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Today DaisyDisk turns 8!

8 years ago, on March 13, 2009, the very first copy of DaisyDisk v.1 was sold, so today can be called the official birthday of DaisyDisk!

It have been a really stunning 8 years. Four major version releases, three Apple’s “Best of Mac App Store” awards, recognition by industry’s media in over 450 reviews, lots of happy customers.

To celebrate this anniversary, the price suddenly goes down by 50% for 24 hours 😉🎂

Tags: History

The year of 2012

My sincere apologies for being silent during the last months. There’s been quite a lot of work inside the company, but only a minor part of it is visible.

DaisyDisk Team is gone. Long live Software Ambience! It’s a company responsible for DaisyDisk and all our upcoming products. The staff has expanded, so we’ll be able to work on multiple products simultaneously.

Welcome Unclutter, a tiny utility that combines file storage, instant notepad and clipboard preview. Immediately accessible with a simple gesture or keystroke. Available right now on the Mac App Store near you.

DaisyDisk is alive and kicking. It got a brand new design with full retina display support, an improved future-proof engine and other interesting features you’ll soon be able to test yourself. This update will be freely available to all existing users of DaisyDisk in Q1 2013. Be patient, it’s worth the wait.

That’s not all. Our third app, @LilyViewapp is nearing open beta.

Sounds interesting? Stay tuned and follow us on Twitter. The year of 2013 is going to be really great for us all.

Taras Brizitsky, Software Ambience.

Tags: Announce, History

2011, retrospective

2011 has been a great year for the team and the product. We’ve released DaisyDisk 2.0, a rewritten and redesigned version of the app, featuring tons of improvements and some unique features. We’ve rolled out 4 updates that made the app look even better, work faster and speak with our customers in their native language.

No wonder DaisyDisk 2 is featured in the Best of Mac App Store 2011 category of the Mac App Store and is a runner up in TUAW Best of 2011, the best Mac utility app vote. Not to mention lots of positive reviews and, most importantly, our users’ satisfaction.

Right now DaisyDisk sells with 50% discount and the good news is that we’re leaving it that way. That’s right: a fantastic, state of the art tool for less than $10. That includes free customer support and nonrestrictive licensing policy.

What’s next? We have a long, long list of possible improvements, features and just crazy ideas, so the development is not going to stall. We’re not fans of abandonware :) At the same time, we’ll try to move on with one on our next projects that have been frozen throughout the year.

Have great holidays, see you in 2012. Stay tuned.
Yours truly, DaisyDisk Team.

Tags: History

10 basic principles behind DaisyDisk

Experience over features

Features don’t matter, experience does. Who cares if the app promises to do everything but doesn’t do a single thing right?

Being the best is not enough

It’s not enough to make the best app of its kind, one must try to build a perfect app (even though it’s impossible).

Design first

Make great design, then implement it in code, not the opposite. While thinking in code it’s easy to lose the scope and roll down to inferior solutions.

Don’t do anything you can’t do right

Ok, you have a great feature scheduled, but the final implementation is less than great. Postponing or even discarding the thing is likely the best idea.

Follow patterns, don’t imitate

Learn from others, try to understand why they’re doing things that way and only then lend the best patterns and integrate them into your app. Take a look at Zune or today’s iPad competitors, they’re pitiful, don’t repeat their creators’ mistakes.

Affordable premium

Merely working tools for just 39.95 are so Windows… Try to make premium quality software affordable.

Take advantages of your size

When you’re small, don’t pretend being big. Be fast, be flexible.

Iterate

You’ve made a great thing! You haven’t. Just throw it away and start it anew. Think. Add, remove, change, polish, repeat the process many times. Now compare your result with the original which doesn’t look any good at all…

Be honest

You’ve messed up something? How unexpected… Now go and tell this. Your customers may forgive you, but don’t expect them to forget.

Beautiful and useful

Don’t make anything unless it’s beautiful or useful. Try to stick with solutions that are elegant and needful.

Tags: History

DaisyDisk state of the union

First of all, we’d like to thank all those people who supported us throughout the year. Users, bloggers, testers, contributors… You really helped us make a better product.

This year we’ve got a significant increase of our user base. It’s been interesting to learn that DaisyDisk is popular among photographers, designers, system administrators and Apple staff. Some people are even using it for taming multi-terabate data storages.

