Exporting a list of haves/swaps/wants from SWDestinyDB

This post is basically only relevant if you use SWDestinyDB to keep track of your Star Wars: Destiny cards, and you’re an iOS user. If you fit that bill, welcome! If you don’t, this post will be either boring, bewildering or both, I’m afraid.

Workflow is an app for iOS that lets you automate certain actions. It’s one of the foundational aspects of the iOS 12 feature Siri Shortcuts, so the workflow for Workflow which I outline here should also work in Shortcuts1. Federico Viticci has written both an excellent guide to getting started with Workflow and a sneak preview of the new Shortcuts app if you’re not familiar with how they work and want to read more.

I recently decided to write a workflow to easily export lists of my Star Wars: Destiny swaps or wants. I’ve written about the Workflow app before but I’ve recently started using it for more and more complex things, which has encouraged me to embark on this particular project. SWDestinyDB is really great for keeping track of the cards you own, and for building decks, but it’s completely lacking any feature to export a list of swaps or wants, which is annoying given that this is a relatively frequent thing to want to do.

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So, how does my workflow work?

  1. Install the workflow by tapping here on your iOS device.
  2. Go to SWDestinyDB.
  3. Filter for the list of swaps or wants that you want to post.2
  4. Hit the share icon, select ‘Run Workflow’, and select ‘Copy Destiny Cards’.
  5. Choose whether you want a list of your swaps or wants and how many cards are in a playset (see Caveats below).
  6. An alert will pop up to let you know the list is on your clipboard.
  7. Paste the list wherever you want!

I find this super useful for quickly and easily posting lists of my swaps and needs on my local meta’s Facebook group so that people can sort me out for uncommons/rares that I have managed to avoid getting. I hope you find it useful too!

Caveats

  1. I use Safari, and I don’t know whether this workflow will work in Chrome or anything else. If you use Chrome, and this workflow needs tweaking to make it work, let me know and I’ll update this post.
  2. The workflow assumes that you need the same number of cards for a complete playset of each card. Therefore, you should generate lists of battlefields/plots separately to lists of other types of card. It also means that if you want five Jawas, or four copies of the new TIE Fighter card in Across the Galaxy, this workflow won’t handle that well. It’s possible that I’ll update this to handle those sorts of things automatically in future, but for now they’ll need editing manually.

  1. At the time of writing, I haven’t had the opportunity to test this, as I’m not in the beta for the new Shortcuts app. 
  2. So, for example, I might limit my search to ‘Way of the Force’ and use c<2 to find only the cards I need from the new set. 

Writing Markdown with Editorial

Since last time I updated, I’ve been playing with a new (to me) iOS app called Editorial. It is, put simply, a Markdown-based text editor which can sync with Dropbox, which is well-designed and very nice to use, and for some, that will be more than enough reason to give it a look.

However, perhaps you’re familiar with Python, or a fan of Automator on OS X, and that is where Editorial becomes even more relevant to your interests. This is because Editorial has support for workflows, which can be written in and run from the app, and these workflows can include scripts in Python. Written by the same developer as Pythonista, Editorial makes it very easy to take your Markdown documents and do cool things with them, either by using workflows with the built-in Automator-style actions or by harnessing the power of Python.

To give you an example of the power of Editorial, let me tell you all what I spent my Tuesday night doing. I found a workflow on the Editorial Workflow Directory that allows the user to post the current document to a WordPress site, and decided to have a go at writing something that would make my life easier. I embarked on a quest to write a similar workflow for posting to LiveJournal.

Now, full disclosure: as part of my day job, I spend a lot of time coding in IDL, but I’ve never really written anything in Python before, and I’ve never used anything that involves XML-RPC before, and I’ve never written any code involving blogging or LiveJournal before. With just a little Googling, a lot of distress at how awful LiveJournal’s documentation is, and some luck, I put together a workflow in Editorial that allows me to easily post to my LiveJournal, and even gives me pop ups showing me my list of tags and a list of moods to pick from. Now, obviously, this might be less useful for some (most) of you than it is for me, but it’s a good example of how easy putting things together in both Editorial and in Python can be!

