New features for making extensions in PopClip 2022.12

Here are my 7 favourite new features for extension making in PopClip 2022.12, which I released today. For more details of these and other changes, see the extensions documentation.

1. Iconify icons

Pick from 100,000 openly licensed icons from a range of icon sets, accessed through Iconify.

Let’s say I want to add an icon to my Fish Search extension. If I head to https://icon-sets.iconify.design/ and search for ‘fish’ I find plenty of options:

I’ve picked the icon called ion:fish. To add it to my extension, I prepend iconify: to that and place (plaice?) it in my snippet:

#popclip
name: Fish Search
icon: iconify:ion:fish
url: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=FISH+***

To install this snippet as an extension, I select it:

CleanShot 2022-12-06 at 17.09.44

PopClip installs the extension and pulls the icon from the Iconify website:

You can also use Iconify’s color icons:

#popclip
name: Fish Search
actions:
- icon: iconify:ion:fish
  url: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=FISH+***
- icon: iconify:emojione-v1:tropical-fish
  url: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=TROPICAL+FISH+***

2. Icon display options

You can flip an icon horizontally or vertically, like so:

#popclip
name: Fish Search
actions:
- icon: iconify:ion:fish
  url: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=FISH+***
- icon: iconify:emojione-v1:tropical-fish
  flip horizontal: true
  url: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=TROPICAL+FISH+***

And now our fish both swim the same way:

(Honestly, I’m not sure how useful this one will be, but I thought the fish swimming together thing was cute :slightly_smiling_face:)

3. Shell scripts in snippets

Previously, to put a shell script in a snippet you had to wrap it awkwardly in an AppleScript like this:

#popclip (the old way 🤔)
name: Fish Talk
applescript: do shell script "say -v Daniel \"Fish fish fish {popclip text}\""

Now, you can just do this:

#popclip
name: Fish Talk
shell script: say -v Daniel "Fish fish fish $POPCLIP_TEXT"
interpreter: zsh # note that an interpreter must be specified

4. Flow-style snippets

Now, you can use flow-style YAML to express snippets in a more compact form:

#popclip
{ name: Fish Search, icon: search F, URL: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=FISH+*** }

And if you are more comfortable with JSON (which is valid flow-style YAML), you can use it:

#popclip
{
  "name": "Fish Search",
  "icon": "search F",
  "URL": "https://duckduckgo.com/?q=FISH+***"
}

5. Full JavaScript libraries

Previously, PopClip’s JavaScript engine relied upon the standard libraries shipping with macOS. This meant that not all newer ECMAScript features were available, and support varied unpredictably by macOS version.

Now, PopClip comes with all current stable ECMAScript features, by using polyfills from core-js. Plus the following web standards: URL, URLSearchParams and structuredClone.

6. Annotated scripts as snippets

Let’s say I want to make a more substantial script:

There are a few problems with this:

  • the awkwardness of having to indent the script as a YAML string block;
  • lack of syntax highlighting of the script contents;
  • difficulty running the script independently for testing.

I would previously have recommended constructing a .popclipext package in this situation, with a separate script file and Config file.

But now you can do this:

The roles are now reversed: the file itself is the script, and the information PopClip needs is in a header at the top. Installation is by the usual method:

CleanShot 2022-12-06 at 18.30.14

This method can be used to create shell script extensions (including all languages such as Python, Perl, Ruby etc.) as well as JavaScript and AppleScript extensions.

The maximum amount of selected text you can install as a snippet is now 5000 characters (increased from 1000).

Here’s a quick Python example you can select and install:

# #popclip
# { name: Hello, icon: hi, after: show-result, interpreter: python3 }
import os
print('Hello, ' + os.environ['POPCLIP_TEXT'] + '!')

I’ll follow up with another post with more details about writing extensions this way.

7. .popcliptxt files

Finally, as something that feels like a natural progression of the snippets concept, PopClip will now open text files with a .popcliptxt (“PopClip text”) file extension and treat the contents like a snippet:

CleanShot 2022-12-06 at 18.55.46

In contrast to regular snippets, there is no limit on the length of a .popcliptxt file.


That’s it for now! I hope you enjoy using the new features. Please ask questions, post about the stuff you make, and let me know what you think!

9 Likes

This is amazing, especially (for me) now. 6 and 7!

1 Like

No. 6 I am pleased with. It looks to me now as the simple and obvious way to do it, but it was quite a bit of thinking and refinement to get to that. Looking back at the list, I like how all these features work together as a whole. I feel like I’ve got the “base” of extensions & snippets to a good place so I can concentrate a bit more on other aspects of the app now.

1 Like

Are you allowed to use SF symbols like that?

Iconify includes independently released icon sets from various designers, with open licenses. It doesn’t include Apple’s SF Symbols. The Iconify website shows the license and author credit for each icon. Licenses vary between icon sets, but they are all under a permissive license of some kind. You can include the appropriate attribution in a comment or readme file when publishing an extension.

PopClip can also display SF Symbols but you can’t view them on a website. You need to install Apple’s icon catalog app instead. SF Symbols are licensed under the Xcode and Apple SDKs Agreement, “solely for the purpose of developing Applications for Apple-branded products that run on the system for which the image was provided”. There is a 3rd party catalog website that just shows the symbol names.

In PopClip, you can specify SF Symbols with the symbol: prefix and Iconify icons with the iconify: prefix.

2 Likes

One minor issue with annotated scripts: Icons are not displayed in the list of extensions (menu bar view), but only grey boxes, when iconify icons are used.

@Kolkrabe, I’ve done some work on the Iconify icons. If you get a chance, could you give the latest beta a try and see if it fixes the issue you are having?

The issue persists:
Bildschirmfoto 2023-01-26 at 23.08.21

The icon are used as e.g. # icon: iconify:twemoji:flag-united-kingdomand work in the popup view.

1 Like

Ah, i see. It’s not anything to do with the annotated syntax, this is just because those icons are solid colour icons which where rendered in monochrome come out as solid rectangles. PopClip currently renders all the icons in the settings menu in grey.