A more visible development processJanuary 11, 2022

With a lot of nervous energy we launched Envoy to the world in February/March 2021 anad we’ve done a bunch of stuff since then, including building a second product, working with Atlas and starting new ventures with Plastic Alchemy.

As you’ve probably noticed, Hyperrational isn’t the loudest company, or the loudest channel. We tend to try and keep our heads down and just do good work. We hope you appreciate this, but also realise that this behaviour can lead to a lot of question marks about the the project state.

As a company we’ve got a number of things that aren’t Envoy going on in 2022, which is exciting for us, but risks a lot of questions about progress. We’d like to be a bit more visible about what’s going on, so there are a few things we want to put in place to help:

  • Announcements channel. That’s where this was originally posted. Hopefully it keeps these big posts centralised.
  • Public roadmap / feature map. We’ve always had something on the releases notes about now/next, but we feel a bit more granularity would be beneficial, and it allows us to publish known issues we’re working on.
  • Issue reporting. Discord has been great for engagement and getting fixes through. In the early days we had a couple of emails, but it seems most of our engagement is here. We’d like to make it easier for this to happen, and coupled with the feature map above, easier to see that your request, suggestion or bug hasn’t gotten lost.

Lastly on visibility, the project’s heartbeat. Envoy spent last year going through phases of focused development and then lulls while the audience grew. As that growth has been very organic, we’d like to make it easier for new friends to find us and gain a little bit of confidence that during those lulls the project isn’t dead. We’ll be taking the big announcement pieces like this into a blog, and reference them in future. (Those of you reading this on the blog - welcome to the future!)

What next?

Feature-wise, we’re still using the survey results from September as our guiding star: get the searchability and configurability right to find what you need. We’d like to provide some better offramps beyond just “show in file manager”, but we want those to be a nice surprise later 🙂

Much of the reason for the big change is because a lot of the feature requests were more challenging to accomplish with the code we had. We wanted to set ourselves up to be able to implement, in no particular order:

  • Zip file indexing
  • Extended and configurable search
  • Obj and 3mf format preview support
  • Offline caching to enable external and network drives to be disconnected
  • Better support for multipart models - ability to make scenes and snap shots of more than one part together
  • Something to do with helping raise the priority of Envoy work, probably financial

Finally, we have a brand new name and shiny domain for Envoy, but the site isn’t ready yet, so rather than have everything in a weird state of flux, bear with us while we get this ready 🙂

Happy January!

  • Piete & Steve

Originally posted in the Hyperrational Discord server. The words have been lightly edited for better readability as a news post.