I’ve been busy on it for longer than I expected – neglecting the freshly
announced Wikked along with several pull requests on PieCrust – but I
believe it’s at last ready for a public alpha release: PieCrust 2 is
WARNING: before you go clone the new repository, be aware that, at the
time of writing this, it has been tested on a glorious total of 2 machines
(both my own), and 2 websites (both my own as well). So don’t use it in
production, but please do give it a try and post bug reports, thanks!
This post is a short overview of the reason for going a full major version
number up, and of the new things you can expect to find. There will be other
posts in the following days about breaking changes and upgrade paths, and a more
in-depth look at the new features.
Me, a few months ago after the “scandal” of Comixology removing the ability
to buy comics directly from inside their iOS app:
I would hope ComiXology manages to revert the change, but frankly I’d rather
put my hopes in more DRM-free comics available directly from the creators and
Well my hopes have been answered in a way: Comixology announced last week
that you would be able to download DRM-free versions of your Comixology books
for publishers who are OK with that:
The first wave of participating publishers making their books available as
DRM-free backups include Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope
Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, and Top Shelf Productions. In
addition, creators and publishers that are self-publishing through comiXology
Submit are now able to choose to make their books available with a DRM-free
No surprises here about the publishers who are indeed “OK with that”, since
they’re the ones who were already offering DRM-free comics on their own
website… but those are excellent news. I can’t stress enough how huge
I’m not sure whose idea it was – whether publishers like Image pressured
Comixology to do this, or whether Comixology came to this logical conclusion on
their own – but I’m very happy either way. As I said before, I had completely
stopped buying Image comics from Comixology, preferring instead their own
DRM-free website… but that website was slow as hell and barely usable.
Ideally I’d rather give 100% of my money to Image, instead of – probably – 70%
through Comixology, but the usability is night and day between the two, and
uploading independently acquired files to an iPad is still a huge pain in the
“For those out there who have not joined the comic reading community because
of DRM – you have no excuse now,” said co-founder and Director of ComiXology
Submit John D. Roberts
The only problem I’ve found so far is that those backups are extremely bare:
just a ZIP file with the pages as JPEG images. They’re the “retina” hi-res
versions, so that’s good, but the archive is missing any kind of metadata. The
only way to know what it is, short of having a human open it and read the cover,
is to parse the file name.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t have missed the news that ComiXology released a new version of their mobile app that drastically changes how comics are purchased. It was reported on technology, gadget, Apple-related, and of course comicbook-related websites. It was even discussed heavily on RPG forums.
A summary of the situation is that:
- The iPad/iPhone app doesn’t have in-app purchases anymore – you’re forced to buy directly from the web by switching to Safari.
- The Android app still has in-app purchases, but as I understand it they don’t go through Google Play anymore and, instead, directly hit ComiXology’s servers.
Of course, the internet being what it is, a lot of people are pissed off and are voicing their rage on social networks. I’m not happy with the change either but I’m going to try and articulate my more moderate opinion in a few points here.
These past couple years my free time has been consumed by work on PieCrust,
Wikked, and, oh, yeah, having 2 kids and 2 cats (what I was thinking, I
don’t know). As a result, I haven’t been playing music or drawing much, which I miss a lot.
So I started doing it at work. Well, not playing music, because a drumset in
the middle of the open-space would probably be frowned upon, but drawing and
The result is a whole bunch of post-it notes with some pretty decent art, which
I’ve collected over on a “Meeting Notes” page. Check it out!
Since I announced Wikked here, I’ve been mostly working on fixing bugs, editing the documentation, and evaluating its performance – which is what we’ll look at here today.
The big question I wanted to answer was how far you can go with just the default configuration, which is based on SQLite and requires no setup from the user. The reason for this was twofold:
- I needed to write some advice in the documentation about when you should start looking into more sophisticated setups.
- I plan to setup a public test wiki where people can try Wikked directly, and I needed to know if it would go down after I post the link on Reddit or HackerNews.