7 Comments

Summary:

I had the opportunity to attend the July 10th meeting of Seattle Xcoders (a local group where Mac OS X Cocoa programmers can connect) that featured Wil Shipley giving a talk on his latest initiative – Golden % Braeburn. Golden % Braeburn is a company that […]

I had the opportunity to attend the July 10th meeting of Seattle Xcoders (a local group where Mac OS X Cocoa programmers can connect) that featured Wil Shipley giving a talk on his latest initiative – Golden % Braeburn.

Golden % Braeburn is a company that has been setup to license the storefront used to sell Wil’s most excellent Delicious Library. He tried to find a usable storefront to license since there are many pitfalls to creating your own. Security concerns, state & federal tax nuances, international fees & taxes considerations, interfacing with banks and credit clearinghouses and management of product keys are just a few of the nightmares awaiting those DIY’ers. Mac developers could just use sites like Kagi, but you are then limited by what they provide and must fit into their box. Not being satisfied with any of those options, Wil rolled his own.

With Golden % Braeburn, Wil licenses the full source code to you to do with as you please (except for the removal of the code which calculates his “piece of the action”). If you make changes, Wil will evaluates the efficacy of the feature(s) and can choose to incorporate them into the main codebase to share with other Golden % Braeburn users.

Here’s everything you get:

  • a 100% Cocoa app & app components
  • store front-end
  • store back-end (credit card processor / transaction keeper)
  • remote client (to manage licenses and the store)
  • expo store (allows on-floor credit swipe & receipt/license print)
  • QuickBooks integration
  • on-the fly localization (Wil talked about this library he wrote and it is pretty neat stuff …if you’re a developer)
  • AppleScript integration

Users experience the store within your application as a sheet. The interface is completely customizable and has some advantages over web apps, like population of fields from the Address Book and a much more secure feel when the user clicks “buy”. Everything is automatic – you do not need to sit and respond to license e-mails or hand-generate keys. It is all handled between the front-end and back-end seamlessly.

A Mac Mini has enough horsepower to run the back-end, but you will need a static IP address and a bit of bandwidth. Will highly recommends a RAID configuration for your disks (hey, it is customer data)

There is no sign-up fee. There is no annual fee. There are no monthly fees. There are no fixed per-transaction fees. The only fee is 5% of the transactions that are fulfilled via the storefront. You are still free to sell your wares on any other site. There are other non-GB fees that are required, but you can read more about Golden % Braeburn on their site. The best part about it (in my opine) is that even if Will decides to disband Golden % Braeburn, you still have the source and can continue to use it (without the cut!). Think about what would happen if Kagi went out of business and it was your only means to sell your app.

The talk was highly interactive and it was great to see so many developers interested in this offering. They had double the usual attendance and folks were not afraid to ask questions and challenge assumptions.

When you are in the Seattle area, I highly recommend popping in on the Xcoders meetings. You can find out more about the group and subscribe to their various calendar and content feeds right on the main page.

If you have questions or experiences with about Golden % Braeburn, drop a note in the comments. I can consolidate them and shoot them Wil’s way for response (or encourage him to respond directly in the comments if he has time). Feel free to drop a note with your experiences with his storefront (if you are a Delicious Monster aficionado) or OS X software storefronts in general (the good, bad and ugly).

  1. I appreciate you taking the time to write this up. I wanted to make it up to Seattle for the presentation, but couldn’t get out of town.

    G%B looks like a great product. I imagine we’ll see a new customer or two to run the backend of the app.

    Share
  2. The only problem with this is that it does not work if you’re not directly connected to the net, with a public IP address and no firewalls blocking random ports on 5123 or whatever. If you run behind a NAT device, or there’s a firewall which prevents you connecting to non-standard ports, or simply if you’re on a network where it’s a private subnet with (say) HTTP proxies to connect you to the outside world, this solution is fundamentally broken. In addition, there’s no plans to fix this breakage.

    Given the reports of IPv4 addresses running out, and different speeds of IPv6 rollout, many ISPs are now running with either private, non-routable addresses or (to prevent spammers) locking down non-standard open ports. A purchasing system should not be technically hobbled by choosing to not use the standard HTTP infrastructure which will be used to download the application in the first place, which only causes to frustrate customers and turn them away from your product.

    Full write up at http://alblue.blogspot.com/2008/07/will-golden-braeburn-be-golden-lemon.html, including Wil’s lacklustre response.

    So, if you want to randomly ignore your potential customer base, go ahead and use Golden Lemon.

    Share
  3. @Alex, seems like there is a bit of an ax grinding going on here.

    From all reports, Delicious Library sells thousands of copies and wins awards from Apple and Macworld. Yet you’re the only one screaming this issue.

    I think we’ll be alright.

    Share
  4. Not so much ax grinding – I’m a potential customer, I want to purchase it, I just can’t. How many thousands doesn’t Delicious sell to customers who are not able to use the in-app store?

    Share
  5. @Alex Wil’s “lacklustre response”, as you put it, actually sounds quite considerate. You’re bashing his system, so he could have sent a snarky response, or none at all. Instead, he took time to acknowledge your issue and even explained why it’s happening.

    I know dozens of people across the U.S., in Canada, and in the U.K. (and a couple in other countries) who’ve all either purchased DL2 or upgraded to it. None of them had issues. If you really want the app (and it is truly “delicious”) go to a WiFi cafe or a friend’s house and pick it up.

    Also, like Wil says, they mail the receipts, so there’s no need for a screen grab; but if there were, use the default scrrenshot command, or the grab utility that’s hiding in your Mac’s utilities folder. Sounds like you’re just grasping at straws when you’re complaining that DL doesn’t have a screen capture utility built in.

    By the way, you should get ready to either correctly configure your network or live without some great apps…quite a few devs at WWDC jumped on the G%B bandwagon :)

    Share
  6. That’s exactly the excuse used by poor site developers who put “only works on Internet Explorer 5.0 or greater” on each page because they don’t care about the 1%. The problem is that the 1% ends up being 5% which ends up being 10% and then you start to notice.

    Share
  7. Required Name Thursday, July 24, 2008

    I won’t consider that an excuse. It is simply impossible to ensure something will work for 100% of people. Yes, they’ll notice if the 1% becomes 5% or 10%, but it hasn’t has it? Will it? Don’t seem likely.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post