Simon 4.3.1Simon 4.3.1
Monitor websites and servers for changes or failures

New in 4.3.1:
(2018-10-08, R 4034)

  • Fixed a crash when generating a remote report.
  • Further tweaks for dark mode on Mojave.

New in 4.3:
(2018-09-19, R 4033)

Mojave dark mode and compatibility
  • All of the app content has been updated to support dark mode on macOS 10.14.
  • Updated the Script Preferences to use separate foreground and background colors when in light or dark mode on Mojave.
  • Fixed the mode buttons briefly appearing when not editing, and other appearance issues on Mojave.
  • Built for Mojave (macOS 10.14), but still compatible back to Yosemite (10.10).
Added the ability to follow or not follow a meta refresh for each test
  • Added a Follow any meta refresh header to another page option in the Other section of the Web (HTTP) Service editor.
  • Meta refreshes are sometimes used to redirect to another page, e.g. <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=">. Meta refreshes to reload the same page are ignored.
  • This option is on by default. It replaces a hidden preference, and makes it test-specific.
Several improvements to the pause and auto-pause functions
  • Improved the Auto-Pause logic so it'll work for a full day (e.g. to pause all weekend, choose Weekends from 00:00 to 00:00).
  • When a test should be auto-paused when the app is launched, it is now.
  • When editing the Auto-Pause settings, the next due label is updated live (and says now if the days and time encompasses the current time).
  • If a test is paused when the Preview is shown, then the app quit, it now remains paused on launch (instead of the Preview forcing it to resume).
  • After pausing or resuming a test with the Preview shown, it is now updated to reflect the new state.
A number of refinements of services and filters
  • Changed the Script feature to support a script only outputting as an error, but still succeeding, e.g. curl.
  • Fixed a crasher when editing a test on the Filters page, for data upgraded from version 2 or earlier.
  • Fixed the Password field remembering its value in Port-based tests.
  • Prevented adding multiple Service sections to the Port-based Preview.
  • Fixed the Exclude Block filter, that timed out when trying to extract the output after the end text.
  • Improved the layout of the Context filter.
Updated the default data
  • Replaced the default Apple hot news test with Apple newsroom, using their current news URL, and updated filters.
  • Updated the default data to use https for Dejal links.
  • Removed the default FTP Directory Listing service, since macOS no longer includes the ftp command-line tool.
Plus many other improvements
  • Fixed the Preview item in the View menu not having a checkmark when selected.
  • There was hardcoded logic to ignore a failure if more than 3 minutes from starting, to cope with the Mac sleeping during a check. Now uses a minute past the timeout interval, so it works better with long test timeouts.
  • Removed the Fabric crash reporter, to avoid sending unnecessary data to a third party.
  • Updated support for Setapp. (Prefer a subscription to Simon and lots of other apps? Check out Setapp.)
  • Removed the help book within the app, since it didn't work reliably. The help is still available online.
  • To celebrate version 4.3, the prices have been temporarily reduced!

New in 4.2.2:
(2017-02-28, R 4031)

  • Updated support for Setapp. (Prefer a subscription to Simon and lots of other apps? Check out Setapp.)
  • Added an in-app purchase option, so you can purchase a license without leaving the app (direct edition only).
  • Fixed the Result label when editing a Number filter to correctly display the status icon and result message.
  • Changed the Script editor to prevent it from using smart quotes and dashes, which can interfere with correct script functioning.
  • Fixed an exception with the MySQL service.
  • A number of other minor fixes.
  • Built for Sierra (but still compatible back to Yosemite).

New in 4.2.1:
(2016-10-20, R 4030)

  • Worked around an OS X 10.11 bug that prevents authorizing Twitter account access.
  • Added support for Setapp.

New in 4.2:
(2016-02-22, R 4028)

