Growl, once a staple of the Mac desktop experience, has been retired | GeekComparison

A Growl notification.

A Growl notification.

Growl, once a staple of the Mac desktop experience, is retiring after 17 years. Christopher Forsythe, who acted as project lead, announced the retirement in a blog post Friday.

Launched in 2004, Growl provided notifications for applications on Macs (it was also offered for Windows) before Apple introduced its own Notification Center. Notification Center was added to macOS (then styled Mac OS X) in the Mountain Lion update in 2012, but it first debuted on iOS a year earlier.

Here’s an excerpt from Forsythe’s announcement:

Growl retires after living 17 years. With the announcement of Apple’s new hardware platform, a general shift from developers to Apple’s notification system, and a lack of obvious ways to improve Growl beyond what it is and has been, we’re announcing Growl’s retirement as of today .

It’s been a while. Growl is the project I’ve been working on for the longest period of my open source career. But at WWDC in 2012, everyone on the team saw the writing on the wall. This was my only WWDC. This is the WWDC where Notification Center was announced. Ironically, Growl was called Global Notifications Center, before I renamed it Growl because I thought the name was too nerdy. There’s even another sourceforge project for Global Notifications Center if you want to go find it.

He further recalled that Growl was developed in part because the popular messaging app Adium and IRC client Colloquy needed different types of notifications than were available at the time. In general, developers were designing and implementing their own proprietary solutions for notifications, which were not always ideal experiences for users.

Once installed, Growl appeared in the Mac OS X system preference pane and acted as the notification service for the platform — that is, until the aforementioned Notification Center debuted. As Forsythe noted above, the writing was on the wall as soon as Apple made that announcement.

It seems that Apple’s new shift in architecture and other factors led to the official end of Growl, although for some time Growl was only supported at a basic level.

List image by Apple

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