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Sixth anniversary

This year's anniversary of the mimec.org website coincides with two very important events. First, I'm finally releasing version 1.0 of WebIssues. It's been the longest development cycle I've ever made, as it took about 2.5 years; in that time I (and other contributors) made about 1,000 commits into SVN, and published nine pre-release versions. The popularity of this project is also continuously growing, reaching about 15,000 downloads this year, and a few weeks ago WebIssues was one of the featured projects of SourceForge.net main page. But the most important thing is that I managed to put all the long awaited features into it, and it became a really unique, innovative project, which can compete even with commercial software.

The second, even more important event, that we're impatiently awaiting with my wife, is the birth of our first son. All indications are that it's going to happen right after Christmas. This is really going to be the biggest and most important "project" in the next few years :). Starting next year, you can expect some new photo galleries to appear on this site, especially that we're going to continue visiting various interesting places in the world, as it seems to be the most reasonable way to spend money in these uncertain times.

Hopefully I'm still going to find some time to continue working on various other things:

  • I'm planning to update the mimec.org sites, refresh their appearance a bit and update some content, for example by publishing new versions of some articles.
  • I'm also going to continue developing Saladin, as it's a great, promising project that also deserves a bit of attention.
  • There's still a lot that can be done with WebIssues, so after some time off I'm also going to return to it. I'm also seriously thinking about starting some professional services related to WebIssues, such as paid hosting, support, etc., but time will tell what will come of it.
  • There are a few other ideas that keep circling in my head, for example a bazillionth version of the Misc computing language interpreter, a novel that I recently started to write, etc.
Filed under: Blog

I (Am)bassador

A few weeks ago WebIssues became a member of the Qt Ambassador Program organized by Nokia in order to promote Qt development. I got a shiny new Nokia C7 phone and I must say that I like it, even though I was generally very skeptical about touch screen mobiles. Obviously Noka's goal in giving away those phone to Qt developers was to encourage them to create applications for Symbian. I don't know if they will be able to defend against growing domination of Android and iOS, but I've been using various Nokia phones for many years (starting with the iconic 8110 model known from Matrix) and I'm kind of attached to this brand. Besides I've been thinking about a mobile WebIssues client as an addition to desktop and web clients for a long time and now that I have the right tools, I will definitely return to this idea once version 1.0 is released.

Being an ambassador of Qt I feel that I should write about it more often, not only in form of articles, but also as a regular blog. The articles became quite outdated; I created a completely new XmlUi toolkit which is already available as part of both Saladin and the alpha version of the WebIssues Client. It replaces traditional menu bar and toolbar with a single ToolStrip control which is similar to the Ribbon known from MS Office, but much simpler. It also incorporates a simplified version of the WindowsModernStyle. Last week I also decided to replace the RDB classes with SQLite based storage which will make the desktop client much more scalable as it won't have to store the entire data cache in memory. The whole subject of integrating Qt with SQLite turned out to be quite complex, so I will write more about it soon.

Filed under: Blog

Fifth anniversary

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.

Filed under: Blog

Back from Madeira

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.

Filed under: Blog

Preparations

Both projects I'm involved in are close to their deadlines. The project I do "for living" will soon have the first release for 18 months and it's going to be quite a big event. However all coding is mostly done and the client is far behind with testing, so it looks like I'm out of the woods now and there will be no big rush in the nearest future. I have to devote more time to WebIssues because I have still a lot to do and I must make the release before the end of this month (i.e. before the wedding).

Initially I thought that the first alpha version will be done by the end of last year, then I moved the deadline to the first quarter of 2010 and I'm still far behind. At the moment there are no big changes and actually some of the features that existed in version 0.x will be temporarily removed (including watches and notifications), but on the other hand there will be a web client which is being created from scratch, without relying on any third party framework, and actually a custom sort of a framework is being created along the way.

I'm very satisfied with the results, but in the initial phase it requires a lot of work and rewriting some things many times until a good, reusable solution is reached. Fortunately there is no pressure from marketing or sales (I guess that's one of the freedoms associated with free software). Besides I'm a bit oversensitive when it comes to code quality, but I treat WebIssues as some way of dealing with bad code offsets (although I must admit that my commercial project is not particularly bad code given the industry standards ;).

Filed under: Blog
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