Roadmap Reality Check

Posted by Bjarni on June 1, 2015 ( Content may be obsolete! )

First, an announcment:

Invitations to the voting page have been sent!

All 3015 of them!

If you donated $23 USD (or more) to the project and haven't yet received an invitation, please check your spam. If nothing's there, please get in touch. We might not have a valid e-mail address for you on file, or it may be that things just got lost in the shuffle.

Voting on the license will continue until July 1, at which point I will call the results.


Roadmap Distractions

In addition to getting the invitations sent out this last week has been very productive on the code front... just not entirely on the stuff I was supposed to be working on.

Distractions included:

  1. Going over the settings of our Twitter and Facebook accounts
  2. Making the app less pretty (temporarily, to manage expectations)
  3. Adding in-app instructions on how best to report bugs
  4. Responding to some Github issues, fixing some buglets
  5. Implementing working proxy support (HTTP, SOCKS and Tor)
  6. Implementing "select all matching this search"

The last two in particular are both awesome milestones in their own right, things which had been languishing at 90% in our code-base for months now.

The proxy support allows us to start testing some of the main points from the security roadmap, with respect to anonymous access to SMTP, IMAP servers and Gravatar.

Being able to "select all" makes the app an order of magnitude more powerful when it comes to organizing and extracting value from e-mail. Basic operations like "mark all messages as read" depend on this, as did more advanced use cases, such as using Datadig to convert hundreds of PayPal notifications into a spreadsheet of Mailpile backers...

Why you no focus?

So this is the third week in a row with some pretty major, exciting distractions. Great progress, but not necessarily on things which were due according to the roadmap. What's going on?

I would hate to be my manager, but this is relatively normal; business as usual.

I don't know if this works the same way for other software developers but, after 20 years of coding for fun and profit, I have learned that I am most productive if I have goals and deadlines, balanced with the freedom to frequently give in to inspiration and obsession. The above work falls squarely into the latter category; I got inspired and could visualize exactly how to solve each problem. Rather than put it off, I harnessed that creative energy and just got things done.

It's all necessary, useful work. It's just not happening in the order laid out in the original plan.

But that does beg the question: how is the roadmap itself holding up?

Roadmap Reality Check

According to the roadmap, the "Short Setup Flow" theme should be complete now. It is not, I am behind schedule. This is roughly where various roadmap-related tasks stand at the moment:

  1. 90% - Browse FS: Works! Is a bit ugly.
  2. 90% - Accounts: The design is now pretty solid (in my head).
  3. 80% - Key discovery: results need to be injected back into the composer.
  4. 80% - Browse Mailboxes: mail can be read without being added to the search index first, but is buggy.
  5. 75% - Account creation: almost works! This replaces the crypto, profile, route and source setup pages.
  6. 60% - Simplified UI: More cleanup is needed.
  7. 40% - Home Page: is live, but unfinished.
  8. 10% - Browsing IMAP/POP3: should be easy, but barely started.

All in all, I figure I'm about a week or two behind.

Could be worse, releasing Beta III in about a month's time is still feasible. A bit crazy, but feasible...

Plans for this week

  1. Admin work: Taxes and pay my own salary.
  2. Finish the Add Account tool.
  3. Upgrade the Add Account code so it also functions as Edit Account.
  4. Either IMAP browsing work or start merging the new storage code required for faster startup.


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