A few months back, I was contacted by Marine and Rob with mobile[foo], the mobile development arm of Red Gate Software. They wanted to know if I would consider selling Cocoa Controls.
Initially, I was hesitant. The last thing I would ever want would be for Cocoa Controls to lose its community focus, or its ability to be a great, free resource.
But, after an early morning call with Marine and Rob (they’re based out of Cambridge in the U.K.), I realized that their goals were actually the same as mine: to provide the best set of community resources for mobile software developers. They’re also two of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Furthermore, selling Cocoa Controls to a ‘real’ company means that we’ll have tons of additional resources to do really awesome stuff with the website. It also means that the site can continue on indefinitely, whether or not I ever get bored maintaining it1. Last, but certainly not least, this should also mean that you’ll be seeing more content on the site from Marine, Rob and the rest of the mobile[foo] folks. Please Note: this doesn’t mean I’m flying off to Hawaii tomorrow :)
All told: I’m incredibly excited that Cocoa Controls has joined up with mobile[foo]: it means that Cocoa Controls will be able offer you more without compromising on the vision that has made it so popular.
Your Feedback, and Upcoming Features
Back in July, I asked you for feedback on ideas that we had been considering for the site, and also looked for further areas in which we could improve2. Since then, we’ve been hard at work on a set of new features based upon your feedback, including the following:
The biggest feature we’ve been working on is a marketplace for selling commercial versions of your controls. For example, an iOS developer might offer a project for free under the GNU General Public License, but then also offer a commercially supported version of the same project in order to pay their bills. Controls can be single- or dual-licensed, and we’ll handle all of the billing and payment aspects of the process. All you have to do is sign up for free and sell your stuff (of course, you need to have all the rights to the code you want to sell).
Also, please note that this doesn’t change anything for purely open source controls. If you want to continue offering your content without any changes, that’s perfectly fine!
We’re going to be adding analytics for your controls’ pages, so you can see exactly how many page views and downloads you’re getting from Cocoa Controls.
We’re adding discussion forums for controls, where you’ll be able to have a significantly better, more structured experience for discussing usage, bugs, tips and tricks for all of your favorite projects.
Another feature we’ve been working on is a new Authors section, where you’ll be able to browse through a list of the authors of every control on the site, and see other projects they’ve worked on.
This is just the beginning
We’re working feverishly to get all of these changes out the door, but this is just the start. We’d love to know what you think about our plans, and what else you’d like to see. Please let us know what you think in the comments, or via email. As always, you can contact me at [email protected], or the entire team at [email protected]
Aaron, Marine, and Rob
1 You might be surprised how much time it took to curate the 300-or-so controls that have been posted to the site. I’ve actually looked at over 15,000 individual GitHub repositories in order to find all of the controls on the site. Those screenshots don’t take themselves, after all ;-)
2 Like Disqus, I know. I’m sorry I haven’t removed out Facebook comments yet. I promise!