Release Notes

Version 1.5(6/23/2005)
  • Improved the HTML parser that is used for extracting text from web pages. Now captured web pages no longer show javascript or style sheet information in the text. Also improved error handling so you don't get extraneous ">" characters in the text.
  • Implemented Services on Mac OS X. You can now use the Services menu in another application to send the application's selection to Parsnips.
  • Added "Tip Windows" that are shown before executing certain non-obvious commands. These tips explain a bit about what the command does. Each tip window had a checkbox to prevent it from being shown again.
  • Better "Quick Start" information is now displayed in the Results Pane when there are no items in the database.
  • New preference for setting the main window's background color. By default Parsnips now has a non-standard background coloe. You can turn this off in the Preferences.
  • In previous versions, if you had an item you were editing then and did an operation that diplayed a new item, you would be shown a dialog with choices to Cancel or Discard Changes. in the new version you are also given the option of saving the changes before proceeding.
  • In previous versions, many operations such as saving or deleting an item would revert you to showing all items. Now we try to keep the current search parameters and just upate the changed item.
  • You can now Command-click a file:// URL in the text of the Display Pane to have it opened by the application that natively handles that file type. Previously his only worked for http:// based URLs.
  • When requesting web pages, the user-agent is now set to "Parsnips".
  • Changed the wording and button order in the License dialog to be more clear.
  • If you had an unsaved change to an item and then clicked a different item (or did a search), you are to there are unsaved changes. If you cancel and then save the changes, you will get two copies of the item, one before the save and one afterwards. This bug has been fixed.
  • Fixed problem where non-html files referenced via HTTP always had the "text" extracted from them even if they were binary files.
  • Eliminated some screen flashing that occured when paging up and down through the results list.
  • When running under Mac OS X 10.2.x, fixed a problem where a "phantom window" was shown when the main windows was closed.
  • When running under Mac OS X 10.2.x, we no longer use a "Brushed Metal" main window type.

 Version 1.4(5/3/2005)
  • Added "More Like This" functionality. When an item is displayed, you can click the "More Like This" button and a search will be performed to find other items similar to the one selected.
  • You can now place a "Send to Parsnips" bookmarklet in your browser's bookmark toolbar. It will send the currently displayed page to Parsnips for indexing.
  • Added a Home button that returns to showing all items in the Results list.
  • Added Backwards and Forwards buttons for navigating backwards and forwards amongst past searches.
  • Changed the default search operator from OR to AND. Now the search "Bob Dobbs" will be interpreted as "Bob AND Dobbs" rather that Bob OR Dobbs". This is the same as a Google search works.
  • Holding down the Option or Alt modifier key while deleting an item will cause the deletion to happen immediately without asking for confirmation.
  • The Import Bookmarks... command can now read and import Safari's proprietary bookmark format.
  • Improved the speed at which the keyword list is displayed when clicking on the keyword button.
  • Improved the performance when displaying the results list.
  • The "Clear Items" in the search field dropdown no longer clears the current search text.
  • Previously, Parsnips only indexed the first 10,000 words (or terms) in a document. The limit has been removed so now all the terms of a large document will be indexed.
  • Fixed problem when running under the new Mac OS X 10.4 where the menus were displayed in the window rather than the menu bar.

Version 1.3(2/14/2005)
  • You can now Ctrl-click (Cmd-click on Mac) a URL in the Display pane to open it in the a browser.
  • Keyword managment: Added buttons next to fields where you enter keywords. The button pops up a window showing all keywords currently being used. Clicking a keyword in the list inserts it into the textfield at the insertion point.
  • Parsnips now keeps track of when the item was first created as well as when it was last modified. You can now sort the search result by time modified, time created, or the search relevance. This change required a small modification to the database format. Now when you first run Parsnips 1.3 on an old database, it puts up a dialog showing the database format is being updated. This change will not prevent older version of Parsnips from accessing the database.
  • New icons in the toolbar
  • Cleaned up the user interface of the main window. Narrower borders and fewer lines.
  • Fixed a bug where after optimizing the database, you would sometimes get a duplicate entry the next time you saved an edited item.
  • Fixed bug where the combo boxes in the Results pane weren't sized properly on Win XP with Java 1.5.
  • A better message is now displayed when there are no items in the database.
  • Fixed error in documentation. The use of wildcard characters in the search string was not documented.
  • Fixed bug on Windows XP where garbage was displayed in the upper right of the main window when the About Parsnips... command was chosen.
  • Fixed bug on Windows XP where garbage was displayed in the upper right of the main window when the About Parsnips... command was chosen.

