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TUAW interviews Tim Wood, project lead of OmniDazzle

The program everyone seems to love to poke fun at has come out of beta. Version 1.0 changes the default positioning of the window, and not much else. OmniDazzle is available as a free demo. Licenses go for $14.95.

I had a chance to sit down with Tim Wood, project lead for OmniDazzle.


TUAW: How did you guys come up with the idea for OmniDazzle?

Tim: Well, it started out small -- there was a cool game a few years ago called Nox that has a really fun sparkly cursor effect.  It only showed up in the menu system and I would sometimes spend more time in the menu playing with that than I would with the actual game.

Tim: Originally, I wanted to just do a nifty little effect like that, but then we started thinking of more and more things we could do with the same basic principles.

TUAW: OmniDazzle uses CoreImage, yes?

Tim: Yes; through and through.  The initial versions (written under 10.3) didn't use it, but once 10.4 came out and we saw the power of CoreImage, we started taking more and more advantage of it.  Fast forward to today and there is no way we could implement OmniDazzle as efficiently and flexibly w/o CoreImage.

TUAW: Thats the impression I got when I first used it. Almost as if it was the product of a CoreImage learning exercise, seeing what it can do.

TUAW: You refer to development under 10.3, how long has OmniDazzle been in development?

Tim: ... took me a while to look that up :)

Tim: The first version of OmniDazzle was committed to our source repository on Sep 28th, 2004.  We haven't been working on it non-stop since then, obviously.  Some of that time was just letting the idea sit and percolate while we were working on other things.

TUAW: So OmniDazzle was kind of a side project?

Tim: It was always intended to be something we'd release, so in that sense it wasn't.  But the nice thing about a 1.0 app is that no one knows about it and can't fault you for a schedule slip.  This gave us more flexibility to polish the interface and performance without having a hard deadline looming.

TUAW: What do you do when you're not working on OmniDazzle?

Tim: I'm the Director of Software Development at Omni and the team lead for OmniOutliner.  So, I spend time helping out on other projects where I can, but the bulk of my time is in OmniOutliner (and temporarily in OmniDazzle).

TUAW: Now, you probably won't be able to answer this, but I feel compelled to ask none-the-less. I have a hypothesis that Omni's next product, which has been hinted at on the blog, is a melding of OmniOutliner and KGTD. Any chance I'm right?

Tim: I can't comment :)

TUAW: Fair enough.

TUAW: I any case, thanks for taking the time for talking with me, and keep up the good work!

Tim: Thanks!  Let me know if you have other questions :)

TUAW: Oh, forgot to ask. Anything new in 1.0?

Tim: Between the release candidate and 1.0 the only actual changes were to fix the default positioning of the window and some edits to the online help.  There were a bunch more changes in the release candidate, but we are big fans of not making any last minute changes before a release... too easy to get burned :)

TUAW: Heh,

Tim: If you look at the Help menu, there is a "Release Notes" item that'll pop up a list of stuff we did in each release.

TUAW: Great. Thanks again

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