 2037)
- Improved the notifications to avoid notifying again if the test is already failing; it used to notify again if the error was slightly different, but that's usually just annoying. You can turn off the
Only notify once for each failure checkbox to get repeatedly notified until recovery.
- Improved the SSH service to avoid protocol identification warnings in the Console.
- Fixed an issue with the FTP service where it had the wrong default protocol, which caused the incorrect Edit Test view to be displayed.
- Improved the FTP service to work with the Security section of the Edit Test window, allowing checking secure FTP sites (without having to prepend the username and password to the URL).
- Fixed a bug with the Basic service plug-in where it would mistakenly look for cookies for FTP services, which while harmless most of the time, can cause crashes in some situations.
- Fixed a bug in the MySQL notifier plug-in where the Password field wasn't enabled correctly when using notifier-specific authentication.
- Fixed a minor typo in a couple of report templates.
- Fixed the tooltip for the
keep backup checkbox in the Advanced preferences.
- Enhanced the URLs for the Help menu to better support localization.
- Updated the built-in Kagi purchasing tool to the latest version, which fixes some issues with Leopard.
- Updated the French localization.
New in 2.3.4:
(2007-10-17, R 2036)
- Fixed a bug with the optional status menu (on the right-hand-side of the menubar) where the item contents would be duplicated if it was toggled off and on.
- Fixed a build issue with the previous release that broke Mac OS X 10.3.9 compatibility.
New in 2.3.3:
(2007-10-15, R 2035)
- Changed the way the test scheduler works, so checks are started one second apart (actually at the check interval set in the Advanced preferences), instead of using the overlap prevention feature that was there, since that could cause difficulty when there are lots of tests (like more than 60).
- Improved the report feature to allow digits in test detail URLs, to avoid duplication when several test names differing only by numbers are used.
- Improved the Local Web report plug-in to include index files in URLs when saving to a file://-based location.
- Added a SummaryPath report variable, which is the same as BasePath unless a file:// protocol is used, in which case it has the index filename appended.
- Updated the default report templates to use SummaryPath on the bottom of the detail pages.
- Updated the Growl framework to the latest version.
- Fixed a cosmetic bug with disclosure triangles in the editor windows, where for example a test with multiple notifiers assigned would only show the first one if the disclosure triangle was in a collapsed state when the window was opened.
- Updated the German localization, to fix some missed resources and improve some translations.
New in 2.3.2:
(2007-09-05, R 2034)
- Fixed a bug that sometimes prevents the License or Setup Assistant windows from displaying.
New in 2.3.1:
(2007-08-27, R 2033)
- Rewrote the Port service plug-in to use a helper app to do the work, to avoid instability caused by multithreading and resource usage issues.
- Added support for the Preview function for the Port service plug-in. It displays the session script at the top, and the actual transcript of the check at the bottom.
- Changed editor windows to not reuse the window instances, to avoid issues with windows appears incorrectly in some circumstances.
- Added German localization, thanks to Manfred Brandstäter.
- Updated French localization, thanks as always to Philippe Bonnaure.
New in 2.3:
(2007-07-18, R 2032)
- Added a Mount plug-in, that can be used both as a service and notifier. It can mount a local, AFP or SMB volume, and optionally dismount it again. Useful as a service to check that the volume is available, or as a notifier to mount or dismount it if required.
- Enhanced the Script plug-in to work as a notifier too. The Script plug-in is the most powerful one, allowing custom services and now notifiers to be created based on AppleScript, shell scripts, Perl, Python, etc. One sample notifier script is provided; if you have suggestions for notifier scripts, or want to submit your own creations, please let us know!
- Infrastructure changes to support unified Service/Notifier/Report plug-ins. If there are any Service plug-ins you'd like to see as Notifier ones, or vice versa, let us know!
- Added support for loading plug-ins from standard locations outside the application itself. Plug-ins can be placed in ~/Library/Application Support/Dejal/Simon/Plugins (which is created automatically when first running this version), or similar paths at the root and network directories. Such plug-ins will override ones bundled with the app.
- Simon plug-ins can now be installed in the data folder by double-clicking on them in the Finder. An alert will offer to copy them to the appropriate folder for you. (Note: plug-ins are not currently distributed separately, but this feature will make it easy to do so in the future.)
- Changed the Basic service to use authentication that persists for the session (i.e. until Simon quits) rather than no persistence, to make it work with a few sites that require that.
- Disconnecting from a Port service session is now done on a secondary thread, to avoid blocking if it has difficulty.
- Added the ability to set a timeout interval for individual tests: it's in the Options section of the Edit Test window.
- Increased the default timeout interval to 3 minutes.
- Added a test option to allow checking when you don't have an internet connection. By default, a test goes into an Offline state if there isn't a connection, but it may not matter for some tests, or you might want to be notified if your connection is down.
- Added the ability to set second-based checking intervals, by popular request. It is constrained to a minimum of 15 seconds currently. Also added month units, for completeness.
- Added a new TestStatusPhrase variable for services and notifiers that uses English words to describe the status of the test, e.g.
just failed ,
just recovered ,
recently recovered ,
not changed , etc. Useful for use in email notifiers, scripts, etc.
- Also added new TestLastEventDate and TestLastEventTime variables, so the same notifier text can be used for changes, failures and recoveries, if desired.
