An inconvinient truth but also a chance for the future!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Well, there is no easy way to say this for me, so I make it short: the company funding development of tag2find has decided to cease financial support due to reasons not under our control.

So, this one is out, now we need to turn to more positive prospects: While financial support of tag2find development has ceased, we still managed to get all the rights to continue with development in our spare time. We still believe in tag2find and won’t let it down that easily.

So how will we go on from here? The negotiations regarding the financing have taken away most time of the last months, that’s one of the reasons why we are running behind schedule that far. The new situation will not really improve this. We want to personally apologize to all our faithful users who are still bearing with us. Thank you guys for all the motivation you are giving to us via our forum or via e-mail!

At the moment we have to arrange quite a few things, especially the changed financial situation requires us to devote plenty of our time to other projects in order to earn a living and to go on with tag2find development. Thus, development unfortunately will be delayed further, I’m afraid. But I will try to keep you more updated than we did in the last few months via this blog.

A possible nice outcome of this situation might be: we are evaluating our possibility to open-source tag2find! We cannot be certain yet and we have to figure out several licensing issues around this, but we are working on this as well. At the moment we are struggling to figure out if we have the rights to release all of the source-code and/or which license is suitable and can be applied to all our code and all the libraries we are using. Some libraries (especially some Microsoft libraries) prohibits to be released as part of GPL-licensed code, so we have to figure this out thoroughly.

Thanks again for bearing with us and thanks for your ongoing patience!

tag2find API to come sooner

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Many people have requested an API for interacting with tag2find from external sources (in both our forum and via e-mail). We think this is important but we always wanted to do it once we could provide a stable API, one which would not change and break other applications in subsequent releases. Therefore we always pushed the API back until we are able to ship a non-preview version. Well, as people are already interacting with tag2find without the API (see article in our forum for an importer of Picasa labels to tag2find, I’m very impressed!), we became even more aware how important the API is.

Therefore we will change our development plans in two ways: first, we will work to provide an API as soon as possible. Second, we want to make it available for the current 0.10 version, despite our initial plans to provide new features only in the Next Generation. Reason for also providing the API for 0.10 is, that we will go into limited testing of Next Generation within the next few weeks, but it will be available to the public only later on, once we are pleased with quality. But we do want to provide developers sooner with the API, as we see how urgent it is demanded.

We will keep you updated on the API and provide a quick overview of the possibilities for other developers within the next week.

tag2find 0.10.2.5 published

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Tag Logo 80×80We have just published our maintenance release 0.10.2.5 (download).

In this release we fixed a lot of small bugs. Our 0.10 line is still supported for bug fixing, but major improvements will be added to the “Next-Generation” version.

New and noteworthy:

  • Support for 120 dpi screen resolution (see also related article).
  • The tag2find Windows Explorer context menu handler was not installed on all computers.
  • Plugging in external NTFS-formatted USB devices did not add the volume name (i.e. “E:\”) to the filenames.
  • .OGG is now in the lists of media files, allowing playback from the integrated Windows Media Player if the OGG codec is installed.
  • Fixed a crash on startup if Windows Media Player was not installed on the system.
  • Thumbnail preview of PDF files (if Adobe PDF IExtractImage Filter is installe, i.e. Adobe Reader is installed).
  • Added “Check for Update” to notify icon context menu and “Help” menu in TagBrowser.
  • The “Add Files Wizard” now allows specification of which files to import based on the file extensions (forum request).
  • Several startup exceptions and fixes for hibernation problems (sorry, we could not eliminate all of them at the moment).

Technical Preview
We just want to remind you that this is still “Technical Preview”. tag2find became quite popular over the last time (and we really appreciate it, thank you folks!) and people expect performance we cannot deliver for the current release. Please stay patient with us, we will keep up working on it. Our main goal at the moment is to improve the usability, that’s what the “Next Generation” is about. We will then look into the performance issues.

Once more, thank you all for your great support! 😉

You are using 96dpi? You are my friend!

Friday, June 29th, 2007

stop.jpgWe spent the last few days resolving an issue which we never realized we had: support for “large fonts” setting, i.e. resolution other than 96dpi. Today more and more users are switching to 120dpi because even small notebooks have very high screen resolution and reading a small font on a small screen is not very comfortable.

Unfortunately, we never tested tag2find in other resolution settings than the default, primarily because we personally did not have a need for it. We came around this when we realized that the Configuration Wizard bug reported to us several times was directly linked to the selected font resolution. Once we switched, we got a shock: tag2find was unusable at settings other than 96dpi. The user interface was completely broken and several components were inaccessible because they were not drawn at all…

One should think that Microsoft .NET provides some support here… Well, it does, but unfortunately central parts of its layouting engine only work reliably if you work at 96dpi. After almost three days of development we finally made it to get the UI working for modes other than 96dpi, almost without glitches. Some final issues need to be resolved, then we are going to publish a new version with the fixes included.

