John’s Background Switcher 4.2 Release Notes

Version 4.2 of John’s Background Switcher is mainly a bug fix release with a few useful new features including Vladstudio integration, built-in support for downloaded Webshots pictures and collections and additional languages available (namely Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese-Brazilian).

New Features

4305: Add support for Vladstudio
FEATURE: John’s Background Switcher now allows you to choose your desktop background from the beautiful Vladstudio wallpapers. You can choose from all pictures, specific categories and / or keywords and if you’re a registered user you can enter your credentials and choose from the highest-quality signature-free versions of the wallpapers.

4879: Add Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese-Brazilian translations to JBS
FEATURE: You can now opt to install French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese-Brazilian translations so that the UI of JBS will appear in those languages if you install them on a localised version of Windows.

These translations are provided by users of JBS so thanks so much for all your help – it’s no mean feat having to translate over 700 phrases! 🙂

4140: Add support for downloaded Webshots photos
FEATURE: If you’re a Webshots Desktop user and you’ve got a host of downloaded Webshots collections or pictures then JBS can now use them for your background. If any Webshots downloaded pictures (or collections) are found in folders you’ve selected they’ll be included for selection and you can also add them individually if you create specific picture lists.

Note that unless you have something associated with those file types then selecting to view them in JBS will result in a warning that no application can open them.

Bug Fixes / Changes

4868: Strip out html tags from picture titles
CHANGED: JBS now strips out HTML tags from any picture captions it displays. This looks a lot neater on polaroid or postcards.

5064: Update the default picture sets when first installing JBS to show nicer pictures
CHANGED: I’ve changed the initial picture set defaults to use some nicer picture sets I use myself. This should give a better first-run experience to new users to get them started.

4951: If Windows 7 Starter Edition is detected – terminate the installer
CHANGED: If you attempt to install JBS on Windows 7 Starter Edition then the installer will inform you that background switching is disabled on that version of Windows and forbidden under the EULA and exit. I’ll investigate the legal implications of supporting Starter Edition for the next version but in the meantime am preventing the installation on that version as people don’t read the download page (which explicitly states that version isn’t supported)!

5015: Up the snapshot scrapbook size limit to 500 pixels
CHANGED: You can now opt to have the individual snapshots in a postcard or polaroid pile as large as 500 pixels (the previous limit was 400). Look for the ‘Montages’ section of ‘More Settings’.

5045: Only clear out the folder shuffle list when absolutely needed rather than whenever the settings are OKd
CHANGED: Previously, simply hitting OK on the settings dialog would clear the list JBS keeps when you choose pictures from local folders to prevent the same pictures being shown before all others. Now JBS will only clear this list when you OK the settings dialog and have changed the folders you’re selecting pictures from.

4534: Hidden folders should be ignored in addition to hidden files when choosing locally source pictures
CHANGED: If you add a folder to choose pictures from that is hidden, but the files within it weren’t hidden, then JBS would select from those pictures. This is no longer the case and they’ll all be ignored. This will prevent Picasa original pictures from being selected when you’ve modified them (Picasa puts the originals in a hidden folder if this has happened and it was causing quite a bit of confusion).

4606: Crash when dismissing the popup notifier dialog too quickly
FIXED: If you were super-quick you could dismiss the popup notifier and cause it to crash – this is no longer the case.

4843: Google image search stores duplicate results when a search only has a few hits
FIXED: If a Google Image search returned only a few results then JBS would store them several times in its cache. This has now been corrected.

5041: Scan for and fix any globalisation problems in JBS
FIXED: A few random problems affected users on particular language versions of Windows. These should now be a thing of the past!

4773: ‘Phanfare mosaics’ comes up as ‘Local mosaics’ in the cached picture browser
FIXED: This typo has now been corrected (and in all translations too).

4785: Remove ‘Auto-fit full screen pictures if overlap is above x %’ from the help file
FIXED: This was an experimental feature that was in the beta version of JBS but turned out to not be very useful and was dropped. It should have been removed from the help file but wasn’t, now it’s gone!

4765: Smugmug have dropped the ‘Album’ tag for a photo from their API causing JBS integration to break
FIXED: The change Smugmug made broke JBS but this has now been corrected and JBS works again!

4941: Windows flicker when the background changes on Windows 7
FIXED: On some machines certain windows would flicker when the background changed on Windows 7 and the background transition option was enabled. This is no longer the case.

Props to my colleague Gareth who finally managed to reproduce this one!

4933: Ensure that the chosen orientation option is respected for the background in snapshot scrapbooks
FIXED: If you opted to have JBS match the orientation of pictures with your monitor orientation(s) but used a postcard pile or polaroid pile, then the background image wouldn’t necessarily match your selection. Now it does. This means if you have a portrait and landscape monitor and tell JBS to match pictures to those orientations, then when you choose to use a postcard (or polaroid) pile with a random background image, then JBS will attempt to use a matching picture that’s landscape or portrait.

Of course, if the pool of pictures JBS chooses to make a montage from doesn’t contain a picture that matches the orientation then a random picture will be used instead.

4991: If you remove Flickr authorisation and edit a ‘My’ set then the collections controls are still visible
FIXED: If you de-authorised Flickr in JBS and had a picture set from one of your collections, then opening the Flickr dialog would present you with the collection selector but you wouldn’t be able to do anything with it. This has now been corrected.

4732: The calendar day column headers don’t appear in the current language
FIXED: The day headers in the calendar are now shown in the local language rather than English all the time.

4769: Bug in the German translation on the ‘Import / Export’ section of ‘More Settings’
FIXED: A French version of one of the descriptions in this section of ‘More Settings’ managed to slip into the German translation. This has now been corrected.

4553: ‘The downloaded photo appears to be invalid’ error in Flickr mode
FIXED: If you checked the ‘Ignore photos with these tags’ option in the ‘Picture Sources’ section of ‘More Settings’ and didn’t define any tags in the resulting dialog then every time JBS tried to choose Flickr photos you’d get this error message. This behaviour has now been corrected.

4985: Speed up lookups inside JBS like checking if a picture has been shown before or should be ignored
FIXED: For people pointing JBS at folders of pictures on their machines, if they had tens or hundreds of thousands of pictures then switching was pretty slow while JBS grabbed the picture lists and made sure all pictures were shown before being shown again. I’ve now drastically speeded this process up as well as caching the contents of folders when the number of pictures goes above a certain size.

Another problem was that while the directories were being scanned the notification icon would appear to be in its normal state but you couldn’t choose anything from its menu – in other words JBS looked like it was hanging. This has also been corrected.

5016: Crash when attempting to bring up the settings dialog after Shift+OKing the settings dialog
FIXED: If you Shift+OKd the settings dialog and hit the shortcut to bring up the settings while JBS was switching then it would crash instead of actually showing you the settings. This has now been corrected.

4057: Stop the ‘view current picture’ selector dialog coming up twice when using the hotkey
FIXED: If you used the shortcut key to bring up the ‘view current picture’ dialog while it was already showing then as soon as you dismissed the dialog it would come up again. Then, crucially, the shortcut key would stop working. This has now been fixed.

4172: The calendar day headers can run into each other – doesn’t look good
FIXED: JBS now does a better job of figuring out how large the calendar day headers are so that they shouldn’t run into each other any more.

4670: Crash when authenticating with Picasa web albums
FIXED: On very rare occasions Google Picasa Web Albums would return an unexpected response when JBS authenticated with it and this caused JBS to crash. This is no longer the case and JBS handles the situation gracefully.