File Buddy 11 - February Update

It’s been about a month since I released the new website and my first alpha build of File Buddy 11. I know it was extremely limited on features, but more will come. The update today is mostly to provide some explanation about why the next alpha release is taking longer than I expected.

Logs and Crash Reports

Not long after I released the alpha build, one of you sent me a crash report. Crash reports from macOS are extremely limited and can be hard to track back to what actually went wrong. During the process of trying to figure out what went wrong, I noticed that the logs I was trying to generate that would help weren’t actually working. Those two issues caused me to pause the actual feature development I was doing and focus on getting the infrastructure in place to make sure that I can find and fix problems when they happen.

The logs weren’t getting written because macOS thinks I don’t have access to what is normally the standard logging folder. I changed the location of the logs to get around that. I also changed which logging framework I was using to one that produces slightly better logs and has some critical features I need in a log framework.

For crash reports, I decided to use a crash reporting framework. This should let File Buddy 11 automatically upload crashes to me and associate it with a specific build. If this works the way I’m hoping, it should remove the need for users to have to track down a crash report and send it to me.

macOS 10.9

My intention has always been to support as far back as I can on macOS. Since I’m writing File Buddy 11 in Swift, that means 10.9. Unfortunately, I didn’t make that a focus when I started and after I released the first alpha build, I found out that several of the libraries and the Cocoa feature I was using for the UI didn’t support 10.9. Some were 10.10, others 10.11. I have either worked with the maintainers of the libraries to include 10.9 as a supported version or I’ve modified their code and done it myself.

On the UI side of things, I had to rebuild the UI I had done so far from scratch. I spent several days trying to copy the contents to the old style of UI component but it continued to break in new and interesting ways every time I did anything. So I started from scratch, looked at the old one, and rebuilt it.

What’s Next

I’m hoping the next alpha release will be ready in another week or two. I’m adding some additional features to the Info Window, including as many of the toolbar functions as I can. I’m also planning to get a first version of the Find functionality.

As always, if you have pain points in using File Buddy, if you have features you would like to see, etc. please let me know. I may not include them immediately, but I will keep track of them and may integrate them into File Buddy as it makes sense as I go along.