Version 1.2(12/13/2004)
  • Added a "Close" command that closes the main window. On Windows this causes the app to quit. On Mac the application stays running and just leaves the drop window visible. There is a menu command to re-show the main window. The main window is also re-shown when the app is reactivated or if something is dropped on the drop window.
  • Since the 1.1 release, wildcard searches have been broken. It is now fixed again.
  • You can now double-click and drag in the Display pane to select words at a time.
  • Added tool tips to the items in the tool bar.
  • Added menu commands to optionally show the Text Summaries, URLs and Last Modified Times in items of the Results pane.
  • All dialogs can now be closed from the keyboard using Ctrl-W (Cmd-W on Mac) or hitting Escape.
  • Fixed problem where the Purchase License button was corrupting the URL that the browser was being directed to.
  • Added tooltip to the Drop Window.
  • Fixed a problem where all the pages of an item would not print if the item had wrapped text.
  • Added the URL of the item to the header that is generated when the item is printed.
  • Adjusted the print margins so they look a bit better.
  • Added a toolbar icon to the Display pane that opens the currently displayed item's URL.

Version 1.1(11/11/2004)
  • There are new controls in the Preferences dialog for setting the fonts used in the Results Pane and Display Pane.
  • Simplified the cycle of editing and saving an item. Now items are always directly editable. The old "Cancel Editing" button has been changed into a "Revert to Saved" button.
  • Added support for RTF files. Now when you drag an RTF file onto Parsnips it extracts the text without the storing the formatting commands.
  • When importing a file or a web page, we now check to see if an older item with the same URL already exists. If so, the user is asked if they want to replace the older item or create another one.
  • Added support for dragging HTML files onto Parsnips. It now correctly extracts just the text from the file. Previously HTML support was only implemented for URLs dragged from the browser.
  • PDF files are now treated as a binary file when indexed. No attempt is made to extract the text of a PDF file. In general, text extraction from PDFs is very hard to do.
  • The divider bar separating the Results and Display panes can now be moved all the way to the left or right fully exposing either pane.
  • Added menu commands (with keyboard shortcuts) to move the divider bar all the way to the left or right.
  • When exporting items, we now make sure the filename generated is a legal filename. Since the filename is derived from the item's title, and the title may have characters not allowed in a legal filename, we substitute the underscore character '_' for the disallowed characters.
  • Many performance improvements in searching and indexing items.
  • Modified the way queries are made to better mimic Google
  • Added a control in Preferences dialog to revert to default preferences that the application ships with.
  • All references to "directory" have been changed to "folder" when running on Mac. Some longtime mac users were confused by the term "directory".
  • Added a clickable link to the About dialog. Clicking this link will open a window in your mail client to email "".
  • If a url has a "?" in it, it will now be opened correctly when the url is clicked on.
  • Added a better timeout for when a server doesn't respond when downloading and indexing a web page.
  • Fixed problem where the Undo information wasn't being discarded when switching to displaying a different item.

Version 1.0.1(10/18/2004)
  • Fixed a problem on Mac where if you have the main window minimized and drop a file or URL on the drop window, the main window that is automatically made visible is non-responsive. Same thing would happend if you had the main window minimized and showed the About dialog and hid it.
  • On Mac with Internet Explorer and on Windows with most browsers, dragging a URL to the destop and then into Parsnips didn't download and index the URL. Instead the text of the .url shortcut was read and indexed. This has been fixed.
  • Changed the font size used in printing to be 10 from the default of 12. Eventually this should be a user setting.
  • Changed the installer for Windows to allow you to pick the new Java 1.5 VM. Parsnips runs very well under Java 1.5.