- Updated the graphing framework to the latest version, and adjusted the drawing to work better for the checks chart.
- Previewing a test now synchronizes the current plug-in settings, fixing an issue when previewing after changing something would use the old values till the next check.
- Improved URL tidying to recognize
localhost, and not automatically add
.com around it.
- Resetting the statistics, logs, etc for a test that is currently paused will now leave the status as paused; before, the status would be reset too, making it look un-paused while still being paused.
- Fixed a memory leak when stopping a Port-based check or report output.
- Fixed an issue with the license assistant when an Upgrade license is needed.
- Fixed an error that a few people experienced when checking for updates.
- Some optimizations in the Simon Assistant window.
- Now uses the Leopard-native window style when running under Leopard (10.5), or the custom one under previous OS versions. Plus other minor tweaks for Leopard compatibility.
New in 2.2.2:
(2007-03-23, R 2030)
- Updated the Specific DNS service plug-in to work with the version of the dig unix tool that ships with the latest Macs.
- Added a little more exception logging, to help with diagnosing any future issues.
- Worked around a known bug in the OS, where resources aren't freed properly if there are no user events (e.g. while Simon is working for a long time without human interaction).
- Fixed a possible cause of instability when closing the Preview window.
New in 2.2.1:
(2007-02-19, R 2029)
- Fixed an issue that affected some people, particularly those who use Apple Remote Desktop or similar remote control products, where Simon would erroneously display
offline, some icons would disappear, and sometimes other cosmetic issues. This was a tricky one to track down, managed with the kind help of a customer. If anyone still experiences these symptoms with this release, please let me know ASAP.
- Improved the reliability of the Script service plug-in, so it doesn't terminate the script before all output has been received.
- Changed the Web (HTTP) service's plug-in to not record session-only cookies, to avoid issues with servers that get confused with such cookies in a different check (session).
- Fixed an issue with the Growl notifier plug-in that prevented it from working properly under Mac OS X 10.3.9.
- Fixed an issue with the Specific DNS service plug-in, where it didn't report a failure for some machine configurations.
- Added test check overlap prevention. During automatic checking (i.e. not when manually starting a check), if a test is already being checked when another is due, the latter waits till the former is done. The upshot being that only one test will be checked at a time, providing more reliable check times, and avoiding using too many system resources.
- Added improved exception logging, to help with diagnosing any future issues.
- The Check Now menu items for the Source and non-web Preview windows are now correctly enabled.
New in 2.2:
(2007-01-04, R 2026)
- Changed the Simon Monitor window to use a modern
flat metal style instead of the less fashionable
brushed metal style. Also got rid of excess margins around the controls, again in keeping with modern style conventions.
- Enhanced the splitters. You can now hold Option while dragging a splitter to resize the window at the same time as moving the splitter bar. Also added drag areas to help move the splitters, now that they are only one pixel wide.
- Changed the default sort order of the tests table to the Name column.
- The tests are now not checked until the Simon Monitor window first appears, to avoid confusion during the assistants.
- Changed the offline display in the Next Check column of the tests table to include the next check time.
- Offline checks are now included in the checks log.
- Now displays
none in the optional Last Downtime column in the Simon Monitor window if the test has never failed.
- Now stops all Tests when you sleep the computer, and waits for 15 seconds after waking to allow time for networking to be re-established.
- The Tests table in the Monitor window is now not updated when the application is automatically hidden, to decrease processor usage.
- Removed the proxy fields from the New/Edit Test window, as they are no longer used — it now uses the proxy settings from the System Preferences.
- Can now drag a URL from a web browser or elsewhere to the Simon Monitor window, to quickly add a new test.
- Added new Script service plug-in. This is a very flexible tool, allowing you to create your own services very easily using AppleScript, a shell script (with any shell), Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, or any other scripting systems available via the Unix command line.
- The Edit Test window options for the new Script service includes a display of instructions and fields of custom variables for the script to use.
- The Edit Service window's options include a text area where the instructions can be written, tables of custom variables and result messages, menus of script types and variables to insert, the script source editor, and buttons to run, build, get more scripts, and load and save the script.
- A number of example service scripts are provided online on the Simon Extras page, and bundled with Simon for new users. Existing Simon users should download the ones they want. If you write a script that others might find useful, please share it! Save it and send it to Dejal.
Basic Service, used by Web (HTTP):
- Replaced the implementation of the Basic service plug-in to eliminate dependency on the old CURLHandle framework, which wasn't Universal.
- This service now supports checking secure https:// sites — a much-requested feature!
- It now also supports checking feed:// and file:// URLs.
- Added tables to display and allow editing URL parameters and cookies.
- Automatically remembers cookies and uses them for subsequent checks. Cookies that require user interaction (like logging on to a web page) can be set via the Preview window.
- Enhanced to support the POST method in addition to the default GET, to allow posting form data. You can try it via an Example Forms page if desired. It also now supports the more esoteric HEAD, OPTIONS, PUT and TRACE methods.
- Simon now allows checking sites with bad server certificates. These can occur when for secure sites that use their own certifying authority, or an expired one, but these issues aren't relevant for Simon, so shouldn't interfere with loading pages.
- Added a MySQL service plug-in, kindly written by Daniel Ellis. It allows connecting to a local or remote MySQL database and performing a query, to ensure it is working correctly. (You'll need to add the service first if you've previously used Simon.)
