Cannot reformat a volume as an encrypted vault in El Capitan and Sierra

edited November 2016 in Knox


I've Mac OSX 10.11.2 running on a MacBook Pro Retina and Knox 2.3.2

I'm trying to reformat a volume as an encrypted vault but I keep getting the following error message:

"During the creation of the vault “xyz”, Knox encountered the following error (-119930872).
Knox could not mount the newly created volume. Knox will privately mount."

Could someone please help?



  • Hello @nico888. Sorry to hear about the trouble! Out of curiosity, is this volume located on an external hard drive?

  • Hello SeanFoster, yes the volume is located on an external hard drive. Knox has always worked flawless until El Capitan. Anyway I am now using the encrypt function of El Capitan for the new volumes and just the password for the old Knox vaults. Sadly I uninstalled Knox also having read that it seems that it is not going to be fixed anytime soon. Thank you for your reply.

  • Hi,

    I have the same problem SeanFoster, what can we do about this ?
    Now the disk an know is wordless

    During the creation of the vault “USB Knox Privé Vault 2”, Knox encountered the following error (-119930872).
    Knox could not mount the newly created volume. Knox will privately mount.

  • Hi there,

    I am experiencing the same problem using an external drive - same message and error - any solution?

  • Hello, I apologize for the trouble here. While Knox appears to be working fine on internal drives in El Cap. It's encrypted external drives we're currently seeing issues with (see for more details).

  • Why are there no updates no this?

  • Andrew_AGAndrew_AG

    Team Member

    As I mentioned in the other thread you posted to, while I wish I could say this will be resolved in the near future, our developer focus is almost entirely on 1Password for Teams ( and 1Password Families ( right now, and will be for the next while, so further Knox development is not really happening at this time. This might change in the future, but we can't say for certain (and have removed Knox from sale as well because of this). We are very sorry for any inconvenience this causes. If anybody needs to discuss how this impacts their use of Knox, though, please send an email to the [email protected] address.

  • I am VERY disillusioned with your company. I have been an avid paying
    user and promoter of your 1Password and Knox products for years, and
    have been impressed with your support of your products until now.

    I am running Knox on El Capitan, and I just tried to create a
    full-volume vault on a USB drive. I followed the same process that I
    have used on many occasions, and received an error message which I went
    to find on your web site, only to discover that many others have received
    the same error in the same circumstances and that AgileBits is throwing
    up its collective hands and saying, in effect, "it sucks to be you!"

    I understand that necessity of moving your company and its products
    forward, but when you utterly abandon your existing client base and
    focus the entirety of your staff on your new products that does not
    bode well for your future. Would it really be impossible for you to
    devote just a part of one of your development engineers' time to fixing
    identified problems with your existing products, even if you are not
    going to continue with their development? Leaving a product like Knox
    an orphan with essentially no notice whatsoever to your existing
    registered client base seems remarkably short-sighted.

    Surely a company such as your which has built its reputation on responsive
    customer service can see the logic in what I am saying.

  • SeanFosterSeanFoster

    Team Member

    Hello @IC_OutWest, I’ve just replied to the email you sent in but wanted to follow-up with you here as well just to make sure you didn’t miss my reply or if any other Knox users were curious about this!

    I really appreciate the thoughtful message you’ve written here, and do sympathize tremendously with you regarding the current state of Knox. To be honest, I never heavily relied on Knox myself but can definitely relate to the sense of abandonment you feel when an app you rely upon no longer being updated, it seems like every year or two I am looking for a new podcast app for my iOS device because each one I end up liking and using is eventually discontinued, the last one I used I spent $20 USD on their Mac desktop application only for them to close up shop a few months later. That was a bummer, one that I imagine is similar to how you currently feel in regards to Knox.

    In this instance however, we have not decided 100% to turn Knox into abandonware, we consider it more as being in “stasis” at the moment and passionate messages like yours are great reminders of the user base and loyalty that Knox inspired. But for this reason, we have discontinued the sale of Knox for new users, it seemed unfair to continue selling it while we currently have no plans to update it, particularly with the current issues relating to encrypted drives as introduced in El Capitan (luckily MacOS Sierra does not seem to have introduced any new issues).

    While our development team is currently all hands on deck in relation to the development and refinement of 1Password Teams, Families and Accounts (it’s surprising how much work it takes to keep 1Password simultaneously polished across 4 different platforms!), we have not completely ruled out the possibility of applying a fresh coat of paint to Knox, users like yourself make it clear there is interest there, though if this were to happen I believe we are still a ways off from this occurring (my guess would be sometime in 2017). I don’t want to get your hopes up, but to let you know we are definitely listening and can hopefully reverse some of that disillusionment you are currently feeling toward AgileBits.

