I have some good news for TopStyle customers: we’ve reached an agreement with long-time Windows developer Stefan van As to acquire TopStyle, ensuring the future of the product.
Why is this good news?
It’s no secret that TopStyle has languished since I created FeedDemon several years ago. I’ve had several false starts with the next version, only to be pulled away by other demands. Honestly, it’s been clear for a long time that if TopStyle was going to continue, we’d have to find someone else to handle it – and now we have.
Why Stefan van As?
Stefan is one of those rare developers who can completely take charge of an entire application, and he’s got a good eye for design (as illustrated by his previous involvement with Macromedia Authorware and Adobe Captivate).
In fact, if you’ve been using TopStyle for a while, you may recognize his name: he’s the guy I hired several years back to develop a Dreamweaver extension which enabled using TopStyle as Dreamweaver’s CSS editor. I found Stefan to be very capable and easy to work with, and it certainly helps that he’s so familiar with TopStyle.
What about TopStyle 4.0?
Stefan has already been working on the next version of TopStyle, adding some highly-demanded features to the product. For example:
- Unicode support
- “Live” FTP editing
- Extensible toolbuttons
Unicode support is long overdue, and I can tell you that adding it to TopStyle was no easy task. The fact that Stefan could take over an existing product and add such a complex feature is a testament to his skill.
And it won’t end with TopStyle 4.0 – Stefan is committed to keeping TopStyle alive and well, so you can expect additional versions in the future. You can find more details in the FAQ on Stefan’s site.
What will be your involvement, Nick?
Stefan will be completely taking over TopStyle, but I’ll be available to him whenever he needs me (which, knowing Stefan, won’t be too often!). But I’ll remain a loyal TopStyle customer. I continue to use it every day – it’s what I rely on to create FeedDemon’s newspapers, for example – and will stay involved with the TopStyle community.
Of course, part of me is sad to no longer be “the TopStyle guy.” I put a lot of time and energy into that program, and I wish I could’ve done it justice over the past few years. At the same time, I’m incredibly pleased that we found Stefan – I honestly wasn’t sure we’d find someone with the right set of skills for TopStyle, and I really worried about TopStyle’s future (as did many TopStyle customers). To be able to hand over my creation to someone I’m completely confident about is quite a relief (and besides, it’ll be fun watching TopStyle’s development from the other side for a change!).
Good luck, Stefan – and thanks!