by Caleb Jaffa

Indie Relief

I’m participating in Indie Relief, all proceeds of Lexikon from today January 20th will be donated to Doctors without Borders. Over 100 developers for the Mac and iPhone are participating, so go check Indie Relief and get great Mac/iPhone software while helping out Haiti.

Lexikon 2.0

Lexikon 2.0 has been submitted for review to Apple. This long anticipated release has been delayed by many things. However I’m happy to have it in Apple hands. App approval time has been quite quick around the holidays, so hopefully it will be approved shortly.

There are many improvements in this release. The application does a better job of remembering where you were and getting you back to that state. Term figures are now cached for later viewing in addition to the words, these are the bildtema you might see linked in a word’s definition. It’s easier to find the word you want as you will be presented with suggested corrections if the term you enter is not found. If Lexin can tell what word you meant if will automatically correct it and load the definition. The number of words in the list is now in the table footer. Lexin’s Swedish dictionary is supported now. In addition support for almost all the languages in Lexin: Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, Croatian, Finnish, Greek, Kurmanji, Russian, Serbian (Latin & Cyrillic), Somali, Spanish and Turkish.

Next I will be tackling putting the Folkets Lexikon into an application. This app will be separate from Lexikon, only have English, have over 50% more words (Lexin has about 28,500 English words and Folkets Lexikon has over 46,000 word pairs). I have no ETA on this as there are still many things to work out, especially that it is indeed feasible to do as an application.

Update: After three days Apple has approved Lexikon 2.0 and it is available on the App Store.

Update 2: A small bug was found with selecting words from the filtered search list. An update has been built, tested and sent to Apple.

Allies with Families

I wrapped up a project yesterday that hasn’t quite gone live yet for the Allies with Families organization. They are a Utah based non-profit helping families of children with mental health needs. The splash page is still in place, but the new site should be live in the next couple of days. The site was designed by my friend Chris Maynes.

Allies with Families homepage

It was my first real project to use HTML5 and ExpressionEngine. HTML5 is fairly simple to adopt going forward as long as you use a shiv for IE provided by the HTML5 Doctor. ExpressionEngine felt like the right CMS for the current and future needs of the site. The biggest win there was enabling and using file based templates. Editing HTML in forms harkened back to over ten years ago when I had a website on Angelfire.

Tweetie 2 Dustup

I am a web developer. It is something I enjoy. I also have enjoyed dabbling on the iPhone. I’ve done some consulting for it even. The one product I have in the App Store is a program to access an online Swedish-English dictionary. I mainly built the application for myself as the website was horribly slow to use in Safari. I decided that I’d release it on the App Store for other people who might be in a similar boat to me. I even charge for it, but it hasn’t come close to making back my time investment. In my description I mention at least twice that it only works online. Yet I still get negative reviews from people who apparently can’t read. It makes me glad that iPhone development is more of a hobby to my web development consulting.

Atebits just announced that Tweetie 2 for iPhone and Mac will be coming out soon. The iPhone version cause Apple provides no upgrade path will cost $2.99 regardless if you own Tweetie 1 or not. Those that spent $19.95 (or $14.95 during the introductory pricing period) for Tweetie for Mac will be getting 2.0 as a free upgrade.

It’s amazing to me how people feel like a one time fee of $3 is enough to demand free updates for life. Apparently despite not being subscription based, Tweetie on the iPhone should include full active development and updates with new functionality. Even though people complaining say it’s not about the money, I have yet to see a logical argument that doesn’t distill down to I deserve to keep my $3 and get Tweetie 2 for the iPhone. I think Jeff LaMarche did a great job dissecting sense of entitlement some people have. The Madden analogies fall down cause Tweetie is already sold for a low amount and Tweetie 2 is a complete rewrite. In-app purchasing isn’t a way around it either, it will just make the entire program more bloated and crappy to use.

It is all sadly reminiscent of a position I once took. I started in web development at primarily a development house. We had great designers, and I worked with them a lot, but I only ever knew about the stock photography as being here is a set of CDs and this is what we have to work with. Later I worked for more of a small ad agency and photo shoots, stock photography and everything to do with that was in my radar more. I once commented on a blog post about pricing web stock imagery. I thought since we only wanted low-res versions maybe photographers could sell the images cheaper than the high-res for print versions. I got back from photographers that the resolution of the image had little impact on the cost of making the shot. This point was driven home a couple of years later when I got into photography and I realized that to get a one megapixel shot of Delicate Arch versus an eight megapixel shot would still take all the time to drive there, hike and get the shot at the perfect time of day for lighting. I also don’t think any reasonable person would expect just cause they bought one version from me that it gave them any right to a free upgrade to the higher res version next year cause I used the money from sales to buy a better camera and make the trip again.

Funny how perspectives change when it’s your time, energy and talent instead of someone else’s.