I’m getting close to releasing a new Cocoa application, CommitChat, a sexy interface to having conversations for each commit in each watched project in GitHub. It was time to start thinking about packaging and distribution.
Packaging Cocoa apps
You can package and release Cocoa apps in a number of ways. Each app is actually a folder, so they need some packaging. Zip files are easy and the bonus is they auto-open when people download them. But for me, without a doubt, is the DMG packaging with a custom background image and the embedded symlink to the Applications folder, like the one for CommitChat below.
I’ve always loved it. It made me as a user feel that this piece of software was special. A custom DMG is like a piece of magic.
Now like most magic, its really only magical when you don’t know how its done.
But there in lies a problem. You want to release your own Cocoa software with a beautiful custom DMG but you don’t want to know how to do it. You want the magic, even as a developer, but that means you can’t know how to do it.
And trust me you do NOT want to know how to do it. Ever.