The Shape of Everything
A website mostly about Mac stuff, written by August "Gus" Mueller
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July 7, 2006
(This post is from my old, old, super old site. My views have changed over the years, hopefully my writing has improved, and there is now more than a handful of folks reading my site. Enjoy.)

Friday, July 7th, 2006

So things have been going good with the release of VoodooPad 3, and the usual flurry of emails that accompanies any new release is finally dying down. I can't believe I only had one final candidate, my cocoa-fu must be improving (remember, the only class I ever flunked was CS 103- "Introduction to C" in college).

3.0.1 will probably be out sometime late next week to fix some minor issues, including a fix for the webserver timing out on requests way too quickly. I should tidy up those classes and give them away with a BSD license.. um, someday.

But before I ever get around to doing that, I thought it might be fun to show some pics of what VoodooPad looked like before the final release.

Early on my goal was to make VP3 like one of the iApps with blue source lists on the left ala iTunes or iPhoto. I also really wanted tabs. And a 3d fly view with all the connections between the pages. And a pony. At least we got tabs. So here was my first stab at it: tabs 1. ewwww.

Next I decided that the unified toolbar was going out the window, and I was going to return to the traditional way of doing windows. I also stuck the backlinks and pages list in the sidebar with individual palettes like I did in FlySketch: aqua + sidebar

Oh wait- I still need the make it blue: blue sidebar

But the look of the tabs weren't really working for me, so I changed it to this: aqua tabs. No too bad, I still kind of like that. It's the way Safari does things, and rumors say that the Finder will too in 10.5. But the blue sidebar just isn't working, so I dropped it.

At some point I decided that the dark windows you see in iTunes are going to be the way things are done in Leopard, and if I didn't adopt it now then VP3 would look dated when it came out (see what you're doing to us Apple?! Why am I wasting time thinking about future window styles?). So I took a bunch of screen shots of Aperture came up with this.

I also dropped the way the tabs come down from the top because of the toolbar having a gradient in it. The toolbar could potentially have different 4 sizes, and it would have matched up in weird ways against the tabs creating a funky looking line. And I just didn't feel like dealing with the pain of figuring out those details at runtime. In retrospect, I've decided this was a mistake. I should have done the work required to figure out where the gradients would lay and such, so that the tabs would seamlessly come down from above... Oh well, I suppose there's always 3.1. And I might as well wait and see what 10.5 brings us.

And then right before the public beta of 3.0, I dropped the sidebar. It was cool and fun at first, but after a while it just felt heavy and made everything too dark. So here it is right before I got rid of it: final sidebar.

And of course, the final product.

The palettes aren't ideal and they could use some serious improvements (look for this in 3.1), but I think overall it was the better choice. Of course, not everyone agrees (I got a bunch of flack and praise at the same time from my testers for doing this) but at some point you have to be the benevolent dictator developer.

-- posted 6:28 pm