Code by Kevin

Code by Kevin, Programming, code, business, and other pursuits

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Kevin Walzer, software developer.


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Tue, 21 Aug 2018

New pricing policy

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.

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FileMorph 3.0

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.

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Thu, 19 Jul 2018

Updated mobile apps

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.

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Mon, 04 Jun 2018

Stringscan 1.2

Amid the ongoing updates to my apps to reflect my transition to a new server, I've also assembled a more substantial update to Stringscan,, my text search application for Mac and Windows.

In addition to the updates for the source code repository, Stringscan also features a re-worked search algorithm and significant changes to how I deploy it on Windows. Here are the details:

  • New search algorithm. Previous versions used a core Ruby module that inspected a file and attempted to determine its type, and filter out non-text files. This algorithm was fine for filtering out non-text files but also filtered out a lot of readable text files that did not fit is model (script files, for instance, would be registered as applications and not plain text). Thus, searches were very incomplete. I've improved the search algorithm by pulling the large list of standard text file formats that I use in TextSweep, which covers a broader range of file types. The list is probably not exhaustive, but does provide a basis for further incremental refinements.
  • New deployment on Windows. Previous versions of Stringscan shipped with a stub executable that directly linked to the Ruby interpreter and could launch the app. Previously this meant the app would open a Windows DOS-style console when launched, which I judged to be lacking in polish. My recent efforts to remove the console have been successful with TextSweep and another app, but with the Stringscan executable, I found the app crashing on startup. After a fair amount of frustration trying to debug this, I finally decided to use the Ruby GUI executable itself to run the app, and linked to it using a Windows desktop shortcut. The slick thing the Windows shortcut is that I can give it Stringscan's name and icon even as I set its target to run rubyw and Stringscan's main script. In the Windows start menu and taskbar, this looks exactly like a regular application. It's a neat solution, one that I learned from seeing how another app, webGobbler, was installed and presented in the start menu.
  • As always, Stringscan 1.2 is a free update for registered users. If you are looking for an easy-to-use text search tool, give it a try.

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    Sun, 22 Apr 2018

    New source code repository

    Because of Apple's decision to deprecate its product, I've had to move my Internet presence to an external hosting service, and I've migrated my source code repository as a result.

    Here is my new repo:

    I'm in the process of pushing out minor updates to all my apps, mainly containing minor bug fixes and links to the new source code repository. More extensive updates will come later this year.

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