Long ago, this post joked about the announcement by Apple to move to Intel chips. (It also spawned an unending quest for the origin of the title: Wait for it, Wait for it…but that’s a different story I suppose.) I bring this up because after reading Lifehacker’s exclusive interview with Alcor (Nicholas Jitkoff) – the Quicksilver developer – You could replace the punch line of the aforementioned joke with: “Alcor condemned Quicksilver to a ‘long slow death’, suggested 3rd party alternatives…” and pretty much understand the way that news made me feel yesterday.
What makes this hurt the most, is that Quicksilver is literally what I show people on my Mac first. Yes, Apple’s computers and operating system are clearly examples of special attention to engineering and development, but Quicksilver is really in a league of its own when it comes to making a computer system unlike anything else. The thought of this application dying a slow death is nearly unbearable for me. In fact, my first reaction was that this is the final straw, and it’s time for me to become an OS X programmer so I can pickup the Open Source Code and revive the application that I rely on almost every minute of the day (or at least the minutes I’m working on my computer that is). In fact I’ve been planning to start a project to learn Xcode/Cocoa/Objective C and blog about it here on TAB. It will likely still happen, but when my schedule and life get a bit less crazy… In the meantime however, I’m hopeful that someone or a group of someones out there have the chutzpah and the love for Quicksilver to do the same.
So mark this as my cry for help, directed toward the incredible community of talented developers supporting the Mac platform: Quicksilver needs you! Those of us who are addicted to Quicksilver need you! I have a hard time believing such a wonderful application could truly die away, but I would feel so much better knowing there are some ambitious folks out there ready to pick up the slack. Alcor is leaving some big shoes to fill - is anyone out there up to the task???
EDIT: A point I neglected to write about initially is the cost (or lack thereof) of Quicksilver (thanks for the reminder Weisheng).
Alcor has been kind beyond belief to craft Quicksilver free of charge all these years. The silly part is it is one of the few applications I would pay for without even thinking about it. I have many apps that I use just enough to merit the purchase of a license. Quicksilver is one program that I swear by – heck, even LIVE by – and wouldn’t hesitate to fork over my hard-earned dollars for.
A commenter in the original Lifehacker thread mentions the Radiohead model of letting people pay what they think the album is worth to them. I can’t think of a better application of this payment model, as Quicksilver is one of those apps that differs in brilliance for every user. I’d pay $30 easily, from my perspective…