Bringing Continual Updates to RapidWeaver

Hi folks,

As we worked towards the launch of RapidWeaver 7, we’ve been giving the RapidWeaver release cycle some thought.

Over the last calendar year, we’ve launched 21 RapidWeaver 6 updates, averaging a release (almost) every 2 weeks until we started work on RapidWeaver 7. The cadence and constant iteration is something we’ve found to be very, very addictive - with customers loving our focus on the app.

As you all probably know too well, the biggest irony in software development is that, at the time when you’re most busy on a paid upgrade, customers are doubting whether an app is getting any updates. The quiet period in the run up to a major version, along with the need to bundle lots of features into a major release, can feel contradictory to ensuring timely new features.

With RapidWeaver 7, we’re planning to take a leaf out of Framer’s book, and move to a version-less model of RapidWeaver. So, RapidWeaver 7 will simply be “RapidWeaver”, and once we’ve got the launch feature set sorted, we’ll simply be back to consistently adding new features and enhancements on a regular basis. No need to hide away from the community for a few months - all our progress will be out in the open.

RapidWeaver Developer Preview 2 is “Version 99” and we’ll just be incrementing the version # in subsequent builds. No more “x.x.x” style version numbers will be used in future.

What About Your Addons

No changes are required in your plugins or themes to ensure compatibility (SDK versions 4,6,7 are still applicable), and in future you’ll simply specify the version # of RapidWeaver your addon requires as its minimum version.

When launching Developer Preview 2, your RW6 preferences will be copied across, along with your addons, and you’ll be all set. They will reside in a new location (as the bundle ID of RapidWeaver has changed to simply com.realmacsoftware.rapidweaver).

If you have any questions about these changes, we’d love to hear them.

Thanks!

—Nik

Will you change then to a subscription model for RapidWeaver?

Hey Nik!

So I know I’m late replying to this one, but with the holidays and all it has been hard to find time to actually be at the computer uninterrupted by out-of-town family.

So initially I thought this sounded like a fine idea. It shows the users that things are getting updated frequently (though I would argue the current versioning system does this as well). But I think it may bring about some problems.

Some concerns that might be worth thinking about:

  • Version numbering like this 99, 100, 101, etc. will make it hard for users (and developers too honestly) when trying to figure out what plugins, stacks, themes, etc work with what version. Usually we have a sign post to show users where the major updates are that will affect compatibility. RW 6, RW 7, etc.
  • Speaking of major updates – where would paid updates in this versioning scheme take place? This incremental versioning doesn’t scream to a user: BIG UPDATES! like RW 7.0.0 or RW 8.0.0.
  • Does this mean moving to a subscription-based model? If so that might be bad news for our eco-system. RW users are pretty entrenched in their way of thinking. Switching to a model like this could alienate a great deal of users. And then switching back if it were to not work out could cause more damage.

You mention not hiding away from the community for months at a time – but I feel like you’ve already achieved that with your current model of updates. This year RW 6 has been amazing. The constant updates, while also working on RW 7 at the same time has shown users that they can trust the brand I feel like. I don’t know if I see how a different versioning scheme changes what you’re already doing for the better.

Please don’t think I’m posting just to gripe about this, or trying to tell you all how to run things. I’m not. I’m just a concerned “citizen” in this grand little community of ours and want to see RW prosper, as you and I have talked about a lot.

If I think of more questions or concerns I’ll let you know.

Thanks for all you do for the RW community – both the user and developer sides of things!

Adam

2 Likes