Our Upcoming Beta Release: Part II

Posted by The Team on August 20, 2014 ( Content may be obsolete! )

Initially, we planned to release our Beta (this is sounding familiar) back on August 8th. A few days before this date, we realized we were no where near ready. We thought we could polish everything off if we gave ourselves roughly an extra week, so we did. We also told you about this deadline, dear supporters. As we neared the end of that extended date, some of these bugs were still not resolved and we joyfully discovered some wonderful new bugs as we got further into user testing.

After taking a serious look at what the user experience was going to be like for people setting up Mailpile for the first time, we realized for many Mailpile would have been largely unsuable to nontechnical users, and tricky for others. Considering our commitment to making a great email client with easy to use encryption, this was entirely unacceptable. Some of these bugs are silly things out of our control, like Gmail's insistance on blocking IMAP & SMTP access unless you configure special security settings in your Google Account - meaning that for GMail users, Mailpile wouldn't be easy to use. Other bugs include email attachments not being handled correctly by GPG. A larger bug is Mailpile running on a Windows machine, we have a few known issues with interacting with GPG that are blocking further testing - as many of you know, Windows is weird. Another aspect of the app which needs improving is unifying the native OS app launcher, the Python backend, and the web browser instance with the UI.

Solutions to all of these are being worked on at the moment. However, by the end of last week the team was a bit frayed after pulling quite a lot of 14+ hr days trying to ship on schedule. Due to the gravity of some of these bugs, we decided not to push a Beta out into the world. We're taking a couple of calm days before returning to battle, although in those calm days we're still working on squishing bugs.

By now you're probably wondering "So... uh... ok... when is the Beta going to be released?" The only clear answer to that is "we don't know." We wish we had a more clear answer. A couple options that we are considering are:

  • Pushing out a "Developer Beta" ASAP
  • Waiting and doing our Beta in September (when we had planned our 1.0)
  • Following that up with our 1.0 later in the fall
  • Give up and run for the hills, woods, a deserted island / arctic tundra, etc...

The last option is totally a joke. Despite being as frustrated & disappointed as you are about the state of things, we are not giving up. We are commited as ever to shipping an easy to use encrypted email client and doing so as soon as possible. We would love to hear your thoughts. Would you rather see a rougher Developer Beta with some bugs or would you rather wait until things are more polished? Let us know. Also, if you are of a more technical disposition, this might be a good time to start testing things out: poke around, see if you can clear up some bugs. Every little bit helps :)


Your Mailpile Team


Please do not send mail to aardvark@mailpile.is