- Added a Specific DNS service plug-in, also written by Daniel Ellis. Unlike the older DNS plug-in, which simply uses a default DNS server, this new one allows using a specified DNS server to look up the domain name, and optionally matching against an expected IP address.
- The Port service now includes all service variables. For historical reasons, it accepts either TestUsername or Username, and TestPassword or Password, as equivalent.
- Improved the error handling in the Port service plug-in to log the specific error returned by the server even if no error handling command is specified.
- Changed the default Outgoing Mail (SMTP) service to include the TestURL variable after the helo command, to accommodate servers that require that.
- Added a MySQL notifier plug-in, kindly written by Daniel Ellis. Like the new MySQL service, it allows connecting to a local or remote MySQL database and performing a query, e.g. to add an entry to a table.
- Added a Growl notifier plug-in, also written by Daniel Ellis. This allows using the popular Growl notification service to display floating alerts when a test changes, fails, or recovers.
- Updated the Pantomime third-party framework to the latest version, and rebuilt it as a Universal binary. The SSL option in the E-mail Notifier should now work properly (please let me know if it doesn't work for you).
- Added TestStatusExact and TestStatusType service and notifier variables to give the current status of the test; the difference is that the Exact one indicates how long the status has been in that state.
- Also added TestLastRecoveryDate and TestLastRecoveryTime service and notifier variables, to compliment the existing TestLastFailureDate etc ones.
- Added CheckDateShort and CheckTimeShort variables, that output the date and time, respectively, in ISO order and without any separators, e.g.
172453. Useful in filenames etc in scripts (e.g. see the Screenshot script).
- Added TestChangeDifferenceWithHTML and TestChangeDifferenceWithoutHTML variables, that have just the text that is different, as used by the Smart Change Detection feature, with or without any HTML tags. These variables are also available for reports, along with DifferenceWithHTML and DifferenceWithoutHTML for the Change block of reports.
- Added TestLastError service and notifier variable.
- Added TestUsername and TestPassword as notifier variables.
- Added a Script preference page, to allow editing the default script types, script font, and foreground and background colors in the Script service. If there's another script type I should include by default, please let me know.
- Added a Logging preference to display change differences without HTML tags, like the above variables. Useful to see the page text without obscuring HTML. It is off by default to preserve the old behavior.
- Enhanced the preference to automatically start the app on login to remove any other copies of the app, in case you set it when the app was in a different location.
- Changed the default preference for double-clicking on a test to edit it instead of preview, since it is more general, particularly with tests that don't support previewing.
- Added a confirmation sheet for the Restore Defaults function in the Preferences window. The confirmation can be disabled or enabled via the General page.
- Fixed a bug where new Tests sometimes weren't being saved.
- Fixed a bug preventing FTP Services from working.
- Fixed an exception with writing out tests in some timeout situations.
- Fixed a minor issue where the position and current page of the Preferences window might not be remembered if quitting with that window open.
- Fixed some obscure bugs that could lead to crashes when using the Preview window for some people.
- Fixed a minor cosmetic issue where the Dock icon could show the status after being reset while quitting.
- Fixed a bug where the date in the optional Last Recovery column in the Simon Monitor window was set for new tests.
- Fixed a bug with the View Options sheet where the absolute/relative option for the Next Check column wasn't working quite right.
- Fixed the Duplicate function; it was using the default Kind instead of the appropriate one.
- Fixed the E-mail notifier when using multiple addresses with the Automatic transport.
- Fixed a crasher when closing the Capture Session window of the Port notifier while still connected.
- Fixed a bug that affected only the Application and new MySQL service plug-ins, where an error from the first check after adding it would be ignored.
- Fixed a bug where editing a service made the selected service in the Edit Test window inappropriately jump to the first one.
- Fixed a bug where the Check Now toolbar button drew over the Stop Check state via thread-based service plug-ins like MySQL.
- Added a Setup Assistant window to allow importing URLs from browser bookmarks files or HTML files.
- Integrated the license agreement and options into the assistant.
- An integrated Kagi purchasing tool is now included, allowing purchasing without leaving the app.
static in the Dock icon now continues during the Setup Assistant window, just for fun.
- Enhanced the Check for Updates feature to include the release notes of new versions, among other improvements.
- Removed the superfluous initial frame and dissolve of the splash window, so Simon now starts faster.
- Now uses the more elegant unified title and toolbar look in all windows, other than Preferences (which sticks with the conventional page-switching style).
- Enhanced the Preview window so it works with the new Script service in a special transcript mode. It now also includes a status icon at the bottom, and improved progress indicators. Also renamed it from Preview Page to just Preview, since it is now used for more than web pages.
- Fixed an issue with the helper used by the Reports feature, where sometimes the last file uploaded could be incomplete.
- Removed the feedback and e-mail options from the Help menu, as the Dejal Forums is now the preferred support avenue.
- Changed the Feedback toolbar icons into Forums ones.
- Replaced the
As the Apple Turns default test with Apple's Mac OS X downloads page, since the former is no longer being updated.
- The Dejal company logo has been redesigned by Emily Pfeifer, so all places it occurred have been updated.
- Updated the French localization.
- Updated the User Guide.
- Built as a Universal Binary for PowerPC and Intel architectures.