At the beginning of the year we released DaisyDisk 1.5, a significant update with lots of changes. Many of these improvements have been inherited from the early version of DaisyDisk 2 engine we’ve been working on then. DaisyDisk 1.5.3 is fast and rock solid. It’s also the last release of DaisyDisk 1.x: we need to move on and concentrate our efforts on DaisyDisk 2.

DaisyDisk 2 has been in development for a year and is now available for public beta testing. The beta is a release quality product which mostly lacks registration and some stuff tied to upgrade/purchase infrastructure. Once this work is finished, DaisyDisk 2 will be available for download to all users.

The Mac App Store version of DaisyDisk 2 has recently been submitted to Apple for review and if everything goes as expected, it should be available in early 2011.

With the success DaisyDisk has, there’s no wonder it’s been actively ripped off (these folks even copy portions of our site :)): The first DaisyDisk’s version is designed for Windows and emerged this summer. The second knock-off, by a Belarusian plagiarist, has just entered beta. Bear in mind we’re not affiliated with any of these products and not responsible for their inferior quality (i.e. the lack of it).

So, what’s next? In the beginning of 2011 we are to release DaisyDisk 2.0 and start working on updates which you’ll really love. Our basic principle quality over quantity and user experience over features has not changed, but rest assured we have some great ideas.

We also plan to expand our product line. Our next application will work on iOS devices (spoiler: this won’t be DaisyDisk for iPhone/iPad/iwhateverelse…) and it is a… well… we’ll let you known details when the time is right :)

Thanks for your patience and have good holidays!

Stay tuned.

Yours truly DaisyDisk Team members.

Tags: Announce, History

The birth of DaisyDisk

DaisyDisk was started in late December 2008 as a result of half hour discussion between me (Taras) and Oleg, our coder. I proposed that it might make sense for us to create a relatively basic project in order to raise some money for something more serious.

The idea was simple: we create a disk visualization tool that can help one find out where the hell all the disk space has gone. By that time the only available applications of that kind for Mac users were GrandPerspective, Disk Inventory X and the like. All of those have mediocre interfaces and are built around the so called treemaps – the visualizations originally made for depicting disk usage.

DaisyDisk, original mockup

Treemaps suck. They’re hard to read, they tend to shuffle all data on smallest changes, they’re messy and hard to navigate. Yes, one can handle these issues to some extent and certain modern implementations/researches can make them good enough, but still not good enough for us.

Another approach can be seen in applications that use the sunburst, basically a multilevel pie chart, slightly tuned for displaying folders tree. My favorite is Scanner while Linux users may recall Filelight – another similar implementation. Unfortunately for us all, the Mac version of Filelight has never been usable for any real-life tasks, remaining a mere shadow of its Linux ancestor…

It may sound naive now, but all we originally wanted was to create a Mac version of Scanner, just slightly more polished and usable. Display a list of sources, scan progress animation, resulting map. Profit!

Animations, second mockup

If only…

The very first problems arose when we tried to build the sunburst map in progress of scanning, from the data we get on the fly. While it looked sane on paper, experiments proved us wrong. Very wrong. Despite all tricks, all we got was just a convulsing set of rings that hardly represented the picture we wanted. Fail.

We gave up the idea of re-using the sunburst as a scan progress indicator and concentrated on more important things. Soon enough we found that the original sunburst and many existing implementations suffer from some serious problems. The map looked hairy due to numerous tiny segments, large files outside the fifth ring were often invisible, segment coloring changed on each move, and overall navigation was quite a mess.

Working prototype

We’ve build several prototypes which helped us solve those problems and test our implementation on real-world data. For example, tiny segments have been consolidated into groups. This makes more sense than just hiding them, as in real life there are lots of examples of large groups of small files: folders with images, music or other files. In such groups, each standalone file is relatively small, but the total size of the group can be hundreds of megabytes. We also decided to display extra rings which help reveal space hogs hidden deep in the disk folder hierarchy. These extra rings are thinner, but provide useful information without the need for extra navigation. Navigation is another thing we can be proud of. The very first idea was to retain segment color during navigation. In other words, if ~/Documents is green, then ~/Documents/MyWorkStuff should also be colored in shades of green. I have no idea why this has not been done years before…

The blossom animation was also a part of our plan on improving navigation. Earlier versions of DaisyDisk used different transitions, but with the same purpose: improve the navigation experience by smoothing map changes. Not even mentioning the wow effect it creates :)

DaisyDisk has been gradually enhanced, tuned and tweaked throughout the year, but this is a different story :)

Tags: History