It never occurred to me until yesterday just how much SyncBridge has been my little child.
When I first created the sync engine, it wasn’t allowed out of the house, although I occasionally sent photos to close relatives (I was using it to synchronize between multiple user accounts on my machine, and I made a simple movie and sent it to MJ (who was on the other side of the world at the time)).
Then it grew up a bit, and I let it out to play with some well trusted supervision. (I added a simple GUI and sent the code to MJ and we started sharing calendars).
Then it went through puberty, and I taught it to be trustworthy and it earned my trust, and generally got more exposure to the real world (I fixed a lot of bugs and tested it! We also showed it to more people and talked/blogged about it).
In human terms, SyncBridge has reached the age of 16 or so. Legally able to leave home and earn money, but still with protective parents who want to make sure it’s well behaved and well adjusted in society.
Yesterday I installed the SyncBridge server for the employees at Mac|Sys and they all installed the client on their local machines. This morning, they started sharing in earnest. It’s like seeing my kid go out to work for the first time – I’d be ruffling SyncBridge’s hair if it had any 🙂
So far, we’ve had only one real issue which has been with people renaming each other’s calendars. I’ve added a simple fix and everything continues along nicely. The biggest eye-opener so far has been in ensuring that people know how to use the software. What we think is blindingly obvious just isn’t to people who’ve never used it before. Good thing MJ has written docs – tonight we’re planning to add them to the app!
Currently looking very likely to have our semi-public beta start this weekend. By semi-public I mean we’ll let those people who volunteered use the software – this will be the first time the app goes to someone we don’t know personally.
Biggest possible hold-ups for the beta are infrastructure things: getting the server upgraded to handle SyncBridge software properly, getting a support issue/bug tracker available to the world at large, etc.
Biggest possible hold-ups for going live (aside from heretofore undiscovered bugs) is setting up mundane things like a bank account, some kind of shopping basket, etc.
All the things mentioned above are underway, and we’ve got a month or so before our target go-live date (August 1).