Version 1.0(10/8/2004)
  • Switched to using the new 1.4.2 release of the Lucene search engine.
  • Fixed a bug on Windows where the drop window would jump to a new position after dropping something onto it.
  • Any HTML tags in the contents are now escaped so they will not display the text summary with HTML markup.
  • The code managing the 14 day demo period has been modified to give a new 14 day trial with every new version of Parsnips.
  • Fixed a problem where "file://" urls weren't launching properly from the Results pane when running under Mac OS X 10.2.
  • Fixed problem where Parsnips would always "Cancel Logout" on Mac OS X if you tried to logout with Parsnips running.
  • Incorporated proof-reading comments into the User's Manual.

Version 0.9(10/1/2004)
  • New icon design.
  • Added "Import Bookmarks" command. After specifying the location of the (HTML-based) bookmarks file, all bookmarks found in that file will be downloaded and indexed automatically. For Safari users, because of the non-standard bookmarks format used by Apple, you will need to use some other app to convert you bookmarks to an HTML format. The freeware "Safari Bookmarks Extractor" (available at: is one such possibility. Eventually Parsnips will read this format natively.
  • Rewrote the status mechanism that notifies you when you are indexing items or downloading items for indexing. The new scheme works better and also gives feedback as to what files or URLs are being acted upon.
  • Added "Enter Query" command with keyboard shortcut (Cmd-L) that puts the focus on the query text field and selects any text in it. This prepares you to be able to type a new query.
  • Added commands "Page Results Up" and "Page Results Down" (with appropriate keyboard shortcuts). These will page up or down though the Results list. If you are at the bottom of one page of results and execute "Page Results Down", you are automatically moved to the next page of results (if there is one). Similarly for paging up.
  • Rewrote the code for the demo period license. The new scheme should be substantially harder to crack.

Version 0.8(9/23/2004)
  • A search term without any explict field specified will now search in all fields. Previously, only the main body was searched if there was no explicit field.
  • In the Results list, there was a blank line displayed if there wasn't any text in the body of the item. This looked strange and has been removed.
  • When you drag text onto Parsnips the newly created item is left in edit mode with the Title field having keyboard focus.
  • Fixed bug where the caret wasn't blinking in the Display pane when the text was editable.
  • Changed the highlight color of a selected item to be the default text selection color.
  • No longer change the background color of the text in the Display pane when it is editable. Instead, I now draw a 1 pixel black line around it to indicate its editable status.
  • When you export the search results, all exported files now have a ".txt" extension.
  • When you first start Parsnips before adding any items, the message displayed is now "There are no items in the database" as opposed to "No matching items".
  • Changes all references to Parsnips' "Index" into "Database". I think that term may be more familiar and intuitive to people.
  • Added a version string to the Splash window.
  • Added the Java version info to the About Dialog.
  • Fixed bug in searching for Date ranges. The end date was not being handled correctly.

Version 0.7(9/17/2004)
  • Changed the product's name to Parsnips because of a trademark infringement with the name Nuggets. If you have created items using Nuggets and want to continue using them in Parsnips, you will need to Export the items using the old Nuggets app and then Import them into Parsnips.
  • Fixed bug in item highlighting. If you highlighted an item, went to a different page in the results and then back to the original page again, the item wasn't highlighted anymore.
  • Fixed problem where the location of the Drop Window wasn't being remembered.
  • Changed highlighting color of a selected item on Windows.
  • The top text field in both the Find/Replace and Advanced Search dialogs is given focus and its text is selected whenever the dialogs are made visible.
  • Changed order of showing startup windows so the Splash screen remains visible after the license dialog is dismissed.

Version 0.6(9/13/2004)
  • First Beta of Parsnips released.