Marta 0.2 Released!

Today I’m happy to release the Marta 0.2! This release brings the tabs support, Terminal integration and a number of API enhancements.

Tabs Support

Tabs really matter. It was one of the most awaited features of Finder. Of course, you could open multiple windows before, but switching between windows is not so convenient as tab switching. So it was one of the critical features for Marta from the very beginning, and now it’s here!


Marta 0.1.3 Released!

I’m happy to announce the release of Marta 0.1.3!
It brings the multi-column mode and the initial Vim mode support, as well as a number of bugfixes.

You can read about all changes in 0.1.3 in the changelog. The download link is here.

Multi-column display mode

I tried almost all popular file managers for macOS before I decided to create Marta. One of the main issues I had with them was about the UI responsiveness. A file manager is a simple thing in essence: it just displays the file list. What can be easier?

Keeping in mind that almost all existing file managers for macOS (including Finder) use the default system UI components for displaying tables and lists, and none of them is fast enough, I came to the conclusion that the problem is in the component slowness. So I decided to make the custom lightweight list view that is optimized for the file manager tasks. Actually, it was how Marta was born. And this is the key why it’s so fast.

One of the core features of the custom list is a display mode support. So the same list component can become a table or even a thumbnail grid. Before today, Marta had only the table display mode. 0.1.3 release brings the multi-column mode.


Marta 0.1.2 Released!

Marta 0.1.1 was released around a week ago, and now it’s the time for another update!

One of the features requested by Marta users was the Touch Bar support. As MacBook Pro 2016 doesn’t have proper functional keys, you had to enable the Function Keys option in Preferences or press Fn each time you wanted to copy or rename some file (in order to press F5 or ⇧F6).

Now that’s not needed anymore! :sunglasses:

Of course, you can configure which buttons to show. Moreover, you can change the button background color, customize its title or even choose what to display: an icon, only text or both.

Almost all bundled actions got the Touch Bar icon. If you’re a plugin author, you can assign icons to your own actions (see Action).


Marta Goes Public Alpha!

Marta 0.1 was released around a week ago, and it was quite a success. More than 700 people requested an invite on the first day, and I received a lot of valuable feedback and feature requests. The launch clearly let me know that I’m not the only one who needs the good file manager on macOS.

Here’s one of my favorite comments:

Traveling back in time to discover old good and simple to use things. Great!
Csaba Kissi

However, not all feedback was positive. Some users disliked the “closed alpha” idea because not everybody wants to leave one’s email address just to get the download link. I had some reasoning for it, and I want to explain my point of view. To be short, it has nothing with spam.

When you publish your app for the first time, you literally don’t know if it will work properly for everybody. Of course, you can test it in different conditions (and I’ve spent some time doing it), but all users have the different OS configurations and use-cases, so it’s very easy to overlook something. The private alpha allowed me to get the initial feedback and fix some issues in a short time.

There was also the second reason: the application signature. Because of the technical issues on the Apple side, it took some time before I could activate my Apple Developer Program. Version 0.1 is self-signed, but the proper signing was the required step for opening Marta for everyone.

Marta 0.1.1

The signature issue is gone, and I don’t think that continuing the closed alpha will bear any fruit. So with the 0.1.1 update, Marta enters the public alpha. You are free to download Marta 0.1.1 here.


Introducing Marta

Did you ever think about what application you use the most on your computer? Probably it’s the web browser or some tool you use for work, like the text processor or the IDE. But it’s hardly the only app you see regularly. Despite the popularity of web services, lots of people still use desktop applications for playing music, keeping notes and messaging because native apps have the way better user-experience than any website.

The good example of the native application is a file manager: every desktop system comes with some file browser preinstalled. But the system apps, although being simple and well-designed, are limited in functionality. They perform well with the basic tasks but are clearly insufficient for power users.

So it is not surprising to have a variety of third-party file managers, especially the dual-pane ones as they are extremely easy to operate using the keyboard. Though, for some reason, most of the good options are Windows-only. Besides the well-known Total Commander, there are FAR, Double Commander and many other feature-rich applications, but when it comes to Mac, the number of variants significantly decreases.

I tried almost all the options available for macOS, and none of them was good enough. The main problem was the lack of extensibility: you have nearly no options to tune. The one that I used before even hadn’t a way to configure the font of the file list. Can you guess if any of them support plugins? ;)