    I know this wasn’t quite the answer you were hoping for, and that we are deeply sorry to have let you down here but hope you will keep your eyes on AgileBits and with any luck we might one day have some positive news for you in the future regarding Knox (never say never!).

  • edited November 2016

    Hi Sean,

    While I appreciate that you have responded publicly to my post, I'm troubled that you seem to be flippantly comparing your need to change podcast apps "every year or two" to my problem with your company's program upon which I HAVE RELIED FOR SIX YEARS TO MANAGE MY ENCRYPTED DATA. There is a HUGE difference between these two categories of program and these two types of problem, Sean, and I would have hoped that you would recognize that. While I can't believe that your podcasts contain irreplaceable personal data, I can assure you that my Knox Vaults do. I am now genuinely concerned that Knox may simply cease working and that Agilebits will again not care.

    I'm not asking for a "fresh coat of paint" on Knox. I'm not asking for enhancements or changes to the GUI. I'm asking that your company acknowledge and address demonstrated deficiencies in your software which preclude it from working correctly on the current operating system. You will note that I was not demanding in that request. I asked if it would be possible to devote just a part of one of your developers' time to this issue. I'm honestly offended by the tone of your response, which continues the completely dismissive attitude which your company has thus-far displayed regarding this issue.

    In all sincerity, your response is inspiring me to become as militant about decrying your software as I previously was in promoting it. Perhaps you don't care as mine is just a small voice and it's a big Internet, but I encourage you to consider that even large-ish companies like yours can be brought down by bad decisions, and there are few worse decisions than providing poor customer support. Your statement that "with any luck we might one day have some positive news for you in the future regarding Knox (never say never!)" is the epitome of poor customer support.

    Is this the "new" Agilebits?

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @IC_OutWest: I know Sean well enough to say that he definitely wasn't trying to be flippant. That's just not his style. But I'm really sorry if his comments felt that way to you. I can't truly speak for Sean, but my impression was that he was expressing a similar feeling about apps he relied on no longer being updated. This is, unfortunately, the nature of technology. Sometimes we're glad when old stuff goes away; other times it's the stuff of nightmares.

    Now, if you don't particularly care about podcasts, Sean's comparison may have fallen flat for you. I can certainly see how you may perceive that as "flippant" — or at least apples to oranges. But, perhaps like Sean, I love podcasts and have gone through the same thing myself; and, perhaps like you, I use Knox nearly every day to store and access sensitive data. So, on that basis, I feel like I can at least try to bridge that gap and relate to both of you.

    The thing that's significant about all of this is that we haven't changed Knox. It continues to work the way it always did, so nothing has been taken away from you. However, changes in newer versions of macOS (née OS X) have introduced some issues with the disk management utilities that Knox relies on. I also like to run the latest and greatest hardware and software I can afford. And in the case of macOS, the monetary cost is nil. But not all apps are compatible with every new OS release. And in the case of Knox, that means that it continues to work on supported macOS versions, but has a few issues on current ones. You may disagree on this point, but based on my own experiences, I feel strongly that "no update" is better than "broken update".

    This isn't any different than 1Password 3, which, oddly enough, also has some compatibility issues with El Capitan and Sierra...except in the sense that we don't have a new "Knox 3" app for the latest macOS. Perhaps we'll be able to resume development on Knox in the future, but as frustrating a reality as this is, it would be far worse if we put out a new version that we couldn't devote appropriate resources to develop, test, and support.

    I don't think that we've misled anyone, but all the same if you expected that we would support the existing Knox app forever, I can understand why you're so upset. I don't think it's fair to expect that, any more that it would be to expect that a 6 year old version of 1Password, macOS, or iOS would still be receiving updates. But that doesn't change the fact that we've disappointed you by discontinuing Knox. There isn't anything else that I can do about that but apologize: I'm sorry. :(

    But it isn't quite "R.I.P. Knox 2 2010-2016" either, because the great thing about software in the 21st century is that it doesn't disappear into the ether(net). I'll keep using it and hoping right along with you that we'll be able to develop and release a new version someday. :blush:

  • edited November 2016

    Thanks for jumping in, Brent.

