When progress means things get worse – Skitch
Last week I made a mistake of upgrading the clipping application called Skitch to the latest version. Skitch was the best screen capture tool with the old version and a whole lot less than that as a screen capture program after the “upgrade”. I should have known better because I did see on twitter that some people were complaining that there were things missing from this latest application update. The main comments seemed to be centred around the lack of the paint can for creating a colour fill. There were one or two other complaints, but I do like to have the new and shiny and I went ahead anyway. There were some people such as Don McAllister, who went back to an earlier version almost straightaway, that’s how bad things were. I know I should have listened and maybe what I really need is a checkup from the neck up.
All the bad stuff in Skitch and Evernote
Evernote bought Skitch not that long ago and this new version made the integration between the two applications much tighter. Instead of Skitch having its own web server space for your images that you have captured from your computer, all of the images were being thrown into Evernote.
I found pretty soon that my monthly upload allowance into Evernote was totally eaten up by this synchronisation from Skitch into Evernote. You would have thought that they could have just brought my old images into Evernote without counting towards the monthly upload figure. There was an option to not bring the old images in, but I didn’t choose it as I did know what a bad effect this synchronisation would give me.
With the new version on Skitch installed and running, every time I clipped something from my screen, I got a message to say that I had already used up my upload allowance for the month. The only way that I could get around this if I wanted to save an image, was to export that image out. This quickly became very tedious compared to having the option of clicking on one button to save a picture to history.
Skitch facilities and controls
Instead of having five sizes of line available or five sizes of text available, the new version had only three. This is not what you would call an improvement. The paint can for filling the area with one single colour was no longer available at all. One of the things that I often used, was to rename an image from the automatic clip name to one that made more sense. This was available in a small box at the bottom of the Skitch window. The new version did not let me do this, I would have to do a file naming when I exported the image out. This added more work, because then I would have to go and find the image in Finder to be able to drag and drop in the place where I wanted it.
Skitch – Badly thought out design
In the old version when I wanted to change the size of an image, I could easily click on a button and enter a number of pixels in a dialog. This would proportionally reduce the size of the image, or increase if I wished. This was replaced with a simple slider that was just about impossible to fine tune to a specific size. The slider was too short so that any small movement of the finger on my magic trackpad gave a big change of size. Not only was there a problem with the use of this slider, but there was no way to enter specific numbers.
Another way to reduce the size of an image with the old version would be to move the edges to crop. Not only could you crop, but you could also move outwards and to increase the size. This would add extra whitespace around the original cut area and was a useful tool within Skitch. In this new and certainly not improved version, the cropping and resizing was moved to another area. It was not possible to increase the size of the image by adding extra in the crop tool. When you used the crop tool you got quite a nice way of changing the size by moving the blue dots at corners in the new version. Even though this really was a little bit of an improvement, it by no means makes up for all of the other disasters.
Did the developer of the app ever use it himself?
In the old version when you did a crop you would see some numbers which would tell you the size in pixels of the area you are clipping. So you would see some numbers that would give you the horizontal size and the vertical size as you moved your cursor. The developer person in all his wisdom change this so that instead of seeing those numbers denoting the size, you see the absolute position in pixels where the cursor is on the screen. This information is absolutely no use whatsoever and should be changed to back the way that it was.
It can only get better – Possibly
There is absolutely no way I will upgrade to any later version of Skitch, unless all of the problems I have been ranting about are fixed. I will let other users dive in there first and suffer the consequences of upgrading. I will let them report back to me. It is quite unusual for me to have a rant about updated software, but as you can tell from the length of this article, Skitch had me quite miffed. I am even tempted to write to Evernote directly and tell them that they really should do a whole lot better. With this stupid upgrade I was very pleased to have the facility of using Time Machine, to get back to the way it was before. I suppose I should complain too much as it is a freeware screen capture application. Now, I would be totally miffed if I had paid for it.