Friday, 11 August 2017

Where's the Mac Version of Omber?

Short answer:
I will release it to the Mac App Store on Monday, August 14.

Long answer:
I sent the Mac version of Omber off for review on Sunday, and it was accepted on Monday. That was a lot faster than I expected. I thought the review process would take a few days and that I might need a few passes to get it through. In fact, the review process was so fast that it threw off my scheduling. I was expecting to use the time it was in review to work on a backlog of related tasks and to prepare for the release. Instead, I've had to rush the release preparations.

I've delayed the release for a week so that I can update the website and do some PR. This new Mac version is a major new undertaking for Omber, and I want people to know about it. It's weird. Even though I'm the creator of Omber, I still find myself instinctively reaching for CorelDraw when I want to edit some SVG icons. When I catch myself and use Omber instead, even I'm surprised by how well it works. I keep thinking to myself, "this program is so awesome, and it's free. Why aren't more people using it?" So I'm going to make a real effort to spread the word about Omber this time.

I'm really eager to let people get their hands on the Mac version of Omber. I know that Mac people are very picky about their user interfaces, so I put a lot of effort into integrating Omber into the Mac ecosystem. It makes use of Cocoa's document framework, so you get all the proper file menus and edit menus and saving and whatnot. I made an effort to "Macify" the drawing UI by using a Mac-like color scheme and moving all the close buttons to the upper-left of windows. I admit that the UI still exhibits a "house-style" rather than true "Apple-style." I'm a big believer of the old-school UI approach of trying to make interfaces readable and self-describing. As a result, the UI will seem more functional rather than artful. I consider that part of the indie, artisanal charm of using software developed by a single person. The only UI issue that I feel I wasn't able to come through on was support for the advanced features of Apple's peripheral devices. The prices of the Magic Mouse, Trackpad, and TouchBar really add up after a while, and I couldn't really justify buying them. So none of the special gestures and options of those devices are supported. Still, I think Mac users will be really satisfied with the experience of using Omber on macOS.

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