New in 2.1.1:
(2006-01-19, R 2014)
- The Tests table in the Monitor window is now not updated when the application is hidden, to decrease processor usage.
- Fixed an issue with the columns shown by default in the Tests table of the Monitor window. It was showing the new columns by default, when they should be hidden.
- Fixed a bug in the Reports feature where braces in change difference text could confuse the template variable parser, resulting in an infinite loop.
- Fixed the Reports handling of the Length parameter, to avoid truncating the value in the middle of an encoded character (e.g.
- Adjusted the minimum size on the Capture Session window to avoid it being resized too small for the content.
- Fixed a crasher that affected some people, when disconnecting in the Capture Session window for the Port service.
- Fixed a security issue where a Port service password could be displayed (e.g. on a report); the password is now masked.
New in 2.1:
(2005-12-15, R 2013)
- Added a View Options sheet to the Monitor window. It allows adding or removing columns in the Tests table of the Monitor window, and allows specifying whether to use relative times or absolute dates for each date column.
- Added new columns for the Tests table, available via View Options: Last Downtime, Last Error, Last Event, Last Check, Last Recovery, Last Check Duration, and Last Change Difference. These new columns aren't included by default.
- The Tests table now automatically hides its vertical scrollbar if all of the tests fit, and has a horizontal scrollbar, if needed.
-- in the Last Changed column, just for ACE. :)
- Removed the tooltip on the Tests table, as it isn't really useful and just gets in the way.
- When checking all tests, or multiple at once, Simon now waits for one second between starting each, to spread out the load. This interval can be altered in the preferences.
- Added a significant new feature: HTML reporting. Simon can now generate HTML pages at a specified frequency (e.g. every 5 minutes) to let you watch it remotely. By default, reports include a Summary page that is similar to the main Tests table in the Simon Monitor window, listing the included tests and the status and time since the last change, failure, etc. Each test name is a link, that when clicked takes you to a Detail page for that test, with more information, including tables of recent changes, failures, etc.
- The reports can use custom templates to match your website design. Several templates are provided built-in, including a simple HTML text one, one that uses CSS and icons, a RSS feed, one that creates tab-delimited text files, and one that can be embedded in your existing site. Updates and user-submitted templates are available via a new Simon Extras page.
- Added a Save Locally report plug-in. You can use it to save reports to your Personal Web Sharing folder, or any other location.
- Added an Upload to Remote Server report plug-in. It outputs the reports to a remote server via FTP, so you can view them in a web browser on a different computer — anywhere with web access.
Tests, Services, Notifiers:
- Added a section to the test editor window for Reports, allowing specifying whether the test is included or excluded on all reports, or on specific reports. The latter allows separate reports for just some tests, e.g. for each of your clients, or groups of sites.
- The File > Preview Page and Show Source menu items are now available in the test editor window, as alternatives to the in-window buttons.
- Renamed the File > Add and Alter commands (and their corresponding toolbar buttons) as New and Edit, respectively, for increased consistency.
- Updated the test, service and notifier editor windows to use the New / Edit terminology, and to use just OK for the buttons.
- Added a File > Duplicate command (and toolbar button) to make a copy of a selected test, service, notifier, or report.
- The Preview and Source windows now automatically show and hide their scrollbars as necessary.
- Changed the underlying implementation of the Port service plug-in to improve efficiency.
- Enhanced the E-mail notifier to support an Automatic transport option, which is now the default. If chosen, Simon will attempt to use a SMTP server specified in the computer's mail settings that corresponds with the From address you specify, which will usually be valid if you have used Apple Mail or a similar mailer. The custom SMTP and Sendmail options still remain in case you want or need to override this.
- Enhanced the Speech notifier to avoid multiple notifiers speaking over the top of each other. They will now politely wait their turn.
- Added a new General preference to allow disabling the unviewed indicator on the Dock icon and status menu.
- Removed the Dates preference page, now that those options are in the View Options sheet.
- Added a slider to the Advanced preferences page to control the new interval between starting checks; you can set to zero to restore the old behavior, or up to 10 seconds.
- Fixed a bug with sorting the Time column of the Failures table.
- Fixed a crasher with the Port service in rare situations.
- Fixed an occasional crasher after closing the Preview window while a page is still loading.
- Disabled the Show Source feature for the Port service, as it no longer works with the improved service plug-in handling.
- Fixed an issue with the French localization that prevented the Find License (Chercher la licence) feature from working.
- Sped up the splash dissolves; now twice as fast (half a second each).
- Added Last Recovery to the tooltip information in the status menu.
- Added a Help > Simon Extras command to allow quickly getting to the new Simon Extras page.
- Updated the User Guide for the 2.1 release.
- This is a free update for licensed Simon 2.0 users.
New in 2.0:
(2005-08-01, R 2007)
- Changed the Monitor window to use a textured style (i.e. metal), and rearranged the layout to be more attractive, including using a different kind of control to switch log viewing modes.
- Moved the Statistics area into the paged area, allowing more space for the stats, and for the Checks, Changes, Failures and Notifications tables.
- Increased the font size and default column widths of those tables, to make them more readable.
- Increased the maximum length of text shown in the Changes: Difference column from 50 to 200 characters.
- Added a Service column to the tests table on the Monitor window, that lists the name of the Service for each test. The column preferences are reset so it shows up.
