When this website was created five years ago, there was little more than a few articles and an early version of Fraqtive. It was simply a continuation of my personal site at the university web server which I created in my spare time while I was a student. It turned out to be just the beginning of an exciting adventure with open source development. The fact that I kept working on the same projects for such a long time was perhaps the biggest success.
Back then in 2005 I created the first prototype of WebIssues as my master's thesis and I wasn't even thinking about continuing it, not to mention publishing it. Now I'm making great progress in working on version 1.0 and the release I made just yesterday was another important milestone on this very long road. It may not be the most popular program in its class, but it has its loyal and satisfied users and that's the ultimate goal of every open source application.
At the same time I'm also progressing in completing the first version of Saladin, the dual pane file manager for Windows which I announced some time ago. Unlike my other projects, this is a very recent idea and also a new approach to development: I'm simply creating an application that I am using myself on a daily basis. As Windows 7 is quickly gaining popularity (last month I had almost exactly the same visitors using Windows 7 as those using all variants of Linux), this may turn out to be a good choice. Although my time estimates are often quite wrong, if everything goes well in January you can expect the first version, which will already be quite functional.
There is another photo gallery in the Photos section, this time from the honeymoon trip to Madeira. Since the first question most people ask is "where is it?" - it's an island located on the Atlantic Ocean, about 500 km north from the Canary Islands and 700 km west from Morocco. It's not very big (57 km long and 22 km wide) and politically it's an autonomous region of Portugal, so it's one of the most exotic parts of the European Union.
You won't find anything interesting there if you're looking for night life, clubbing and rich all-inclusive offer. Especially if you stay on the northern side of the island, like we did. The hotel was literally wedged between a very steep mountain slope and the shore of the ocean; the nearest town had just one church and a few shops. But it's a great place if you are looking for a place away from civilization and enjoy the view of mountains, forests and the sea. It has a very gentle climate - not too hot or too cold - and a lot of sun. Within the last 10 years a new airport and modern roads were built, so the communication is also very good.
I returned from vacations two weeks ago (in the meantime briefly visiting Slovenia as a member of my company's management team) and it's been quite a busy time. Very soon you can expect a new stable release of the WebIssues Client with some bug fixes and new translations. I'm also in the planning stage of the third alpha release of WebIssues 1.0. Saladin, which I introduced in the last post, it also coming into shape and in fact I'm already using it as my personal file manager. But I would like the first public version to make a really good impression, so it's going to take a while before I release it.
I already mentioned the side project that I'd been thinking about for some time; because I actually made some progress with it, I think it's time to reveal the secret. I started thinking about this project when I switched from Windows XP to 64-bit Windows 7 (which was a great step forward, I must admit) and I was looking for a free dual-panel file manager which would be working nicely with it. To my surprise, most such programs are 32-bit only, which make it difficult to work with various shell extensions which are in turn 64-bit. The only one which I found and I'm using at the moment is slow and crashes a lot. So I thought that creating such program by taking advantage of both the newest Windows Shell API and the Qt framework wouldn't be very difficult, and that's how the idea slowly started to grow and coming to shape.
The name "Saladin" is obviously a sort of a tribute to Krusader, one of the greatest file managers for Linux. Obviously I'm not endorsing the "holy war" between Windows and Linux on either side; actually I've been promoting cross-platform software for a long time. But I decided to make an exception and this time create a project which is not only purely Windows-oriented, but what's more, requires at least Windows Vista or newer. That requirement makes creating it significantly easier and that's exactly what I need, because I don't wish to spend a lot of time working on this project; it's supposed to fulfill my own requirements in the first place and conquering the world is not its purpose.
OK, enough puns; I'm obviously going to publish the first version of Saladin as soon as it's more or less usable and we'll see where it goes from there. But working on version 1.0 of WebIssues will remain my first priority in the nearest future (like it's been for 16 months already). I just released the second alpha version and I'm going to start working on the most difficult part after returning from vacations. I'm also planning to release version 0.9.7 of the client quite soon, because it's been a while since the last stable version was released and some bugs were discovered that need to be fixed. So a lot of work awaits me by the end of this year and I hope that when it's done, I will be able to dedicate more time to other things.
I had some time today to publish photos from two most important events of June - our wedding about which I wrote last time and the Sonishpere Festival which I also announced. Instead of writing a long description this time I just want to invite you to view those two photo stories. I'm still recovering after the festival (I probably sang too much and I ended up eating antibiotics) but at least it was a very memorable wedding trip.
The wedding took place on Saturday, June 5th in Czermna, a village located in a beautiful foothill area between Tarnów and Jasło in south-eastern Poland. Even though it had been constantly raining for a few weeks, the weather forecast was very optimistic. The wedding party was organized by a restaurant and everything else was also settled so we didn't have to worry about anything. The first sign that something might go wrong was on Thursday evening, when after a few hours of thunderstorm with heavy rain the local stream started raising and overflowing into the surrounding fields. Our house was on a hill so we were safe and we still hoped that this was just local and the water level would start falling down soon, as on Friday morning it was not raining any more. However soon the rain started again and the water quickly started raising and at 2 p.m. we got a message from our restaurant that it was completely flooded.
The situation looked really hopeless, but a lot of people helped us and within a few hours we had a new hall in the local school, decorations, cooks, provisions and everything else. We also managed to find another hotel for our guests but we feared that they wouldn't be able to come because many roads and bridges in the area were completely destroyed by the water. We saw houses sunk to the rooftop and people being evacuated by helicopters and it was very sad and discouraging. Just before sunset the clouds disappeared and Saturday was indeed very warm and sunny; most water drained or evaporated and the only traces were broken trees and washed out soil. Eventually everybody managed to come and later they said that both the wedding ceremony and the wedding party were great. So even though it wasn't exactly as we planned, it was an opportunity for the whole family to unite and everybody was quite impressed how we managed to overcome the difficulties.
I will publish some photos in about two weeks, when we get them from out photographer. We're planning to have a honeymoon trip to Madera in September and that's another good thing in having a wedding party in a gym hall rather than in a restaurant, because we have some money left and we can compensate all discomforts of the wedding in an all-inclusive four-stars hotel. This weekend on the other hand we are going for a short trip to Prague because the Sonishpere Festival takes place there and I want to see Metallica one more time. We could go to Warsaw as well but this city hasn't got enough infrastructure for everyday not even mentioning large concerts and after going to AC/DC concert a few weeks ago I told myself that I'd never do that again. Besides my wife has never been to Prague and I promised to take her there so it's a great opportunity. We're also planning to spend time more actively this summer, riding a bicycle and going to the swimming pool regularly. We can only hope that after two big floodings the weather in Poland will finally go back to normal. In the meantime I managed to make the first alpha release of WebIssues 1.0, which I'm very proud of, and I also have a lot of work before the final version is complete. On the other hand I'm feeling a bit tired of this project again and I'm thinking about doing another small, experimental side project for a while. Time will show how I will be able to manage all of this.