This blog post has been a long time coming. Many of you are probably wondering why there's been practically no activity on the project for several months now. In fact, the last serious development activity was when v2.1 beta was released just prior to DevCon'2011 back in October. Furthermore, my participation on e-mail/tickets/forums has also been rather slow or absent since then.
A lot of things have been going on in my personal and professional life since early October, and these things have seriously cut into the time I used to devote to the LogicMail project. What many people often forget, is that the LogicMail project has essentially been a hobby of mine from day one. During most of the lifetime of the project, I tended to be single, work a non-mobile-related day-job with a early schedule and little overtime, and had a lot of evening, weekend, and holiday hours to devote to the project.
The long story
Starting around October, a number of things happened. Owing in large part to my work on LogicMail (and related BlackBerry developer community involvement), I got a job doing full-time BlackBerry development with a company located in California. Of course I was living in Florida, and working from home with co-workers 3 hours behind me, so work/life separation was a bit of a challenge.
Then, in November, I got married. Of course a lot of time was taken up by all the wedding planning and the honeymoon that followed the big day. (Also, don't forget that this also means that I now spend a lot of time, that use to go to the LogicMail project, with my wife.)
Now, while I was still working from home at this point, my new employer considered that to really be a temporary arrangement. They actually wanted me to be local at their office in California. So we spent most of December and January going through the whole stressful relocation process. After being quite "settled in" with our existing lives in Florida, this was understandably a major ordeal.
Its now early February, and we're finally starting to settle in at our new place. As such, I'm thinking its about time to begin to follow up on all the LogicMail activity I've mostly put on the back-burner since October.
Now many of you are wondering what my plans are, going forward, with the LogicMail project. On one hand, my ability to continue contributing has significantly declined. But on the other hand, the project is sufficiently feature-complete for many users.
The first thing I plan to do, is to change the release model. In the past, I've attempted managed "release branches" like a more major project might do things. This meant that I would be doing active development on 2.1, while continuing to commit bug fixes for 2.0, as an example. In the future, I'm going to adopt more of a rolling-release model. So for all intents and purposes, there will be one main branch of the source code. Whenever a particular build is deemed "good enough", I'll link to it as the new "release" from the download page. Since v2.1 is really already good enough for wider-than-beta usage, I'll be starting with this version as soon as I can bring my development and build systems up to date.
The second thing I'd love to be able to do, is somehow get people other than myself to contribute (beyond translations) to the project. While I've seen plenty of users think that there's a "team" behind this project, it has really just been myself. Occasionally I get minor contributions, but really nothing substantial has come from anyone else. Now I'm pretty firmly convinced that there isn't much of an open-source culture in the BlackBerry world to begin with, so I don't know what it'll take. (I think most of my would-be contributors are either put off by the need for Windows to run the development tools, or have long since switched to Android. Heck, all my friends still wonder why I haven't switched.) I may even consider switching the repository from SVN to Git, but right now I'd be happy just to have a reason to consider that.