Ari Bader-Natal

Berry.app: Never released, but still fun

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Berry turned out to be several things: an exercise in software architecture, a taste of the frustrations and joys of Applescript Studio, a victim of feature creep, a lesson in interface design, a waste of time, and a whole bunch of fun.

Berry is lighter fare than my Coevisualizer research software framework: Its original purpose was to let me run certain small scripts on my home computer from my very low-tech cell phone. From here, Berry (originally Hackberry) eventually grew a full syntax for requests, a nice GUI, an SDK, a security model, and many new ways to connect. In addition to the original SMS communication channel, six more input channels and nine more output channels were later added (e.g. IM messaging, Skype, Quicksilver.) Talk about feature creep.

The general idea here is not new or unique. You can find software aiming to reach the same goal in many places, from startups (e.g. Soonr), shareware developers (e.g. Share), and even open source projects (Telekenesis). Now that I'm posting screenshots of Berry, we can add a "vaporware" category to this list.

Here are a few screenshots. I'll try to add some annotations later...

An enabled Receiver will listen for Berry-formatted requests, and will ask Berry to process them.

An enabled Action can be performed by specifying it in any Berry request.

An enabled Responder can be used to send back the results of a Berry request.

Notice that I haven't updated the code in a year and a half.

The internal/development interface is packed with a few example Berry requests.