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Fall FAQs

Posted by Bjarni on October 6, 2015

Hello world!

First some news: sometime this month I will disappear. Do not panic, this is just me taking some time off to get to know my new daughter. I will be back. :-)

Aside from that little snippet of news, I'd like to dedicate this post to answering some common questions...

  1. Baby questions
  2. Will you speak at our conference?
  3. Did you get my donation?
  4. How do I access the community site?
  5. Mac OS X packages: when, why, how?
  6. Why is Github so quiet?
  7. What about Mailpile 1.0?
  8. What about weekly updates?

Baby questions

A girl. Mid-to-late October. First one. Yes, we're VERY excited. :-)

Will you speak at our conference?

I'd love to!

I just need a couple of quiet months first to get used to being a dad... and maybe a little help with travel costs, if at all possible.

I currently have nothing booked for January and February, please feel free to get in touch if you think there is an event that I should attend.

Did you get my donation?

Almost certainly! If PayPal says it arrived, it arrived. Thank you!

See the next question...

How do I access the community site?

If you donated within the last couple of months (after the license change), you probably haven't been sent an invitation to the community site yet. This is my fault, because it is a manual process and I've just been swamped.

I'll get some invitations sent out this week, sorry about the delay!

Mac OS X packages: when, why, how?

The Mac OS X packages are no longer linked from our download page. I took the packages offline for the following reasons:

  1. The latest release of OS X requires apps be signed by a registered Apple developer. Our app is not signed, which meant users had to disable important security features just to run it.
  2. The user experience of the App was known to be confusing and suboptimal.
  3. At the PyCon UK sprint, the app failed to start at all.
  4. A user reported difficulties (Finder crashes) trying to uninstall the app.

All in all, a completely unacceptable experience!

Obviously, the Mac is a very important platform for us. But answering the question of when this gets fixed depends on developer resources.

If I have to fix this myself, it will get fixed after I have prepared the first release candidate for Mailpile 1.0.

If someone else offers to help, things may improve much quicker! We have a small amount of money in the bank which could be used for this, so if you're a Mac OS X freelancer who likes Python, feel free to get in touch and make us an offer.

The how of fixing it is:

  1. Create a minimal OS X application which launches Mailpile in the background (in a screen session) and displays the UI in a web-view control.
  2. Rewrite our script for building Mailpile.app, so it can sign the packages and doesn't depend on last years' homebrew.

Why is Github so quiet?

The main Mailpile development over the last couple of months has been in a private branch on my laptop. The reason for this is I am refactoring the user interface to support incremental and live updates (instead of full page-loads). This work breaks pretty much everything about the app, so I'm not pushing it up to the master branch until it is mostly working.

Progress is being made though and last week I started dogfooding the new UI. So expect a big code drop sometime this month.

What about Mailpile 1.0?

Mailpile 1.0 for Linux will be released this year.

The UI rewrite is the last major change planned before I start focusing on stability, critical security fixes, documentation and packaging.

We will be targetting Ubuntu LTS and Debian; other distributions will depend on the community.

We target Linux first for a few reasons:

  1. It is easiest, because we are most familiar with it
  2. The users are more technical and can help debug last minute issues and can better cope with the quirks of a first release.
  3. Related projects (CloudFleet, Sandstorm, Own Mailbox) that want to use Mailpile are all on Linux.
  4. Packaging and OS integration for Windows and OS X will take more time; making the Linux folks wait would be counterproductive.

So, that's the plan!

Plans for this week

  1. UI refactoring
  2. Baby preparations :-)


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