Monday, May 26, 2008

Update, no new version yet, but coming soon...

As you probably read in my previous post Amazon pulled their older Web Service interface, and upgraded to the new Amazon Associates Web Service 4.0. This of course broke all previous versions of Fetch Art.

Initially I figured this would be a quick fix, and estimated maybe four weeks of development (understand I have a real paying job during the day, and a family, so my time to work on Fetch Art for free (donations accepted ;-) is limited.)

However as you can see it's been seven weeks since my initial announcement about Amazon taking down their older Web Services and still no fix has been released. Well the reason is the change hasn't been as simple I as expected. This is both good and bad.

It is bad, because it means more work for me, and more time you have to wait. However it is good, because it is forcing me to really rewrite some large areas of the code that have caused bugs and performance issues in the past. So when the new version is out, it should be better then ever.

I have completed a lot of work, and developed a prototype that is successfully getting art off of Amazon. However, because of my changes, I have to rewrite the code that saves the art to iTunes now.

The big question of course is... when will a new version (even a beta) be available?

My target release date (may be a beta, not a final version if I run into unexpected problems) is for June 23rd. If I have enough time to get some of the new features I want into the code, I may call this version 2.0, however, if I don't get everything in there in time, I'll probably call it 1.5.

What are some of the changes I'm working on? I hesitate to list them, because if some of them don't make it you'll be disappointed, but since I cannot offer you a working application, I'll go ahead and list them. Just understand, I may not be able to get all of these changes in time for the next release. These are the current features I am trying to include while I am re-writing the software:
1) Faster performance by improving the AppleScript code
2) Removing Perl code (which has been a source of bugs and incompatibilities with Mac OS X updates) should increase reliability across future versions of Mac OS X
3) Support for searches on Amazon Japan, France, and Canada as well as the ones the previous version supported which was U.S., UK, and Germany
4) Better support for unicode characters

Sorry I don't have more to offer you right now. Just know that any extra time I get, I'm working on this.