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Free as in app

October 9, 2017

By Jeff Johnson (hire me and/or buy Underpass)

For analyzing and testing Bonjour services, I've always used the free Mac app Bonjour Browser by Kevin Ballard. However, the most recent update to Bonjour Browser was … 2006? It's amazing that an app so old still mostly works. There are a few bugs, such as the failure to resolve host names of Bonjour services, but the biggest issue is that the app download is rejected by Gatekeeper. Bonjour Browser predated Gatekeeper, which was added in 2012 to Mac OS X (which itself predated macOS), so the app is not codesigned with a Developer ID certificate. There are ways to allow the app to run on your Mac, but the situation is not ideal for distribution.

Bonjour Browser has served us well for many years, and I salute Kevin Ballard for the work. Nonetheless, we're long overdue for a replacement, and I've just written one. After an intense brainstorming session, I was able to produce the worst name imaginable for this new app. Today I'm thrilled to announce and release version 1.0.0 of Bonjeff!

Bonjeff is a free and open source Mac app. I've posted the source code on GitHub. You can also download a Developer ID signed Gatekeeper-friendly build of Bonjeff 1.0.0 from the Releases section of the project page. In addition to being validly codesigned, Bonjeff is sandboxed, with only network entitlements. Bonjeff was written entirely in Swift, because that's what all the cool kids do. And Bonjeff was written without any nibs or storyboards, because that's what all the uncool kids do.

Real artists ship — without artwork. Unfortunately, Bonjeff is currently lacking a non-generic app icon, because I'm not a real artist. I would heartily welcome the contribution of an icon to the project. I can pay you in gum! (Used gum.) I'm also open to receiving design suggestions. I threw the app together quickly and didn't spend time customizing the interface yet. At the very least, the outline view font size should probably be made smaller. Please forgive the app's appearance, it's just a one dot oh. Dot oh. D'oh.

By the way, I've decided to post my NiblessMenu project on GitHub too, despite my prior misgivings. The main menu code in Bonjeff was borrowed and adapted from NiblessMenu.

Enjoy the new free stuff, compliments of yours truly, built in my little workshop near the north pole of the United States. Merry Ten-mas!

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