- Changed the images used for marking unviewed changes in the Monitor window, and renamed from Mark as Flagged to Mark as Unviewed, to make the function clearer.
- Added a Services toolbar button, and included the Mark Viewed toolbar button by default.
- Added a Mark All Viewed item to the Dock menu to quickly clear the new change indicators for all tests.
- Now shows the elapsed time next to the
now when checking; useful for slower Services like Ping, and when a server is very slow in responding.
- Improved the appearance of the custom widget used in the Automatically Pause and Notifiers features.
- Added a search field, that allows searching for any values in the currently displayed log.
- Added a new Checks log, that lists each Test check that is performed, including how long the check took and what the result was.
- Significantly improved the efficiency of the log handling; Simon should now update faster when clicking on Tests and performing checks.
- Now uses a proper spinning progress indicator in the Status column while checking.
- The Monitor window can now be hidden via the Window > Close command and the window's close widget. When hidden, Simon is deactivated, but remains running, and will use less processor time (as it won't bother updating the window contents). Re-activating Simon will re-show the Monitor window.
- Added a pie chart to the Statistics page, that shows the number of successes in green and the number of failures in red.
- Added a bar chart to the new Checks page, that shows bars for the recent checks (or topmost ones in the table, if viewing in a different sort order). The lengths of the bars represents the duration of each check, and the color corresponds with the status of each check. For example, a failure after 40 seconds would appear as a red 40-length bar, and a new change after 2 seconds would show as a bright green 2-length bar. The chart can be made larger by dragging the splitter bars to the left and above.
- Changed the splitter bars to use an enhanced edition, allowing more flexible control of them. You can double-click on them to collapse them.
- Added a new View menu, that includes commands to change between the various log (and statistics) pages, to show or hide the logs, and show or hide the Changes bar chart (when viewing that log).
- Implemented support for the Edit > Copy command from all of the Monitor tables. You can now select any number of lines in the Tests, Checks, Changes, Failures, or Notifications tables and choose the Copy command to place them on the Clipboard as styled and plain text, so they can be pasted into e-mail messages, text documents, or other applications.
- The tables in the Monitor window now use an alternating background color, to help view across the columns.
- Changed the default toolbar configuration in the Monitor window.
- Each localization now remembers its own toolbar configuration, for people who use both localizations.
- Added horizontal scrollbars to the Changes and Failures pages on the Monitor window, since their text is often too long for the window width.
- Clarified the wording of the Checking Options in the Add/Alter Test window.
- Added ellipsis to the buttons in the Add/Alter Test window, to clarify that they open new windows.
- Also now removes the line under the toolbar in the Monitor window when running under Tiger.
Services & Notifiers:
- Added new Services and Add/Alter Service windows. A Service encapsulates a specific kind of check that can be performed, e.g. HTTP, Ping, DNS, etc. These windows allow adding new kinds of Services based on the available plug-in modules, and configuring options for existing ones. Several Services come built-in.
- Modified the Add/Alter Test window to use the new Services.
- Added a powerful new Port Service plug-in. This is a very flexible Service, supporting checking virtually any server type, e.g. POP, SMTP, DHCP, AFP, etc. It engages in a Telnet-like conversation, receiving text from the server and sending a response depending on the value received. This conversation can be configured in the Services window. It can even send usernames and passwords as needed. Simon comes pre-configured for several server types, and you can add others via a helpful Capture Session panel that records text received and sent in a telnet-like session. (We would like to hear of other Port Services that you think should be provided by default.)
- The Add/Alter Test and Notifier sheets are now independent windows. This means they can now be moved anywhere on screen, and you can open multiple windows at once, e.g. to copy some settings from one to another, or compare them.
- Added a Automatically Pause Notifier feature to the Add/Alter Notifier window, so notifiers can be paused just like tests. This is useful to avoid being interrupted (or woken up) by an unimportant notifier at an inconvenient time, while still performing the checks.
- Now uses the Pause sheet for services and notifiers too, so services and notifiers can be manually paused for a specified period of time, instead of just indefinitely.
- Rearranged the Add/Alter Notifier window to be more similar to the Add/Alter Test window, with disclosure triangles for the various sections.
- Generalized the timeout mechanism so it works for all Services, not just the HTTP and FTP ones.
- Updated the engine for the E-mail notifier (the Pantomime framework) to the latest version.
- Major reorganization of the plug-in modules to enhance their functionality.
- Changed the way the
Only notify if failure notified recovery setting in the Notifiers works. It used to only use the recovery Notifier if that same Notifier was also used for a failure. But since a given Notifier is usually only used for failures or for recoveries, not both, it makes more sense to use the recovery Notifier if any failure Notifier was used, so that's what it now does.
- Removed double-encoding of complex URLs for the HTTP Service, to avoid issues where some complex URLs couldn't be monitored.
- Changed the Ping Service to use the average time rather than the maximum time to determine a failure, to even out transient delays that can lead to insignificant failure reports.
Source & Preview windows:
- Enhanced the Source window to show a transcript of the previous Port session, allowing text to be copied for the Smart Change Detection feature (yes, that works for Port Services too — e.g. so you can get Simon to tell you when new mail arrives in your POP mailbox).
- Added support for a Find panel in the Source and Preview windows.
- The Preview window now uses the Safari rendering engine for the web page preview; much better quality than the old preview.
