inessential by Brent Simmons

November 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

When I think about it—which is more often than you think—I’m surprised to find that I can create things that other people like. It’s what I wanted out of life as far back as I can remember. And so I am profoundly thankful to everybody who uses and likes software I’ve worked on. Thank you!

(I wouldn’t be surprised if lots of other developers have the same thanks to give. We all want great users, and if we’re fortunate enough to have them, well, we owe the universe a beer. And more software.)

Evening at Adler video posted

The Evening at Adler video is up!

Many thanks to drunkenbatman and all the people who put this together. It was a very cool event, and I hope there are more.

Tip for the paranoid

I’m a little paranoid when it comes to web browsing. Here’s what I do. (I also enable the local web server and make the 404 document empty.) (Be careful, do this at your own risk, etc.)

Talking at Seattle Xcoders meeting tonight

I’ll be at the Seattle Xcoders meeting tonight talking about what The Life was like, what it was like to sell our company and why we did it, and what life is like now.

See you there!

Macworld readers’ choice voting

Please vote in the Macworld readers’ choice awards!

NetNewsWire was nominated along with some other really fantastically cool apps: Transmit, Comic Life, Audio Hijack Pro, and more. Obviously, I’d be glad if you vote for NetNewsWire, but it’s more important that you just go vote.

You’ve got to be kidding me

Sometimes I feel like I must be ten years old... I was staring at this code and wondering why things weren’t working:

for (i = 0; i++; i < [_tabItems count])

Nuts! (Obviously, I figured it out. And felt dumb, so I immediately had to post about it. Note that I could use NSEnumerator instead, which would have saved this particular headache, but I tend to prefer the old-fashioned for loop since it tells me at-a-glance what’s going on. Except this time I messed it up.)

Meet the new MarsEdit programmer

Here’s the situation we were in... We wanted to work more on MarsEdit, but we also wanted to work on NetNewsWire at the same time. So we thought of a bunch of different possibilities and decided to find another developer to help us with MarsEdit.

But how do you choose a developer for something like this? We had a few criteria: we wanted...

- Someone exceptionally talented at Cocoa development with a track record of shipping great apps.

- Someone who is well-acquainted with the space—that is, someone who’s written a desktop editor that connects to XML-based web services.

- Someone who is great at working with beta testers: communication and community skills a must.

- Bonus points for someone who lives near me, so we can meet as needed.

We thought about different people, but one name kept coming up as totally ideal: Gus Mueller of Flying Meat.

(Now, before anyone worries that Gus has given up his indie status, he hasn’t: he’s working on MarsEdit as a contractor. He’s still Gus of Flying Meat.)

(And, by the way, Gus does live near me. We just had a meeting at my office, in fact, and now he has the source code and is getting started.)

What’s the plan?

I worked on MarsEdit somewhat this past summer—as much time as I could muster, anyway. The goal was to handle the most common and pressing of bug reports and feature requests—and so there are new features (as well as bug fixes) coming in the next version. (It’s too soon to announce a list, in case any of them have to get postponed, but we’ll announce them when we can.)

This does mean that Gus isn’t starting from scratch: in fact, every new feature has at least been started, and some are near completion. While it’s too soon to announce a ship date, it’s good to know that the road to MarsEdit 1.1 isn’t as long as it would be had I not been able to work on it this summer.

And, as a 1.1 release, it will be a free upgrade for MarsEdit users.


Gus will be working with MarsEdit beta testers (and I’ll be there too) as soon as it gets to beta status. (It’s not beta yet.)

If you’re already a MarsEdit user, and you’re serious about wanting to help test, you can send me private email. I may not reply right away, but I’ll send you email when we start testing the beta. It won’t be today or tomorrow or next week, but it’s getting there.

Anyway... Welcome, Gus! I’m looking forward to working with him, and I think those of you who are beta testers will enjoy it too. (And all MarsEdit users will benefit from his mad Cocoa skills. ;)

P.S. I’ve been writing this in the current development build. I wonder if it will actually work when I click the Post button. Here goes... fingers crossed...

Gus on realtime publishing to NetNewsWire

Gus Mueller: “So here's an idea that I’d like to see... a way to publish realtime information (server issues, alarms, *bing* another copy of VoodooPad sold, whatever) to NetNewsWire, and not have to wait till the top of the hour to find out about it. Sort of like Growl, but in a list.”

Update 10:25 a.m.: to be clear, no changes in NetNewsWire are needed. Gus is talking about building on features that already exist in NetNewsWire (scriptability and script feeds) and technology such as SQLite.