Today I officially released the first version of Saladin. I've been preparing the new website, along with the release packages, for a few days, and now it's officially on-line. If you are using Windows Vista or newer and you are looking for a lightweight, user friendly file manager, go ahead and take a look. One of the principles of Saladin is that it is a simple front-end for the Windows Shell, so it relies completely on shell integration for icons, contextual menus, drag and drop and most file operations. Although such approach is sometimes tricky (due to the nature of the Windows API), it allowed me to complete a quite usable version (at least I've been successfully using it for a few months already) in more or less half a year while simultaneously working on WebIssues as my primary project.
I would like to especially thank my wife who's also been testing Saladin and providing useful feedback and ideas. There is certainly still a lot to do, at the very least I would like to create an integrated file viewer and search engine, but the most important thing is that I reached the first milestone with this project and I can go back to working on a new version of WebIssues.
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.