Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hog Bay Software’s Future

Jesse Grosjean:

For the last 3 years Grey, Mutahhir, Young Hoo, and myself worked full-time at Hog Bay Software. Unfortunately our sales dropped this year forcing it back to just me again.

Going forward I will focus on the Mac apps: FoldingText, WriteRoom, and TaskPaper. The next version of FoldingText is in progress. After that I’ll do updates to WriteRoom and TaskPaper.

I will stop selling the iOS apps. I’m sorry, I know this is disappointing, but I see no way to maintain them all myself. They are free this week and then will be removed from the app store.

And:

That major problem that I’m having is supporting two different platforms. And in particular on iOS I spend 90% of my effort on infrastructure issues… file system browsers, url data sharing schemes, sync, etc. Leaving me little time/energy to actually push the actual app function forward.

OS X is much easier in this regard. You don’t need to build the finder from the ground up. You get Dropbox and iCloud sync (and lots of others) for free. For document based productivity apps OS X is a much more mature system.

PlainText has been sold. TaskPaper for iOS is now open-source.

Sad news, both for fans of these apps and for anyone who wants development of quality iOS apps to be a sustainable business.

3 Comments

[...] with Hog Bay’s products, these were good apps from a very talented developer. He’s also written an interesting [...]

Unfortunately, Jesse has never been that good at focusing. Or, I should say, he's rarely been interested in continuing to improve an existing product: He's always off and dabbling on the next thing.

I was a user of Hog Bay Notebook back in the day. It was simple, and it worked well. Then Jesse killed it, and came out with Mori which was largely the same, but different (it had pluggable infrastructure and modules and such, but it was a worse notebook-style app). Then he quit working on it, and he went on to WriteRoom, and TaskPaper. Which were great. Then iOS versions came out and they were good too, but there were always niggling sync issues (many due to DropBox not having an API at the time).

Then came FoldingText, which was interesting in concept, but had a few big issues (and big bugs). He then spent time on it, before bringing it to a halt last April, to completely rewrite the parser. This meant he came up with a web outliner called "Oak" to test some of the model stuff, while FoldingText got NOTHING for a year, not to mention WriteRoom or TaskPaper.

As a customer, I want (actually, these days I NEED) a product that supports OS X and iOS. And a developer that cares and focuses on it. It appears my needs aren't aligned with Jesse's interests. Which is fine (if sad); it makes my choice easy for me.

I want my old, dear, old, super funcional Mori back!!! :-( :-( :-(

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