OmniPlan 1.1 beta 1 is now available!

by Molly Reed on January 31, 2007

This release includes general speed and stability improvements as well as printing and Microsoft Project import/export improvements.  AppleScript support is also improved in this release and we plan to continue working on this for the OmniPlan 1.1 final release.  For more detailed information on the fixes in this release, you can read our release notes.

Please keep in mind that this release is still under development. Your feedback will help us improve the software, and we apologize if it crashes, corrupts your files, or otherwise misbehaves. A more stable release is also available.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or comments.  You can contact us directly via our support page  or by using the Send Feedback feature in your copy of OmniPlan.

Download the new beta now!


OmniWeb 5.5.4 beta 1 now available.

by Troy on January 31, 2007

OmniWeb 5.5.4 beta 1 is now available! While this isn't a huge update it does address a couple issues that we think everyone will appreciate.

First, we've addressed a security issue (as reported here), this fix prevents code inside HTML comments to be executed that could occur in some circumstances.

Next, we fixed an issue with the history index that allows old content to get removed from the database. This means that your index should no longer grow to painfully large sizes and slow page loading performance down. Please note however, on first launch of 5.5.4 your history index file will be reset. This will not affect your History list but you will be required to revisit pages to include them in full text search of your history.

These in addition to some JavaScript and Localization fixes make up 5.5.4, you can get the full release notes here.

Then go download!


Pondering our potential mascots

by Linda Sharps on January 25, 2007

Recently I was reading about the ad agency that came up with the original AFLAC duck campaign. It's one of those amazing marketing success stories: AFLAC went ten years struggling to figure out a way for people to remember their name, and with Kaplan Thaler's commercials their brand awareness went from 12% to 90%. 

The duck was the perfect solution to their problem—who doesn't know the word AFLAC now?—and since the commercials were so memorable and entertaining, they also did a great job of drilling home the secondary message (Hey, we sell health insurance! Ask for it at work!).

Companies usually put so much effort into having their branding campaign tell a story, sometimes with huge budgets and fantastic success (Target's commercials, for example: We sell all kinds of crap! It's sparkly! We're fresh and hip and appealing to a young affluent demographic, unlike that grody old Wal-Mart!), sometimes by creating a revolting animated hunk of snot to act as company mascot (I'm looking at you, Mucinex)—it's kind of refreshing to see an ad whose main goal is simply to sear the company's name into your head. AFLAC!

Of course, that concept can be taken too far. You know, that certain product...the one that you apply…directly to your forehead?

Anyway, I was thinking about Omni's overall brand and what we're known for. We do try and create continuity in our marketing communications, but I wouldn't say we adhere to a particularly rigid brand strategy. Which is nice, in a way, because you never hear anyone in Omni's building utter the words, “Well, I don't know, that's not really on message.”

But I do think we could use a lovable, curmudgeonly talking animal of some kind. Perhaps a star-nosed mole!



So what do you think of, when you think of Omni? Do you think of one particular application? A style of interface design, maybe? A group of old-school Mac nerds who still have a pile of NeXT machines in the basement? Why do you like (or dislike) Omni?


If only Napoleon had used OmniPlan

by Rowan on January 23, 2007

As I'm sure many readers of this blog are aware, there is this fine fellow named Edward Tufte who is somewhat of a guru in the field of information visualization.  And if you're at all familiar with his work, then you've seen his favorite graphic of all time, the Charles Minard poster of Napoleon's march on Moscow in 1812: 

From Tufte's website, here is his description of this graphic:

Probably the best statistical graphic ever drawn, this map by Charles Joseph Minard portrays the losses suffered by Napoleon's army in the Russian campaign of 1812. Beginning at the Polish-Russian border, the thick band shows the size of the army at each position. The path of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow in the bitterly cold winter is depicted by the dark lower band, which is tied to temperature and time scales.

Well, since I wanted to play around with OmniPlan, I figured I'd recreate this famous graphic.  The result is thusly:

OmniPlan version of Napoleon's march.

OmniPlan Original

Full Size PDF

I took some very liberal liberties in adapting this historical data to OmniPlan, but I think that it turned out pretty well. Mainly, the completion of a task is used to show much of the army is dead.

This was sparked by the conversation on Tufte's website about Project Management Graphics (or Gantt Charts), and specifically by the poster near the bottom who was looking to format his gantt chart, but was running into issues using the program he had. 

Feedback is very welcome, as I'd love to explore new ideas in presenting information using OmniPlan.  I'd also love other data sets to adapt using OmniPlan, so feel free to suggest anything you might think is cool.