So, 2008 has gotten off to a very interesting start. So far, I've found out that I had to leave Rochester, found out that I don't have to leave Rochester, released the Tubular public beta, and accepted a position as a Cocoa engineer at Ambrosia Software. It's been an absolutely crazy few weeks, and we're only midway through February. With that in mind, I'd like to take a look at what 2008 holds in store for past, present and future projects.

First, the obvious. Tubular is completely on track for a 1.0 release very soon. The public beta is going very well, and the newest version, 1.0b2, is the most stable and feature-complete build yet. Of course, there are still bugs to be fixed, which is why it's not at 1.0 yet. The march continues on towards that very important goal.

One thing to note is that while Tubular's development has been somewhat stagnant for a little while, that's not to say I haven't been thinking about it and its future. From a product perspective, there's a million things I want to do in Tubular, but the underlying architecture hasn't been there to support these future-looking features. So, to make it work, I've been reworking some of the plumbing that moves data around inside the app. Some of this labor has already started to bear fruit in development builds of Tubular, although the new features that will result from it won't show up until 1.1. But suffice it to say, there are a lot of new features in the works.

One thing I didn't realize at the onset of this project is how to difficult it is to manage and maintain a large list of people, as well as sending out thousands of emails at once. Turns out you get put on spam filters and stuff like that. Recently, to make this problem more manageable, I set up SugarCRM on my new Slicehost server. This tool is fantastic, and helps me keep track of bugs, support emails, registrations, announcements, and more. I'll hopefully be expanding on SugarCRM in the future, as it has quickly become the hub of my business, and having a full-featured customer relationship management tool has saved me a ton of time. It's a very powerful and sophisticated tool which contains a bit of extra cruft (which is to be expected; its mostly intended for people in sales), but once you get the system working for you, it becomes indispensable.

Aside from Tubular, I hope to be releasing a good amount of source code over the next few months. The first project I'll be open-sourcing is my popular app DeskTunes. I've been told that it doesn't work properly in Leopard, and the whole app (aside from some utility code I had lying around) was created in 6 hours, so there remains some cleanup to be done on the codebase. It should be ready to go pretty soon, and of course I'll announce it when that happens. However, for the most part, I'll be removing myself from any active development (not that there ever was any).

There are some other pieces of code I'll be releasing over time. I'm not sure what exactly will make it out yet, so I can't give any insight as to what it will be, but there will definitely be some good amount of code released before summer.

One more thing...

There is a project that I've been planning for over 9 months, and has been under development for a little less than a month. It is Mac-based, and it will be open-source. It won't be released until after Tubular hits 1.0, and I'm not going to be giving out any details just yet. However, I will tease just a little bit: One of the major goals of this project is to start a huge revolution in Internet-based software. Details forthcoming. 😀