    Your statement "I don't think it's fair to expect that (Agilebits would continue to support Knox forever), any more that it would be to expect that a 6 year old version of 1Password, macOS or iOS would still be receiving updates" both misstates and trivializes what I had previously written. I pointed out my tenure supporting your company's products to illustrate that I have experience over that time in working with your company and its products, and that this is not a flash in the pan issue for me, because I have come to rely on Knox throughout that 6 year period. Further though, unlike Knox, the aforementioned products are maintained and upgraded and, as with your 1Password product, I have happily paid for upgrades, as I would have happily paid for an upgrade to Knox. I don't expect you to maintain and enhance your products eternally and with no upside to you.

    I did expect your company to let me know - since I have been on your mailing list for all of those 6 years - that it had decided to no longer support Knox WELL IN ADVANCE of the termination of that support so that I could plan to migrate (as I have now had to do more urgently having not had that notice) to a supported platform for what is, I believe you recognize, something significantly more important to my day-to-day life than a podcast app. Agilebits regularly sends me news about your new products, and clearly knows that I exist and am a registered user of both Knox and 1Password...but sent nothing to me about the cessation of support for Knox.

    If my podcast app (which I DO use daily) were to stop working that would be inconvenient, but even in the worst case I would still have access to countless other options for my entertainment, and the security and availability of my private and job-essential data would not be impacted. If Knox stops working, or even if - as in this instance - advertised features of Knox which I had no reason to EXPECT would not work DO NOT WORK then that is much more significant, as it could affect the security and availability of my private and job-essential data.

    This whole episode began when I innocently came to your web site looking for a reason why Knox wasn't working and expecting to find a solution, only to find others asking the same question and Agilebits offering no support but instead celebrating the fact that it was focusing all of its attention and resources on its new family of products.

    I again assert that your corporation's thinking is wrong on this, and that I will therefore no longer endorse your company, NOT because you've chosen not to maintain Knox but because of the way you've chosen to handle that decision: providing no reasonable notice and essentially telling existing CUSTOMERS who have asked for your help that they are on their own.

    For shame.

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @IC_OutWest: I can certainly appreciate that it's easy to put the worst construction on things when you're already upset, but we certainly haven't told anyone that "they are on their own". While legacy apps are no longer in active development, we still provide support for customers of all AgileBits products, including 1Password 3 (or 4) and Knox. If anyone out there has a Mac that can still run 1Password 1 or 2, we'll be surprised but just as happy to hear from them as well, and help in any way that we can. We just won't be able to release updates for any of these.

    We didn't send out a mass email announcing that Knox would no longer be developed, much as we didn't with 1Password 3. And we haven't been "celebrating" that we're focused on 1Password at the expense of Knox. Quite the contrary; it's disappointing for everyone, but the reality is that we don't have the resources to do everything that we'd like to simultaneously. I know this isn't what you or any dedicated Knox users want to hear, but it's the truth. I think that honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to unpleasant situations like this, rather than promising something we're not able to deliver at present. I don't think that's anything to be ashamed of.

  • edited November 2016

    I can certainly appreciate that it's in your corporate best interest to try to spin what is objectively a very bad situation now that it has been drawn repeatedly to your attention. My doing so is in no way putting "the worst construction on things", it's simply stating fact. And, contrary to your assertion, I'm not "upset", rather, I'm profoundly disappointed that a company which I have long admired and promoted, a true Canadian success story, has made such a short-sighted choice and is continuing to defend it. Again, that choice is NOT just your decision to not maintain Knox, but much more your decision to silently abandon Knox. Given the Internet and your mailing list of registered users, it would have been essentially a zero capital cost option to notify your Knox customers of your decision to no longer maintain Knox. Agilebits chose not to do that: a fact which you continue to try to gloss over (for obvious reasons).

    Comparing this decision to 1Password 3 by saying "We didn't send out a mass email announcing that Knox would no longer be developed, much as we didn't with 1Password 3" is utterly spurious and misleading. Agilebits chose to UPGRADE 1Password 3 and I KNOW that you sent out notices regarding this because I upgraded from 1Password 3 to 1Password 4 as a result! Yet not a word from Agilebits about Knox: that constitutes "silent abandonment".

    In Andrew_AG's response he states that "further Knox development is not really happening at this time" (which is vastly overstating the reality, apparently) because the focus of your company's efforts is "almost entirely" on 1Password for Teams ( and 1Password Families ( Your company's representatives have indeed celebrated this focus not only by mentioning these new applications but also by including URLs (to make sure that we can easily find these new applications), and then by SeanFoster emphasizing again that it's "currently all hands on deck in relation to the development and refinement of 1Password Teams, Families and Accounts" and then playfully adding "(it’s surprising how much work it takes to keep 1Password simultaneously polished across 4 different platforms!)". Apparently this quest for new customers is so much work that it's impossible for Agilebits to maintain relationships with its existing customers.

