Well, we always said that we would never ‘port’ Trillian to OS X. And now we’re excited to announce that we haven’t! Instead, after many support/feature-request tickets asking for an OS X port… we wrote a new Trillian UI from scratch.
To clarify, with Trillian’s new architecture (v4.x) the core functionality is separated from the UI. This is how the Flash-based web version and the Ajax-driven iPhone version can use the same code as the native Windows client. The UI layers are all entirely different, but the underlying code is the same. This is how the new Mac OS X port functions; the UI layer is entirely written from scratch in Objective-C and using Cocoa, but the underlying ‘guts’ of the program – the mediums, the contact list management and so on – are the same Trillian code as on Windows, Flash and the iPhone!
Though this first alpha build of the OS X version of Trillian is still very preliminary and minimal – the functionality pulled through is about the same as the Flash-based web version – the code for every single feature on the Windows version is there in the underlying mediums. As the UI is expanded, those features will become available. The OS X version will be playing catch-up to the Windows one for a while yet, however.
Right now, this initial build will only work for those who have already set up their Astra accounts and contact lists under the Windows version; brave souls with a Mac running Tiger can download the build to experiment with, and log quirks into Bugzilla under the new ‘Mac OS X’ platform option; this being build 1, there will no doubt be quite a few!
If you’re an existing tester and would like the build, please use this URL to send us a letter, including your current Astra username and testing details. We will be accepting any existing testers who are able to follow these instructions into the OS X testing pool. If you’re not a tester but would like to be, our sign-up form is here.
Going forward, Windows builds will continue happen on Fridays, while Mac OS X builds will happen on Mondays. (Though obviously not this coming Monday, however!) If there is interest in general, we may do some posts about the experiences of trying to recreate the Trillian UI under Cocoa and translating existing bits to their (not always identical!) Mac OS X equivalents. Also, please note that we’ll be treating the OS X build as a completely separate entity as far as our release cycle is concerned; Win32 users will not have to wait for a feature-complete OS X port to see Trillian Astra go gold. Depending on the development process, we may very well release a final build of the Win32 edition before the OS X edition.
For now… “think different” and enjoy the new treat!
P.S. For a full screenshot so you can prove that it’s for real, click here.