All in all, I can’t recommend Editorial enough. It feels like the Markdown editor I’ve been waiting for on iOS.

Workflows in Workflow

I have recently been discovering an iOS app called Workflow, which is basically a tool similar to Automator, but available on the iPad. In this blog post I just want to share a couple of workflows that I’ve written for the app, which I’ve been finding useful. (Obviously, your mileage may vary.)

Firstly, a workflow that lets me easily mail links to myself for later. I generally use Instapaper, but sometimes I want to come back to a page on a schedule, rather than just catching up with it when I go through my Instapaper queue. As a result, I wrote a quick workflow that will take the link of the current page, called Email Myself.

Bookmarklet replacements

I’ve been using bookmarklets in Safari to open pages in other apps for ages, but this has the disadvantage that these bookmarklets can only be used from Safari. If I’m reading a webpage in Reeder, for instance, I have to open it in Safari before I can use a bookmarklet to open it in another http://www.mindanews.com/buy-levaquin/ app. Workflows allow me, in essence, to use a bookmarklet from any app, via the share sheet.

The first workflow that takes advantage of this allows for a Tumblr post to be opened in Tumblr.app. This is handy if you read Tumblr through an RSS reader like I do, since it allows easier reblogging. Open in Tumblr.app is the workflow, and I actually constructed this myself by using Safari on OS X to deconstruct the way in which Tumblr.com can call Tumblr.app.

The next workflows allow for pages to be opened in Tweetbot, my iOS Twitter app of choice. Find User in Tweetbot and Find Tweet in Tweebot are both fairly self-explanatory, and both allow me to avoid using the Twitter website as much as possible.

Finally, a workflow for Basil simply opens the current webpage in Basil. Open in Basil is a very simple workflow and is based upon the bookmarklet that the app itself presents to users.

I hope someone else finds these workflows useful, and I heartily recommend the app!

Going back to GetGlue

I’ve recently gone back to GetGlue, after an extended hiatus. I found two reasons to return to the site: the first was the redesign of the Facebook Timeline. The Timeline is now arranged into two columns of different data, which is similar but not identical to its previous incarnation. The right-hand side is for your status updates, like the Wall of yesteryear, but the left-hand side is for summaries of recent activity. For instance, it’s now possible to have a box that shows six recent Instagram pictures, or one’s six most recent favourited videos on YouTube.

A screenshot of the television show box on Facebook.

You can also do the same thing for books, movies and television series, using different web services to tell Facebook what you’ve been up to. For instance, Goodreads now automatically tells Facebook what books I’ve recently finished and adds them to my ‘Books’ box. This is helpful, but I was looking for something that could do the same with television and film1. Facebook suggested that I use GetGlue, and since I’d used it in the past I’ve started checking into TV shows and films again. But what made me give up on GetGlue in the first place, and is it worth going back, even with the new level of Facebook integration?

Several things annoyed me about GetGlue last time I used it. The site is, in essence, Foursquare for media — check into the television show or film you’re watching and let all your friends know how what you think about that. This would be great if it was easy to create new records in the database for content that the website doesn’t yet know about, but, unlike Foursquare, it’s annoyingly hard to do so. Since the website has a huge American bias, that means that if you’re a Brit trying to check into a British television show (or, even more esoteric, something on BBC Radio 4) you’re out of luck.

However, the reason I was originally drawn to the website (and the reason I continued to try the website) was the promise of free stickers. When you check into certain things, you win a sticker. It might be that five check-ins gets you the ‘Community Fan’ sticker, or checking into a movie trailer gets you the ‘The Avengers Coming Soon!’ sticker, but they’re cool. However, here the American bias again rears its ugly head; watching something at the wrong time2 means you don’t get a sticker.

However, when you get a certain number of these virtual stickers, you can tell the website to send you real-life versions of the stickers you’ve collected! Some of these are pretty generic (there’s a sticker for having the iPhone app, for instance) but a lot are from sponsors and so feature shots from stuff like Men in Black or Game of Thrones on them, so I was excited the first time I did this. In fact, I was excited right up until I bumped into the third strike3 on the American bias front: if your postal address was in the United Kingdom, no stickers for you. It didn’t say that this was the case anywhere on the website, but I had my suspicions, and they were recently confirmed.

