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Start9 is, for all intents and purposes, cancelled. This site remains available for archival purposes. See the last blog post for more information.

It Is Now Safe to Turn Off Your Computer

by rob55rod/Splitwirez, reflectronic, and logonoff, 25 September 2019

Hello. Unfortunately, we’ve realized that we’re going to have to leave Start9 behind for the foreseeable future, so we can focus on university, work, life, and other things more within reach. It might be hard for us to work on Start9 with all these commitments in place, if not impossible, though we may still work on it intermittently, should we find both the time and residual willpower. Consider Start9 effectively vaporized if our GitHub has no activity in 3 years from now, and don’t expect a release even before then. Start9.UI.Wpf and other such prerequisites may still see activity due to their use outside of Start9, but this alone should not be taken as an indication of activity for the project as a whole.

We’ve made some progress since the last blog post, though, in the time it has taken us to come to this decision. The most obvious one is Shale, which was to be our new flagship design language. We’ve tried to make Shale a balance between the flat designs of the now and the depth of skeuomorphic design of the recent past, with a fair deal of success. We had planned to use it across Start9 to provide a consistent default look. In the meantime, Shale may well pop up elsewhere, but we won’t make any promises. File Commander has also made significant progress, though it still has quite a long journey ahead yet, and likely won’t see much further development anytime soon.

Furthermore, reflectronic had created, and later lost, a small amount of code for the new pipeline for start9-api, which was to be based on Orleans. The progress made originally was only preliminary experimentation anyway, and didn’t yet do anything useful. Either way, so this alone isn’t all that much of a setback for the project.

For those wondering, we’ll be leaving the Start9 website and Discord server up - though inactive - for those interested. To ensure people don’t waste their time searching for a Start9 binary which doesn’t exist, we’ll leave this blog post up until there’s nobody else left to see it. If for some reason you would like to download this page, it is available here.

Despite this, we’d still like to apologise for taking so painfully long to provide any results. While these blog posts are written by the core dev team collectively, a few members of the team would like to say some parting words individually:

I would like to apologize for my failure to manage expectations - I ignored my better judgement and, in a rather uncharacteristic move, made a promise I could never have hoped to keep. Blinded by the incredible vision we had, I wrongly believed we had nowhere to go but up, thus leading me to disregard my normal fear of making promises I can’t keep and do exactly that. But none of the circumstances justify my error. This was wrong of me, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I knew better than to make such a promise, and should never have ignored my better judgement. I’m sorry, to all of you, for all of this. I wish you all the best. - @splitwirez

I know I let you guys & everyone watching down. It could have been done (well at the least more finished) if my commitment and scheduling wasn’t so flaky. I just picked too much on my plate and I don’t even use Windows anymore and maybe let it languish a little too long. I’m kind of a chaotic person to work with and I goofed it up a little. The idea still has merit though; maybe one day such a concept can be picked up by someone else. - @reflectronic

Among many other things, whether this is the end of Start9 remains unclear, but one thing isn’t ambiguous at all: Windows customization as a whole will live on no matter what. We trust in every one of you reading this to ensure that much. You hold the power to make that happen, not just us. Keep making these things your own by whatever means necessary. As long as you do, the dream will live on. Until our return, if anyone wants to take up the Start9 torch and build upon our work, you have our full blessing, and we wish you all the best and then some.

Best wishes to all of you.

Sincerely, @reflectronic, @splitwirez, @logonoff

p.s. In the event that progress resumes, we’ll make sure it’s known, but not until we can confidently say that success is within reach. We won’t be repeating the mistake we made here, that’s for sure. Don’t hold your breath though - it may well never happen, and if it ever does, expect it to be quite a while away yet. We’re sorry we’ve kept you waiting so long for nothing :(