The Road to FAT32 Support

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

SD-Card + MemoryStick (Teaser)Yesterday, our intern Sebastian Putscher had a breakthrough in prototyping FAT32 support. He was able to implement a basic FAT32 file-tracking algorithm which was able to reliably detect copies, renames and movements of files on a volume. What’s also working now is detection of copies between NTFS and FAT32 volumes.

The developed code is still in an early stage and by far not suitable for release, but it is a great breakthrough. I personally want to congratulate Sebastian for his success! The developed prototype now needs to be transformed into release-quality code, especially regarding CPU, memory and I/O load. This will take some time, but as you can see, we are clearly on the track.

So, why is FAT32 support that important? Well, because most external devices (USB memory sticks, SD-cards, just to name two) are formatted with FAT32 and not NTFS. Of course our goal here at tag2find is also to support those external media and support for FAT32 is important.

So, you may ask, why is FAT32 support so difficult to implement? As I have pointed out in some forum posts, the main problem is that there is no way of sticking additional data to FAT32 files. So we cannot reliably identify files once they are copied or moved around. For us, tag2find is not only a tool for finding things in a static environment, where files are left in the same place once they are tagged. We strongly believe, that the main advantage of tag2find is that you become independent of the location and name of a file. So for us it is important that we can track files as they move around and reflect those changes in realtime when performing a search.

A very basic approach where tags do not stick to a file, and the tags are lost once a file is renamed, moved, or copied could be implemented very fast. We don’t believe it is sensible, though. Tell us, if we are wrong!

Version 0.10.1.3 for everyone

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Tag Logo 80x80Two days ago we silently released version 0.10.1.3 (download) to the public. It is just a very minor bug-fix release including several minor fixes for bugs that have been reported to us.

It seems that for some reason the update-notification could have caused a crash in versions prior to this one, so we recommend anyone to upgrade.

The 0.10.x series despite some usability issues is stable enough to be released to the “general public”. Therefore we have removed the requirement to subscribe in order to download tag2find. Please note, this is still a Technical Preview, there still are bugs and we still need you to get rid of them. Please help us make tag2find a better tool.

We are now working on an improved version of tag2find, regarding both user interface and functionality. This will take us some time but until then we will continue to support 0.10.x with bug-fix releases. The team is going to give you a glimpse of what is about to come in the next one or two weeks. Some information are already available from our “next-generation page” on our homepage. You are highly encouraged to comment on the new user-interface (either here or better in our forum).

Thank you all for your ongoing support. We really love to work with and for people like you. Any suggestions are as always also welcome in our forum.

tag2find v0.10.0.14 is out

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Tag Logo 80x80We are proud to release version 0.10.0.14 to our testing community (download). This version realizes several changes you requested and also introduces two major new features. We also now provide an extended manual.

What’s new

  • New File Notification
  • Drag & Drop out of the application
  • Export and import of tags (basic backup functionality)
  • Basic Tag-Suggestions
  • Several dozens bug fixes regarding stability
  • Several dozens of minur UI tweaks to enhance usability

Please let me give you a short description of our new major features.

(more…)

tag2find v0.8.2.1 is out

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Tag Logo 80x80Today we released v0.8.2.1 of tag2find (download). It is a minor bug-fix release based on the feedback and errors submitted to us.

Fixed bugs:

  • Crash after restarting from hibernation.
  • An “Edit tags…” context menu entry for Windows Explorer, which allows editing in the TagBrowser instead of just adding tags in the Floating TagBox.
  • Crash of the service when turning back system time.
  • Improved error handling for recoverable errors.
  • Several other minor bug fixes.

Regarding the issue of restarting from hibernation, please report to us if the fix works for you. We had quite some trouble fixing it as we could not reproduce it on our computers, and additionally the bug seems to be inside of the .NET framework, as it does not involve any of our code. Any feedback regarding this issue is highly appreciated! Please use the Feedback Wizard or email us at contact@tagfind.com.

We will now immediately start working on the features scheduled for v0.10. There are no further 0.8.x bug-fix releases planned, but we will introduce them if required.

tag2find v0.8.1.4 is out

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Tag Logo 80x80After the storm of feedback which reached us after the TechCrunch article was posted, we are now pleased to announce that we fixed the most important bugs of 0.8.0 and that we are now able to release version 0.8.1.4 of tag2find as a minor upgrade. This version is now available to all our approved members of the technical preview program. Other users are welcome to sign up!
I’d like to thank all members of our technical preview program who helped us by submitting feedback. Thank you, guys!

As promised, we will now also approve the next bunch of users for the technical preview program. Due to the unexpected high number of requests, it can take some time to approve you all. Thank you for your patience.

I hope you stay with us and help us further improve tag2find. Considering the upcoming features for v0.10, which we expect to publish end of January, I’m sure it’s worth it.