Added an Exclude Block filter
  • Added a new Exclude Block filter that outputs the text outside the block, instead of inside like the normal Block filter.
  • Enhanced the Block filter feature to support specifying whether to output the text before the Start, the Start text itself, the text between the Start and End, the End text, and/or after the End text, or any combination of those, optionally joined by some separator.
Added difference analysis filters
  • Added new Extract List, Extract Changes to List and Rich Text Representation of Changes filters, kindly contributed by Max Cardale. Read the comments for those filters for detailed descriptions of each.
New filter variables
  • Added support for {FilterIndex}, {FilterPreviousText} and {FilterInputVariable} filter variables to support referring to prior filters, e.g. the second filter can see the previous text of the first filter via {Filter1PreviousText}.
  • Added support for reverse-numbered filter variables of the form {FilterPrior1InputText}, where the number counts from the filter before the current one. All of the Filternumber variables are available as FilterPriornumber ones. These are smart variables that are not available to notifiers, since they just duplicate values already available. (In case you weren't already aware, you can add a number after Filter for any filter variable, to access variables of prior filters; the numbers count from 1 for the first filter.)
  • Added a description of the numbers in filter variables to the help book.
Email improvements
  • The Preview now supports the Email notifier; it will display the message that is sent, with placeholder values for any variables. (Tip: you can check that an email notifier is configured correctly by showing the Preview or just clicking the Reload toolbar button, or File > Notify Now.)
  • Added support for STARTTLS connection security and Password (PLAIN) authentication in the Email Transport panel.
  • If the Port field is clear, or contains a standard port number for a connection security, it is changed to the typical port number when the connection security is changed.
Preview improvements
  • When the Preview page is displayed for a service, filter or notifier that supports previews (i.e. email and scripts), it displays a message Reload to Preview, rather than automatically sending an email or running the script (resulting in unexpected placeholder emails or script actions). Click the Reload toolbar button, or the File > Notify Now menu command, to actually preview the item.
  • Added special case support for Web content encodings specified in the source instead of the header (e.g. or for Chinese).
Several fixes of the reports feature
  • Fixed an issue with uploading reports to remote FTP servers.
  • Fixed a crasher when adding a new report with the Preview pane selected.
  • Fixed a logic error that prevented recent checks, changes, etc from being listed on the detail pages.
  • Fixed incorrect last report date display when the report hasn't been generated yet.
More convenient upgrade licensing
  • When adding an upgrade license, now automatically looks up the original license, instead of just telling you it's needed (which can cause confusion, since it's an unusual situation).
Lots more security and stability improvements
  • Updated the Sparkle updater framework to the latest version.
  • Added a Via SSL option to the Updates preferences, to use a secure connection to check for and download app updates. This is on by default, but can be turned off if it doesn't work for some reason.
  • Also updated license refresh etc URLs to use TLS/SSL.
  • Scripts are now saved as Base64-encoded text, to preserve formatting.
  • Fixed a common crasher when editing at the Auto Pause pages.
  • Fixed another crasher when changing pages at the bottom of the window.
  • Fixed a cosmetic issue where the editor info background could show garbage in some situations.
  • Fixed a couple of rare crashes with deleting items.
  • Fixed a crash with using the Convert Domain/IP command with a large text field.
  • Fixed a rare crash with reports.
  • Fixed a rare crasher with the Find filter.

New in 4.1.1:
(2015-09-18, R 4021)

  • Fixed a crash on OS X 10.11 when changing tests with the Preview displayed.
  • Improved the layout of the Preview.
  • Added exceptions to 10.11's restrictions on http:// access.
  • Fixed several issues raised by the latest development tools.

New in 4.1:
(2015-08-11, R 4021)

Redesigned Web feature
  • The Web (HTTP) editor has been significantly redesigned, to use a list of pages including Parameters, Headers, Cookies and Other. Clicking on one shows the corresponding page.
  • The Method pop-up menu is now on the Parameters page, since it indicates how the parameters are sent.
  • The Username and Password fields are now on the Other page; they are only useful if you connect to a server that has an authentication challenge (as displayed in a web browser via a sheet; not the same as a in-page form-based login).
  • Both the test and notifier editions of the Web feature received these changes.
  • Updated the web helper to 64-bit.
Web feature support for custom headers
  • The new Headers list enables you to add custom headers to send with the request, e.g. Accept, User-Agent, etc.
  • Note that sending a request via Post will set the Content-Type and Content-Length headers, overriding any you may add.
  • Also for both tests and notifiers.
  • Now does Post requests via the more compact application/x-www-form-urlencoded content type, instead of multipart/form-data.
Support for dynamic web content
  • Added an option to the Web (HTTP) service to enable capturing the rendered source some interval after the base HTML is loaded, to support including dynamic changes from JavaScript, as is more and more common nowadays.
Various improvements and fixes
  • If the When pop-up menu for a test filter is changed to None, the filter plugin controls are now removed, as expected.
  • Changed the (-) button to set the When pop-up menu to None for the last filter or notifier in the test.
  • Fixed an issue where the Preview source wouldn't finish loading if the Preview is displayed on launch of the app.
  • When adding a new test with the Preview displayed, now displays a message saying that there's no location, instead of making the test a failure immediately.
  • Changed the display of status icons in the Tests list to support the Use simple status icons preference option (that uses just green & red instead of fading colors over time).
  • Moved the Delete menu item from the File menu to the Edit menu, to match the placement in most other apps.
  • Fixed enabling and disabling of menu and toolbar items depending on the selected list items.
  • Fixed a very vexing code signing issue with the Growl framework.
  • Updated a few pages in the help book.
Added a crash reporter
  • Simon now uses the third-party Fabric Crashlytics framework to automatically capture crash reports. Previously it would attempt to ignore crashes, so it might crash a little more than before, but hopefully not. Automatically aggregating crash reports will enable faster fixing any that occur.
  • If a crash occurs, Simon will now display an assistant window on next launch to ask for information about the crash, which may help trace the cause. There are also optional fields for your name and email address, in case there are any questions.
Updated localizations
  • Added Chinese localization, thanks to WeiOSX. Anyone familiar with Chinese, please provide feedback on this work (any issues or improvements).
  • Removed Japanese localization, as it has not been updated for a while. If anyone experienced with Japanese localization would like to take over this, please get in touch.
  • Updated the German and French localizations in some of the plugins (where they hadn't been used before).
  • Integrated a German translation into the help book.