    I had, in my original post (and email to Agilebits) asked, "Would it really be impossible for you to devote just a part of one of your development engineers' time to fixing identified problems with your existing products, even if you are not going to continue with their development?" This question was ignored. I also noted that "leaving a product like Knox an orphan with essentially no notice whatsoever to your existing registered client base seems remarkably short-sighted." This is a core failing by Agilebits.

    I note that in this other Agilebits discussion related to this issue (into which I note you chose NOT to merge this one as you apparently did with others) there are posts from Andrew_AG who said in October of 2015 (a year ago now) "We'll let you know when we've got a fix for you", clearly suggesting that Agilebits would be actively working on this issue ... until it didn't. Then suddenly in February of 2016 the story changed to "our developers haven't been doing any work on Knox at all since this issue began (they're all very busy with 1Password for Teams)". So does this mean that the same Andrew_AG's statement "our development team is aware of the issue and is still looking into it" in October was a lie? Wow.

    I'm obviously not alone here: @nico888 @ewd67 @markke2015 and @freediverx @7hLjVdi6orAdKDcUC9EL @sunfish @Kampf Katze @ianrobo @davidhope @BrennanBones @localboy @spugh @locker @wookie @telebetubbie @rayhaa @kolonelpanik (and doubtless others) have this issue, and possibly this concern, as well.

    I heartily agree with your statement that "honesty is the best policy". In this instance, honesty would have been to let your customers know honestly about your decision regarding Knox. Agilebits chose not to do that.

    What does that say about what @Agilebits has become?

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member
    edited November 2016

    It would be equally short-sighted and frankly a bit rude for us to spam all AgileBits customers, many of whom have never used (or heard of) Knox, to let them know it has some issues on newer macOS releases, and that we're no longer actively developing it. I know that you would have probably appreciated it if we had, but we have to consider others as well. Similarly, spamming others by @-mentioning 18 users in your post: people can subscribe to notifications if they want to receive them. You opting over a dozen people into receiving your message illustrates why we didn't send out an email about this. Andrew offered the best information he had at the time: we explored some options for working around changes in El Capitan, but weren't able to find a workable solution; and if and when we do have news about Knox, we'll post an update here, as promised.

  • edited November 2016

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that spamming all of your customers would be rude. As a company which prides itself on its customer service I bet you wish that you had a list comprised only of those who have purchased Knox from Agilebits, such that you could communicate only with them about a product in which they obviously have a vested interest, having purchased it.

    Oh, wait, Agilebits DOES have such a list! So then why did you choose not to use it???

    In fact, I had (I hope a ridiculously small) subset of that list available to me by simply looking at the authors of comments similar to mine. I didn't "spam" anyone. These are people who clearly indicated their interest in this specific issue with Knox by writing to you about it. Given that fact, how does my "@mentioning them" constitute spam? And how does it "illustrate why (Agilebits) didn't send out an email about this"? Was it because Agilebits didn't want your Knox customers to know that you were abandoning them? You are really clutching at straws here, Brenty.

    And, if you follow the trail of messages in, it seems clear that @Andrew_AG was misinforming (to be polite) the users with whom he was corresponding, rather than offering them "the best information he had at the time". Either that or Andrew_AG was himself being misinformed by Agilebits and was just spreading that misinformation. If, in fact, Agilebits had "explored some options for working around changes in El Capitan", as you just said, then why did Andrew say in February of this year, "our developers haven't been doing any work on Knox at all since this issue began (they're all very busy with 1Password for Teams)"? Taken at face value those statements are mutually exclusive, and again, Agilebits' focus seems to be all about "1Password for Teams".

    Your company made a remarkably poor choice by failing to notify its Knox users of its decision to not support their purchased product at the time that decision was made, and now you are continuing to try to defend that remarkably poor choice. Honestly, Brenty, it doesn't make sense (to me) to be angry with @Agilebits, nor am I angry at you personally. I'm just disappointed, and each time you have written a response that disappointment has only increased.

  • Andrew_AGAndrew_AG

    Team Member


    Our developers did begin to look into this problem when it first cropped up, but that was right around the same time they'd begun work on 1Password Teams (which later turned into 1Password Families and individual accounts), and they realized they wouldn't be able to take the time to actually fix the problem and it was decided that Knox would be removed from sale since they wouldn't be able to update it anytime soon, if ever.

