Liftoff Spinoff

Gordon Fontenot

Over 4 years ago, I wrote a blog post announcing Liftoff, our tool for customizing Xcode projects with opinionated settings. About a year after that, I wrote another post announcing the 1.0 version of Liftoff, which included project generation and custom templates.

Today, I’m writing my third (and maybe final?) post about Liftoff.

When we started working on Liftoff, we wanted a way to generate projects from the command line quickly and repeatably. We wanted to be able to cut out the time we were wasting on project setup so that we could get to the part that really mattered, building great products for our clients. We think Liftoff succeeded at that.

Unfortunately, where Liftoff succeeded, we failed. I got burned out on maintaining it after a while and there wasn’t a ton of interest internally in keeping it going. We mostly kept using it for client projects, but occasionally we opted to go back to the Dark Ages and created projects manually. Over time, Liftoff has gone stale and gotten out of date. We (I, especially) have done a poor job of acting as the maintainer for the project and Liftoff has suffered for it.

So today, I’m trying to fix that by helping move control away from thoughtbot, and towards the community. There are still a number of active users of Liftoff and I’d like to give them a chance to be more involved than they have been up till now.

The Liftoff repo is now hosted under its own org, liftoffcli. I’m the owner of this org and will be adding people as contributors as they make contributions to the project.

I’ve also moved the homebrew formula to a new tap, liftoffcli/homebrew-formulae. Users of the old thoughtbot controlled tap will want to migrate to this new one, as the old one won’t be updated further.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with Liftoff moving forward. It’s been a fun project to work on and I’m still optimistic about it’s future, especially now that I’m able to set it on this new path.