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condolences future El Captain

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#1 paulc

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 04:01 PM

First, I know years have passed, but I very much DO want to express my sympathies to Stephanie, Evan's widow. I had been a long time beta tester and used to joke w/Evan especially about the dogs he loved so much. Aside from being a developer (a very much needed one in the Mac community I might add), he sure seemed like the kind of guy I'd want to say I was a friend of, even though he/you lived in another country!

 

Few years back I had read he passed but never took the time to go through the boards here, being so sad about not being able to have the very occasional chit-chat w/him. Somehow in going new OS after new OS I missed there was a spelling choice in the System Preferences. I have been having an issue w/SCX, it was VERY sluggish and slow to run it's usually very sprightly checks. Turned that option OFF and it seems maybe a tad faster, but still a tad sluggish.

 

I have always used them modifier modules as much if not more than the spell function, those also seem to be working like they always have. AND because he was just so good at what he did, everything sure seems like it is working mostly as always AND I am on El Captain, 10.11.5. Well, interactive checking seems to have fallen by the wayside, but I always found it annoying as I was trying to write, preferring to finish, then check.

 

Doesn't surprise me much that a new developer hasn't seemed to step up. Apple is not even close to the kind of company it once was, they seem to drive more developers away than attract them... unless you're writing widgets for their phones.



#2 Stephanie Gross

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:25 PM

Hi Paul c,

Thank you for this post and your condolences.

 

I am sorry for such a long delay in answering this post. I have to give you my apologies as I have not been accountable to the forum for about a year.

 

I am Stephanie, Evans sister.

There are issues with Spell Catcher Mac OS 10.11.5. and update is badly needed. 

 

Redeveloping / updating Spell Catcher is challenging.

 

Spell Catcher is still, after all this time, one of the best writing software available in it's market, hands down.

 

The potential for Spell Catcher to grow and move to mobile and expand predictive text (and other possibilities) is there. You would be pressed to say that about most apps out there these days. The fact that Spell Cather survived for as long as it has is pretty amazing.

 

There have been several roadblocks to updating: 

  • Legal requirements meant sales had to stop due to third party license issues.
  • The company providing the linguistic engine used for Spell Catcher changed their agreement when my brother passsed away, making it very difficult to continue to use the library without significant investment of capital. (if they are still even operating in US or Canada, at this point I am unsure).
  • Financing and collaborators are lacking and will be required.
  • An alternative third-party library may need to be sourced or contract renegotiated IF the company is still updating their library.
  • The focus on mobile in the past few years and the sheer multitude of applications available with typing input may make it challenging to for Spell Catcher to work in virtually ALL applications (which Spell Catcher has been able to do in the past). 
  • The increased use of mobile computing with smart phones, tablets and electronic reading devices opens opportunities, however may require additional development for use on these devices.
  • the iOS platform to allow apps to talk to eachother (starting in iOS 8 and fully in iOS 10 - from what I can understand) which may allow Spell Catcher to be developed as a mobile application, this was not possible with previous versions of iOS.  
  • The last version released of Spell Catcher was for Mountain Lion 10.8 and the references synced with mobileme.
  • Care must be taken with redevelopment as resources are limited.
  • Apple also introduced Swift and expanded it's own language and spelling capabilities in iOS and Mac OSX.

These roadblocks, the steep learning curve, in addition to my grief and my own financial situation required me to step back for the past year.

 

Before this last year, I spoke to quite a few people in industry meetups and through Spell Catcher network and there is so much support for the redevelopment of the app.

 

Some industry people, owners of development companies said I should outsource the developer work overseas as it will be less expensive than in North American and some have said that developers don't like to work on other developers code and that it is a very huge code base and would be expensive to update.

 

Many of the younger developers want to work with iOS and create iphone apps. It would likely take a senior developer to figure it out. I managed to source some who could do it but very expensive.
 

Apple's own version of predictive text and spelling correction is often a hinderance and not a help with spelling correction, automatic word completion and suggested words (and can be turned off). That is my experience, some people agree and some don't.

 

There simply is NO software that compares in it's category, if there is please tell me. In addition, Spell Catcher features were under utilized by most users, leading me to believe that the app pricing structure could change because Spell Catcher is powerful, like 5 apps in 1.

I have run the Spell Catcher in Xcode 6 but not 7, I logged error messages and wrote up requirements for developers.

 

I am going to step in again (after a year of stepping back) and try other avenues to push forwards, including an online funding campaign.

 

I am currently seeking a user experience mentorship/bootcamp/program for my own career and hoping that if I put myself out there to the right people I could find collaborators. 

I am still using Spell Catcher and cannot believe how well it works considering the lack of updates. I am a big fan, as you can see, and I know people are using it because it's so good and they continue to use it, tolerating the lags and issues. 

Please feel free to PM by email! Thanks so much again for your support and post.

If you have any idea, suggestions, comments please post!





 



#3 RAUS

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 10:58 PM

Hi Stephanie,

 

I also want to offer my condolences on your brother's passing.

 

I just want to express my wish that some way can be found to update Spell Catcher.  That is why I periodically check into these forums.

 

I have stayed with 10.9.5 so I could be sure to have all of the benefits Spell Catcher provides.

 

I would gladly pay many times the original price for an upgraded program. I had a problem with expansions in some applications, so I am now using Typinator for that function. Spell Catcher was better. Ghostwriter has saved me endless time and energy recovering text from crashed documents. It still works in 10.9.5. so I have not had to switch to another program to do this yet. There are other programs that record keystrokes so I could switch if necessary. There are also other programs that will manipulate a selection of text, but none are as powerful as Spell Catcher. All these "modify selection" options still work in 10.9.5 if I select them from the dock instead of the menu.

 

Grammarian is a program that does interactive spell checking, but not as well as Spell Catcher. It also checks grammar and has some expansion abilities. Overall it is a pale shadow of Spell Catcher. They were even bundled together many years ago with one distributor.  

 

Each one of these standalone programs can cost $40. I am only a user. I have no experience in marketing. I certainly can't speak for anyone else. However, I would gladly pay $150 for a fully updated version of Spell Catcher that will work with the latest MacOS. You are correct, it is 5 apps in one. The ability to sync dictionaries and expansions on a mobile device would also be a winner and add value.

 

I am posting this so you will know that there are still people who love Spell Catcher and will support updating it. I realize that doing this will be a daunting task, but perhaps with a more realistic price, and more emphasis on all different functions available as part of the program, it might be financially worth the effort. 

 

Interactive Text Productivity Suite consisting of:
Spell Catcher with
    Dictionary &
    Thesaurus
Ghostwriter Keystroke Logger
Text Expander
Text Modifier with 15 options

 

Regards,

Hank