    Now, the main reason we didn't send an email to all our existing customers at that time was because we did still hope to revive Knox development at some point (that's still the hope, although we're not sure whether it will happen or not so we're not making promises we might not be able to keep). Whether or not that was a mistake, there was definitely no nefarious purpose behind the lack of an email being sent. Plus, Knox is still fully supported from a tech support perspective, even if it isn't currently being developed. Either way, though, I do understand your concern and have passed your feedback along.

  • edited November 2016

    Even if that were the case, and given that you are clearly saying that Agilebits decided to "remove Knox from sale" (a concrete action which objectively denotes a product with identified and significant issues) since you "wouldn't be able to update it anytime soon, if ever", why not let your existing base of Knox users know about the identified and significant issue and about Agilebits' associated decision and that, while nothing was going to be done, Agilebits "did still hope to revive Knox development at some point"?

    Something like this:


    Dear Knox User,
    Agilebits has determined that there is an issue creating Knox Vaults on external storage devices under MacOS El Capitan. At the moment we do not have sufficient engineering resources to resolve this issue, as we are focussed on our 1Password Teams product, but we hope to be able to revive Knox development at some point. In the interim we have removed Knox from sale. We wanted you to know about this issue because it could impact your use of Knox. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. We will continue to keep you apprised, because we value you as an Agilebits customer.


    There, Andrew_AG, I just wrote that much-needed email for you! It took me all of two minutes and it would be only a year late (and counting) were you to send it out today. Since such clear and concise wording (and definitive customer-respecting action) seems to be beyond Agilebits, I give you my permission to use this, verbatim, as a communication to your Knox users. While it's way too late for me (and at least 17 others whom I could name and @mention) it's not yet too late for the many other Knox users who are as yet unaware of this issue and Agilebits' response to it. Perhaps @dteare is unaware of this, although that would surprise me since it is his name which most often has appeared on the various communications which I have received from Agilebits.

    Had I received such an email I would not have been happy, but at least I would have been informed and would have felt respected by Agilebits as a customer rather than being surprised, alarmed, and disappointed by Agilebits for its lack of support for this product and, equally important, its blatant lack of concern and respect in choosing not to even inform its Knox customers of this circumstance.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    I'm sorry you feel that way, @IC_OutWest. As far as I'm aware we do not have such an email list (limited to Knox customers who wish to receive email updates from us). In hind sight maybe we should have, but we're well beyond that at this point. I appreciate your passion for this issue and I apologize that we do not have a better solution, and have not had better communication.


  • edited November 2016

    Thank you for your thoughts, @Ben. You're right, I am passionate about this, not least because I used to think of Agilebits as a wonderful Canadian success story, and so I have been sincerely disappointed by how poorly this was handled by Agilebits a year ago and how foolishly that mistake has been repeatedly defended now.

    Agilebits has yet to take responsibility by letting its Knox users know about this issue other than through this forum. That is grievously short-sighted. If you don't have an email list of Knox customers then that is a deficiency as well, and one which could easily be rectified at least for those customers who purchased Knox from you. As "Positive Experience Architect" (a great title which I encourage you to now embody) surely you can see that, even if Knox is going to be set aside (for now) by Agilebits, at least the "better communication" that you mention is still possible by letting your Knox customers know what Agilebits has chosen to do with regard to their purchased and licensed product.

    Apologies are necessary, but they are made sincere by action. Agilebits has yet to take any real action to contact their Knox customers, leaving your and your colleagues' repeated apologies sounding remarkably empty.

    Step up, Ben. Take ownership and do the right thing.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    If you don't have an email list of Knox customers then that is a deficiency as well, and one which could easily be rectified at least for those customers who purchased Knox from you.

    As I mentioned we do not have a means to do what you're asking. We do not have a newsletter for Knox, and our privacy policy prevents us from sending out an email to everyone who has purchased Knox from us.

    at least the "better communication" that you mention is still possible

    I don't see how. If we had a mailing list for Knox I'd agree that we should be sending out a mailing, and would be pushing that we do so. But we don't, and we're not going to violate our own privacy policy to make one.


  • edited November 2016

    So then I will assume that I must be mistaken in believing that I have EVER received ANY kind of communication from Agilebits...since clearly the mailing list to which I believed I was subscribed, and from which I thought I had received countless emails signed by @dteare encouraging me to purchase your products, doesn't exist either...

