Wednesday, December 08, 2004

What are we working on?

Or, is it more correct to say, "On what are we working?"

Well, I'm glad you asked that question, whether you did it pedantically or not. It's been almost exactly a month since we released our software, and the response has been beyond anything I'd dared to image. Mike, characteristically, is pretty blasé about the whole thing: "I knew it was going to be huge. Yawn." Ok, he doesn't actually SAY "yawn," but it's implied.

I, on the other hand, assumed he and I would making ends meet by dancing nights at the local Chippendale's a month after release. Instead, well, we've hired a second full-time programmer, Tim, (sweet relief!) and a really great support dude, Drew. Many of you may have noticed that your mail to us does not get ignored! This would be due to Drew's efforts.

Tim playing with adding Tiger features, but his main duty for the next little while is going to be helping me get 1.1 out.

What's in 1.1? Mainly, we'll be trying to support a whole lot more Amazon servers around the world, and doing a better job of auto-selecting among the four we already do support.

Adding servers is tricky because Amazon only offers their convenient XML interface for the US, UK, Germany, and Japan. Their other stores, you're on your own. We've got some tricks up our sleeve, though.

One cool side-effect of this is we've found a more reliable way to change barcodes into Amazon numbers for the existing servers we support as well -- this is a big problem with videogames especially: lots of them are listed on Amazon but the XML interface we use doesn't have their UPC stored, so we don't look them up automatically. Our new hack will help us find more titles that are in Amazon but are mis-listed.