Quests: Now Free as in Speech

Brendan Lensink • Jun 22nd, 2021

Two years ago, one of our Build It Day experiements produced a little Mac menu bar app called Quests. It let you quickly access the Github issues assigned to you. In the spirit of shipping stuff, we packaged it up and put it up for download on the App Store as a free app, business model TBD. A lot of folks found it useful, which was great!

Since then, we’ve continued our work building products for clients, as well as exploring and prototyping product ideas of our own. While we love Quests and we’re glad to have it, we’ve struggled to find a plausible business model that would support Quests as a sustainable product. For now, it seems destined to stay as “just” an interesting tool, and not a Serious Product™.

Which is perfectly fine!

But that’s meant that when Github, Gitlab, or Apple changes something that impacts Quests, it’s been hard for us to prioritize fixing it as promptly as we think our users deserve. We want products to delight, and an app that takes forever to support new macOS releases is not delightful. So we’ve been hosting a useful app that’s basically languished, meanwhile bunch of programmers around the world have been writing in about their ideas for for small fixes and additions to it.

So, we’ve open sourced Quests. As of today, the app is available under the MIT License, and pull requests are now officially welcome. The Mac developer community has been wonderful supporters of Quests so far, and we’re looking forward to being able to reply to feature requests with “patches welcome!” instead of just “that would be nice!”

Quests is still available on the Mac App Store for the time being, and has recently been updated with fixes for Big Sur – including that one CPU usage issue. We plan on continuing to upload releases as appropriate, though we may end up moving to a flow where the app is direct-download if it gets enough community contributions that our App Store distribution impedes release management somehow.

You can find the new, open source, Quests repository on GitHub. We’re excited to see what’s next for it.

Brendan Lensink • Developer