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Tuesday, December 19, 2006


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What about the FD newspapers - Do you consider them extensible since you added the fdactions? I've mentioned it before, but you just about have a quasi-API with the fdactions that you have added

Now I know and understand it all might change with each new version cycle, break compatibility, etc, etc and that's why you're reluctant to, but is it possible to get formal documenation of all the fdactions and their arguments?

>In addition, we had to make sure that new versions of HomeSite continued to support adds-on created for prior versions<

I realize that this is a personal goal and is excellent for the customer, but I do want to point out that many customizable applications break compability with previous versions (Winamp skins/plugins and Firefox extensions are just a couple major ones off the top of my head) and have very little complaint from the userbase; most communities that offer application-specific, user-created content (like skins, plugins, extensions, themes, etc) indicate what version(s) of that application a given piece of content is compatible with, and there haven't been any issues. Again I understand that this is a personal goal to maintain version compatiblity, I'm just pointing out that there are many successful examples of applications that don't

Thinking about this, I guess you could also put my earlier question down as something else for programmers to think about before extending their application - they in all likelihood will need to sit down and thoroughly document the API in such a way to make said API easy for others to pick up and run with

Critter, you're right about FeedDemon's newspapers being a quasi-API, and you're also right about why I haven't documented them. I *know* that they'll change, so explaining their innards would likely result in unhappy third-party newspaper devevelopers. For example, the security lockdown added in v2.1 would've broken any third-party newspaper style that relied on JavaScript (ie: pretty much all of them!). So until I'm confident that they won't dramatically change, I won't document their format.

IMO, applications that consistently break compatibility between versions are a PITA for end users. I *hate* how a simple Firefox upgrade often requires getting new versions of the extensions I use.

"It's an excellent point, and there are certainly a number of applications that have greatly benefited from their extensibility" ... Especially HomeSite... and its users!

... and we still thank you and the other HS developers every time we use it... that extensibility has let users do a ton of things they'd never be able to do in most editors, and it's kept HS useful even now in spite of a few years of slow development over there.

So, sorry if it was a pain sometimes for you all to support, but we *really* appreciate that effort.

believe me, as the guy trying to keep most of the homesite extensions listed on my site, I definitely know how much it helps. ;-)

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