    Or is that mailing list ONLY used to send advertising and positive promotional information? Is telling your customers about problems with your software is "a violation of your privacy policy". How sad would that be?

    Ok. Enough sarcasm. I hope that the amount of effort that I have put into these posts clearly indicates that I have liked and respected your company in the past and that I don't want to see it make a "big company" mistake of ignoring its existing customers. I have felt, to this point, that my concerns were being ignored or, at best, politely dismissed.

    Come on, @Ben, you seem to actually be engaging on this and acknowledging that there is a problem. Maybe you genuinely believe that you can't send out a specific message about the problem with and the cessation of remedial support for Knox to everyone on your mailing list because that would be "spam" (even if it's not). How about just a sub-heading mention with a link for more information in one of your periodic mailings? Something like "Hey, if you have Knox you'll want to know this". Something to show that your company cares at least an agilebit about its customers. [So, yeah, maybe just a teensy bit more sarcasm ;-)]

    I just took a look at the forum and note that the associated topic "I have upgraded from OS10.10 to OS X 10.11 GM and Knox 2.3.2 can't recognize my external hard disks" has had over 2400 views, more than double the views of any other open topic. To me, that alone suggests that this is a bigger issue for more people than perhaps Agilebits has previously recognized.

    I will again suggest that apologies (even repeated and "sincere" apologies like you and your colleagues have given) ring hollow when they aren't backed up by corrective action. To date, Agilebits has demonstrated no desire to take corrective action, even to the extent of notifying your existing customers of the state of Knox.

    Please change that.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    We've only got one mailing list. The only mailing list we have is made up by and large of 1Password customers. Even you yourself said, just a couple posts above:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that spamming all of your customers would be rude.

    We could keep going back and fourth on this but that doesn't seem very productive to me. You've made your point. You'd like for us to send out an email. And if we'd set up a Knox specific mailing list from the beginning I'd push that we do that too. But I'm not going to push that we email a whole bunch of 1Password users, who have likely never even heard of Knox, to tell them that one feature of that product no longer works on the latest operating system.

    To date, Agilebits has demonstrated no desire to take corrective action, even to the extent of notifying your existing customers of the state of Knox.

    These forums are one of the primary ways in which we communicate with our customers, and as you pointed out a large number of the people who would have interest in this issue have already found out through this channel.

    Sending an email just isn't a practical solution at this point.


  • Ben, you've chosen to select a phrase from an earlier email while ignoring my more recent statement, which I will reprise here for your edification: How about just a sub-heading mention with a link for more information in one of your periodic mailings? Something like "Hey, if you have Knox you'll want to know this". While I agreed that "spamming all of your customers would be rude", it is objectively obvious that Agilebits sends out promotional email to its customers with alarming regularity. I will concede that a dedicated, Knox-focussed email sent to all of your customers might be unacceptable, but how would my more recently suggested inclusion of just one additional bullet point about Knox in a 1Password-focussed email transform that email into spam?

    Similarly, you've chosen to ignore my point that the number of people who have visited the Knox forum and looked at this specific topic suggests that this is an important issue to your customer base, and focused instead on how wonderful it is that they can come here to your forum to learn for themselves that they've been cut adrift by your company, just as I did. I don't have to imagine how that feels, Ben: I have experienced it first-hand.

    For the record, Ben, there is a huge difference between what you consider "communicating with (your) customers" and what I submit is the necessity of notifying your customers when you know something is wrong with your software. And, let's face it, Ben, we both know that there is something wrong with your software when it is clear that it doesn't work as advertised with the currently released version of MacOS - a problem of sufficient gravity that Agilebits has stopped selling and maintaining it.

    I find myself wondering when this same approach will be taken with 1Password.

    Please stop pretending that notifying your customers about problems with Agilebits's software and about Agilebits decisions and actions related to those problems is "impractical".

  • I just received YET ANOTHER "friendly email" from @dteare entitled "Delicious Thanksgiving Updates from 1Password" talking about the wonders of 1Password 6.5 for Mac. Several embedded URLs in there, too...

    THIS is exactly the kind of email that could have just a mention of Knox with an embedded URL for those who are interested/affected. Seriously Agilebits, how "impractical" would THAT be??

  • dtearedteare Agile Founder

    Team Member

    Thanks for the suggestion, @IC_OutWest.

    I spend a lot of time on the newsletters and for each one I end up leaving a lot of great things on the editing room floor. My messages go out to a very large group of users so it's very important that I try my best to make it applicable to as many people as possible. And a big part of that is keeping the newsletters as small as possible as people are quick to unsubscribe from overly wordy newsletters.

