Archive for July 7, 2015

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

ComiXology 3.7 Makes the Best of the Amazon/Apple Situation

Jason Snell:

When ComiXology was bought by Amazon last year, the company almost immediately ripped all in-app purchases out of the iOS version of its popular comic-book-reading app. Amazon wasn’t interested in paying Apple 30 percent of its in-app sales, Apple wasn’t interested in negotiating terms, and comic book readers could no longer buy and read comics with a couple of taps.


The lack of in-app purchases is a dealbreaker for some people, though I don’t mind it too much—especially now that the ComiXology app has been redesigned, and thanks to some major improvements to the ComiXology web site. Recently ComiXology added one-click purchases to its site, which was already redesigned to work great on the iPad.


Is this approach as good as buying issues via an in-app purchase? No, it’s not. And without in-app purchases, you lose the ability to finish an issue and tap to buy and read the next issue in the series—a dangerously expensive form of binge reading. But ComiXology has clearly put a lot of thought into making the experience as good as possible, given Amazon’s refusal to cut Apple in on sales.

A Complete History of Unix, in One GitHub Repo

Unix History Repository (via Mike Hoye):

The goal of this project is to create a git repository representing the Unix source code history, starting from the 1970s and ending in the modern time. To fulfill this goal the project brings data from early snapshots, repositories, and primary research. The project aims to put in the repository as much metadata as possible, allowing the automated analysis of Unix history.


The project has achieved its first major goal with the establishment of a continuous timeline from 1972 to 2015. The repository contains

  • snapshots of V1, V3, V4, V5, V6, and V7 Research Edition,
  • Unix/32V,
  • all available BSD releases,
  • the CSRG SCCS history,
  • two releases of 386BSD,
  • the FreeBSD 1.0 to 1.1.5 CVS history,
  • an import of the FreeBSD repository starting from its initial imports that led to FreeBSD 2.0, and
  • the current FreeBSD repository.

Dash 3


Dash 3 for OS X is the biggest update I’ve ever worked on and I’m happy to announce it’s finally available. It comes with a lot of features that you, the users, have requested and some features which I’ve always wanted to add but never had the time until now. And lots of bug fixes, of course.


Dash will now use a lot less disk space by keeping docsets archived. Files will only be unarchived on-the-fly when they’re needed. Docsets take up to 10x less disk space while archived.


Use Annotations to extend any documentation page by adding comments, examples, warnings or bug reports. Annotations are stored online and can be public or private. You can also set up teams to share annotations with your coworkers or friends.

The Annotations Server is open-source so you can set up your own server if you want, for ultimate privacy.

The annotations are a great idea.

I can’t believe that Apple is still allowing this free trial with an In-App Purchase to disable the nag screen.

Update (2015-07-07): Kapeli:

I never had an issue getting accepted due to “nag-to-purchase”. They don’t see it as trial, maybe same thing as allowing lite apps.

As far as I can tell, their definition of trial is time-based only.

So perhaps Apple sees nagware as more along the lines of “pay to remove the ads,” which lots of apps do. This seems like a great fit for an app like Dash, where making the full functionality free is not a problem because a big part of the app’s value is how fast it is.

VoodooPad Cryptography Overview

Plausible Labs:

This document provides a high-level overview of the encryption implementation released in VoodooPad 5.1.4 (Mac) and VoodooPad 5.1.4 (iOS).

Additional technical details are available via the VoodooPad Crypto Specification.

It’s good to see that they fixed the problems with the old implementation and are being open to hopefully find any problems with the new one.