Alastair’s Place

Software development, Cocoa, Objective-C, life. Stuff like that.

Well, It’s Finally Released

We’ve just released iPartition 3. This version’s development, testing and even release seems to have dragged on and on; originally I’d hoped that we’d get it out much sooner, but in retrospect it isn’t surprising given the amount of work involved in some of the new features.

I should say that much of the credit for the new filesystem support (we now resize NTFS and FAT, as well as HFS+), not to mention the excellent work on supporting Boot Camp, belongs to my friend and colleague, Chris Suter (Chris, where’s your blog? You’ve been talking about starting one for ages), who some people might recognise from his sporadic presence on various Apple developer mailing lists. My work for this release has been mainly on the interface, though some of the FAT code is mine.

I shouldn’t minimise, though; a lot of work went into the interface, not least all the time I spent re-drawing various icons as vector graphics (I think I’m right in saying that all the icons visible in iPartition’s windows are now scalable vectors, and they continue to look pleasing to the eye even at high UI scale factors). We even flirted with using a scalable backdrop for the distribution disk image, but that doesn’t work on 10.3 so we decided to leave that for now.

The new UI should be more accessible than the old one was for people using screen readers and the like too; it certainly seems to work better in Voice Over. Plus I’m very proud of the new look pie chart; it uses space much more effectively in the window and is simply gorgeous to look at:


Somehow a static image doesn’t quite do it justice. But you can always download the demo and make yourself a disk image so you can play with it.

Of course, we’ve already had an e-mail to complain that the new features are such a small upgrade that it isn’t worth the time we’ve spent on them, never mind the upgrade price. You’d think it was just a case of five minutes work writing code to shell out to diskutil or something, as opposed to the reality, which is that writing filesystem related code is a hard, unforgiving slog. You can’t afford to make mistakes, but it’s complicated so you inevitably will anyway; testing is difficult at best, not to mention slow; and just to make life better, there are usually all sorts of idiosyncrasies that (a) users don’t appreciate, and (b) you have to deal with.

To give some idea, according to our version control system, I started the FAT code nearly two years ago now, and the NTFS code is nearly a year old itself. So this release is the culmination of all of that effort, from both me and Chris. We hope our customers like it. Time will tell.