New in 4.0.3:
(2015-03-03, R 4013)

  • When the Show the Simon icon in the Dock preference is turned on, its status is now immediately updated.
  • If a password has been set to access Simon, the unlock panel is now shown without the Monitor window.
  • Fixed a hang in the Twitter notifier when typing in the message text area.
  • Fixed some cosmetic Console warnings with the notifier options editor.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the MySQL helper from starting.
  • Fixed the helper to launch Simon on login.

New in 4.0.2:
(2015-01-29, R 4012)

  • Simon now uses the popular Sparkle framework for app updates, so it can finally download and install updates itself.
  • Changed the Updates preferences for the Sparkle framework, and to add a handy button to show the release notes.
  • Fixed the New pop-up menu being disabled when in full-screen mode.
  • Fixed the app not resuming full-screen mode on launch if it was in full-screen when quit.
  • Fixed a too small icon in the status menu and Dock when a Wi-Fi hotspot is detected.
  • Fixed the auto-pause function, which sometimes wasn't engaging when it should.
  • Fixed the Find filter with regular expressions when not finding a match should be a failure.

New in 4.0.1:
(2015-01-03, R 4011)

  • Fixed an issue with duplicating a test where filter settings could become linked with the original until quit.
  • Fixed a localization issue with the Method popup menu in the Web (HTTP) service.
  • Fixed layout of the Twitter and SMS notifier editors.
  • Fixed issues with selecting URLs to import in the Setup Assistant.
  • Fixed the Dock icon static animation getting mixed with the normal status icon when checking or uploading reports while the Licenses or Setup Assistant windows are displayed.
  • Changed the way relative dates are formatted, to make them more compatible with localizations.
  • While uploading a report, a circular progress indicator is now displayed in the Reports list.
  • Fixed the scheduler not starting until the Tests list is displayed.
  • Tweaked the layout of the Context views, and made localizable.

New in 4.0:
(2014-12-17, R 4010)

