Captain's Log

Terminal7 0.19.1: Progressive Web App and much more December 14, 2021

This is a big one. For starters, it’s released as a progressive web app, allowing you to install Terminala7 wherever there’s a chrome browser. More features include:

  • A one-line-installer for webexec
  • A systemd service to run on boot
  • TURN service to cover all networks
  • Supporting select-and-copy

It’s also the last version to be released as an iPad app. We’ve made the decision because of three incidents that drove us up the wall:

  1. On iPadOS 15.1 characters disappear. The flutter community also suffered from this bug. They found a workaround that didn’t work for me. What was most depressing is too see how Apple is totally unresponsive. They see hybrid app developers as their enemy and they enjoy our suffering.

  2. With MacOS 12 every binary have to be notarized by Apple. Of course, documentation on how to do it from the CLI is sparse. I found gon a project that tries to help, but still fails occasionally because Apple’s service is unresponsive. It also requires our CI has to run on a Mac now and instead of taking minutes it takes an hour and on some days, it just fails.

  3. Running as a PWA, some touch events are lost. Up-down pan of borders works fine in the browser and doesn’t after I clicked share and “Add to Home Screen”. The rest seems to be working fine - right to left is smooth as a feather.

All this gave us flashbacks of the IE6 days when Microsoft bullied web developers and wasted their time. We decided we won’t let it happen again and ditch the App Store.

We are also not notarizing webexec binary. We still use it on a Mac and it works fine - you’ll just need to compile it from source using the go compiler. We’ve also stopped work on the launchd daemon for now. We’re sorry, but you’ll have to start webexec yourself after restart. We’ll get it eventually, just not in this version.