30 years: May 10, 1994–2024

Hi, I’m Travis. I started Green Eclipse thirty years ago, on May 10, 1994.

There was a partial solar eclipse that day and someone was wearing a green shirt, and I just thought “green” and “eclipse” sounded good together. It’s not a very inspirational story, but what has always inspired me was how software is like ideas: the work of one person can touch the lives of millions, instantly and effectively for free.

I wrote those apps because they were something I wanted, and it made me happy to be able to offer them to the world for free to make others happy. In a way, Green Eclipse apps are like the farmer’s market of the internet: a person’s passion and a bunch of organic, locally-sourced ones and zeroes distilled into a weird little object that you can take home. Making things to give away for free unfortunately doesn’t pay the bills, so in 2004 I got one of those jobs that pays money and put my passion into that and built things that I’m proud of… for someone else.

Unfortunately that has meant that most of the Green Eclipse apps have been pretty dormant for two decades now, and it’s humbling that things I made twenty years ago are still getting used today. Since the beginning, there have been a couple dozen Green Eclipse apps. Over the years, most have fallen into obsolecense—in 2024, there isn’t really a lot of demand for tools to let you edit help files for Windows 95 or to compress files in obscure formats or edit fonts and colors on a 90s-era website. But some from that era, like EclipseCrossword, still make people happy every day, and they will continue to be available for free for as long as it makes sense and probably long after that.

This is by no means the end of Green Eclipse. Passion to make the world better drives me, and I’m looking forward to what an older, wiser Travis can do with it. So what’s next? Hard to say. I’m still working a “regular job,” and after that I’ll take some time off to rest and recharge. Then that passion to create will take over me and you’ll get a beekeeping management app or experimental ambient album or real-time strategy game in exchange for your patience.

Thanks for the support and kind words over the first thirty years. I’m excited to see what comes out of the next thirty. I’ll be as surprised as you are.