February 27, 2003

Well, as Phil and Duane have already commented, Blog 7.1 is out :p Incidentally, Phil wrote me a detailed e-mail pointing out certain things that can be changed in Blog for the better (sorry about not responding yet Phil – just wanted to take the time and respond at length …) and while I was inclined to hold back 7.1 to add some of his suggestions, none of them were really bug fixes (except perhaps for one) and so I felt it would be better to integrate his suggestions into Blog 8.0. The one thing he pointed out that could qualify as a bug is the fact that Blog does not work around FTP failures gracefully – I did look into the code to see if that could be fixed quickly but turns out that is going to need some major overhauling of the publishing code to allow Blog to skip publishing a site if it encounters an FTP error on that site and to go to the next one. I sometimes get Blog to do that by clicking the Close button while in the middle of a publish (if it fails FTP or waits on FTP) but that’s not always reliable :p

Anyway, now that Blog 7.1 is out, I’ve been considering the next step for Blog and the direction it is to take. I’ve decided to put aside my fanatical observation of the executable file size and to add a few things which would probably increase the executable size greatly but make Blog functional and look good – of course, you may not agree with me :p I’ve already started on this road by replacing the current Blog menu with ActionBars so that the menu will have the Windows XP style and will look good. The reason that I didn’t use ActionBars before was because I couldn’t figure out how to do the dynamically created custom snippet menu and now that I’ve finally figured out how to loop through action bar items, I think it will work fine. In fact, I learnt a bit more about action bar handling through this change and was able to change even the custom snippet toolbar code to make it easier to read and to code :p

Other than the UI changes, I am also planning on adding an auto-update feature to Blog so that users can be automatically informed of new releases and download them immediately from inside Blog. There are two reasons for this particular feature – the obvious one being the ease of use for the user but the other one is the fact that I am thinking of releasing interim/preview releases for those who might be interested in bleeding edge stuff to test while on the road to 8.0 :-) Based on how long it took to release 7.1 and the fact that I’ve been growing increasingly busy, I have a feeling that 8.0 might be a good ways off, especially since it’s going to involve major UI, database and code overhauls. So I thought I’d do a quick release first with some of the minor UI modifications and the auto-update feature built-in and then put up preview releases as and when I get to a new plateau of stability and usability. That way, interested users can keep up with development and hopefully find bugs that I might have missed. What do you think? :-)

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Posted by Fahim at 6:41 am   Comments (0)