What’s Happening at Snowy

We’ve been fairly quiet but that doesn’t mean we’re not busy bees. We’ve been working to resolve any issues as they arise with Snowy - most of them are minor issues but there are several a few customers inquired about:

  • Personal (free) plans were experiencing a math error that caused file uploads to be allowed when they weren’t supposed to be. We’ve fixed the problem, and any files uploaded will remain.
  • Fixed a project permissions error caused by users which have been added as a project collaborator, while also being an organization member.
  • We finally fixed the odd icon problem for drop-down menus. You may have seen “2″ and “3″ characters instead of drop-down arrows.

Also, a summary of the lessons learned launching Snowy appeared in the January 2015 issue of Better Software Magazine.

Right now, we’re primarily focusing on bug-fixes only for Snowy, because we’re hard at work on Snowy 2.o.

I can’t go in to details yet but we’ve mentioned it in response to various customer support emails. Snowy is already an amazing product and I’m so happy to have great customers, but there’s a lot more we can offer, but the reality is that  ”Snowy 1″ isn’t the best foundation for the feature set and scale that our customers want.

Snowy 2 isn’t ready yet, but it’s been formed from the lessons of the past several years of real customer feedback - not just from what our current users want, but from common reasons we lose potential customers. We have our own list of things we are unsatisfied with.

Snowy 2 will look and feel very similar to what you use now - but it’s going to have a very different technological foundation and design.

Thanks to all of our amazing customers! I can’t wait to share Snowy 2 with you.

Snowy Updates for Spring 2014

We’ve been busy the past few months, and we’re finally ready to  share what we’ve been working on.

Organizations

We’ve slowly been rewriting portions of Snowy to implement the idea of “organizations”. An organization allows you to group users and projects, and if a user belongs to more than one we provide an easy way to switch. Every user has a default, personal organization (they’re named the same as your username). If you’re setting up a Snowy account for your company, you can create a new organization (example: “helion3″) and begin adding other Snowy users as members, and projects.

Projects will be grouped under the organization, so if you switch back to your personal organization view, you’ll only see your personal projects.

Your current plan (Personal, Starter, Small Business, etc), is connected to your first organization. New organizations are essentially new accounts, so your personal plan won’t apply to any new accounts. This allows you to manage separate billing for your personal organization versus the corporate account, etc.

Seeds of a new API

We are officially opening a new remote error logging API for user testing, which is a portion of a full API system we’re working on. Our current error logging API is a big draw for Snowy users, but it’s very limited and was designed nearly four years ago. We needed something that was much more flexible, faster, and could accommodate the wide variety of applications logging errors. Here’s a quick summary of what the new API offers:

- Vastly improved performance. We’ve chosen several extremely light-weight and fast technologies that weren’t proven when we started Snowy. On average, we’re seeing response times 30-50x faster than our current system. Stability and performance scalability is major focus as Snowy grows.

- Flexible schema. We’ve restricted the required fields to a small list, ditching some fields that don’t make sense in different applications. What’s amazing, is that we now allow you to pass additional data as custom fields. No setup required, just include the data with the existing error log JSON. All of your data will be visible in the Snowy error log pages.

- More efficient processing and storage on our end. Our previous setup was too strict and inflexible - making it difficult to work with. This newer system will be a breath of fresh air and will be an excellent foundation for growth.

If you’re willing to help test, please take a look at our in-progress API documentation.

Once we’ve seen enough user testing, we’ll officially remove documentation for the current system, and will begin a process to deprecate it. When we do, we’ll notify all of our users via email, twitter, and this blog.

BitBucket Support

GitHub is the most popular version control management tool, but we’ve had a decent number of requests for BitBucket. It works the same way, and we provide the necessary information on your project’s API page.

Other Changes

We’ve pushed a dozen minor bug fixes/tweaks, most notably we’ve fixed the timezone list showing only US timezones.

 

We hope you enjoy the new changes! Stay tuned to see what’s in store for Snowy over the summer!

Snowy Updates for March 2014

We’ve been working on some under-the-hood changes that will allow us more flexibility with accounts - though I’ll wait to clarify until the work is ready to go live. For March, here’s the important things we’ve changed:

  • Tag issues! You can now add tags to issues and use those for filtering. It’s a lot more flexible than categories and was a frequent customer request. We’ll eventually expand the functionality with more management tooling.
  • Add collaborators by their email - Snowy will email them an invitation to sign up and when they do, we’ll automatically link them to your project.
  • We’ve increased the number of collaborators allowed on each plan. This is especially nice for free plans, you have more room to test with your collabs!
  • Our error log API accepts a new “additional_info” field so that you can include custom data with each error log
  • You can also hash your own errors for duplicate tracking. Snowy by default checks the error message, file, and application to determine if it’s the same as one we’ve seen. If you need a custom check, you can provide your own custom hash. Check the api demo project for an example.
  • We’ve redesigned/combined our icon sets, a better foundation for new work.
  • We’ve added sort direction icons to the issue list column headers.

