Both Blackjack and soeMatrix Updated to v1.5.1

/ 29 January 2011 / Alexander Celeste

Late last night we pushed out two fairly minor updates to both Blackjack and soeMatrix. The only user-visible change that was made (that we remembered to document as we were coding) was in updating the copyright statement for 2011. These updates have far more changes under-the-hood though. With the v1.5 updates we debuted a self-updating functionality to these widgets (and that was to be used in any future widget we develop). That functionality didn’t exactly use a proper update feed (like appcasts for Mac applications and plists for Safari Extensions), it was just a simple php script with authorization keys. Around the same time we created the widget updating mechanism we began work on a solution to encompass all our Mac products that would act for us developers as simply as the updaters act for you users (much like Apple’s iTunesConnect for the App Stores). In creating this we would do away with static appcasts, plists, and php files altogether, instead opting for one catalog.php file to dynamically serve up whatever the product calling it wanted. In these v1.5.1 updates we’ve switched over to this new update mechanism (we call it Tenseg SoftwareUpdate), leaving the old widget updater behind when going forward. When we next update all our other products they, too, will (possibly silently) switch over to utilizing this new update mechanism.

You may ask why create such a mechanism when we knew a Mac App Store was on the way (and is now open)? The basic answer is that the Mac App Store requires being part of another paid developers program and we didn’t want to commit to that at the moment. That, and since we develop more than just applications for Mac OS X we’d still need to deliver the widgets and random scripts from our website alone. If we ever decide to release shareware applications (versus just freeware applications) then the Mac App Store will be one of the more likely choices for distribution. Until then we’re going to be sticking with our own distribution mechanisms for our Mac applications.

Anyways, you can either use the built-in updaters or head on over to the product pages (Blackjack and soeMatrix) to get these minor updates. The old updater will remain in place for one month, then the self-updating functionality of the v1.5 updaters will be broken for eternity.