    To be clear, this is primarily a 1Password newsletter list. In fact even if 100% of the people who purchased Knox were on my newsletter (they aren't; most never subscribed), they would represent less than 1% of the newsletter list that I sent to. Yes it would help a few people but it would hurt a lot more.

    Anyway, newsletters aside, the bigger issue is that we're simply not supporting Knox and I'm sorry about that – I loved it to. But the reality is newer versions of macOS do enough of these features already that I stopped using Knox long ago. Once that happened I knew it was time to stop selling it. We're not going to sell something we don't love ourselves.

  • Thanks for taking the time to respond personally @dteare. I sincerely hope that you take the time to read the entire thread and not just the last post, as I fear that you may have missed my point.

    I've got to be honest: I don't see how having a single sentence such as:

    "If you use Knox you should click here for important information regarding your product"

    at the end of your 1Password promotional email would "hurt a lot more" than it would help. Rather, it would show that your company cares enough about all of its customers (not just the 1Password customers) to let them know what is going on with a product that they bought in good faith from you. Maybe you really just don't get it, and maybe that is why your subordinates, who doubtless follow your lead, don't get it either. I'd hate to think that that is true, but objectively that seems to be the case.

    I've lost faith in Agilebits, and as I have repeatedly said that makes me sad. Your company has been a Canadian success story, and I have in the past promoted your products to my friends, family and clients. I can no longer do that. Instead, I feel obliged to tell people about your new approach to customer service and customer relations, and how that approach has left me profoundly disappointed in Agilebits.

    What is most depressing for me is that your company does make great software, but without a caring and customer-focused approach great software alone isn't enough. If I can't trust you to tell me honestly - and without me having to ask - when you're no longer going to support your own products then I can't trust you, period. And when I encourage your company to do the right thing and I'm told that you choose not to because doing the right thing is inconvenient or "impractical"

  • dtearedteare Agile Founder

    Team Member
    edited November 2016

    Hello again @IC_OutWest,

    I'm sorry I made you feel this way. I truly am. I'm happy you shared your feelings as it's important I know how you feel so I and everyone else on my team can improve. While I take responsibility for making you feel this way, I stand by our decisions and I'd like to tell you why.

    Please allow me to start with some perspective on how we came to where we are.

    First and foremost, we didn't change anything within Knox to cause these compatibility issues. The operating system that we depend upon is constantly evolving and broke us. I'm not blaming Apple here as they have every right to improve macOS and can't be expected to keep every third party app fully compatible with every upgrade, but the fact of the matter remains that Knox was working in earlier versions of OS X and some features stopped working when the same code ran on newer versions of macOS.

    Fixing the issues that cropped up in newer OS X releases was not a simple matter as the Knox code base uses several legacy Mac OS X APIs. Finding ways to make these old APIs do new things was getting very hard to maintain. We had some updates for Yosemite and El Capitan to keep the core functionality working, but with each subsequent version of macOS it was becoming harder and harder to support all the secondary features. We saw the writing on the wall and didn't want to sell something we couldn't continue to update and improve, so we removed Knox from our store on January 12th, 2016. Here's the code change that made it happen:

    Knox removed from AgileBits store

    Even though Knox was still generating a good deal of sales, we removed it because we didn't want to sell a product that we weren't able to make the best it could be.

    Now with all that said, could we have done a better job communicating why Knox was removed from sale and updated the release notes with the incompatibilities of the new OS X versions? Sure we could. There's always room for improvement. But please allow me to share some of the more human aspects of software development with you to help paint a fuller picture of where we were coming from.

    Before I start, please don't read this as a complaint or a "woe is me" type of response as nothing could be further from the truth. I absolutely love what I do and wouldn't trade it for the world. But the fact of the matter is we work hard and we work very long hours as we're incredibly passionate about what we do.

    My response to you on Thursday night came at the end of a 14 hour marathon day and quite frankly my eyes were getting blurry and my wrists were on fire (I suffer from RSI) so it made it hard to elaborate on all these details at the time. And this response I'm typing now is coming on a Saturday afternoon as I skip out on a family birthday party.

    Where I'm going with this is there are only so many hours in the day, and there's no limit to the number of cool things we can be working on or people in need of help as we're in a very exciting industry. Because of this our team keeps growing, but I truly believe that you require even more focus as a team grows, not less. I watch Steve Jobs' famous Focus is about saying no video often, partly because I miss him so much, but mostly because I think focus is one of the most important parts to running a company.

