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Panic Blog

May 10th, 2022

All of us at Panic deeply appreciate the hard work the everyone has put into creating so many excellent extensions for Nova, our Mac code editor. Your amazing efforts make Nova an even better Mac app.

To make the process of maintaining extensions easier for developers, we’re excited to announce the new and (slightly-awkwardly named) “Nova Extension Developer License Program”. In short, extension developers can now request a free, not for resale (NFR) license of Nova, on the house, once an extension meets the following requirements:

  • Published or updated within the last year
  • Contains proper documentation, as outlined in the extension template
  • 500 or more downloads from the Nova Extension Gallery

To request a license or renewal, simply email us at nova-extensions@panic.com from the email address associated with your developer account, and include the following information:

  • A link to your listing on the Extension Gallery
  • The name and email address you’d like your license to be registered to
  • The serial number associated with your current license (in the case of renewal)

Only one license may be requested per extension developer, and the license is non-transferrable. After the first year, just send us another email and we’ll happily renew your developer license for another year under the same terms.

If you have additional questions about these requirements, or other suggestions about how we can improve the extension development community, please let us know. We’re all ears!

Posted at 9:43 am No Comments
March 17th, 2022

Hello!!

Panic has a job opening for a Playdate Senior QA/Release Engineer (March 2022) on our award-winning team.

Panic does a lot of interesting things, from developing Mac and iOS software (like Nova, Transmit, and Prompt), to publishing video games (like Untitled Goose Game and Firewatch), to developing our own handheld gaming system from scratch with a full SDK (Playdate). In this case, we need some help with the latter.

We’re looking for a Senior QA/Release Engineer that’s truly excited about the prospect of helping us make sure our critical Playdate software is as top-quality and bug-free as possible. You’ll be in charge of releases of Playdate OS (operating system) and the Playdate SDK (software development kit).

We are mostly located in Portland, Oregon, and would be happy to pay for your relocation here if interested. We’re also open to remote work for this position if you are based in the USA. (We hope in the future to expand our hiring and compliance to include international applicants, but we’re not there yet.) Due to Covid-19, our office is currently operating in a hybrid mode, with many employees choosing to only work from home, but while some of us hope to return to the office as soon as we can, others will continue to work remotely.

What kind of work, exactly?

In addition to thoroughly testing and qualifying builds of Playdate OS and the SDK, you’ll also be responsible for quality assurance for Playdate-related applications, including the device simulator, and video capture utilities, which run on macOS, Windows, and Linux. Ideally, you would also be willing to proactively develop and maintain any tools and processes to streamline and simplify QA.

The ideal candidate will have lots of experience with git and issue tracking systems like GitLab. Command-line expertise is a requirement. Experience with embedded systems like Playdate and firmware testing is a bonus, but not required. Experience with deployment and measurement tools such as Memfault is also nice, but not required. Self-direction and strong self-motivation are critical. Interest in creating the necessary tools to make the QA and Release process easier will help a lot. If you think you’d have an unstoppable sense of pride in being the last stop on our software release chain, we’d love to hear from you.

One other thing

Also, a standard and important Panic note about our job postings. If you read our qualifications, and feel like you’re really really close to hitting them all, but you’re missing one — or maybe you aren’t super confident or are prone to imposter syndrome and a voice is telling you to walk away — please consider pushing through and applying. None of us here are perfect geniuses or have it together 100% — we’re all just doing the best job we can, and I’m confident you can do that too.

We really look forward to hearing from you.

Click here for full details, and to apply to our Playdate Senior QA/Release Engineer (March 2022) job. Applications close April 4th, 2022.

Posted at 4:02 pm 1 Comment
March 16th, 2022

Nova Sale

By Cabel

Your time is valuable. We’ll keep this brief.

For the next two weeks, Nova — our powerful Mac code editor, the successor to Coda, the future of native editing — is now on sale for 50% off, just $49, and you even get a full year of updates for free.

Get Nova For Just $99 $49

But hurry, the sale ends on April 1st, 2022.

Not only is Nova 50% off, but Nova 9 adds support for debugging! You can now debug code in PHP, Python, Chrome, Node.js, and of course, our own Playdate Simulator. We’ve also expanded our extension API so users can implement their own debugging support for other environments. There’s a new Debug sidebar, a Debugging pane in the Console, breakpoints, and more.

If you downloaded Nova before and already gave it a shot, don’t worry — we’ve reset the trial period, so everyone can try Nova 9. And remember, Nova is a free download.

That’s it! We hope you’re enjoying Nova and we hope you consider picking it up while it’s on sale! In the meantime, please enjoy this powerful sales video produced by our marketing department.

Posted at 2:11 pm Comments Off on Nova Sale
January 12th, 2022

Hello!!

Panic has a job opening for a Web Services Engineer on our award-winning team.

Panic does a lot of interesting things, from developing Mac and iOS software (like Nova, Transmit, and Prompt), to publishing video games (like Untitled Goose Game and Firewatch), to developing our own handheld gaming system from scratch with a full SDK (Playdate).

