A look at our 2010 product release timeline

Many users have been asking me about our plans for products we haven’t yet updated, namely Witch, yFlicks, and Butler. In response, I offer this generic timeline of our plans for the rest of 2010:

Please note that this is a rough timeline, and subject to change based on our workload, customer demand, the phase of the moon, and the price of soybean futures on the daily spot market. However, it should provide a bit more detail on what our priorities are, and the approximate timeframe in which we hope to ship each of our apps. (It doesn’t show minor releases, which may include bug fixes and/or new features; those will be ongoing for each product.)

Read on for a bit more detail on each of the products in the timeline.

Witch 3 The third generation of Witch is very close to release, and has a number of very cool new features. It’s now out in limited beta, and pending our tester’s feedback, we hope to release it later this week.

Paddock We’re working on Paddock now, hoping to have it in the App Store within the next 30 to 60 days. However, we’re also somewhat waiting on Apple, to see what they announce for iPhone OS 4.0 on April 8th. If they come out with a full multitasking solution, Paddock’s reason for existence pretty much vanishes. That’s not to say that everything you saw in our video preview vanishes, though–we have some plans in mind to use that technology in other iPad products if Paddock isn’t meant to be.

yFlicks The timeline calls our yFlicks update yFlicks 4. But really, that’s not going to be its name at all; it’s just that we’re not ready to reveal the new name just yet. Lets just say that I like it a lot more than yFlicks, and I think it much better describes the program’s capabilities. yFlicks’ schedule is somewhat dependent on Paddock; the sooner we get Paddock done (or if we wind up not doing it), the sooner yFlicks will be done.

Project X This is another unannounced project we’re currently investigating. Only time will tell if it turns into an actual application, but if it does, we’re targeting a late summer release for it.

Butler 5 I know many of you would like to see Butler moved up–way up–on the schedule. Trust me, so would I, as it’s the one program I use the most on my Mac. All day every day, Butler is doing my bidding. However, it’s also our largest and most-complex program, and the one that needs the most time to make a successful jump to the next generation. We’ve got lots of plans for Butler, but if you’re a Butler user, we’d love to hear from you about what you’d like to see in the next version, too.

As noted up front, this is simply a rough guideline for our plans for the remainder of the year. I’ll do my best to keep this timeline current if things change going forward…but we’re going to do our best to stick to it.

19 Responses to “A look at our 2010 product release timeline”

  1. Dan Hallock says:

    Is the Chrome plugin for Leech something that is likely to happen as a point release alongside some of these projects, or is that something you’re not likely to approach until next year?

    • Rob Griffiths says:

      We have it on the list for a point release, assuming we can do what we need to do with the Chrome plug-in engine. Timing is unknown, but we would like to get it done.


  2. Tom says:

    Thanks for letting us in.

    About Paddock … well, I guess I ought to wish you luck for Paddock and wish iPad users luck that iPhone 4.0 will allow for multi-tasking, which is quite a mix of loyalties, eh?

    I don’t have an iPad yet, and it’s not going to come in the near future, I fear, so … the latter case would probably be more in my interest, also in that it would promote the other items in the timeline.

    * * *

    yFlicks … good to know it’s being developed further. I admit that I’ve abandoned it for … a simple directory tree plus Quick Look/VLC/Quicktime Player. I wonder what “yFLicks 4” is going to offer us.

    * * *

    Tell us more about this Project X, will you? ;-)

    * * *

    And yes, Butler’s waaaaay late on that timeline, although I really can’t tell what I’d wish for. I thought that’s your job: finding out what I could wish for before I know it myself ;-)

    I only know it’s my most used app: mostly File launching, Google/Wikipedia/dict.cc searches, my BIG clipboard, changing label colours in Finder. I know there’s still a lot more I can do with the current version already. But I guess I’d like it to read my mind and react to my brainwaves, etc., etc.

    * * *

    And now, please tell us how you’re going to fill the gaps between the items in the timeline ;-D At least you’ll have to write a LOT of blog entries to keep us entertained meanwhile ;-)

    Cheers, Tom

  3. BQ says:

    I know this is just eye candy, but one thing I’d really like to see is a better interface for Butler. I used to be a Butler fan, but then one day I started using Quicksilver and I really liked how it ‘felt’. I still use Quicksilver and recently went back to Butler. Things didn’t feel ‘right’ perhaps is deeper than the visuals? better sorting, of applications and programs? I’m not sure, but sadly I’m back to Quicksilver even though I don’t use it to it’s full potential and I know Butler has many features not available in Quicksilver.

    Just some ideas. Aloha!


    • Rob Griffiths says:

      One of the reasons Butler is so late in the year is so we can spend some time on the interface. We’d like it to be more approachable and yet just as powerful as it presently is.


  4. kabing says:

    I tried sending my Butler feature requests by clicking on the e-mail link above, but the message was bounced back to me as undeliverable (invalid address). So, here they are:

    #1: In the abbreviations window, distinguish phone numbers from fax numbers. Currently, if I have a work phone and work fax entered for someone, both show up simply as “work,” and I have to guess which is phone and which is fax.

