HomeBridge is software from Nick Farina that “allows you to integrate with smart home devices that do not support the HomeKit protocol.”

It supports Plugins, which are community-contributed modules that provide a basic bridge from HomeKit to various 3rd-party APIs provided by manufacturers of “smart home” devices. Since Siri supports devices added through HomeKit, this means that with Homebridge you can ask Siri to control devices that don’t have any support for HomeKit at all.

HomeBridge is free, open-source server software for Node.js (which runs on many different systems from a Raspberry Pi on up through Mac, Windows, and Linux to System Z and more), published via NPM.


SimplyFortran is a “modern Fortran development environment” from Approximatrix LLC. Features include “the GNU Fortran compiler, an advanced development environment including project management, and an integrated debugger for fast and easy installation”, along with “impeccable” support for the FORTRAN 77 standard.

SimplyFortran 3.9 is priced at $99 for an individual license for macOS 10.15, Windows or Linux, with a 30-day trial period, or $159 for an individual license covering all three platforms. Older versions are available for earlier systems with Version 2.41 working on Macs back to Mac OS X 10.6. The latest version “includes improvements to the development environment and important bug fixes on all platforms.”

Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds is Apple’s iPad game for learning how to write software code in the company’s Swift programming language. Apple says,

You solve interactive puzzles in the guided “Learn to Code” lessons to master the basics of coding, or experiment with a wide range of challenges that let you explore many unique coding experiences.

See “A Swift Tour“, Swift Playgrounds documentation, and Swift resources for more details.

Swift Playgrounds 3.2 is a free download for iPads running iOS 11 and later.

Swift Playgrounds 3.2 has just been released for macOS, but only for macOS 10.15 Catalina, as it apparently depends on Apple’s Mac Catalyst iPad software conversion subsystem.


LiveCode is a cross-platform, open-source, visual, rapid development system that provides authoring on Windows, Mac or Linux systems and deployment of apps, royalty-free, across Mac, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, Raspberry Pi, web servers, and HTML5 web apps. It has strong similarities in design and programming to Bill Atkinson’s brilliantly revolutionary HyperCard for early Macs but is much more powerful.

LiveCode can open HyperCard stacks (though you may need an older LiveCode version to do it, and the stacks may need changes to function and look the way they did before). LiveCode guides, lessons, and dictionary offer more details.

LiveCode 9.5.1 is the latest “stable” download for OS X 10.10 through 10.13+, as well as Windows and Linux. (Earlier versions support PowerPC and Intel Macs back to Mac OS X 10.5).

LiveCode licensing options range from the free, open-source Community license through several commercial versions with support for closed-source apps and additional support. There’s also a 10-day trial available.

LiveCode for FileMaker (“LCFM Native”) promises to convert FileMaker applications into native smartphone apps. (Pricing depends on several different factors.)

Our new tool lets you take an existing FileMaker layout, run it through the compiler, use built-in LiveCode functionality to augment your app with native functionality and deploy it as a native app. For example take a FileMaker Go or Desktop layout and convert it to become a native Android app. Presto, your FileMaker solution is now a native Android app. And still talking to FileMaker.


BBEdit is a professional HTML and text editor from Bare Bones Software Inc., aimed at web and software developers. Features include pattern matching (“grep”); search and replace across multiple files; the ability to edit columns (in “delimited (CSV, TSV) text files”); function navigation and syntax coloring for numerous source code languages; code folding; text and code completion; FTP and SFTP open and save; AppleScript support and a “text factory”; Unix scripting support and a complete set of HTML markup and clean-up tools.

Version 13 was a major update, first released last fall, that includes “Pattern Playgrounds … for learning, developing and testing regular expression search patterns (‘grep patterns’) in a safe environment” and “live display of both literal and regular expression matching while entering a search string in the Find window”, plus an “Apply Transform command, which provides a powerful, immediate means to apply any single text transformation to multiple files and folders”, among many other improvements.

BBEdit 13.0.3 is priced at $49.99 for macOS 10.14 and later. The BBEdit download runs for 30 days with all features enabled for evaluation and then continues with a reduced feature set free of charge. (The free BBEdit mode replaces BBEdit’s earlier TextWrangler app.)