Task Rocket 5 is in development. Here’s what you need to know.
This decision has been months in the making (since the Invoice Rocket launch in fact) and I have been thinking hard about what to do next. I had been wanting to start work on a completely new product, but I think it’s well worth investing time and resources into a re-build of Task Rocket instead, which will eventually be Task Rocket 5.
To avoid going too deep into the ‘why’, let’s just say I have been thinking about this for more than a year now. Task Rocket functions just fine, but I do regret some of the engineering decisions I made early on. If I was to start again fresh, I would do some things differently – and that’s my intention.
Re-engineering with a fresh new code-base for easier ongoing development isn’t the only motivation to rebuild, though. Task Rocket users and developers will benefit. Here’s just a few things you can also expect:
- A snappier mobile-first presentation layer
- Several actions so that developers can execute their own custom functionality into Task Rocket (and to make ongoing development and maintenance much easier)
- All iconography will be recreated as a single SVG sprite
- Significant user interface enhancements
- All tasks and projects will be migrated to a new custom post type (via a free ‘one click’ tool that will do all the heavy lifting and be made available at launch)
- Ajax functionality on the front-end (I plan to avoid page reloads as much as possible when creating and updating tasks, creating projects etc…)
- Some existing functionality taken from add-ons will be baked in
- Some theme functionality will be pulled out and made into separate free add-ons (the mini chart to name just one, for example) in an effort to keep the base theme as lean as possible
- Improved team member controls
- Improved performance
- Developer documentation and sample starter plugin
- …and more that will be revealed later
How will this affect 4.x users?
All existing Task Rocket users will be able to upgrade to Task Rocket 5 absolutely free of charge. The upgrade process will be well documented and relatively straightforward, but as always you will be expected to back up everything first, just in case.
Support for 4.x will continue for users who prefer or have to stick with it, but new features, add-ons and improvements will be rare. Any reported bugs will, of course, be fixed in 4.x but there will come a time when it will be impractical to keep maintaining two different code bases, which means 4.x will eventually be given an ‘end of life’ date (this could be roughly a year after 5.0 launches).
After the ‘end of life’ date has passed Task Rocket 4.x will still continue to work forever and won’t be restricted in any way.
What about language support?
Task Rocket 5 will support languages, but in all likelihood, many new translation strings will be introduced and possibly some existing strings removed. Translation support is an important part of Rocket Apps products, and so far all translation efforts have been performed by totally awesome community volunteers. While I am keeping my options open, it may be better to get Task Rocket 5 professionally translated for the initial release.
What will it cost?
There will be no change to the current cost and licensing structure, and as mentioned all 4.x users will be able to upgrade for free.
At some point I will put out a call for anyone interested in testing the beta releases during development. Any interested individuals will be required to communicate in the official Rocket Apps Slack channel and report any issues. Beta testing team members will be credited and if they are existing Task Rocket license holders, will also be given a lifetime support license on all Rocket Apps products.
When will it be released?
That’s difficult to say. While I estimate that I should be able to re-purpose at least half of the existing functions I wrote for Task Rocket 4.x (while improving them), that still leaves a lot of work not even mentioning having to refactor the add-ons, and re-build/re-design the presentation layer as well.
With this in mind, I expect the first release of Task Rocket 5 will not have 100% add-on support at the time of launch, but will gradually have updates released soon after to re-introduce missing functionality and add-on support.
If you have any questions about this announcement, let me know.
Update: You can see some early interface work in progress here.
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