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Offering to help upgrade Workflows to Alfred 3


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This post is adaptated from a series of tweets.


If you ever built a Workflow for Alfred v2 but never updated it to v3, I’d like to know:

  1. Why?
  2. If you want some help bringing it up to date. I’m offering.

Note that even if your Workflow doesn’t need an update, it will still benefit from one, to use new forward-facing features. For example, if you hardcoded some Alfred directories (cache, data), those have special dynamic variables that should be used instead. I’m offering my time to help you update the Workflow. Or I can even do it for you — depending on the complexity — if you agree to release the update officially.


Mostly I’m trying to understand why some Workflows stayed at version 2 of Alfred indefinitely, and why those developers kind of fell under the radar.

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1 hour ago, vitor said:

Mostly I’m trying to understand why some Workflows stayed at version 2 of Alfred indefinitely

 

Most of them still work fine, tbh. Even with hardcoded Alfred-2 directories, a lot of them still work, as many users still have their Alfred 2 dirs and/or the workflows use the equivalent of mkdir -p to create them.

 

I won't update any of my workflows until I have new features to add for the simple reason that editing a workflow with Alfred 3 breaks compatibility with Alfred 2. Also, installing Alfred 2 and 3 at the same time causes issues.

 

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Yes, many of them still work fine, but many also have small (and big) breakages. And there are enough of them that I rely on that I felt the need to post the original tweets. Top Processes is an example.


I understand that you don’t want to update your Workflows while there’s no need, but if there was a need you would fix them. I consider the most important part of the question to be “why did those developers disappear”1? If a Workflow breaks on Alfred 3, we’d expect/hope fixing that to be the priority, and maybe keep a link to the old version that would work on v2 but receive no further updates.


But these developers don’t even update/fix their v2 Workflows. It looks like many bought Alfred 2, made Workflows, and then stopped using Alfred altogether. I find that doubtful and would like to know the reason for sure (even if it’s that one, and why).


Some of these developers may just not want to go through the trouble. I understand that, which is why I’m offering assistance. But I need to know the fix is welcome, as I don’t want to spend my time introducing fixes if the PR will just be left abandoned.



1. Top Processes again being a good example: several issues and one PR, with not even an acknowledgement of their existence.

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1 hour ago, vitor said:

if there was a need you would fix them

 

Only if I still used them myself, tbh.  

 

I think it's a good idea to offer to help fix/update workflows, and I'll help if you like. 

 

I think opening an issue on the relevant GitHub repo might be the best course of action, as I doubt the authors in question are still using the forum.

 

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11 minutes ago, deanishe said:

I think it's a good idea to offer to help fix/update workflows, and I'll help if you like.

 

Thank you.

 

11 minutes ago, deanishe said:

I think opening an issue on the relevant GitHub repo might be the best course of action, as I doubt the authors in question are still using the forum.

 

Vero saw the original tweets and suggested tweeting it herself, but mentioned she’d prefer a single location (forum post) to link people to, to make it easier.

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That makes sense. 

 

As noted, I don't think many of the authors of the outdated/broken workflows are going to see this thread. 

 

What I'd suggest, therefore, is using this thread as a place to describe the idea (and delete my posts so far to keep it clean), but using GitHub issues (and perhaps emailing authors) to create awareness of the offer. 

 

I think the best long-term solution would be to ask the author to turn over the workflow to an "Alfred Community" organisation on GitHub (rather than asking "would you accept a PR" every time the workflow stops working).

 

That way, anyone who wants to chip in and fix a workflow can.

 

What do you think?

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17 hours ago, deanishe said:

What I'd suggest is using this thread as a place to describe the idea but using GitHub issues (and perhaps emailing authors) to create awareness of the offer. 

 

I think the best long-term solution would be to ask the author to turn over the workflow to an "Alfred Community" organisation on GitHub (rather than asking "would you accept a PR" every time the workflow stops working).

 

That way, anyone who wants to chip in and fix a workflow can.

 

I like everything about that idea.

 

Even if authors don’t turn over the Workflows, if we follow their license there’s nothing stopping the creation of the organisation and fixing them there as forks.

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2 hours ago, vitor said:

Even if authors don’t turn over the Workflows, if we follow their license there’s nothing stopping the creation of the organisation and fixing them there as forks.

 

If they're unresponsive, sure. Better to ask first, and get them to put a big link to the fork at the top of their READMEs.

 

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