Nifty Box News

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Future of Nifty Box

Today I am releasing an update for Nifty Box. It introduces an enhanced mechanism to semi-automatically relocate lost file links. Usually Nifty Box will have no problems accessing files using Apple's alias technology, but this is true only if the files stay on the same hard-drive. If you move them to another hard-drive Nifty Box might need some help to correctly find the files at their new location. With version 1.3 a new assistant as well as a new library view ("Lost Links") have been included. You will find more information about this in Nifty Box's help documentation.

Some time has passed since version 1.2 and I have to admit that the development process of Nifty Box has been rather slow. This is because I was very busy doing freelance IT consulting. Slowly I became kind of detached from Nifty Box and lost the passion to keep on working on it as a side project. In the last couple of months I thoroughly pondered what my real interests are and made a decision to start a career in the space industry. If you look at the old screenshots on the Nifty Box homepage you might have guessed that I had this fascination all along.

Beginning with July 1st I am starting a new job and because of that I will stop the further development of Nifty Box.

What does this mean?

First of all, this new version (1.3) is a free release and I will stop selling Nifty Box. From now on Nifty Box will be freeware.

Of course there will be bug-fix releases if needed, but I am not planning to implement new features for Nifty Box.

The old contact channels will be kept open for you: you can either use the contact form or simply use the email address given on the contact page.

Transition: What to do with your data?

Needless to say, Nifty Box will continue working: there is no expiration date built in. But in case you want to use another tagging application in the future there are several ways you could extract the tagging data from Nifty Box and use it in the other tagging application:

  1. Spotlight Comments
    This is perhaps the easiest way to extract tags from Nifty Box. Just set "Export tags to Spotlight" in the preferences and all tags will be written to the Finder's Spotlight Comment field. Find out if the target application needs a special tag prefix (like e.g. "@") and set the tag prefix accordingly.

  2. AppleScript
    You can very easily transfer the tags for all Nifty Box items using AppleScript (if the target application does support AppleScript too). Please find information about Nifty Box's AppleScript interface here.

  3. XML Export
    Nifty Box offers an export of the complete tagging database in XML format. You can access this feature via "File > Export Database…". The format of the resulting XML file is explained in the Nifty Box help file.

  4. OpenMeta (unsupported)
    OpenMeta is a new tagging standard proposed by Ironic Software. There are quite a couple of applications that support OpenMeta. Currently Nifty Box does not support OpenMeta and I am not planning to implement a complete interface for it. So OpenMeta will not be officially supported in Nifty Box. That's the bad news.

    The good news is, that I am working on a simple stand-alone extract utility. It will help you to move Nifty Box tagging data to OpenMeta. Once this utility is finished it will be released via this blog (so please subscribe to the feed in case you not already have!).

    [edit 2009-08-10: I have completed the OpenMeta exporter. Please see details in this blog posting.]


So at this point I want to like to say a big "Thank You!" to all the customers and users of Nifty Box! I hope that Nifty Box indeed does help you to organise your stuff and you keep on having fun using the application.