Still Fishin’

Apologies for the scarcity of posts lately. I seem to have fallen short of my personal promise to myself of keeping my customers “in the know” and so a quick update today is in order.

Thus far, filewrangler 2.0 seems to be well received. Sales are almost nonexistent, but downloads are decent considering there have been no dot updates to push filewrangler back to the top of the “recent updates” of MacUpdate and VersionTracker. I knew when I released version 2.0 that I wouldn’t have much time to work on it until certain life events passed, of which I am currently in the thick. However, a non-released software does NOBODY any good at all and it was better to release and get feedback than to wait until I was done with everything in my personal life.

So far I am happy to report that there have been zero bugs reported on filewrangler 2.0. Does this mean nobody found any bugs? Does this mean nobody cares to report the bugs? Does this mean the bug-reporting process eludes my customers? There have certainly been feature requests, but even my paid customers have not reported any bugs to date.

For future dot releases, I have a preliminary roadmap of what I’d like to do with versions up to 2.5. I always find it much, much easier to program when I know where I’m going and it definitely helps me get my head around the order of events necessary to make certain future features viable. Right now I’m working on simplifying some of the internal communication structure to make future modifications a little easier and to (hopefully) speed up the live-previewing functions of the program. They are quick for modest data sets, but can certainly bog down a bit when working with large data sets; so, I’d like to make sure that that user base is well served.

I’m currently trying an experiment in rapid-prototyping/rapid-development of a Core Data-based iPhone application. I’m working quickly to get some of the differences between iOS and Mac OS X development a bit more firmly ingrained in my mind as it has been some time since I really dug into Cocoa Touch. Some of it has been eye-opening for a second time (how quickly we forget the lessons of the past).

The application is a travel diary with some features I’ve not seen in other, similar applications. The functionality is being driven by my girlfriend, and I’m basically trying to relegate myself to just being the coder. While we travel we will use the program, and if I’m not exhausted from hiking around all day long, then the usage patterns of the day will drive changes to the design that will be incorporated in the evening for use the next day and so forth. I’m really looking forward to working on a project that is someone else’s concept and will have such rapid cycle of iterative refinement.

After the trip I hope to polish the app and release it to the App Store within two weeks. The current intention is to make it iAd driven, keeping the cost free yet hopefully funding future development projects. My current concern with making it iAd-driven has to do with data roaming. I haven’t read anything on the iAd SDK yet, however for those taking this application on the road and who also turn off data roaming, will iAd balk and break? Will iAd cache ads for display later? Can I set iAd to only grab ads when the user is on a WiFi network? Basically, if the network provides the revenue stream, what do I do when the user turns off the network? Something to consider for the future.

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