Please Note:
  • Simon 4 requires a minimum of Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite).
  • Simon 4 is a paid upgrade from Simon 3 or older versions.
  • Purchasers since November 1, 2014 are eligible for a free upgrade; contact Dejal for details.
  • Simon Express, formerly in the Mac App Store, is automatically recognized as a version 3 license.
Unlimited tests for everyone!
  • Simon 4 has eliminated the license limits on the number of test configurations that can be added.
  • Everyone can now add an unlimited number of tests.
Great new Simon Monitor window design
  • Simon's main window, the Simon Monitor window, has been significantly redesigned. It now uses a single-window approach to display the Tests, Services, Filters, Notifiers and Reports lists in this window, switching between them via mode buttons along the left edge.
  • Editing tests, services, etc is now done in this window as well, via an optional info pane to the right of the active list.
  • As in earlier versions, the logs are displayed in a pane at the bottom of the window. This pane can now also display the Preview; see below for more on this.
  • The lists or logs can be hidden by dragging the pane splitter, or Cmd-clicking on the selected mode button.
  • Replaced the somewhat crusty toolbar and mode icons with nice elegant ones, and added separate selected editions with a splash of color.
  • For fun (and usefulness), the selected color of the Tests list mode icon matches the status menu / Dock icon color.
Attractive new list layouts
  • The lists of Tests, Services, etc have been redesigned to use a custom layout inspired by Apple Mail and other modern apps.
  • The lists can be sorted via a menu above the list, or via the View menu.
  • The choice of displaying absolute dates and times (like 2014-12-25 12:34, using your local date & time format) or relative times (like 5 mins, 25 secs ago) is also available in these menus.
  • The Tests list shows the unviewed flag, status icon, test name, next due date/time; the uptime, service, location, last check time, and last check duration.
  • The Tests list can also optionally display information about the most recent change and failure: the last change and when it occurred; the last error, failure & recovery date/time. These can also be toggled via those menus.
  • Removed the View Options sheet, since it is no longer needed.
  • A major popularly requested feature: added support for groups in all lists.
  • Groups can be added to help organize the tests, services, etc into logical collections, e.g. by server or kind; whatever makes sense.
  • In the list, the group displays a summary of its members, e.g. the most significant status and combined uptime, with the info summary showing common values.
  • The menubar status menu displays groups in sub-menus, with commands that can be applied to all group members.
Redesigned editors
  • The editors have been completely redesigned to integrate them into the single-window approach.
  • Selecting an item in the Tests, etc lists will now display a summary of the item in the handy new Info pane to the right of the list.
  • An Edit button is included in the top-right of the Info pane. Click that to toggle into edit mode, where the item can be modified. The button changes to Done to switch out of editing mode.
  • You can also click the headings on the summary to jump right to the related page in edit mode.
  • You can leave it in editing mode and switch between tests to quickly edit them; it will remain on the same page.
  • Speaking of which, the page selectors have been redesigned, and a new Name page was added to edit the name and comments.
  • The test statistics have been moved to the test summary page for easy reference.
  • When multiple tests or no tests are selected, the summary page shows the values in common, and a combined view of the statistics for those tests.
  • When editing a test, on the Filters page, the pre-condition popup menu (the first one) now disables the Unchanged and Changed items for the first filter, since they are only appropriate for subsequent filters (the service output can only be a success or failure).
  • The actions for the test Filters, Notifiers, Reports and Auto Pause can now be reordered, simply by dragging them.
Integrated preview, including filter output
  • The Preview function has been completely redesigned to integrate it into the single-window approach, and provide the ability to see the filter output in addition to the service output.
  • When a test is selected, the Preview feature can be displayed in place of the logs at the bottom of the window for a quick view of the test.
  • The preview includes a web page on the left (for web-based tests), a selection list in the middle, and the service response, headers or filter output on the right.
  • The selection list shows the status of the service or filter, and for filters, the sequence number and filter name, e.g. #1: Block Output for the output from a Block filter.
  • The filter output is very useful, to see not only the result of the service, but also the result of each filter. This makes it easier than ever to build up multiple filters, taking the output from previous ones to hone in on the interesting values.
  • The Preview function is also available when displaying a Script-based service, filter or notifier, to run the script and see what it outputs while writing it, and to preview a report within Simon.
Can now hide Simon in the Dock
  • A surprise new feature: a General Preferences option to control whether or not Simon appears in the Dock (it's shown by default).
  • Note that when it is not shown in the Dock, it also doesn't appear in the Cmd-Tab app switcher, and it no longer has a menu bar.
  • When turning off the option to show in the Dock, the option to show the status menu is automatically turned on, so you can access the app via that. (You can turn it off again if you wish, in which case you'll only be able to access Simon by opening the app from the Finder.)
  • When it isn't in the Dock, a new action toolbar button is automatically added, to give access to the preferences and other functions.
Password protect access
  • Added an option in General Preferences to specify a password to use to unlock Simon access.
  • If set, the password is required when launching or switching to Simon.
Enhancements to the Email feature
  • The Email feature now also works as a service. Three service modes are supported: Email Send, Email Receive, and Email Cycle.