- Added an optional status menu in the right-hand side of the menu bar, which remains visible in all applications. It contains the same commands as the Dock menu, plus lists all of the Tests. Choosing a Test does some operation, defined in the preferences: either a specific action, or displays a sub-menu listing several operations so you can choose at the time (this is the default). Hover over a Test item to see a tooltip with information about it (dates, etc).
- Reimplemented the Preferences window to simplify it. Removed the Show All, Prev and Next buttons, plus the Show All page. Also rearranged the page layout to move the Help button to the right, to conform with Apple's conventions. Plus many behind-the-scenes improvements.
- Added options to the General preferences pane to control whether or not to show the new status menu, and what to do when selecting a Test in that menu.
- Added a preference to automatically hide the Monitor window when Simon is deactivated. It will automatically re-appear when Simon is re-activated.
- Moved the logging preferences from the General preference pane to a new Logging preference pane.
- Merged the Cache and Frequencies preference pages into a new Advanced page.
- Renamed the Restore Factory Settings buttons on the Preferences pages to simply Restore Defaults.
- The default data location is now different: it is now within a Dejal sub-folder of the Application Support folder, instead of Preferences. The data will be read from the old location if not found in the new one. The data folder location can be changed via the new Advanced prefs, if desired.
- If there are no Tests, Services and/or Notifiers data files, default ones are used. The default files include a starter selection of each type of data to serve as examples and aid in evaluating the application.
- Now the startup splash window is displayed as a normal window, so doesn't cover other applications' windows if you launch multiple apps at the same time. Also, the Monitor window isn't displayed until after the splash has been removed.
- Fixed a minor layout issue with the E-mail Notifier plug-in.
- Fixed a bug that could prevent the steppers in the Auto-Pause area from working.
- Fixed a bug where the app could get into a strange state if two different tests have the same URL.
- Fixed a cosmetic issue in the Add/Alter Test window where the Notifier pop-up menu would be completely empty if there are no Notifiers of the appropriate kind.
- Fixed a minor bug with deleting a Notifier where it would still be listed in the pop-up menu in any open Add/Alter Test windows until the Notifier mode is changed.
- Fixed a bug where unexpected behavior could occur if an invalid URL scheme is used with the Basic Service plug-in.
- Fixed a bug where Simon could
hang (infinite loop) when calculating the next due date for a Test.
- Fixed a cosmetic bug where the statistics area could display
NaN for new or reset tests until the next app launch.
- Fixed an issue that could cause delays in accessing menus and some other operations.
- Fixed failure on startup if the TrebuchetMS font is missing (it is used in the splash window).
- Fixed a memory leak with the Notifications log.
- Fixed a bug where a Web Service would continue checking the old location after it is altered until Simon is relaunched.
- Fixed a bug where navigating around the Preview page would change the URL in the Test.
- Fixed a bug where canceling an edit of a Service or Notifier could result in some changes being stored anyway.
- Fixed a bug in the Ping Service where it sometimes wouldn't notice some of the fields in the Add/Alter Test window. If you use the Ping Service and it doesn't seem reliable, Alter each affected Test to make sure all values are up-to-date.
- Doubled the number of Tests allowed for each license level. Basic now allows up to 7 Tests (was 3), and Standard allows up to 20 (was 10). Enterprise of course remains unlimited. Also increased the limits during the evaluation period. Licensed version 1 users who haven't upgraded retain their old limits.
- Enhanced the Licenses window to include more information, support finding lost licenses, support the new upgrade licenses, and more.
- Added support for a crash reporter, so in the hopefully unlikely event that the app crashes, you can provide information that may be very helpful in tracing the cause. The information may be sent anonymously, and only if you choose to send it.
- Major upgrade of the User Guide for the 2.0 release.
- Updated the Guide buttons to the new style.
- Updated the help URLs throughout Simon.
- Upgraded to the latest development tools under Mac OS X Tiger, and many behind-the-scenes improvements.
- This is a paid upgrade from Simon 1.x.
- Now requires a minimum of Mac OS X version 10.3.9.
New in 1.2.2:
(2003-09-26, R 1018)
- The automatic adjustment of next check times is now done after the window has finished loading, to avoid displaying the content immediately, and thus speeding up the startup.
- If the preference to check all tests on startup is turned on, it is now done 5 seconds after completing startup, to give other areas time to settle down.
- Now sets the default preferred release type for the Check for Updates feature based on the type of release first used. If you first use a beta release, it's safe to assume you are comfortable with beta releases, so you are notified of new ones. Otherwise you are only notified of new general releases. You can of course override this in the Updates preference pane.
- Fixed a bug with the quit confirmation preference.
New in 1.2.1:
(2003-09-03, R 1017)
- Fixed a bug where multiple tests added or altered at the same time, with the same test kind, could end up with the same settings for the test plug-in (e.g. the URL). If you added or altered any tests with version 1.2, please confirm that they are correct after upgrading to the latest version.
- Corrected some User Guide and Dejal site URLs in the French localization.
- Updated the CURLHandle framework (which is used by the HTTP and FTP test plug-ins) to use the latest version.
New in 1.2:
(2003-08-22, R 1016)
- Added a Ping test plug-in, that supports sending a variable number of packets, and can count the ping as a failure if the response time or packet loss are over configurable limits.
