Monday 25 May 2015

Website structure visualisation clearly shows up problems

I've been working on a tool to display website visualisations from .dot files such as those generated by Integrity+ and Scrutiny.

Viewing the website structure in this way can really help to spot problems. For example, while working on the new app I spotted a couple of pages on one of my sites that seemed to have more internal links than others in their level. Turns out those two have out-of-date navigation menus.

Look out for SiteViz, work is progressing well. If you have any thoughts about website visualisations (or displaying .dot files generally) then I'd love to hear from you - either in the comments or any other way that suits you.

Sunday 17 May 2015

Me and the Mac App Store...

.. aren't getting on. I think it's time for the "we need to talk...." conversation.

I was surprised this morning to find that none of my apps are showing on the Store, something to do with contracts (I think they may want an annual fee from me, it may be my fault that it's lapsed)
So I duly clicked the 'agreements...' link, expecting to pay them more money and get my stuff back online, but see this...

It just doesn't feel like Apple are the friendly company they were when we met. We've grown apart.

It also feels like there are three of us in this relationship now. I really think Apple cares more about *her* (that plain and two-dimensional cow, iOS)

I need some space. I'm going to take some time out.

To be frank, getting an app available on the MAS is a real ball-ache (and I haven't even got any).

Submitting an app takes time. There are so many hoops to jump through and potential problems right there. Once submitted you sit back for maybe a couple of weeks waiting for Apple to get around to inspecting it and you may well get a rejection.

Once you've had a few rejections in a row, sometimes your own fault, sometimes not, and then run into a stupid submission problems that you can't get over, it simply becomes not worth the time and effort. This is what happened with Philips Hue app for OSX Hue-topia. Apologies to those who originally obtained it from the Store, but I've been more than happy to give those people a licence for the web version when they've asked.

(That's not to mention sandboxing, a security measure which is compulsory for apps available on the Store. It also makes certain features impossible).

If it weren't for the fact that I really want to make an iOS app to support my business software Organise (and have already spent a lot of development time) then I'd happily walk away right now and worry solely about my web sales (thank you Paddle for being easy to use and incredibly supportive). The whole monopoly thing, making the app store the only way to obtain iOS apps was a cold and calculating move. (Oh sure, 'it's all about security'. And you taking 30% of sales.) With each release of OSX I'm half expecting the same thing there.

Let me be absolutely clear to my wonderful users, lovely people all. My commitment to my apps is 110%. I will continue to develop and support, the only thing that's in question is my future with the Store. Irreconcilable differences and all that.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Webmaster tools suite 50% offer

Flagship application, Scrutiny, suite of webmaster tools, is used by larger organisations and individuals alike. (Read more about Scrutiny here) It seems fair to give the smaller businesses the opportunity to buy at a more affordable price.

For two weeks from 8 May, Scrutiny was on offer at 50%. The offer was run by MacUpdate and is now over.  

Why not download now anyway and take advantage of the free and unrestricted trial? 

If you're unable to run Scrutiny or don't want to buy, install, understand and run the software, a one-off standard or custom website report will cost less.