This week's interview will be with Daniel Jalkut from Red Sweater
First, please take a moment to introduce yourself and Red Sweater
My name is Daniel Jalkut and I'm the founder of Red Sweater. We are a small software company based in Brooklyn, NY.
What is your role at Red Sweater
I'm pretty much the jack of all trades here. I do all the software development, all the marketing, all the customer support, etc. I even have to empty the wastebaskets! I do outsource some important work such as application icons and other artwork. I find it very rewarding to be able to control all the aspects of the business, and to be in direct contact with all of my customers.
What is the Idea of Red Sweater's business (self publishing, services, etc)?
The point of Red Sweater is pretty simple: to create software that nobody else is creating, and to do it as well as I can.
What platforms do you develop for?
Currently I develop primarily for Mac but I'm looking to move into iOS platforms. If it's an Apple technology, I'm interested. I'm not opposed to developing for other platforms but thus far in my life the others haven't been alluring enough to draw me away from Apple.
How many Apps have you/Red Sweater published
We currently sell five apps for Mac.
What was your flagship app that you think brought you/Red Sweater to the limelight?
Most people know me and Red Sweater because of MarsEdit, our relatively famous Mac blogging software. Before I took over development of MarsEdit from Brent Simmons, I was somewhat well known among other Mac developers for my writing on Red Sweater Blog, which has unfortunately gotten a bit less frequent since I've been, ironically, so busy writing blogging software.
Which is your favourite app amongst all your apps?
MarsEdit is my passion. I was an avid blogger and user of MarsEdit even before I acquired the software.
What is your favourite app that you have not created?
It's hard to say, because so many different apps have different high points. One app that I am almost always impressed by when I use it is Keynote, from Apple itself. The app is so refined and simple, and yet possesses so much power. I think developers can learn a lot from studying an app as elegant as this.
What is your favourite device (Computer & Phone) and why?
My favorite Mac is a MacBook Pro 15", which I'm using to type this. I think it offers a nice balance of power and portability, without being excessively huge in the screen department. For phone, I'm on an iPhone 4 right now and love it. I'll probably always be able to answer this question with "whatever the latest iPhone is," unless they start screwing them up.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your favourite app?
MarsEdit is designed to let you write blog posts from your Mac desktop, save drafts, preview how all the formatting will look, and then publish to your blog when you're ready. Over the years it's grown a lot of new features including a Flickr browser for inserted images directly from Flickr, a rich text editor to write blog posts without using any HTML, sophisticated markup macros for HTML power-users, and more. In many ways MarsEdit is inspired by Apple's own mail client, and the comparison is good because it's much like a mail client for your blogs.
What was the inspiration for the app?
I didn't invent the app, so you'd have to ask Brent Simmons, the original developer. But for me the inspiration to continue developing it is to make blogging as friction-free as possible. Lots of people describe their experience using MarsEdit by saying they don't understand why, but for some reason they're blogging a lot more. I think the reason is MarsEdit mostly gets out of your way, lets you type your thoughts and publish to your blog without ever having to log in through a browser.
What are the main categories your apps are in? (Games/Utilities/etc)
MarsEdit is sort of hard to pigeonhole, but it usually goes under Internet or Social Networking. My other apps are pretty much all over the place. I have a crossword puzzle game, a script-running utility, a productivity timer, and a music training tool.
Do you advertise for any apps you have published? What was the outcome/results?
No, I don't advertise.
When did you start development?
I started programming Macs when I was about 18 years old, which would make it around 1993.
How did you get into Development? What attracted you to this?
My father was a software developer, though he worked on different technologies than I did. He was a compiler developer.
What is your favourite programming language?
I'm pretty happy with Objective-C, the natural language of choice for all of Apple's platforms today. I recognize that there are areas where it could be improved but I think it's a nice balance of simplicity and power.
Do you believe in the giving back code to the society to help aid development
I am a big fan of open source, especially when it is licensed under an unencumbered license such as the MIT license. From time to time I have made bits of code available to share with other developers. I would share more if I had time to clean up my code and make it more generally useful outside the scope of my own applications. I have also contributed when possible to other open source projects whose code I use such as WordPress, WebKit, and the iMedia framework.
Do you have any GitHub repositories or OpenSource or code repos?
No. I've considered starting some to host my various open source contributions, but so far I don't have anything really to speak of.
What do you do other than Development?
I enjoy making music and exploring the outdoors.
What is your method of commute? (Bike, Train, Car, Walk)
Typically I work in my house or at a nearby coworking space, so my commuting is almost entirely on foot. Sometimes I travel a bit further to work in a cafe, in which case I'll take a bus or a train.
So what is next in the pipeline for Red Sweater
I alluded to it earlier, but iOS platforms are a big part of my plans for the near future.
What advice would you give to other developers out there?
The same advice I give to everybody trying to do anything: just start. You have to get moving if you're going to finish. Most people seem to defeat themselves by worrying to much about eventualities that may never happen. You don't really know what needs to be done until you get started and see where things lead.
Would you want to provide your contact details if any one would want to get in touch with you/Red Sweater
I would encourage people to contact me through my company support email, which is available at the Red Sweater Support page:
I am also an active Twitter user:
Thank you for your time, we appreciate your participation
Thanks for inviting me!