Well, the fishing trip went well and I learned a big, big thing about myself…
I cannot code on a bus.
I have always suffered from motion sickness, but man alive I had no idea how difficult it was for me to do something as simple as just sketch ideas. Combine that with a feeling of, “I really shouldn’t bust out the giant, shiny laptop on a bus system on which a nice camera was already stolen.” and absolutely nothing was done on the travel diary project.
Which isn’t exactly a true statement. Code-wise nothing was done, but data was collected and the basic functionality more clearly defined. It is, of course, always prudent to know where you’re going when designing any application, and I believe I have a more narrow focus for version 1.0. Additionally, much work has been done on my own to make certain I feel comfortable with the differences between AppKit and UIKit. I really cannot thank the good folk at Stanford for making the CS193P class freely available, with all course handouts and slides. While the early episodes contain content that I can breeze through, the latter ones focus in keenly on those things unique to UIKit.
Sales for filewrangler 2.0 continue to trickle in, and I can really only blame myself for not getting on the stick about pushing 2.1 out. I knew I wouldn’t have much time to devote to development between the initial release and now, and I’d rather the software be put to use and generating bug reports than sitting on my hard drive, unused and unloved. Interestingly enough, there have been zero bug reports on filewrangler 2.0 to date. I’m not sure what to make of that statistic.
So, here’s what’s going on…
1. iPhone/iPad travel diary app. It is in the “interface sketch” stage right now. Then comes some additional studies/research into Core Data and iOS SDK things. Then I think the app itself can be pulled together rather quickly. It isn’t trying to be all things to all people, has a narrow focus, and a clearly defined purpose. Once the data model is nailed down, manipulation of said data should follow established methodologies in other similar apps.
2. filewrangler 2.1 Audit all class implementations with a fresh set of eyes. I’ve no doubt there is some low hanging fruit as far as algorithm optimizations. The code that creates the draggable panels can be abstracted and consolidated quite a bit. Additionally, in talking about the functionality in person with other developers I finally made a mental breakthrough on the internal model for the filters and builders being members of an as-yet-undeveloped super class called a Worker. Every Worker contains a Panel, and I believe this may be the ultimate internal abstraction, giving me a nice generic way to think about the future directions for the software. There is definitely some redundant work happing with filters and builders, which I can optimize for better performance.
Those are the small things and clean-up things I need to do. For new features, I think 2.1 will introduce File List support, allowing for line item editing of individual files/folders, and possibly even manual reordering of line items such that a sequencer will affect your file list in a known way, rather than relying completely on the Finder-generated list order. Additionally, filewrangler’s first international localization will be applied. Very likely this will be in Japanese as it is a language I have familiarity and interest in, and will help me build portfolio material for possible future jobs there. However, German and Italian are probably more important to the product’s success, according to the registered users and Google Analytics. For now, start with what I know.
3. New job. I recently started a contract-to-perm iPhone/iPad developer position with Eveo. Some real long-term Cocoa experts on our small mobile team; I’ve no doubt I’ll be learning quite a lot over the coming months, especially with regard to diligence on my part to code at night after having spent a whole day of coding for work. However, I do feel filewrangler 2 and the travel diary have real utility and I wish to continue contributing in whatever small way I can.
Thanks again to those who have supported filewrangler 2.0 financially thus far. I really cannot express how happy I am that there are people who feel the program is worthy of their hard-earned money. Of course, the “new mail” sound of the iPhone now triggers a, “Did I get a new sale?!?!” Pavlovian reaction. There are tradeoffs in everything in life, I guess.