    Each day I wake up and have a very long list of important things to accomplish, and my entire team does as well. Life is short so we're not always able to finish the entire list, and our ambitions are high so things are constantly added to the list.

    When it came time to remove Knox from sale, there was nothing defective or wrong with the core functionality so it wasn't critical to update our customers at that time. Certainly the thought crossed our minds and I had a pretty cool idea for a really fun blog post where I would take a walk down memory lane and talk about how we acquired Knox back in 2010, how it complimented 1Password really well at the time, and how over the years macOS functionality made Knox less important and our passion for 1Password eclipsed our passion for Knox.

    That would have been a wonderful post and it would have helped people understand why Knox was no longer for sale and I wish I wrote it. But I had many other things to do that week as well and wasn't able to complete that idea. Indeed I wasn't even able to start writing to honest as we had a lot of troubles with the Mac App Store version of 1Password that month so my attention and time was being invested elsewhere.

    Fast forward to September when macOS Sierra was released. I could have given an update to Knox users letting them know the state of Knox on the new OS. That would have been a lovely blog post as it could have taken that walk down memory lane I wanted to do in January. And indeed had this existed I could have made mention of it in my newsletter.

    I would have enjoyed writing this update but again I needed to balance several things. During September we had Yahoo's data leak, 1Password for macOS Sierra updates, and some huge updates for 1Password Teams. So I needed to weigh these things against writing an update for a product that we no longer sold and whose core functionality continued to work on macOS Sierra.

    If things were completely broken on macOS Sierra and data was being loss, I would have acted differently. But that wasn't the case – Knox has been remarkably resilient on newer versions of macOS. For example, I am able install Knox on Sierra, create a vault, mount the vault, and dismount the vault. It certainly had it's quirks as I had to restart Knox before the menu item would appear (I prefer using the menu item instead of the Dock), but Knox did appear and I'm able to use all the features of Knox that I personally ever used. Granted I was never a big power user of Knox, but the core features continue to work to this day.

    I'm not trying to say that the issues you are encountering are not important. Clearly they are. But overall I do believe Knox is holding up quite well on modern operating system. While I know you may not agree with that statement, this is where I was coming from when I was balancing what to work on next.

    I care deeply about our company and our products and I know we wouldn't be here without customers like you. So truly I am grateful for your support as we love what we do. As much as I'd love to have been able to spend more time helping you and other Knox users with these issues, we had to make choices on were best to spend our limited time.

    Clearly you would have preferred us to have made different choices but I hope I've been at least able to show you why we made the decisions we did.

    I truly am sorry I couldn't have spent more time on the things that were important to you. Life is short and each day has a finite amount of time so I'm forced to say no to some things so that I can say yes to others.

    –Dave Teare
    AgileBits Founder

  • Gosh @dteare, you are so clearly missing my point that I find myself wondering if in fact you bothered to read the thread before responding. I have written, repeatedly, that as much as I would love to see Knox updated that isn't the focus of my concern. That focus was on the profound and disturbing lack of communication from Agilebits about the cessation of maintenance and sale of Knox.

    I should NEVER have had to run blindly into the problem that originally drew me to the forum, since it was unquestionably known to Agilebits for almost a year prior, and Knox had been removed from sale fully nine months before I started this discussion with your team.

    You note that Knox was removed from the store on January 12, 2016. You then go on to say "fast forward to September" ... ummmm, Dave, at least on my calendar there are several months between those dates wherein communication of that removal and the issues associated with it could and should have been undertaken. This isn't something that should have taken months, weeks, days or even hours to communicate. In a circumstance such as this, effective communication need not be poetic. Something as simple as:

    "To our valued Knox customers, because of the issues outlined here and here and here we at Agilebits have decided to suspend our maintenance and sale of Knox as we are choosing to focus our limited resources on 1Password - at least for the time being."

    Those "here" references could have been links to the discussion forum posts describing the nature of the issue. Again, ALL of this could have been buried as a single line in one of your numerous promotional emails, informing Knox users without disturbing anyone else.

    Life is short, Dave, and time is therefore valuable not just to you but also to your customers. Under your guidance Agilebits needs to pay better attention to those customers lest, like me, they should abandon Agilebits as surely as Agilebits has abandoned them.

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    Just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't mean they're not listening. I know we don't see eye to eye on this and perhaps just have to agree to disagree, but I did want to wish you a merry Christmas. I hope you enjoy that or any other holidays you might celebrate with loved ones this season. Take care. :chuffed:

This discussion has been closed.