It was really fun to create the website for this giveaway. I also find myself staring at the confetti because it’s so soothing to see how it travels downward. I hope you enjoy the experience, too, and that you know someone who would benefit from a tasteful note-taking app in 2021 with no strings attached.
I’m a fan of linking into my Zettelkasten. I usually do this via a convention: when a 12-number digit is used to signify a timestamp with accuracy to the minute, like 202102101025 for 2021-02-10 10:25, then I expect this to be a note identifier in my note archive. When the timestamp is accurate to the second, I expect this to be something else outside my note archive, like invoices I filed away. To utilize this information, in the worst case, I have to copy the ID and paste it into Spotlight to get to the note.
This announcement is a very difficult one: I cannot work on The Archive for the next week or two, maybe, more. That’s because with Xcode 11 and Swift 5.1, UI Tests stopped to work. Like, at all. I have created a Feedback ticket (FB7338237) and now also have a Technical Support incident open, awaiting a reply by Apple engineers to help with this.
This is a pretty huge update. It introduces native macOS multi-tabbing to The Archive – which means you can now open multiple tabs or windows and have different search contexts active. We call these contexts “Workspaces”. On macOS 10.12 and newer, you’ll get native tabbing of windows; for macOS 10.11 and earlier you’ll get multiple windows only.
This weekend, I released an update to the note-taking app I’m working on for a while called The Archive. This update is pretty big for people not getting updates from the opt-in “Cutting Edge” update channel, because all of a sudden the app allows you to navigate back in time. The navigation stack (what you’d call browser history available from the navigation buttons in your browser) behaves like this:
While I was refactoring my app’s state recently, I noticed that there are virtually no dev logs about The Archive and how I manage state and events in this app. It’s my largest app so far, still the amount of reflection and behind-the-scenes info is pretty sparse. This post outlines my recent changes to the app’s state. It’s a retelling of the past 5 weeks or so.
My next macOS app project has launched: It’s a note-taking app for macOS to help writers write more. In our typical German stoic way, we just call it The Archive.Check out The Archive! Its choice of features is closely tied to a few core principles: the user is more important than your app; plain text comes first, so avoid proprietary features and vendor lock-in, thus furthering replicability of the workflow in other apps. I guess we’ll write more about that in the future.
I spent the last 15 or so months developing this beast. If you follow my ramblings, you will know that I get to work every day at about 7 a.m. and work until about 5:30 p.m., including workouts and breaks. Since I didn’t use a time tracker like Timing (affiliate link) for most of the time, I cannot say how many hours I really spent coding, sadly.
Anyway. The launch. The Archive will go live March 15th. I’ll publicize the app info page, soon.
And then I’ll spend some leisure time writing a postmortem. The beta testers have been a pleasure to work with, as always. It’s amazing how much love strangers are willing to give for carefully crafted products.
This closes a weird circle for me: my first Cocoa coding experience was adding Markdown preview to Notational Velocity in 2010, which I barely managed, having had zero understanding of Objective-C and how Xcode worked. Now I am able to create an app that exceeds NV’s capabilities all on my own. I’m very happy about this coding journey, and oh boy do I have a lot of cool stuff I am going to add after v1.0 goes live!
When I announced the imminent launch of my latest app project, The Archive, a beta tester asked how many jars of coffee I consumed while coding. “Jar” is no mistake. I drink from a 750ml glass jar, full to the brim. That’s one portion of cowboy coffee, or is it turkish coffee? – I’m not quite sure what to call it: grind the beans, pour water, stir from time to time, let it settle, then drink.