updated 10:59 pm EDT, Mon March 25, 2013
New collective developer effort finally brings forth a 1.0 release
After a beta period lasting a decade, application launcher and task manager Quicksilver for OS X 1.0 (free) has finally been released. The application, which was in the hands of its original developer for six years before finally falling to a collective group of volunteer developers to finish starting in 2009, uses mouse gestures or keyboard shortcuts to do searches, launch programs, associate file types with particular applications and other features, according to a post on the group's blog.
The program allows users to be more productive by creating "triggers," or actions that can open files in a different application that would be normally used (for example opening a Word document in Pages on a case-by-case basis even though the default is set to Word), and creating not just abbreviations that can help find files but also synonyms (entirely different words or shortcuts also associated with a given object). Due to the plug-in compatibility of many OS X programs, Quicksilver can be compatible with a wide range of applications.
The final 1.0 release adds features including preliminary support for Retina displays, the ability to assign a "trigger" to different actions in different apps, the new synonym feature, AppleScript enhancements, adding files and folders to Catalogs, new localizations and more. A large number of bugs from the previous release were also addressed, and the program now has better auto-detection of URLs in text-entry mode and some other features have been streamlines for faster or better operation. On the developer end, documentation on plugin creation is now complete and available.
In an interview with the two lead developers, Patrick Robertson said that his motivation to take up the project five years ago was simply to keep it going -- a reflection of the enthusiastic user community the original version of the product had inspired. Both Robertson and Rob McBroom emphasized that the new release was stable and ready for developers to contribute plugins to make it compatible with their own programs. The team is taking donations to support further development.