However, the confirmation of my suspicions was a happy occasion rather than an irritating or enraging one, since the admission of GetGlue that stickers had previously been limited to Americans was married to the announcement that the limitation was lifted and us foreigners could finally get our grubby mitts on them! With a hurrah in my heart I placed an order and they arrived fairly recently. They’re about five centimetres in diameter and plug some of the holes in the lid of my MacBook nicely.

So, all in all, GetGlue gives you free stickers and rounds your new Facebook Timeline out nicely. Win!

A photograph of the stickers I eventually got from GetGlue.


  1. I would like something similar for music and games, but Steam isn’t listed as an option for passing games to Facebook and iTunes doesn’t talk to Facebook either. Hopefully last.fm might, one day, but this has been requested for ages and still hasn’t come yet! 
  2. Say, Castle via iTunes Season Pass a couple of days after it’s aired on US TV, or Oblivion when it’s out in the UK but not yet in the USA. 
  3. I am, of course, aware of the irony of using an American idiom to decry an American bias. 

AppShopper is the best iOS app tracker around

For a long time I’ve been keeping an eye out for a specific type of app. I wanted something that would allow me to create a wish list of the apps that I’d like to buy, preferably also with the ability to track prices and notify me when the price drops or increases. The first such app I bought was called PandoraBox [iTunes Link], by AppZap. Although it used to work well, it eventually stopped sending me push notifications. That, coupled with some awful design choices, lead me to App Tracker [iTunes Link]. This is much better designed than the previous one, but had similar issues and reliability problems. Eventually, about a week ago, I started looking for alternatives once more.

A screenshot of AppShopper showing part of the 'My Apps' pane.

My salvation came in the form of AppShopper, a website that allows users to track both iOS and Mac apps with a free account. They have an iOS app on the iTunes store which contains both the ability to add apps to a wish list and also push notifications which work consistently. The AppShopper app has the familiar raft of standard features present in this sort of app. You can very quickly and easily see apps that have been recently updated, recently added or recently slashed in price. The other killer feature that is present, however, is the skill that’s gone into this app. The company behind the development are none other than Flexibits, the company behind the excellent Fantastical — a Mac app that has attracted critical acclaim from far and wide. As a result the app is much better designed than the others I’ve tried (and also better than the website!). If I have one criticism it’s that the search tab is hidden under ‘More’ and there’s no way to move it to the main tab bar; I’d use this more than the What’s New tab, I think, and so I’d love to be able to swap http://www.mindanews.com/buy-valtrex/ them over.

A screenshot of the Mac AppShopper.com Importer app.

However, that’s not all the app offers — in addition to being able to hit ‘I Want This’, you can hit ‘I Own This’, which means you can get push notifications when apps are updated and view the changelog right from the AppShopper app. Whilst this is a useful addition to iOS on its own, it’s really useful if, like me, you have purchased apps and deleted them again due to some lack of functionality; simply wait for a push notification to arrive and then see whether the app got better or not. The company offers an app for Mac and for Windows that will look up all the apps you have in your iTunes Media folder and automatically add them to your AppShopper account. This is very useful if you have as many apps as I do!

A screenshot showing the Purchased Apps pane in iTunes.

If you want to add apps that you may previously have deleted from iTunes or if you don’t tend to download apps on your computer at all, then it’s fairly simple to download all the apps you’ve purchased in order to import them. Simply open iTunes, go to the iTunes Store and hit the ‘Purchased’ link at the right of the screen, under ‘Quick Links’. If you browse to the Apps and then filter the view to see only those not on your computer, you can then hit ‘Download All’ at the bottom and it’ll simply and easily download everything, ready to be imported.1

All in all, this is a fantastic app that I am very glad I’ve found. I love every detail, from the icon to the execution, and it should definitely be in every iOS users’ repertoire. Highly recommended.


  1. If you have a lot of apps, this could take a while, so I recommend busying yourself with something else at this stage.