Two Years On Mars

February 22nd, 2009

A little more than two years ago, Brent Simmons came to me with an intriguing proposition. Would I be willing to talk with NewsGator about the possibility of taking over MarsEdit, the desktop blog editing software Brent had developed as an adjunct to his RSS feed reader, NetNewsWire.

My answer was about as close to “hell, yes!” as one can get in a business context without appearing completely cavalier and freewheeling. I got in touch with the folks at NewsGator, who were as forthcoming and friendly as anybody could hope for. Within a few short weeks we had ironed out a deal and agreed that MarsEdit would become a property of Red Sweater Software.

We announced the deal two years ago today. Just looking back to the screenshot of MarsEdit from that announcement reminds me of how much things have changed since then:

  • Added Flickr integration.
  • Overhauled the post editor and main window UI.
  • Enhanced markup macros for extremely powerful editing.
  • Improved the speed and accuracy of the HTML preview.
  • Support for saving drafts on blog server.
  • Support for systems based on new AtomPub technology.
  • Support for adding categories directly from MarsEdit.

I’m currently working on a bunch of new stuff. MarsEdit 2.3 is coming soon, and includes the previously promised support for Tumblr, which I know many folks are looking forward to. In my not so humble opinion, the Tumblr support is turning out quite well.

I tend not to share specifics of my future plans, because things are always in flux and subject to change. But I can assure you I will not be resting on my laurels. Lots of awesome features are high on my list. 2009 will be an exciting year for MarsEdit, if an exhausting one for me. I hope you’ll continue to check in on our progress as we find our way into the future.

17 Responses to “Two Years On Mars”

  1. Chris Campbell Says:

    Thanks for all the work you’ve done on MarsEdit, Daniel. I’ve loved using it for a quite a while and look forward to the Tumblr integration, so all my blogging will be in one place!
    Keep those awesome features coming!

  2. Chris Bulow Says:

    And the Twittr suggestion I put forward? :)

    But good to hear the new version is coming along so well.

  3. Bill Says:

    Thanks for all the hard work! We’re all looking forward to the updates!

  4. Michael Says:

    Thanks for all the AWESOME work. Look forward to the tumblr suport

  5. Tor Says:

    Oooh, tumblr. Purchase made. Now, maybe I should finally finish my tumblrtheme instead of looking at other tumblrthemes for inspiration.

  6. Lachlan Says:

    “I will not be resting no my laurels.”

    May I humbly suggest …

    “I will not be resting. No! – my laurels!” – as you realize that your laurels are being coveted by a sneaky villain.


    “I will not be resting. No! My laurels …!!” – accompanied by violent sobbing as your laurels are spirited away by the aforesaid villain.

    Thanks for the update on MarsEdit. Take care of those laurels!

  7. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Lachlan: thanks for pointing out the typo, and in such a creative way ;) I fixed it.

  8. Patrick Cassell Says:

    I have used MarsEdit for posting to my weblog and find it to be more user friendly than the web editor.

  9. scott Says:

    I used to use and love MarsEdit. Then Blogo came along. It makes embedding things like youtube videos and flickr photos a LOT easier. Since you’ve never come up with the ability to support multiple flickr accounts without having to de-authorize, log out, log in, authorize, etc, etc, the moment I realized how easy Blogo made this, I dumped MarsEdit like a hot potato. And until then, it was by far my favorite blogging app ever.

    Ultimately, people just want tools that get the job done for them. I think that’s the part about being a software developer that becomes a trap, is thinking that how you use something is how your clients do/should use it too.

    Please get MarsEdit up to current standards, and make embedding flickr photos from any source, youtube videos, etc, as easy as blogo and I’ll certainly consider upgrading and coming back. If I’m the only one and you know that no one else cares or has left to wander off to Blogo, then ignore me. But I bet I’m not the only one.

    Best regards.

  10. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Scott: I am glad to hear that you have enjoyed MarsEdit in the past. I take your feedback seriously and I can appreciate that the changes I’ve made over the past couple years haven’t met your expectations.

    Naturally, when I put my heart and soul into creating something, it’s easy to get defensive when somebody comes along with comments such as yours that more or less dismiss the work I have been doing. But I have learned to grow at least a thick outer layer of skin, and take the more realistic view that it’s simply impossible to get every feature done for every person.

    The things that I have added over the past couple years have been met with enthusiasm and were in answer to the pleas of many users. I realize that there will always be something that I don’t prioritize, or which doesn’t get done to the exact satisfaction of every user. At some point we have to shake it off and keep on trucking.

    I do appreciate your interest in keeping an eye on MarsEdit’s progress. Perhaps in the future it will grow into an app that you favor again. If it doesn’t, I sincerely hope that you continue to be happy with Blogo or whatever product best fits your needs.


  11. schlarb Says:

    I just wanted to say thank you as well. I use MarsEdit to interface with a three different Wordpres-based web sites and it saves me a massive amount of time. Great software + great support = highest recommendation.

  12. Pat Says:

    Hey Daniel,
    As a new user of MarsEdit, I know I don’t fully appreciate all of the changes you have made. However, I do fully appreciate MarsEdit, and love using it. I really look forward to your tumblr support, but that doesn’t make what MarsEdit currently is any less amazing. You’ve done a great thing, here. Be proud of yourself.

  13. vc27 Says:

    wow Scott, way to be constructive…. Daniel, you’ve got a thick skin, way to keep your composure! Keep up the good work! Love it! Looking forward to future updates.

  14. Scott Says:


    I was not trying to be non-constructive. What I was saying is that people use the tools and if they don’t meet their needs, they find something that does. I asked for multiple flickr account support well over a year ago, and it never came. Then blogo came out and made that request irrelevant.

    Would you rather I didn’t provide my reasons for switching to another product, and just left and said nothing? I’m not attacking Daniel personally. I think he does a great job. But that doesn’t mean that his product currently meets my needs anymore.

    I think Daniel knows that software developers do have thick skin. As someone who’s deployed web apps to people, I know what it’s like when you work hard on something and all they do is point out what changes they’d like made. But in the end, the customers are the ones who know how they want to use a product. Many a product has been written with a use-case in mind, and it turns out that people take it and use it in a totally different manner than expected. That’s part of writing software.

    I guess some people would rather see people switch away and not say why, then let them know exactly what needs in a blogging tool are not being met by the product. Most software developers I know of aren’t that kind of person, vc27.

  15. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hello again, Scott. I definitely appreciate your letting me know why you’re switching to another tool. No argument there!

    vc27 was probably just challenging the tone of your comments, not the substance. There’s a substantial difference between telling somebody “I found another tool that works better for what I need” and “I dropped your software like a hot potato.”

    Just because many developers do have a thick skin, it doesn’t mean they particularly like having it rubbed with sandpaper ;)

  16. scott Says:

    I understand. I actually didn’t mean it like that, but I just meant that it’s how we use our tools that determines what products we use, not how long we’ve been using them.

    Sorry for wording it as I did, you’re right. Thanks again, Daniel. And thanks for the work you do put in on all your products. You DO do a great job. Thanks.

  17. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Scott: I appreciate that you didn’t mean to come off that way, and I am glad you took the time to clarify. For what it’s worth, being able to log out of Flickr is relatively high on my priority list now. It probably won’t be another year ;)

Comments are Closed.

Follow the Conversation

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this entry.