It’s fairly old news by now, but I’ve recently had a slight change of direction and taken a permanent role at Bohemian Coding. As a result, it is past time for me to mention it here, and to address this important question:
What does this mean for Elegant Chaos and our products?
I’ve made the decision to effectively retire Ambientweet, and from today onwards it will be free (in fact, I changed the price a couple of days back). Ever since Twitter started discouraging third-party clients, it has been hard to justify continuing to work on it, and some recent API changes at Twitter’s end seem to have broken it completely. I will endeavour to fix it again, if I can do so without expending an insane amount of effort, but after that, it isn’t likely to receive much love.
I actually had a lot of plans for Ambientweet, and had also been hoping to do a version for app.net. Perhaps one day this will still happen, but it’s not likely to be soon.
On the other hand, Neu is still very much alive, and there are some new features on the way.
However, to streamline things slightly, I am going to move directly to releasing a 2.0 version, which will require OS X 10.7 or greater (or possibly even 10.8). This will allow me to tidy up and modernise the code, which will have some internal benefits as well as speeding the development process.
Additionally, I may well remove Neu from the Mac App store. Neu is in that category of helper applications which have a difficult time complying with Apple’s rules for the store.
It doesn’t do anything particularly complicated, but it integrates quite tightly with the Finder, and in the future I have some plans to integrate it further - both with the Finder and with other apps. Doing this whilst staying correctly sandboxed is quite difficult, and is deflecting time from the development of new features.
Early on, I made the decision that I didn’t want to release a new version on my website until I’d had the same version approved for release on the store, so that store customers didn’t feel that they were lagging behind.
Unfortunately, this has resulted in no new official version of Neu being released since Apple required sandboxing. Given that I now have a limited amount of time to work on it, I would prefer to move it forward by adding features, rather than by working around sandboxing problems.
The most pragmatic way to do this is to remove it from the store, for now at least. This is likely to happen when I release 2.0.
What does this mean if you already own a license for 1.0? The good news is that I intend Neu 2.0 to be a free update. If you bought Neu through my store, it will continue to accept your existing license file.
Unfortunately there is no way for a developer to obtain a list of the people that bought a product on the app store. I have some existing technology in Neu which allows non-app store versions to spot that you once ran a licensed app store copy, and to accept this as proof of purchase. This should continue to work for Neu 2.0, but it does have the slight annoyance that would will have to have downloaded Neu from the store and run it at least once on your machine. I will continue to explore other options - possibly I may be able to add something that allows you to request a new license file when the app spots that you have an app store license on the machine. More on this later, no doubt…
I have various other products that I was planning on. Most of these are things that I want for myself, so they may well happen, but unless someone invents a time machine, they will take a while…
## Welcome To The Future
So… that’s my news. Hopefully it’s all good. Do continue to keep the feature requests and bug reports coming in (especially for Neu). Please bear with me if I take a while to respond, but I am definitely still here and beavering away!