Vitamin-R Progress Report

This is just a quick update on where development of Vitamin-R is going for the next few months.

A lot of the recent updates had to do with the text system. Getting a full grip on the byzantine complexities of the MacOS X text system takes a bit of time and in the 1.0 version of Vitamin-R there were lots of rough edges to the Now & Later Board and text entry fields. Ironing those out takes precedence over most other issues. I also spent quite a bit of time trying to understand a rare, but crashing bug on Leopard also related to the text system. I have quietly released a fix and haven’t heard anything about this bug rearing its ugly little glyph head, so I hope that’s over and done with.

The OmniFocus integration has been a big hit for many people, but hard on the heels of that came a flood of “Why don’t you integrate with X, Y, Z, etc”. I’ve been doing some experimental work on getting integrating with other to-do list managers.

I’m starting working in earnest on Things (from Cultured Code) integration this week. It shouldn’t take too long so with a bit of luck it should be out in 2 to 4 weeks time.

After that there will be a bit more text system tuning in the form of customizable FastType triggers. Some script writers in particular find the “–” at the end of the line (“strikeout line”) and the “—” on a blank line (“insert separating line”) triggers hard to live with and I also want to give an option for switching off FastType altogether for those who prefer a “vanilla” editor.

At the moment, the absence of a log viewer is also a sore point, apparently mostly for myself. There was always going to be a log viewer for 1.0 but then the complete interface re-do triggered by the early beta feedback pushed that off for later. A simple but dedicated log viewer should make its appearance shortly after the FastType work.

That should mark the end of the most pressing post-1.0 release work and I’ll be able to finally get to making more out of the logged data. Most of the technical backend for creating graphs and analyzing your time slices already shipped with the early betas of Vitamin-R, but with all the other pressing changes, I’ve never quite got around to getting this into a publish-able state.

I expect to do a lot of work on statistics and analysis of your logged usage patterns over the remainder of the year.

I also get a lot of requests for an iPhone or iPad versions of Vitamin-R. There is likely going to be an iPad version and more than likely an iPhone version. At the moment, I’m concentrating on the Mac version.

I’m one of those developers who aren’t terribly happy with the AppStore-only policy and thus can’t work up any real enthusiasm for spending months of time on a program that may-or-may-not be accepted by Apple and may-or-may-not be taken out of the AppStore at the whim of Apple and needs to be priced at less than the price of a decent espresso 🙂

I’m often given to wonder how a young Steve Jobs, famously independently minded and sitting in his garage, would have reacted to a “curated” environment like the AppStore. Hell, he’d probably have created the Pear II and taken the fight to big brother..

My garage is already full of junk and the lighting is bad, so I’ll just have to forget about it and learn to love the AppStore I guess.. concerning an iPad version.. I’m still waiting for the iPad to hit Luxembourg, but I think it could make for a terrific Vitamin-R platform..

Better get back to work.

Best regards,