Reopening the Source Code and Other Updates

Open Sign

I wavered a bit after discovering another app of mine was being copied and re-published with zero effort by multiple other developers, but I've reconcluded that open source is the right direction.

I considered using a copy-left license, but after a lot of research I'm under the impression it would conflict with App Store distribution terms. So back to the good ol' MIT license.

What I will not be bringing back is a free Mac download. Maintaining a separate build with an auto-updater included and hosting the binaries is a big hassle. Also, an aspect of Den I've worked on a bunch is multi-platform compatibility. It just doesn't feel right offering the desktop version without the mobile version.

In summary, sorry for going back and forth, Den is open source and the decision is permanent this time. Visit the GitHub repository to see what's going on behind the scenes and under the hood.

Content Blocking Updates

Version 1.22.0, released on February 8th, included a major overhaul to blocklists. The impetus for the change was that I discovered the library I used for converting AdBlock formatted lists to Apple compatible "Content Blocker JSON" had switched from LGPL to GPL licensing. To continue baking it in would mean that Den itself would have to use the GPL license, which I'm not opposed to, but as mentioned earlier, I think that would conflict with App Store distribution terms.

Now Den requires pre-converted, JSON, filter lists. While there are a ton of filters out there, it's extremely rare for them to be JSON. I started Den Blocklists to regularly convert/update mirror JSON versions. Currently it includes filters from EasyList. Let me know of any other filters you would like to see added.

Bookmarks/Tagging Enhancements

I have to admit, when I first added tags and bookmarks last fall the effort was a bit slap dash. I underestimated the effort required for creating a good experience. Things have gotten better with version 1.23.0. Now there is a table/list view and bookmarks will remain even after the feed has been removed.

General Improvements

Also in 1.23.0, standalone previews (the view used for the inbox and timeline page layout) got a makeover. Namely, feed titles have been de-emphasized. File this under things that were painfully obvious, but it took user feedback for me to notice it.

What's Next

I have a decent backlog of smaller issues I'll be picking up as time permits.

I'm feeling like the last major feature I'd like to tackle in version 1.x is content filtering. Like being able to filter out "Top Deals" articles. It's a feature I just know I'm going to trip on at least a few times so I want to start iterating on it soon.