  • Email Send is basically the same as the Email notifier: sends a custom message via SMTP. Useful to check in or test that a mail server is working. It outputs the message, or an error if unsuccessful.
  • Email Receive fetches a list of messages from an IMAP server. It outputs the list of messages, or an error.
  • Email Cycle first sends a special message with a unique identifier to a SMTP server, then checks for that message arriving on an IMAP server. It cleans up after itself, and outputs the message and mailbox listing, or an error.
  • Renamed the E-mail notifier as Email, finally.
  • Added a Transport Name field to the Email Transport Options panel. Defaults to the server name, and is displayed in the Transport pop-up menu.
  • Added an Email Account Options panel, similar to the Email Transport Options one, to enable configuring IMAP account information for the Receive and Cycle services.
  • Removed the Sendmail custom transport option, as it is no longer supported. If you used this and this makes you sad, please contact Dejal; it may be possible to support it via a script.
  • Sending email via a custom transport now uses the modern MailCore framework, instead of the old Pantomime framework.
  • If your email notifiers don't work after upgrading, please check their transport settings.
Added a Context filter
  • Added a new Context filter feature, which takes the previous filter's input and the following new match variables to output some context around the filter's output text.
  • Note that it actually uses the Input specified in the test to determine which filter's input and match variables to use: if you have two previous filters, you can make the Context filter look at the first one by choosing Filter1OutputText instead of the default FilterOutputText (from the proceeding filter).
  • This includes controls to specify the number of characters before and/or after the match range, and/or a delimiter before and/or after the match range (e.g. you can show up to 50 characters, stopping at a line break).
  • Added a filter variable for FilterMatchLocation, which is set by some filters (Block and Find currently) to the position of the match in the input text, e.g. the text between the Blocks, or the Find result. Note that the location is zero-based.
  • Also added a filter variable for FilterMatchLength, which is the length of that match.
  • And a filter variable for FilterMatchEnd, which is the location plus the length, for convenience.
  • Finally, a new filter variable for FilterNInputText, where N is the filter index (1-based). This enables any filter (or notifier) to see what was passed to a previous filter.
Web feature enhancements
  • The Web (HTTP) feature will now automatically follow a meta refresh (e.g. <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=">). Meta refreshes to reload the same page are ignored.
  • If for some reason you don't want this behavior, it can be disabled via defaults write com.dejal.simon WebIgnoreMetaRefresh YES in Terminal.
  • Fixed an incompatibility in the Web (HTTP) feature with a few servers that don't handle sending an empty cookies header when there aren't any to send. It now omits the header in this situation.
More new default tests, services & filters
  • Added a new RSS service, which is basically just a Web (HTTP) service with a feed:// protocol, but also has different Preview behavior (see below).
  • Added a new Singular or Plural filter, which has fields for a singular or plural word, and outputs the appropriate one based on the numeric input (use other filters to provide a number).
  • Added a new Input filter, which just outputs its input, with change detection. Useful to output the the result of the service or an earlier filter after doing other filtering.
  • Added a new Get Average Ping Response Time filter, which would typically be used with the Ping service, and outputs the average response time in the filter input text.
  • Added a new Apple hot news default test (for new users), that uses the RSS service and a bunch of filters to output the latest news from Apple.
  • Added a new Dejal posts default test as another demo of using filters to combine values. It's the one I use to watch for new forum posts on the Dejal site.
A great new app icon
  • A fantastic modern update of the icon by Jordan Langille of OneToad.
  • Still with the fun static on launch, licensing and quit, and blue on state behind the status icon.
  • (If it doesn't show up in your Dock, restart your Mac or use the Terminal command killall Dock.)
Migration from Simon Express and Simon Free
  • To assist people coming from Simon Express or Simon Free, Simon now automatically migrates data from those older apps, if any, if there isn't any standard edition data.
  • Simon Express, formerly in the Mac App Store, is automatically recognized as a version 3 license.
Other changes
  • Added a File > Share menu and a share button in the window toolbar to share the selected item(s) with other apps.
  • No longer truncates the difference text to 400 characters, if it's longer than that.
  • Removed the Pause All Tests and Resume All Tests functions from the Dock and status menus, since they are dangerous functions if you have lots of manually paused tests. (If anyone is sad about this change, let me know; I could restore it via a preference, if necessary.)
  • The date columns in the Logs now include the seconds. You may need to resize the columns to fit the entire time, depending on your local date format.
  • The Calendar feature no longer supports Google Calendar. Again, let me know if you used this.
  • Removed the Twitter service, since it isn't supported anymore. If you want to watch for Twitter updates, you could use a Web (HTTP) service instead.
  • Updated the Find, Sound and Speech features to use modern APIs.
  • The data is now saved in the background, for better performance.
  • Removed the quit confirmation preference, since it isn't used anymore anyway.
  • Improved the layout of the General Preferences pane.
  • Improved the wording of several alerts and confirmation sheets.
  • Added many exciting new bug opportunities.
  • Updated the help book for version 4.
  • Updated the German and French localizations. Japanese hasn't been updated yet, so is disabled in this release (it should be coming in a future update).
  • Rebuilt for Yosemite using Xcode 6.
  • Massive refactoring to drag the 12-year-old source code into the modern era.
  • Simon is now 64-bit and uses modern memory management.
  • Many changes to improve Yosemite compatibility.
  • Now requires Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10).

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