Release day of JPEG Autorotate 3

… was yesterday. This was a peculiar side project. Phew! I can’t believe I’m still working on just getting peoples photos rotated the right way up. I thought I might as well build on what I had and fix particular issues people get reporting about. But here I am.

What particularly bugged me was the Invalid SOS parameters issue lots of people reported along the years. I knew there had to be a way… Turns out it cannot be fixed by means of the existing tools. A new app needed to be created.

This project kept me motivated through some tough professional times. While building this product, I worked as an educational software designer at a consultancy, and also graduated as a vocational teacher! I

As many of you already know, this is a volunteer project. It’s not likely the licenses will ever cover all the hundreds of hours of work I’ve put into this, but I appreciate every cent of support. If you’d like to chip in, head to the shop and get yourself a license. If the prices aren’t quite right for you, let me know a suitable price and I’ll set you up with a coupon.

The lesson I once again learned is that software projects get complex fast. This is about as simple as an actual commercial software project as they can get. And as often happens, all the work. took longer than I expected. My original promise was to complete this by spring. Last spring. Sorry about that. You know what they say about time estimates in software projects? 🙂

In the end, this included

  • narrow down the feature set I want to and can realistically offer
  • design and implement a smooth upgrade route from version 2 that was quite different, without scaring users away
  • create marketing campaigns on MailChimp, write lots and lots of copy text, including all the small snippets of text inside the app, like the ones that try to luremotivate you into buying
  • push some pixels around, and back, to make everything look harmonious
  • get people to to test it enough to find all the initial quirks
  • iterate, iterate, iterate: make everything super easy to understand
  • build an online store; the UX design of this part was actually a fascinating introduction to the world of WooCommerce
  • get a domain name and work with the hosting provider to get email and SSL for it working
  • actually do teh programming, including build a technically sound license key system, and fix tons of bugs based on feedback

What has impressed me while building this is all the great work of others that enable building a product like this with relative ease. The Qt project is awesome, and I really was surprised about how easy it was – after the initial hurdles – to build a WooCommerce web shop.

I’ve always loved how this project got me in touch with you, the smart folks using this in various settings. Shoutout to Dave and Alex and many others for helping out! I love hearing from you, trying to solve issues with photos if possible. I really enjoy just sharing this journey of making something small, but functional and beautiful. And getting all our photos upright ;).

Thanks for rotating!
Olli

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