LoveQuicksilver - Quicksilver Blog

Happy 8th Birthday Quicksilver

Today is June 29th, 2011.

8 years ago on Sunday 29th June, 2003, the first few lines of code were written, and Quicksilver was born.

Quicksilver: Created 29 June 2003

For those who have been living in a hole for the last 8 years: Quicksilver is a highly configurable and flexible Mac OS X application launcher, allowing you to do an almost infinite number of tasks effortlessly; such as email files to contacts, resize images, or even post to twitter.

Quicksilver GUI

Quicksilver Was Born

Quicksilver was created by a shady figure known only as ‘Alcor’, who had the idea — if not the philosophy — that tedious and repeated tasks on your computer should be easy to complete, and without thought.

The infant years

The following few years saw Alcor (Nicholas Jitkoff) work vigorously on Quicksilver, and it developed at an extremely fast pace. Perhaps the biggest feat Alcor achieved was to write a plugins framework for Quicksilver. This allowed many developers to write their own plugins for Quicksilver and extend its functionality — still one of its main pros today.

list of some Quicksilver plugins

Mid-life Crisis

Quicksilver’s 8 years haven’t all been made up of sunny afternoons with Pimms on the lawn. Google poached Nicholas — perhaps one of the most respected Apple developers for his creation of Quicksilver — and he was suddenly forced to give up the Quicksilver project.

Not all was lost, as Nicholas made Quicksilver’s source code open source with several developers picking up the project to keep it alive. Development was sporadic for a few years of Quicksilver’s life, and some thought (some still do think) that Quicksilver died around its 6th birthday. The truth is anything but.

Reaching Maturity

Over the past year, a new group of developers have picked up the mantle, with QSApp.com being created as Quicksilver’s new home. Development has increased, and it’s evident that Quicksilver most certainly isn’t going anywhere.

commit activity

Recent commit activity on Quicksilver’s GitHub page, showing many developer contributions.

The Future: Retirement?

So what’s the outlook for Quicksilver’s 8th year?
Well, there plans to improve the plugins distribution system, improve documentation, and generally improve the user experience of Quicksilver.

Alcor’s done an amazing job of paving the way for launchers on Mac OS X (with Quicksilver and QSB), and if Quicksilver is left unattended in its 8th year of life, it’ll most certainly fall behind the other alternatives.

We can say now: This, most definitely, isn’t going to happen.

(En Français: L’anniversaire de Quicksilver)
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