Code by Kevin, Programming, code, business, and other pursuits
Kevin Walzer, software developer.
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I've released version 2.0 of Stringscan, my grep-like tool for macOS and Windows. Like my other applications, this version features UI improvements for Mac and Windows, a significantly streamlined installation process for Windows, a new scripting API, and more. This application, a free release, asks for a donation to support its development.
With this release, I have completed a significant update cycle on all my apps for Mac and Windows, and I plan to take a break from app development and return to Tk development. My colleague Marc Culler has been doing a brilliant job with bug fixes and Tk improvements, and I'm eager to jump back in with some ideas for improving Tk.Thu, 30 Apr 2020
I've released version 4 of FileMorph, my file modification tool for macOS and Windows. This release continues my work with upgrading the UI of my apps for macOS, and assorted improvements for Windows as well. This release also continues my work in making my applications free but asking for user support with a donation. The app is very useful for batch modifications of file attributes, and I encourage you to give it a try.Fri, 13 Mar 2020
I've released version 7.0 of QuickWho, my GUI DNS client for Mac and Windows. This is a significant update over previous versions with a new scripting interface, support for dark mode on macOS, and a streamlined Windows installation process.
As with my other apps, it is now free but requests a donation to support my open-source work. It's a useful tool; please give it a try.Fri, 03 Jan 2020
I've just released TextSweep 5.0, my search-and-replace tool for macOS and Windows, written in Tcl/Tk.
This release includes an updated user interface, support for Dark Mode on macOS, and a streamlined Windows installation process that reduces the download size, adds a command-line interface to the user's path, and more. Part of the updated UI is using the native help display systems on Mac and Windows.
This release also continues my shift in business model away from charging a registration fee to requesting donations through the Liberapay system for open-source developers.
It's a free download, and if you want a helpful, well-reviewed tool for search and replace of text in multiple files, it's worth a look.Sun, 13 Oct 2019
I've released version 9.1 of PortAuthority, my GUI for MacPorts, and Manpower, my man page viewer for macOS. These apps are now free to download and use; I've replaced the registration fee and serial numbers with a request for a donation to support my work at Liberapay. Both apps are significant updates over previous versions with full support for Catalina. Please check them out, especially if you use open source software or have interest in the Unix underpinnings of macOS.Fri, 11 Oct 2019
I am now accepting donations to support my open-source work on Liberapay--a funding platform analogous to Patreon, but for open-source developers. If the products I develop or the projects I maintain are helpful to you, please donate to hep fund my time spent on these projects. Thank you.Sat, 03 Aug 2019
It's been nearly a year since I've posted anything here. App development has been somewhat dormant, although I've been active with Tcl/Tk development and have received what I consider to be the capstone honor in my career: I've been elected to the Tcl Core Team, becoming one of the decision-makers in Tcl's governing body. Marc Culler, my colleague in Tcl/Tk development on the Mac, was also elected.
Most of my development time in the past year has been spent on Tcl/Tk work; macOS 10.14 broke Tk in many ways and it has required major re-architecting of Tk-Mac's drawing internals. Marc has done most of the heavy lifting there, assisted by me with lots of testing and feedback and some code. I also undertook to add support for the Mac's Services API to Tk's core, based on an extension library I wrote several years ago.
Now that Tk is back in reasonable shape on the Mac, I'm turning my attention back to my own applications. I'm doing a lot of work to incorporate the recent advances in Tk into the apps, and also adding some features. It's also time for some brand refinement, and I'm starting today with a UI refresh of my website (to be followed by a similar project with the apps themselves). I'm feeling in a retro mood, so I've chosen to use icons from the Nuvola theme by David Vignoni, one of the most popular open-source icon themes in the early aughts. They are bright and well-crafted.
10.14 has brought a lot of other changes for apps independent of the changes that we implemented for Tcl/Tk, particularly in the area of app security--app notarization is an additional step I will have to look into as I release new versions of my apps. That will come over the next several months.Tue, 21 Aug 2018
My applications are all now priced at $10, reduced from $29.99.
For years I've resisted the race to the bottom that seems to be prevalent in software pricing for the Mac and Windows; my attitude is that "price is an indicator of quality" and I did not want to sell my applications short.
It's hard to ignore the market forever, though, and facts are facts: software is lower in price than it was 10 years ago. Users expect it. An application that retails for $50 today might be a "pro" app that would have cost $100-200 a decade ago.
My apps, being fairly simple utilities, are simply not competitive at a $30 price point in today's market. Hence, the reduced price.
I'm hopeful this will result in a few more sales, as most of my apps do not sell well at the higher price point. But I don't expect to see a huge jump in revenue. Instead, this is just a likely-overdue move to bring my products' price to where the market has judged similar products should be placed.
Another pricing model is becoming increasingly common in software: subscriptions. Apple is apparently pushing developers on its platform to adopt this model wholesale. I have a lot of app subscriptions, mainly for Adobe and Microsoft products, so I'm familiar with this approach from a user perspective. I'm not sure at this point how to implement it in my own apps, or whether this even makes sense for small utilities.
So for now, $10 for an initial purchase is where I am. I have no plans to change my free upgrades for life policy.
I've just released version 3.0 of FileMorph, my file modification tool for macOS and Windows. The biggest changes in this release are the introduction of a scripting API for Windows based on Dynamic Data Exchange, which I am gradually rolling out into all my Windows products. This release also includes an improved UI on Windows (no more console!), and various bug fixes for macOS and Windows.
As always, upgrades to my products are free to registered users.Thu, 19 Jul 2018
We've released updated versions of our mobile travel apps, The Lake Effect (Great Lakes travel) and Snowbird Shores (Atlantic coast travel). Both feature modest UI updates. Both are free downloads for iPhone and iPad.