- Added a DNS test plug-in, to check that a domain name can be found — any kind of server. Doesn't prove the server is actually up, but just that the computer knows where it is.
- Added an Application test plug-in, that checks that an application is present, and optionally that it is currently running. If it isn't running, you can use a Launch notifier to re-start it automatically. The Smart Change Detection feature can be used to detect upgrades or other alterations, and the Visit Site function can be used to switch to (or launch) the application manually.
- Rearranged the Add/Alter Test sheet to group the various sections under disclosure triangles, so people with smaller screens can hide bits they aren't interested in. The disclosure states are remembered for next time.
- Added a flexible Automatically Pause Test feature to the Add/Alter Test sheet, that allows suspending a test on any combination of days and times, e.g. if the server is restarted at 03:00 every day and offline for maintenance on Sundays from 10:00 to 12:00.
- Changed the Notifiers selection section of the Add/Alter Test sheet to use an expanding list like the new Automatically Pause Test feature, for consistency and a better user experience.
- Improved the implementation of the plug-in architecture.
- Added a plug-in architecture for test types.
- Migrated the two existing test types to a plug-in.
- Added a Restore Factory Settings button to each of the preference panes, that changes the preferences in this pane back to the recommended values. Also corrected tabbing in the Updates pane for people with full keyboard access enabled.
- Updated the engine for the E-mail notifier (the Pantomime framework) to the latest version.
- Made a number of minor improvements to the handling of links to various pages on the Dejal site throughout the app.
- The Help > Dejal Orders menu item and the Buy... button in the Licenses window now display the Dejal Orders page with the appropriate application already selected.
- Some behind-the-scenes improvements to increase efficiency of the main application controller.
- Now doesn't report a false failure when the computer is put into sleep mode during a check.
- Fixed a bug where the data files could grow rather large, due to old log entries not being deleted.
- Fixed a minor issue with the Speech notifier plug-in.
- Updated French localization.
New in 1.1.2:
(2003-03-20, R 1.2)
- Changed the default Smart Change Detection Start Text to omit the close bracket, to allow for sites that have parameters in their tag.
- Fixed a rare issue that could prevent the splash window from fading out correctly.
- Fixed a bug that could result in an undesired notifier being used for a test.
- Fixed some text in the French localization of the menus and the e-mail notifier pane.
New in 1.1.1:
(2003-03-08, R 1011)
- Fixed a rare issue where certain valid serial numbers could be rejected as invalid. Only relevant for customers who license Simon when using version 1.1.
- Fixed some text in the French localization of the preference panes.
New in 1.1:
(2003-03-07, R 1010)
- Added an E-mail notifier plug-in. It is similar to the Speech notifier, with a text area for the body of the e-mail, that supports variables. It also has fields for the addresses and other headers. The Subject and optional extra header value also support variables. The To and Cc fields can utilize Mac OS X's Address Book: type part of an address or person's name, and the field will auto-complete with the first match, and others can be listed by clicking on arrow of the combo box (or pressing the Down Arrow key). The plug-in also has a panel to allow using multiple SMTP servers or Sendmail tools.
- Added a Launch notifier plug-in. This allows launching an application by itself (equivalent to double-clicking on the app in the Finder), launching a document with its default application (equivalent to double-clicking on the document in the Finder), or launching a document with a specified application (equivalent to dropping the document on the application).
- Now determines whether or not there is an active internet connection before performing a site check. If not, it displays
offline in the Next Check column and flashes a special symbol in the Status column and on the Dock icon. It keeps looking for an internet connection, and performs the check as soon as it is available. Useful for dial-up users, people who sleep their computers while Simon is running, and DSL outages, to avoid false failure reports.
- Added a Flag column that displays a yellow flag icon when a test changes. The icon is removed when the test is subsequently selected, or the site viewed. When one or more tests are flagged, a yellow sunburst badge is displayed on the Dock icon, behind the status triangle. This is useful to help you keep track of which sites you have looked at since they changed.
- Added a Marked as Flagged command to the Edit menu, and a corresponding Toolbar button for the Monitor window (which is not included by default). This feature allows you to manually toggle the Flag column icon on and off, if you wish.
- Added a checkbox to the Add/Alter Notifier sheet to make a recovery notifier only be used if a failure notifier of the same kind has already been used for this failure. Used in conjunction with the checkbox to only use the failure notifier once per failure, this will allow, for example, being notified after 15 errors, and not receiving a recovery notification if the test recovers before the 15th check.
- Added Show Simon Monitor, Show Notifiers, and Check All Now commands to the Dock menu, and renamed the pause command.
- Added a Feedback toolbar button to the various windows, and a Provide Simon Feedback menu item to the Help menu. They display a feedback form in your browser. Please use it to tell us what you think of Simon, to report any bugs, or make feature requests!
- Added a splash window in the shape of the Simon icon's
screen, that fades in and out. A nice Cocoa effect. Desirable as loading the Simon Monitor window can take a noticeable amount of time when there are a number of tests.
- Added animated
static on the Dock icon when starting and quitting, just for the fun of it.
- Added a checkbox to the Add / Alter Test sheet to allow excluding specific tests from being checked when choosing the Check Now command with no tests selected, or on startup (if the preference to check all on startup is on).
- Now remembers the positions and widths of the columns in the Simon Monitor window.
- When a test is paused, the status column now changes to a pause symbol.
