The first version of Tinkerwell launched in Oktober 2019 – more than three years ago. Since this launch on macOS only, the app became available on Windows and Linux and more than 12,000 developers got their copy.
In 2022, we doubled down on Tinkerwell again, moved to a regular update cycle every two weeks and pushed the app to a new major state with version 3. During the year, we released whopping 29 updates to the Tinkerwell app.
In January, we improved the snippet function (
Ctrl/Cmd + B) and started to work on the updated UI for version 3. The released in januar already contained new icons for the toolobar but not the whole major overhaul.
Since February, Tinkerwell ships with Laravel 9 as default project only and we removed the switch that allowed you to change the default project from 8 to 9 and back. This reduced the filesize and made maintenance easier. Additionally, you can select a custom project as your default and so you can customize Tinkerwell to your own needs – which can be a previous Laravel version.
March was mostly about polishing existing features and fixing minor bugs to pave the way for version 3. We continued to work on v3 and started the testing of new features internally to make sure they work as intended and are a useful addition to Tinkerwell.
In April, you got minor bug fixes only – behind the scenes we were working on version 3 and implemented the mighty autocompletion feature as well as the new polished UI. As an Electron app, we use CSS for styling Tinkerwell and the UI finally built with Tailwind CSS since version 3.
In May 2022, we released Tinkerwell 3 and the feedback for this version was mindblowing. It was a free update for everyone with an active license and thousands of developer updated immediately. The new released got covered on Laravel News and the popular German tech news site Heise as well as in many developer newsletters.
In general, the roll-out of this new major version was flawless but as you might expect, we published multiple patch released to iron out some edge cases.
In June, we kept polishing version 3 and fixed additional edge cases but also introduced dynamic snippets and global drivers. If you are working with a custom framework, you can create a custom driver for all your projects and don't have to add the driver to all projects anymore – but if you do, you can also include project based snippets via this driver.
We kept going in the release train in July. We rebuilt the Docker integration and removed the constraint to have a
docker-compose file so that you can use Tinkerwell with any Docker setup now.
Tinkerwell supports custom PHP binaries per project and got a command palette that allows you to trigger many functions without touching your mouse. Press
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + P and open projects, connect to remote servers or search through your snippets.
In August, we slowed down a bit and mostly shipped minor improvements and bug fixes to clean up the new features. This was a quite month for Tinkerwell but created some breathing room after a few months of working on version 3.
September shipped improved snippets and an update to the underlying theme system of Tinkerwell. We used this new theme system to release two new designs with Laracon themes. We also introduced commands into the command palette – starting with opening the snippets and history functions as well as opening the welcome tab and the default project.
In October, Tinkerwell got some UX improvements like running code with
Ctrl/Cmd + S to allow your muscle memory to run code instead of saving the file – which is rarely useful in Tinkerwell since snippets make this more convenient than selecting a file.
We improved the code history in November and made it configurable. You can now increase the default limit of 50 entries to whatever you want. We assume that there is a performance limit but you won't hit it with a couple 100 entries 🙂
December is the month where we put Beyond Code into slow mode and only work on required maintenance issues for existing tools. This December, we felt like releasing a new Tinkerwell theme that fit our winter mood.
2022 was a fantastic year for Tinkerwell and we're commited to make the app even better in 2023. Our roadmap includes a new snippet system, custom themes and some AI sprinkles. Subscribe to the Beyond Code newsletter and follow us on Twitter for regular updates – or simply keep your Tinkerwell app on the latest version.