Monday, September 2, 2019

Thirty Years of Fetch

Jim Matthews:

Of the thousands of other Mac apps on the market on September 1, 1989 I can only think of four (Panorama, Word, Excel and Photoshop) that are still sold today.


I imagined a new Fetch that had all the improvements that I’d daydreamed about, and none of the old code that made it so hard to implement new features.

This, of course, is one of the classic blunders in software development. It was exhilarating to be free of the shackles of our legacy code. But with a blank slate and no clear destination or deadline, we spent years without getting anywhere close to having a product that we could actually sell. Meanwhile Fetch 5 stagnated, and customers who needed more than Fetch 5 could offer moved on.


In January, 2018 I finally accepted that I wasn’t going to make Fetch 6 happen. Apple had made it clear that 32-bit apps like Fetch 5.7 weren’t long for this world, so it looked like the time had come to lay Fetch to rest for good. But I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye, and it occurred to me that there was a third option, something between finishing Fetch 6 and letting Fetch die: I could port Fetch 5.7’s Carbon user interface to Cocoa and make a 64-bit Fetch 5.8.


7 Comments RSS · Twitter

Still using it (together with BBEdit) every day, still love it.

Nisus Writer and the Helix database pop into mind as Mac software that was around in some fashion in 1989. I'm sure I could come up with others with a little more thought. Might make for an interesting article.

Most of the "old" software were released in the 90's. So the mentioned BBEdit was 1992 for example. However CorelDraw is shockingly still going on and was released in 1989. Quark Express was released in 1987 and much to my surprise is apparently still being updated.

As a developer working at Nisus I'm happy to say that Nisus Writer is (Monty Python voice) not dead yet. Quite the opposite actually. Nisus Writer Pro is updated and perfectly modern: 64-bit, sandboxed, and recently notarized for Catalina's upcoming release.

Love Nisus Writer (I really liked Compact back in the day as well)! I get by with LibreOffice Writer on Linux, but I do not love it the same way as Nisus. Kudos for your decades long run as the preeminent Mac word processor.

I have used Fetch in my day, nice app, never on OS X, but definitely in the old days. I also liked Transmit, but oddly enough, never on OS X either, only the classic Mac OS. Either way, definitely groovy stuff.

There were so many great old school Mac apps that never made the switch to OS X, so many great apps lost. As such, I am thankful for those who have kept the flame burning all these years. Cheers to Fetch!

@Nathan Thanks kindly for appreciating Nisus Writer :)

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