inessential by Brent Simmons

Rainier Diary #9: The Renaming

Over the weekend I renamed my in-progress app from Frontier to Rainier.

As you may recall, the app was to be a modernized, rewritten-in-Swift version of UserLand Frontier, the classic Mac scripting app.

But then this weekend I started down a slightly different path, and renamed the app to Rainier.

And here’s why: if it’s called Frontier, that implies compatibility with older versions of Frontier. There are two problems with that:

  • Achieving compatibility with Frontier is actually an extremely difficult job. So much has changed over the years.
  • Achieving compatibility also means having to live with decisions made years ago — but there are some cases where I’d rather have the freedom to make other decisions. (New mistakes, maybe!)

The app remains inspired by Frontier. It wouldn’t exist without it. The core concepts remain the same — the hierarchical database with integrated scripting language, for starters.

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I don’t, at this point, have any intention of making a Linux version, though technically that would be possible, given that Swift is available for Linux. I’m sure I’ll never make a Windows version.

It’s possible that it could end up running on iOS some day. But my focus is on the Mac app, and my focus is really on Evergreen right now, which is way closer to shipping than Rainier is. (There is some overlapping code between the two apps, though. Sometimes I’m working on both apps at the same time.)

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Mount Rainier is one of the tallest mountains in the continental United States. You can see it every day from Seattle except when clouds get in the way. It is a stratovolcano.