    #2: In the abbreviations window, add an action (like copy, run script, etc.) that would open the Address Book entry for that person. I still find myself trying to call up an address book entry this way for editing, and then remember I have to open Address Book and search for the name “by hand.”

    I think both of these are suggestions I made on the old forum, so they may already be on the list.

    I love Butler, and I am so glad that Many Tricks is alive and well again.

  5. Rob Griffiths says:

    Whoops, typo in the email address in the host; fixed now. Thanks for the suggestions; I’ll add them to the list of possibilities.


  6. Barney loves pancakes says:

    iPhone/iPad software is where the developmental money is now days and that can’t be ignored. Still, it is disappointing to see such a late resurfacing of Butler. But I understand your reasons as stated above. I donated and wanted to ask if those who did donate will still receive that free update to version five as you mentioned earlier. That promise will not be forgotten or revised come December/January/February. If I download the latest version of Butler will it ask for a serial?

    I know there are many who will love to see that new version of Witch being released. But Butler is the only tool I use made by the very talented Mr.Maurer. Unless of course, an update to Leech that enables remembering of partial downloads comes any time soon. Then I would pay that ridiculous upgrade from version one.

    Anyway, thank you for waking up after such a long slumber.

  7. Bilal says:

    As requested per mail, I’d become the greatest witch-fanboy on earth if it would allow a dock-like huge-icon-interface with text only for the selected entry! I’d even buy it a second time!

    Besides that, I really like the mosaic mode of Paddock! It’s actually a very original and unique approach, I think! I wish there was something that easy on the Mac! A decent window grid- / tiling- tool for OS X is imho still missing. Zooom/2 can only resize single windows and Windowflow’s interface is way too complex for this purpose.

  8. Timothy says:

    Glad to see development has returned to these great apps!

    I’m using Butler 4.1.6 on 10.6.3 without any apparent problems.
    Mainly for multiple clipboards and Application launching via Abbreviations…

  9. Stuart says:

    Personally I can’t wait for yFlicks to be reborn.
    The best video player on the Mac bar none; no other player has quite the same mix of features and user-friendly interface that yFlicks does.
    It’ll be interesting to see what you’ll do with it, but I’d just settle for Snow Leopard compatibility, everything else is fine for me.
    Whatever you do though, please don’t mess with the sidebar too much- being able to list the movies here instead of the main window is the feature I’ve not been able to find in any other video player.

  10. Tom says:

    Dear Trickers there @ Many Tricks, I hope there are no bitter tears running down your cheeks now that Multitasking has been announced to come for phone and pod (albeit only the latest ones) in summer and for the iPad in fall. I guess it had to be expected for the near future since its lack was one of the most bemoaned “features”. And please don’t blame Apple for not telling about it before—you KNOW how Apple does it and that they’ve done so since The Beginning Of Time. I’m sure that by the time I’ll have an iPad (not too soon fersure) Paddock will be something I’ll want to have. For whatever it may be able to do then.

    Greetings, Tom

    • Rob Griffiths says:

      Actually, we were both thrilled when Apple announced they’d be previewing 4.0 today–we were afraid we’d have to wait until June to learn more, by which time we would have spent many hundreds of hours on Paddock.

      Now we can retarget Paddock according to our alternative plans, and hopefully get it done much faster (as it’ll be a simpler app).


  11. MuppetGate says:

    Looking forward to Butler 5.

    Hell of a wait though … :-(

  12. Ray says:

    Why waste all your time on the other apps, just start work on yFlicks 4 ASAP!! You must realise that its the one app that everyone needs!!

    • Rob Griffiths says:

      Cool, if we can really sell 6.6 billion copies, we can probably lower the price a bit!



  13. Tom says:

    Haha, good reply.

    But now, here’s my entry:

    Why waste all your time on the other apps, just start work on Butler 5 ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You ought to, have to, need to, MUST realise that it’s the one app that everyone needs!!!!!!!11111one-hundred-and-eleven

    Izzat better? :D

    Greetings, Tom

  14. Salome Pockerl says:

    Butler hat für mich einen schwerwiegenden Nachteil: Der Start als Anmeldeobjekt ist dermaßen langsam, dass mir graue Haare dabei wachsen.
    Nehme ich in aus den Anmeldeobjekten heraus, geht es überraschenderweise schneller, aber ich muss jedes Mal im Programmordner suchen, oder ich vergesse, was dann irritiert, wenn ich meinen Butler schnell benutzen will.
    Eine deutsche Version der Hilfetexte wäre auch nicht schlecht.

  15. Tom says:

    @Salome: Ich hab’ das Problem mit dem langsamen Start von Butler als Anmeldeobjekt (manchmal hat Butler dabei sogar gehangen) für mich gelöst, indem ich als Anmeldeobjekt eine Automator-Aktion eingerichtet habe, welche viele meiner Startup-Apps lädt, immer mit einer Sekunde Pause dazwischen. So läuft’s jetzt wunderbar.