2nd Anniversary and the Story of UWP DevKit
Today about 2 years ago, at Jan 26th 2016, the first version of UWP DevKit, called Developer Tools for UWP, was released. Now, it is one of my most successful app with over 10k downloads. Looking back, this is the road of me improving from time to time. Now, Let me tell you the story behind UWP DevKit.
UWP DevKit was originally made for my own personal use. At first, I didn’t want to go to the UWP Documentation every time when I wanted to find the proper Segoe MDL2 Assets font icon, so I implemented an ugly but usable feature Sogoe MDL2 Converter(Yes, I also spelled it wrong) in my private app MyHub.
Soon I found that there were already apps available in Store that can help UWP devs get work done, but all of them are apps with only one feature like generating assets - I wanted an app that can help me complete all tasks. Hence, the very first version of UWP DevKit, Developer Tools For UWP, was born. Only three features(Segoe MDL2 icons, URI Tester, Assets Generator) were available, but at the time I could use one app for all the features, not three separate apps.
Soon, with the ambition, I released version 1.1.3 and 1.3.7 to enhance the app and brought multilingual support of Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. I used Template 10 to make it look even better and more responsive. At the same time, I started to promote my app on AppRaisin, 智机网(wpxap, it business changed now) and 酷七网(coolxap, now bankrupted), and it was so effective, that the app had over 100 downloads per day at the time.
But then I felt that this name was too long and needed a change. I rebranded the app to WeCode with change of logo to match my previous successful WP8.1 project WeFile. I am also not stopping from here – I started to enhance existing components with implement new features, but this time I hadn’t realize that, I was starting to get lost.
I thought, this is not enough. I tried to go even further. I tried to implement a new interface for WeCode multiple times, but it was always not what I want. I was expecting a interface that is like Microsoft Edge: tabs to switch between features, multiple instance can be opened individually in a window. All the results were not good-looking, and I hated myself so much. Also, at the period no new feature was added due to the massive design experiments. I also started to perform badly at school, so soon I lost my patience and abandoned the project. I messed up.
last summer, things started to change. I decided to change myself, by picking up the app that people start to hate. At the time, crashes exists all the time, my app page filled with one star comments filled with my empty promises of “we will update in a future update”. I was sure I needed a change urgently.
So, I made an important decision: do everything from scratch. I changed name to UWP DevKit, abandoned old frameworks, archived old git repository, created a new project file called WeCode-Next. To me, it is a restart of part of my life. The app start to shape as time went by, and it started to look good. Finally, at the summer of 2017, I released the first version of UWP DevKit 5.0, open sourced, with my heart. And it didn’t let me down. It was another success. And now, it goes back to the top of Developer Tools section.
Here, I hope to thank you everyone who download and use the app, without your support, I cannot make to here. Thank you so much!
Patrick Wu, WE. Studio