Journler: Blog

Restarting Sprouted, Open Sourcing Journler, and Per Se: New Journaling Software for your Mac

February 9th, 2011

Couple of big announcements today after being dormant for so long. I’m happy to announce that I’ve decided to restart Sprouted software. I’ve been out of indie software development for over a year now, and it’s just too damn long.

This is a significant decision for me, and one which did not occur spontaneously. It follows two others which naturally led to it. The first involves a new application I’ll be releasing in the coming weeks and the second involves Journler.

Per Se: New Journaling Software for the Mac.

For the past couple of months I’ve been working on a new journaling application. Unhappy with the current crop, including Journler, I decided to get back to basics. Per Se is the outcome.

Per Se is dead gorgeous, dead simple journaling software. The goal is to provide the most enjoyable journaling experience possible. To that end Per Se focuses on design and usability, emulating as closely as possible what every writer is already familiar with: the handwritten journal.

Per Se Preview
Per Se looks and feels like a real journal, as much as a digital version will allow it. No panes, no divided interface, tabs, columns or extraneous windows demanding your attention. No flipping through dates and creating entries. No dead white screen staring back at you. Instead it’s you and your journal, two open pages ready for the writing.

Of course Per Se is more that just writing. Here Per Se takes its cue from Journler. Add anything to your journal and Per Se knows what to do with it. Embed media and files of any kind and view them right in your journal. Or if you’re in the mood make a quick video or audio entry, right in Per Se.

As befits a good journaling application, Per Se features custom page layout for your media. No blocky images occupying the entire line this time. Place the media wherever you like and Per Se wraps the text around it, no matter how complex the layout. Just how you’d do it in a real journal.

Per Se Tags
Although Per Se is not for information management, you still need to find your entries. Per Se includes a luscious calendar for selecting dates, super fast searching, bookmarks and everyone’s favorite: tags. None of these features are obtrusive, but they are all readily available and fade right into place when you need them.

Per Se is also fun. Journaling should be enjoyable. Embellish your entries with the included icons and images or add your own. Take zany polaroid snapshots of you and your friends. Add attention grabbing notes. And print it all out just the way it looks on your screen.

Under the hood I’ve endeavored to learn from my mistakes with Journler. Per Se is built on the newest and greatest core Mac OS technologies at every turn. The data and file management is rock solid and everywhere else the code is lightweight. Per Se does a lot with a small footprint. Additionally, you’ll be able to create as many journals as you like and store your data anywhere you want.

I also hope to have learned from my business mistakes with Journler. I will be charging for Per Se from the outset. There will also be a renewed emphasis on customer support and email response time. With Per Se, Sprouted becomes a business, not just a full time hobby, and I aim to treat it like one.

Per Se will be available for public beta testing in the coming weeks. If you’d like to know more about this great app or would like to get your hands on it for early testing, have a look at the Per Se page over at the new Sprouted website. You can sign up for beta testing at the bottom of the page.

Open Sourcing Journler for Leopard

I have also been pondering the decision I made over a year ago to end Journler. I wasn’t happy with the decision then, and I’m still not. The abrupt move left many thousands of users stranded. It also failed to give me closure on an application I was dedicated to for so long.

Since that announcement I have received a number of inquires regarding the possible sale of Journler. I pursued few of these solicitations seriously. I was uncomfortable selling the application, despite wanting it to continue.

I’ve finally decide to open source Journler 100%. Some of Journler has already been open sourced but the aim over the next few months is to release all of the code into the public domain. If you’re interested in helping with this effort, see the Sprouted Developers page.

I do this reluctantly. Quite frankly the code is a mess, and it’s a personal embarrassment to make that work available to scrutinizing developers more capable than myself three years ago. Nevertheless, I believe it’s the best decision and the best opportunity for closure. In a sense I am freeing Journler from myself and releasing it to anyone who’d like it. It also paves the way for future development.

At the same time I will be modifying the code so that Journler continues to work on newer versions of the Mac OS. Many people still use the application every day, and I’d like to ensure they have the option of continuing to do so. Journler for Leopard will come. It may take a number of months, but it’ll get there.

Sprouted

All of this is an effort to restart Sprouted. As part of that endeavor everything related to Journler will be moving to the Sprouted website in the coming months. I will be winding down the forums during this time and will eventually discontinue the Journler webpage.

In the next few days I will also be closing the Journler forum to new user registrations in an effort to get a handle on the debacle of spam which has overrun it.

To new beginnings.

~Phil

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