We posted Core Intuition episode 253 this morning. From the show notes:
Manton and Daniel discuss Manton’s experience at the Release Notes conference, talk about the rationale for supporting what might be considered edge-case behaviors in apps, and dig deeper into questions of freemium pricing, reflecting on the Omni Group’s pertinent announcements. Finally they talk briefly about Google’s latest announcements and what their competition means to Apple.
Google must be doing something right with their announcements, because yesterday my son told me he wants to get a Pixel when it’s time to replace his iPhone 5S. And as much as I love our Amazon Echo, I can see Google Home taking off if it’s well-integrated with existing Google services.
Brent Simmons, still an Omni employee, has decided to part ways with his Q Branch founders to focus on a new project. The whole essay is an important read, but especially this part:
“I turned 47 a little while ago, and I’ve had some reasons to reflect on the shortness of life, and I realized how very important it is for me to work on the software that I think about every day. I kept putting it off, but every day that I put it off hurt more than the previous day. I realized that I couldn’t continue — I have to do the work that I need to do.”
I think many of us can relate to this. I don’t personally have a single piece of software in mind that has been nagging at me, but I have had a sense for a couple years that everything I work on needs to be something that matters to me. Having a theme across projects has also been a great way to judge what to spend time on.
We are so lucky in the Mac and iOS developer community that there are a number of ways to be successful. The most common:
- Work for someone else at their company.
- Work for yourself as an indie developer.
- Work for clients as a contractor or consultant.
- Any mix of the above or all 3.
There’s no right answer. What works for one developer might be a poor choice for someone else. And throughout our careers, we may move between any of these different paths depending on what life and family require.
Today, Brent Simmons announced that he’s making one of those moves. He’s starting at Omni, and he’ll continue to work on Vesper as well:
“I love that I get to work on both Vesper and on Omni apps. Omni is one of the great Cocoa development companies, and they’ve grown slowly and steadily over many years. They write lovable productivity apps — not just great iOS apps but also great Mac apps.”
Also today, Jon Hays announced that his 6-month-old company SilverPine is doing great, and they’ve finished a bunch of client projects:
“To say that some days my hair feels like it’s on fire is an understatement. That being said, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The work we do is creative, challenging, cutting edge and very rewarding.”
Congrats to both! Change is exciting. It’s great to see friends happy doing what they love.
Somehow it’s been a couple years since I wrote about “using VoodooPad for authoring help”:http://www.manton.org/2007/01/falling_in_love.html. I always meant to update the post with more information, and I still receive occasional follow-up emails from developers who are trying this for themselves. My workflow is virtually unchanged since then, and the help for “Clipstart”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/clipstart/ is built the same way.
Here is the Clipstart VoodooPad document in case it’s helpful to other developers: “Clipstart_Help.vpdoc.zip”:http://manton.org/misc/Clipstart_Help.vpdoc.zip. The important parts are the special pages WebExportPostflightScript and WebExportPageTemplate.
Meanwhile, “Philippe Casgrain wrote a great blog post”:http://developer.casgrain.com/?p=16 that is nearly identical to what I do, but with more detail and steps for triggering an export from Xcode. Lately I’ve been pointing people to his post since it’s more technical than mine was.
“Mark Dalrymple also posted”:http://borkwarellc.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/voodoopad-and-subversion/ a time-saving SVN script for VoodooPad today. I’ve been needing this!
VoodooPad is just a really good fit for this stuff. (Also see “Macworld’s 4-mice review”:http://www.macworld.com/article/141473/2009/07/voodoopad41.html for VoodooPad 4.1.) Or if you are more of an OmniOutliner kind of person, check out “Omni’s Helpify tool”:http://blog.omnigroup.com/2008/10/02/helpify-the-omni-help-emitter/ for converting outlines to an Apple help book.