Friday, March 24, 2017

The history and future of Remote Terminal development

Remote Terminal is an SSH-2 and Telnet Terminal Emulator which lets you
connect to your UNIX and Linux servers, NAS, VM hosts, virtual
appliances, routers and every other system supporting SSH-2 or Telnet
connections.

This is both the story of its development and also a short preview of what I am planning and how you can help.


Its development started as a closed-source project right after Windows 8 was released to the
general public (September 2012) and after a few months of development time I published the initial version to the Windows Store for the price of a beer/coffee with a free 30 day try-before-you-buy period.

In the two years after the initial release I continued improving the app and released a total of 11 updates for it, including optimization for Windows 8.1 and numerous new features and bugfixes. Purchases per month were relatively low but constant, providing me with a little stream of compensation for the time I kept investing into the project.

In the beginning of 2014, I completely stopped improving the app, mainly because I stopped using it myself and also because I wanted to get some distance to what felt like an obligation eating up my spare time. I subsequently offered the app for free in the Windows Store to account for the missing maintenance on my part. Downloads of the app went way up, which was nice, but feedback and bug-reports also increased, and I didn’t really have any intention of handling it.

In April 2015, in an experiment to revive development on the app, I invested some time again to migrate the code repository from TFS to Git, my plan was to open-source the app and find people that had the intention of improving Remote Terminal themselves. Progress on this was delayed (and almost halted) because of serious complications after a routine operation which forced me to stay in hospital for three weeks (instead of a few days), during which a second operation was necessary to fix the damage.
Anyway, after I made it out of the hospital alive I was able to finish preparing the source-code for others to read and in September/October 2015 I finally open-sourced the project on GitLab.com (later moved to GitHub). There were a few stars and forks of the project but nobody contributed any code, so the experiment kinda failed ;-)

In January 2016 my wife and I moved to our new house and a month later my first child was born, a wonderful daughter.
Spare time has been scarce since then, as everybody with children will understand, but the positive feedback that just keeps coming in motivated me to revive development on my end.

That’s also where you come in and there are many ways you can help. Jump on over to GitHub, create issues in the issue tracker, fork and improve the code, create pull requests for your improvements, contribute documentation, etc.

If you don’t want to do any of that but still want to support my ongoing work, or you just want to say thank you for an app that you regularly use, feel free to pledge a small amount to this Pledgie campaign. Everything Helps!
If you feel really generous I also have an Amazon wishlist. It's located on amazon.de, so I don't know if you may face any challenges if you are not from Austria (or Germany). At least the language can be switched to English.

Thank you!

TL; DR
Because of ongoing positive feedback I am reviving Remote Terminal development. I welcome any help at all, be it code, documentation or donations (links to my Pledgie campaign and my Amazon wishlist are on the side).

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