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Ecto Sold to illumineX

From Adriaan in the ecto support forums:

The official announcement will be made soon (once we've moved and set up the infrastructure), but yes, I've sold ecto to illumineX for a variety of reasons I will explain in a blog post accompanying the official announcement. It's a move that's definitely for the best. I'm also still involved with ecto on a consultation basis.

More later with the official announcement.

illumineX was once Gary Longsine and Don Yacktman. I believe right now it's just Gary Longsine (and associates). I'm not entirely sure what happened, but Don Yacktman was largely responsible for the FSS products at illumineX, that he left or was removed from illumineX several months after acquiring Freshly Squeezed Software, and that ecto likely will not suffer the same fate as FSS.

As an ecto user, I hope Adriaan is making the right decision, and I believe he is. To fans of Freshly Squeezed Software who have written to me and asked for details, I can't provide them, but I think things with ecto should work out okay in the end.

Update: I dealt very little with Gary in the sale of FSS, but he commented and I responded:

…I don't think anything re: FSS and its eventual demise had much to do with… Gary… at all. I believe it was Don's gig, and Don's failure, and it seems to me that [Gary is] being an upright sort of fellow in not throwing a (former?) friend under the bus.

The domain name is still registered to Don, after all, and I believe [Gary] "sold" FSS to Don in December because his lack of support, effort, etc. was harming the illumineX name.

Call all of that an educated guess, but it's at least got a high school diploma, if not more.

17 Responses to "Ecto Sold to illumineX"

  1. You've tried MarsEdit, right? MarsEdit 2.x is pretty nice.

  2. Yeah, just one reason more to buy a MarsEdit license. I'll wait and see, because I'm quite happy with ecto now - it does what I have to do and this is a good thing at all ;-)

  3. It's been clear for a while that Adrian wasn't going to update ecto properly ever again, so I bought a MarsEdit license last week and have been talking with the author about how to make it have a more ecto-y feature set. He's open to adding things in that are needed and appears to want to support the product, so that's good.

    ecto (and before, Kung-Log) were the first desktop clients I used, but loyalty only goes so far. Years of no updates kind of suck and it's clear his day job took precidence (which is understandable).

    Kind of sad, though. Ecto 3 was turning into something nice.

  4. Mike said on May 28, 2008:

    You've tried MarsEdit, right? MarsEdit 2.x is pretty nice.

    Yes. I currently like ecto 3 more. And to Adam - I've been using the betas and think that they're pretty good. Not entirely sure what you mean by years of no updates (etc.). He slacked off - which is why I tried MarsEdit for several months - but the later ecto betas (after about ~b20 or b25?) have been quite nice.

  5. Great. I guess I should just pony up for that MarsEdit licence right away...

  6. Ah. Well, MarsEdit now has draft support with the latest version of WordPress, I believe. Don't know about apostrophes in category names, but it sounds like a bug, not lack of a feature.

  7. Bleah. Ecto's as good as dead. I so loved it, too.

    Thank goodness for MarsEdit!

  8. I really appreciate the sentiment from some of the comments here about switching to MarsEdit. Believe me, that sounds nice :)

    But I would also encourage people who love ecto to stick it out and see how things go with the new owner. There are definitely differences between the two apps (some people are less sensitive to them than others!) and I can see how some users would choose ecto over MarsEdit for specific reasons. I anticipate ecto continuing to evolve with its own priorities, while MarsEdit does the same with its own.

    But if MarsEdit does provide what you are looking for, I will certainly welcome you as a customer and look forward to hearing your feedback about how I can make the app even better.

  9. ecto3 is going to turn into something nice. The sale brings more developers to the product. I just didn't have the time or resources to spend on it and had very long chats with Gary about what they would do if they'd bought ecto. His responses were very satisfying and I think it's will be better for ecto's future. Note that I remain involved as consultant. I spend many years on ecto, so it's very important to me it remains a powerful blog client.

  10. Adriaan said on May 29, 2008:

    ecto3 is going to turn into something nice. The sale brings more developers to the product. I just didn't have the time or resources to spend on it and had very long chats with Gary about what they would do if they'd bought ecto.

    Adriaan, as you know, I've been a long-time user of ecto. You're a smart guy and I hope you're making the right decision(s).

    I dealt very, very little with Gary and really have no opinion on him one way or the other. I do not trust Don Yacktman at all, but at the same time, I think he's no longer involved with illumineX. If that's true, then that's a relief.

    Good luck to you, to ecto, and to illumineX.