As always, we’re working hard to continue making Snowy even better. We already have a solid list of work for April so please check back often!

P.S. A great thanks to Mashable for our recent write-up.

Snowy Updates for February 2014

We’ve been busy with sister projects (like PSTE.me) but have recently adopted a monthly release cycle for Snowy updates. So far this month, we’ve pushed a few changes:

  • A redesigned comment/description toolbar. The old icons were awful.
  • We’ve fixed some minor styling in the markdown preview area
  • Rarely, link parsing in descriptions/comments included the first word on the next line. We fixed that.
  • Performance improvements for the dashboard, especially if you have a lot of projects
  • The site favicon now displays correctly
  • We’ve added a very basic profile page (snowy-evening.com/yourusername) which simply lists your public projects.

We have several projects lined up for the March sprint and we’re also preparing a major PSTE.me update (with a fully re-written front-end and complete API). Eventually, we’ll expand the integration possibilities between Snowy and PSTE.me.

Thanks!

Snowy Evening 1.2 Released

Last year we began re-writing the front-end of Snowy based on the Twitter Bootstrap framework. We eventually rebuilt many elements of our user interface so that we could better support future enhancements.

After months of work we’ve finally launched Snowy 1.2. We’ve spent a lot time testing but if there are any problems, we’ll address them immediately.

Most of the interface remains essentially the same - however we’ve really cleaned it up and fixed multiple issues. Things should look a bit sharper.

In addition, we completely redesigned the project add/edit pages. When adding a project, you’ll be able to create it quickly in a modal window, and then proceed to the new management page.

We’ve overhauled the design so that milestones, versions, categories, collaborators, and more are no longer all piled into a single page. There’s a much cleaner interface for managing all of those lists - you have more room, better validation, inline-editing, and more.

We’ve also introduced a small, but important feature we’ve been excited for - the ability to deactivate milestones so that new issues may not select them. When marked inactive, a milestone will essentially be read-only - existing issues will remain set to those milestones, but new issues may not be assigned to them.

In addition, you may optionally set a due date for a milestone. We have more work we’d like to do so that we’re better about reminder users about upcoming milestones, tracking progress, etc, but the basic functionality is there.

We hope you’ll enjoy the new version!

Minor Performance Improvements, And More!

We’re hard at work on several upcoming improvements to Snowy, but I can’t quite tell you what they are. There’s a lot of work involved and they’re addressing some of the weaker areas of the product.

To tide you over, we’ve just released a minor update that contains a hefty amount of  improvements to the underlying logic for your dashboard, and other areas. We have more to do on the dashboard but these not only make a large speed difference right now, they also provide a solid foundation for some upcoming work.

There’s always more happening - minor fixes and improvements go out the door frequently as well as infrastructure and other improvements. Remember, you can always provide feedback by emailing us at [email protected]

 

 

New Feature: Ignore API Errors

We’ve recently added the ability to ignore future API errors that match an existing error. Sometimes there are errors that you can’t do much about and don’t care to record from your applications.

If you visit the issue detail page for an automatically-logged error, you’ll see a new “Ignore New Errors Like This” button. Clicking this will tell Snowy to stop recording any errors that are exact matches (meaning they come from the same application, file, and contain the exact same error message).

Once ignored, you can click the button again to resume logging those errors.

We’ve also been fixing several bugs but those aren’t as interesting!

Now Supporting Jsbin Embeds

We already offer GitHub Gist and JsFiddle code embeds, now we offer Jsbin embeds as well. Simply paste the web address to your bin and snowy will automatically embed it for you.

It’s that easy.

Services Maintenance Tonight

Late tonight, at 9:00PM Pacific Time we’ll be migrating Snowy to new servers. We should not be down for long, as most everything is ready other than the push of the button. Your data will be moved before the final switch so once we’re back online, you’ll notice no difference other than (hopefully) faster response times.

This move will solve some technical limitations we have with our existing servers, as well as provide us a much better foundation for growth. As traffic and customers increase we need to be sure our servers can too.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

 

 

Easily Embed GitHub Gists into Issues

Not only does Snowy support Github commit integration, we now allow you paste in a web address for a Gist and we’ll automatically embed it for you!

It’s that easy.