5 September 2021

Weekly Project Update 9

Day One Sync has a new name. Turns out that there is already something offered by Day One the company (I guess it’s now Automattic) called Day One Sync, so using this name is no longer possible. It was never really a good name anyway.

So now the app is called Feed Journaler.1

The only downside of this rename though is the app icon. The prominence of the lowercase D in the design was based on the idea of Day One” being somewhere in the name. It may have to do for the moment: I’m not too keen with changing it at this late stage. Maybe it won’t matter in the end: it could take on a more abstract representation of what the app is doing. That’s probably not good iconography design, but I won’t say anything if you won’t. 🙂

Anyway, this last week was spent on closing out the many of the remaining niggly things. There was actually a few more than I realised, like making sure the proper feed is displayed when creating or deleting feeds, making sure that the window is restored properly when closing it and clicking the dock icon, and just making the UI more usable. The feed status display needed a bit more work than I thought as well. Ideally, when the app encounters an error fetching and importing a feed, the status display should reflect that. This was previously not happening, and the status Up to Date” was being shown even though some feed items failed to be imported. I’ve started working trying to address this. I’ve got the foundations there, but it may be that some additional work will be required down the line to actually show which feed item failed, why they did, and how they can be resolved. It’s likely that some additional UI will need to be built.

There are still one or two small things that need finishing, but apart from that, I think this release is more-or-less feature ready. It’s not pretty — I’m not going to win any design awards for this — but I hope that some of the rough edges have been smoothed out. There are still plenty more, but that may have to wait.

Now comes the fun part: distribution.

I’m hoping to make this release available in some form of public early access program. The app is currently not sandboxed — it needs to run a command that comes from Day One, which I’ve been unable to do from within an app container — so the Mac App Store is out of the question. So there will be time dealing with certificates and profiles and all the other stuff Apple requires developers to do to get their app out there. Doing this manually is okay so far. I’d like to automate this in some way down the line, but I get the feeling that stepping away from the paths of Apple even slightly will mean a lot more work. Doing it all in Xcode by clicking things will have to suffice for the moment.

Instead, I’ll need to stand up a website to through which this app can be made available to others. Ironically, some of the very last things left to do in the app itself requires the website to be built: there are a few buttons and links which need to open up the website in a browser. It may take time standing up the Sparkle framework to handle automatic updates, so it’s likely that this 0.1 release will not have this. So I’ll also need some way of announcing new releases when they’re available. For a little while I considered setting up a mailing list, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that at the moment. My current thinking of doing this in the form of RSS blog-posts, that those currently using the early access release can subscribe to in their feed reader. Maybe also a Twitter handle as well.

So that’s my focus for the coming week.

  1. It might be that this name is no better: coming up with good names is hard. At least the domain name was available.↩︎


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Weekly Project Update 8 It was difficult writing this update this week. I have to stop reading the news before I do. Anyway, I spent a bit of last week working on Day One
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Weekly Project Update 10 Hey, these updates made it to double digits. I guess dedicating time in your calendar for writing actually work. Big day for Feed Journaler