Growl shows that open source and the Mac App Store mix

By Derik DeLong, Macworld |  Software, growl, Mac App Store

Of course, its appearance in the Mac App Store isn't the only change in Growl 1.3. Like iOS notifications, Growl gets a makeover; it even has its own version of iOS 5's Notification Center in the new Rollup feature. "[Rollup] will display messages that came in while you were away," Forsythe said. "Everyone who uses Growl will love this in my opinion."

Rollup also paved the way for another feature: a History log, much like what you'd find in many browsers. By visiting Growl's History pane, one can revisit notifications that happened five minutes or five days ago, complete with the ability to search if they're looking for something in particular. These can be especially handy for folks who have a lot of notifications, helping solve the problem of seeing a pop-up out of the corner of your eye, only to have it vanish forever.

A framework job

However, this new delivery method also means that applications that previously installed Growl as a part of their own installation process (such as Dropbox, some HP drivers, and Adobe Creative Suite 5) will no longer be able to do so with the latest version. On the upside, this solves the other portion of the aforementioned update-reminder annoyance.

Once developers have integrated the latest version of Growl's Software Development Kit (SDK), they will have access to a new version of the framework that can display what is affectionately called a "Fire and Forget" or "Mini Growl." That's a simple notification alert, but one that doesn't allow for much customization on its own; in order to change the look and feel of these alerts, the end user would have to get the Mac App Store application and make changes there.

The latest version of the framework will deliver its data to the 1.3 version of the application through another of its new features: a new networking standard. This networking protocol, GNTP, isn't new to Growl for Windows users, as it was first developed by that team and later adopted by Growl for Mac. One perk of this new feature is that cross-platform users will gain the ability to share their notifications across their computers, regardless of operating system.

The times they are a changin'

One change necessitated by the shift to the Mac App Store is that the utilities that previously came packaged with the Growl distribution will have to be spun off as their own applications or discontinued. The ever popular GrowlMail add-on has been picked up by Growl contributor Rudy Richter for continued independent development.

Originally published on Macworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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