- The previous status of paused tests are now not included when determining the status for the Dock. Also, when all tests are paused, the Dock icon changes to a pause symbol as a reminder.
- Replaced the application icon with a much nicer looking edition.
- Rearranged the Speech notifier user interface to make it work better on smaller screens.
- Changed the keyboard equivalent for the Preferences command to Cmd-, which is the new standard for Mac OS X 10.2.
- Renamed the File > Pause Testing menu command as Pause Test.
- Updated the credits in the About Simon window.
- Improved the wording of the beta release startup alert panel.
- Clarified a wording inconsistency in the Software Update mechanism, where running a Beta release with the preferences set to indicate you are only interested in General releases would report the previous General release as a newer version.
- Fixed a bug where the notifications weren't being cleared when using the Reset Statistics command.
- Fixed a bug where notifications weren't being logged (but were still performed) for a newly-added test, until after Simon was restarted.
- Fixed a bug in the logic for failure notifications, that could have resulted in some missed notifications if you have more than one notifier for a test.
- Fixed a bug where stopping checking of a site that was previously down would mark the test as recovered (just the status icon). Now more correctly restores the previous status.
- Fixed a minor cause of console log messages.
- Fixed a rare bug in extracting the changed text for display, that could cause a test to appear to be continuiously tested when it is in fact done.
- Fixed a bug that prevented the scrollbars in the notifiers tables on the Add/Alter Test sheet from activating when there are more than four notifiers of a given type.
- Simon now requires a minimum of Mac OS X 10.2. If you run it under a previous OS version, an alert panel will remind you and offer to download Simon 1.0, which works under OS X 10.1.x.
- Rebuilt with the December 2002 developer tools.
- French localization and User Guide updated to reflect the changes in version 1.1.
New in 1.0:
(2002-12-06, R 1004)
- Simon is now localized for the French language, thanks to Philippe Bonnaure.
- Added an Action notifier plug-in. It includes several attention-getting actions that can be performed, including options to bounce the dock icon, bring the Monitor window in front of other windows in Simon or all applications, display the Source or Preview windows, or open the page in your web browser. Any combination of these options can be performed when notifying.
- Completed the Speech notifier plug-in, including adding several variables.
- The Sound notifier plug-in now caches the notification sounds for faster playing.
- Improved the change logging. If the changed text is long (greater than 30 characters), the text is analyzed and only the difference is logged. Also, Return and Linefeed characters are replaced by special symbols, so the entire change can be viewed on one line.
- Enhanced the Check Now command so it can be used for more than one test. You can now check all tests at once if you wish. The Next Check Date is adjusted if one or more tests are selected, but not if none are, to avoid making them always check all at the same time. This enhancement is great for people who use Simon as an ad hoc site change checker rather than leaving it running to monitor sites.
- Added a preference to automatically check all tests when Simon is started. This ensures that that statuses for all tests are current when Simon is started, and is useful for people who use Simon as an ad hoc site change checker. This preference is on by default.
- Now remembers the position of the splitter bar in the Monitor window. Also, the bottom portion of the window can be collapsed by dragging the splitter bar to the bottom.
- Also now remembers which page of was being displayed in the Monitor window: Changes, Failures, or Notifications.
- Added a Select None command to the Edit menu, that deselects all of the lines in the currently selected table.
- Added a General Preference field for the maximum number of notifications to remember.
- Implemented the Pause Notifying function.
- Improved the Dock icon badge to use the most recent event (change or failure), rather than a hierarchy of the statuses, with the exception that a current failure will always override anything else.
- Implemented a cleanup of obsolete notifiers listed for the test when the Add/Alter Test sheet is opened.
- Altered the content of the Licenses window: removed the optional Organization field, as it just caused confusion.
- Renamed the
Last Changed column in the tests table as
Last Change, and renamed the
Last Error column as
Last Failure, since those titles are more accurate.
- Changed the default value for failure notifiers from 30 to 1. 30 may be suitable for e-mail notifiers, but 1 is better for sounds and others where you want to know immediately.
- Fixed an issue with long change log entries; they are now only displayed to 50 characters, greatly speeding up display.
- Renamed the main monitor window from just
- Fixed a bug where notifiers wouldn't be deleted until another one was added or altered.
- Changed the default sort column from the Next Check Date column to the Last Change column.
- Reversed the logic of the Pause/Resume toggle, so it offers Resume if any tests are paused.
- Fixed a bug where some notifier plug-in settings wouldn't be remembered properly if adding more than one at a time.
- Fixed a minor issue where the license agreement panel would be displayed when downgrading as well as upgrading.
- Fixed some issues with the license serial number algorithm.
- Plus other a number of other minor changes.
(Translations: Is Czech, Danish, English, French, Italian, Japanese or Swedish your first language? If you find any
Denglish translations on this page, do not hesitate to inform us by email. Thank you!)
New in 3.5.1:
- Fixed the Apple Mail transport method for the E-mail notifier ...
- Improved the reliability of the Web (HTTP) plug-in helper.
New in 3.5:
- Moved the main functionality of the Web (HTTP) plug-in into ...
- The Web (HTTP) plug-in now respects the charset of the ...
New in 3.4:
- New tests now use the Change filter by default, to ...
- Replaced the Email notifier's Automatic transport with a new one, ...
Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or higher. Intel based CPU required.