So I finally did it. I pushed the big red Deploy button and released XTabulator 2. Okay, there is no big red Deploy button in reality, but there’s one in my head. And I pushed it. And damn, did it ever feel good.
As I mentioned previously, XTabulator 2 is a much-needed rewrite that almost didn’t happen because I’d originally sold the rights to this application to Apokalypse Software. Unfortunately (or is it?) that contract did not go well. At all.
Rather than throw it back up onto my site with no improvements (or adding a few features and bug fixes), I thought it best to offer a brand new, modern version. It has a lot of polish and plenty of potential for added features. Its focus is simplicity for the most common tasks (and formats: CSV/TAB). It’s lightweight and fast. It requires Mac OS X 10.5 or above and works on PowerPC or Intel Macs (ie, it’s a Universal Binary). A full license costs $19.99 (for now) and owners of version 1 can upgrade for half price. (Apokalypse customers, please see the appropriately-titled section below before purchasing.)
A lot of people have sent in some very helpful feedback. Thanks! One recurring theme, however, is that of what makes “delimited data files”. Here are some clarifications I think may help:
- CSV means “comma-separated values”. Those programs that export a file with a .csv extension but use semicolons are wrong. If you promise XTabulator a CSV file (via a .csv extension), you must give it a comma-separated file. The same goes for “.tab” (the delimiter is a tab character and nothing else).
- Related to the first point, if you have a “something-else-delimited” data set, give it an extension of anything but “.csv” or “.tab” and you should have no problems.
- Several different kinds of delimiter character within the same file is a custom file format. XTabulator does not handle custom file formats.
- Files that contain anything but delimited data records (one record per line, fields separated by the designated delimiter) are a custom file format. Again, XTabulator does not handle custom file formats.
- For now, XTabulator focuses on a “something-delimited” data set. Fixed-width fields are not supported at this time. Note all the marketing blurbs mention “delimited data files”. This is no accident.
As an apology to those who purchased version 1 directly from Apokalypse, I’m giving this upgrade away to those customers free of charge. Those customers have already been e-mailed directly with a free, personalized upgrade coupon code. If you are one of those customers but did not receive this e-mail, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for your coupon.
Why the Hold-Up
Some of you are probably wondering “why the hold-up?” Well, I have a fairly busy life. I, like anybody else, work best when I’m not burned out. In reality, I could have launched a month ago if I worked myself to the bone. As you may know, I have a full-time job as well as a family life. I took my sweet time with the marketing and web site work and feel just fine about that fact.
You know what I did most of the time I could’ve been pushing hard to finish this release? Reading. Yes, that’s right. Reading. Several thousand pages of some very nice fiction. Some TV, but mostly reading. On the couch, in the tub, on the deck, and here’s the rub: I’m not sorry.
As always, if you have any suggestions, bug reports, or any kind of feedback at all, let me know (through the Bartas contact info, please – no Bartas-related mail to my personal e-mail address, thanks).