  11. i own licenses for both mars edit and ecto, and danel's right: there are significant differences.

    one thing i loved about ecto that i miss in mars edit is the "type and it shows up" tagging -- i wish i could do this in mars edit for WP tags, categories, and technocati tags all at the same time.

    boy do i wish that.

    in fact, i wish it so much i'm going to feature requet it.

    anyway, ecto 3 scared me -- it just didn't seem to be going in a direction i could live with.

    i do hope it turns out nice though -- i am a big fan of 2

  12. I'm new to all this, but it seems that as you move to more stylesheet based tagging that a WYSIWYG viewer becomes more useless. (I assume this is what Chris Corwin means by "type and it shows up tagging".) What becomes more important is the abillity to customize your tags to take advantage of your style sheet. I guess this is kind of elementary.

    It's hard to imagine an offline editor that sucks up all your tag definitions and provides true WYSIWYG, but maybe I don't think big enough.

  13. I hope this isn't bad news. I'm an avid ecto user and use it to manage half-dozen blogs. I don't know what I'd do if it started to seriously suck.

    I like ecto 3, although because it works with so many platforms, it handles certain WordPress features a little oddly. (I"m thinking primarily of the MORE tag.) Would love to see a global find-and-replace feature, as I keep ALL blog posts for each of my blogs in an ecto "database" and occasionally need to make global changes (usually pathnames).

    I've tried Mars Edit, but not recently. Didn't like it then; wasn't intuitive. Maybe it's time to try it again, just so I have something to fall back on.

  14. longwing said on May 29, 2008:

    I'm new to all this, but it seems that as you move to more stylesheet based tagging that a WYSIWYG viewer becomes more useless.

    Not HTML tags, but tags like "macosx" or "apple" or "family" or "vacation" or "photography." One-word "categories" of sorts. Not <img> and <strong>.

  15. The rumors of ecto's demise are greatly exaggerated. I happen to know that ecto and illumineX are in love, and making babies. I happened to walk in on them, by accident. They were so busy, they didn't even notice. I closed the door, quietly.

    The first one is due on or about June 9th or June 29th, 2008.

    Regarding Freshly Squeezed Software, the rise and fall of any small business is typically more complicated than it looks from the outside. For the record, illumineX had operational control over Freshly Squeezed Software for something like three to four months, at most, although the contact for sale was not executed until the first week of December 2005. illumineX had acquired FSS from Erik in May of that same year. A lot of unplanned events happened during that time.

    When illumineX sold FSS, to a former partner in illumineX, Don Yacktman, we did so with good reason to believe that the FSS brand and products would survive. Don is a very talented Cocoa programmer. Spinning off FSS was a good opportunity to let him pursue his own direction and interests. Obviously, it didn't work out. However, Don was a generous and substantial contributor to the Cocoa/Objective C community for many years. I harbor nor ill will toward Don. I wish him good luck.

    Yes, Erik and I would very likely have handled things differently. However, at the time FSS went dark, neither Erik nor I were in control of FSS, and had each surrendered, willingly and contractually, our ability to influence the outcome.

    I have no interest in arguing over petty details like lapsed domain registrations of a company that Erik sold three years ago, and which I sold only a few months after I bought it. The business failed after it was sold by illumineX, for reasons that I am not privy to.

    The rest is just gossip.

  16. Gary: I'm not interested in gossip either, but perhaps you can answer a few questions.

    In the three to four months that you ("illumineX") had control over FSS, why did support emails go unanswered? Why were no updates to any of the software released? Why weren't customers informed when the company was sold for the second time in four months (to Don?) even if it took another 3-4 months to "finalize" things?

    Why does the illumineX software reek of 2004? One of your games is marked with a "new" tag and seems to be older than the browser in which I'm typing this comment (Firefox). The icons reek of Mac OS X 10.0.

    The bottom of your website says "We'll be bringing Webstractor and Yoink back to market soon." Those were acquired on March 27, according to the Webstractor page, yet they've not been brought "back to market" yet. I guess our definition of "soon" isn't the same as mine.

    But hey, I'm optimistic. If nothing else, I can hop you've learned from the past.

  17. Am posting for a friend who has depened on WISIWYG blogging using Ecto who couldn't get past an error after spending four hours composing his blog. Turns out now that it is an error on the Ecto side. IS it time to advise him to look elsewhere? And yes, he did pay for the Ecto license.

    Jumping over to IllumineX link, I don't see anything there related to Ecto or support at all. This is a real downer for a Mac blogging client in the vibrant Web2.0 era.

    PS. I don't think upgrades over at WP has anything to do with the error. If at all, the app should have its ears pinned to the upgrade walls of ALL blog platforms. Or shut up bragging about compatibility.


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