Feature Costs

At the moment Work Journal 2.0 is sitting waiting for release. It's the first 2.0 I've ever put out under my own steam! I usualy get distracted around the 1.2 mark. Although, it has been 2 years almost to the day since the 1.0 release.

As the impending reality of never getting around to completing this 2.0 started to loom, I was bumping features to the 2.1 as quickly as possible. Work Journal 2.0 comes with a nice new updated set of core features, and the nice to haves will arrive soon.

The first verison of Work Journal had very few features, it was designed to be an opinionated peice of software. Something that wouldn't let you get bogged down in the busy work of orgaising lists, but rather a stream of consciousness containing the work tasks you've complted. There was no ability to add notes or edit time stamps, no tagging or categories and no mobile verision. In later version some of those features were added, but even in the 2.0 some are missing. I really felt the cost of not having those features. The cost comes as caustic app reviews and 1 star ratings, lost sales and support complaints.

If not implementing features has a cost, so do implemented features. One of the reasons of releasing the 1.0 with so few features was to get it out the door quickly. Features that are written not only have a time cost in writing them, but also fixing bugs and support requests. In the same way that the 1.2 version shipped with a notes field, because it's clearly a daft thing not to include, expensive features need to be culled. For the 2.0 that was definately the Launch at Login script. Due to the sandboxing security model that Apple now use, I was spending up to a day per release fixing issues associated with just getting the helper application to be correctly signed and pass validation. It was becoming a disproportionate amount of time compared to the rest of the development life cycle. A massive pain like that also stops me releasing frequently, as I need to find upto a whole day to release the app. Not easy when this is a side project.

I now have to see about the cost of dropping features? Will that be more expensive then leaving them in.