news opinion

The rumours of’s demise…

As I type this the rumours of’s demise are just that: rumours. There have been no official pronouncements from Yahoo! so far and so, for the time being, it’s business as usual for Yummy and Yummy Browser. is still there. Your bookmarks are still there. You can still sync, add and edit them. I would argue that there’s no need to rashly jump ship.

Having said that, the rumours are credible. Yahoo! may yet sell or change their mind, so while rashly moving to another service might be overkill, now might be a good time to consider the alternatives. You’re welcome to mention your favourite in the comments but in my opinion.the closest equivalent to is probably Yummy already has support for Pinboard, so you could transition over with very little change.

In summary, I’ve spent too much time and energy on Yummy to stop supporting and developing it on a rumour. I’ll say more when we know more.

Finally, if it’s true that the entire team were laid off, I would just like to extend my thanks to them all, especially Chris Draycott who has gone above and beyond in answering developer questions (both mine and others) in the forums.

Update (21:07): Yahoo! have just posted a blog saying that they are hoping to sell Delicious.

We’re actively thinking about the future of Delicious and we believe there is a home outside the company that would make more sense for the service and our users.


As noted above, there’s no reason to panic. We are maintaining Delicious and encourage you to keep using it. 

news opinion

Roadmap (Early 2010)

Since there has been little visible activity here for the last month or two, I thought it might be a good time to let you know what’s happening with Yummy and where things are heading.

In short the next version is nearing completion and I hope to send it to Apple in the next couple of weeks. I’m not going to talk about features in this post but one thing that I would like to mention is that version 2.4 will be the first release to require iPhone OS 3.x. Until now Yummy has run on all version of iPhone OS that have the App Store (i.e., 2.0 and above), but the new OS has been out long enough and there are so few users of older versions that I think it’s time to make the jump.

Release 2.4 has a bit of a checkered history. I originally hoped to make it available before the end of last year but then Yahoo! threw a spanner in the works and I had to spend a lot of time writing code to support the new Yahoo! ID log in scheme. I figured that not doing this would put me at a big disadvantage when my competitors updated but so far Yummy remains the only Delicious client on the iPhone that supports the new log in scheme.

I also spent an unusually large amount of time working on features that never made it into the shipping version. This always happens to some degree, but one “biggie” ended up being discarded and another was repurposed. This meant that a couple of other features ended up being pushed out of this release altogether.

However, all the work on the Yahoo! ID scheme meant that another feature, one planned for version 3 or later, became much easier and was therefore brought forward to this release.

I know I’m teasing a bit here. Details will follow shortly.

At the same time I am also progressing an update to www.cut, my quick URL shortening app. This was originally to be a minor update due before Yummy 2.4 but is likely to make it out shortly afterwards, hopefully before the end of March.

Next, like many other iPhone developers I have been looking at the recently announced iPad and wondering how well my applications would work on it. To be clear, Yummy should work just fine as it is but I’m curious if there are ways that I can make better use of the increased screen real-estate.

In short I think there is but the current UI will need to be rewritten. If I go down that route I want it to be a proper iPad application and not just a quick hack.

To that end, I have just started work on Yummy 3.0. This is a complete, ground-up re-write with some new ideas and a new approach to managing your bookmarks. At this stage it’s more sketching thing out on paper and prototyping small pieces of code than hard-core development but some ideas are staring to take shape.

It’s at such an early stage that I’m not going to make any estimates as to when you might expect to see it. It is likely be a while, so there will be more point releases in the 2.x line.

So, in summary, there will be a few updates to look out for in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

news opinion reviews

Apple App Review

Apple App Review have posted a pretty thorough run-through of Yummy on YouTube:

They cover pretty much all the important functionality. In fact about the only thing that they didn’t cover is the web preview, the tag view and the search functionality.

opinion trivia

Pirates and Jail-break

I just read this post by PlanetBeing about Apple’s relationship with the jail-break and application cracking community. While I have some sympathy with his position I can’t wholeheartedly agree. There are rational reasons why developers and Apple might not support jail-breaking even if it does nothing to help extinguish piracy.

Back in March when I wrote about my experience with Yummy users who have jail-broken handsets I tried to be very careful to make a distinction between the process of jail-breaking and that of pirating apps. In principle I have no problem with people freeing their phones from the shackles that Apple include.

However, one of the nice things about developing for the iPhone is that it is a closed system. When you write a program for the Mac or Windows or Solaris you have to deal with all kinds of variables that you have no control over. Does your program work when someone plugs in a ten year old scanner? When they plug in an iSCSI disk? With five monitors? When they virtualise the OS? When they use Solaris Zones? (All these are actual problems I’ve come across over the years I’ve worked in IT.) Fundamentally you just don’t know. While you wouldn’t expect them to make a difference, you can’t count them out. And when you’re supporting software you have to take into account the costs of tracking down, identifying and fixing these obscure problems that you can’t actually see on your own hardware.

On the iPhone, as with most games consoles, you have none of this. An iPhone is an iPhone. You can rely on the amount of memory available. You know there’s one screen with one size. The few areas of variation are well known.

When people start changing the operating system, as happens when you jail-break a phone, all these things you can rely on become, well, less reliable. It can be small things like performance tuning. With a stock iPhone I can try to make my application responsive because I know how aggressively I can cache data. Jail-broken phones often have less, sometime substantially less, memory available. (Actually, I say a small thing. For an application within certain bounds performance is a “nice to have.” For a game your tolerances may be much smaller.)

More significantly, some system level components that you can usually rely on can change under your feet. In the case of the “blank tags” bug in Yummy it was because the version of SQLite sometimes changes when you jail-break.

I spent a significant amount of time trying to track this problem down and in the end only stumbled across the solution by accident.

What I’m trying to say here is that while we can agree that people who jail-break their handsets are not all stealing their applications, we cannot pretend that their actions have zero cost. The time that I spent tracking down the bug could have been better spent adding new features or fixing bugs that affect all users and not just a minority.

PlanetBeing says that the jail-break community does not “believe that Apple should have a support burden for modified devices.” I think developers of third party applications deserve a similar break.