We’re looking for a Python developer with Django experience to help us maintain some of our existing web services and write some new ones.

We are mostly located in Portland, Oregon, and would be happy to pay for your relocation here if interested, but we are open to remote work for this position if you are based in the USA. (We hope in the future to expand our hiring and compliance to include international applicants, but we’re no there yet.) We have a number of remote workers and have, like most companies, been entirely remote since, oh, right around 2020. We do hope to return to the office in a hybrid fashion, only for those who are interested, whenever that is possible.

What kind of web services work?

Panic, as you might imagine, has an incredible amount of web infrastructure. In addition to good old fashioned self-hosted websites, there’s our solid and reliable Panic Sync service used by Transmit and Nova, our homegrown store platform for direct app sales which recently added sales tax calculations, our Playdate account management and game distribution system WOPR, etc. We currently have just one web services engineer, and we need your help with any number of these projects.

You’ll call a lot of shots, you’ll own a lot of things, and with any luck, it will feel rewarding. Sound interesting?

We think the person that would do best in this position will have Django or Python experience, but perhaps you currently use another modern web framework. You will need to be self-directed and care about good documentation. More than any degrees, we will want to see your past work, and hear about your experiences.

One other thing

Also, a standard and important Panic note about our job postings. If you read our qualifications, and feel like you’re really really close to hitting them all, but you’re missing one — or maybe you aren’t super confident or are prone to imposter syndrome and a voice is telling you to walk away — please consider pushing through and applying. None of us here are perfect geniuses or have it together 100% — we’re all just doing the best job we can, and I’m confident you can do that too.

We really look forward to hearing from you.

Click here to apply to our Web Services Engineer (Early 2022) job. Applications close February 1st, 2022.

Posted at 10:55 am Comments Off on Help Wanted: Python Web Services Engineer (Early 2022)
October 23rd, 2021


If you can believe it, the iPod is 20 years old, today.

Now, when we look back, we can pretty clearly see that the iPod was the genesis of a totally different kind of Apple — an Apple willing to enter new markets and make the best version of that new thing. Sure, Apple had made other things before (QuickTake! PowerCD!) but they never really felt committed to those things. And there was lots of portable MP3 playing competition (like the titular Nomad in “less space than a Nomad“), but the iPod was one of the first times Apple showed up and did what we now think of as their standard move — they made The Apple Version®. It was personal, well-designed, innovative, meaningful, the sum of which was more than specs and checklists. We (I? The industry?) needed that. I have fond memories of Dave (who now works on Playdate) reverse-engineering the iPod database storage format so that you could use Audion to load songs onto it. I remember how plain fun it was to use — that click wheel, the original fidget toy! It was cool that I could use it as a tiny portable hard drive. The iPod was really good.

To celebrate, I want to show you something you’ve never seen before.

Now, there are a lot of mysteries in the Panic Archives (it’s a closet) but by far one of the most mysterious is what you’re seeing for the first time today: an original early iPod prototype.

We don’t know much about where it came from. But we’ve been waiting 20 years to share it with you.

As you can see, it’s… quite large! We’ve always assumed that this mighty shell was designed to fit the large breadboards or circuit boards that were used during the earliest days of iPod development, until everything was eventually sized down to actual iPod-size. (It also has the Jobsian side-benefit of keeping the engineers in the dark about what the final device will look like.) I can’t get enough of those chunky, clunky, clicky black buttons wired up for navigation.

What’s the inside look like?

As you can see, it’s… quite small! And a lot of wasted space!

Clearly, this revision of the prototype was very close to the internals of the finished iPod. In fact, the date there — September 3rd, 2001 — tells us this one was made barely two months before it was introduced.

That little thing sticking out of the right side is a JTAG, which allowed for easier on-device debugging.

It has always been my deepest dream to smoothly unzip a backpack on a flight, theatrically pull out this incredible beast, plug in some headphones, and use it as my actual “portable” music player. Imagine the looks.

There it is. If you ask me, it’s always interesting to see where things came from before they got there. And it’s also quite rare, in Apple’s case.

So, happy birthday, iPod. Thanks for everything.

PS: One of my favorite Apple/iPod easter eggs was added in the 5th generation “video iPod”. At the bottom of the Legal screen, long before any emoji was baked into Unicode, there was a single solitary unimpressed little unicode snowman, intended for weather. This guy, right here: ☃. We could only find one (!) photo of this on the internet:

A (literally) small easter egg, but I loved this so much. It felt like classic Apple — engineers and designers just having a little fun before things got so big and serious — a tiny reminder that actual humans made the polished things I enjoyed. So of course, Apple removed it from a later firmware revision when the press noticed. Times were changing. (In solidarity, I registered https://☃.net.) But mostly I’m telling you this story so that now you’ll understand why there’s a single unimpressed snowman at the bottom of Playdate’s regulatory screen.

Posted at 9:00 am 16 Comments