Notes (weeks 11-13) – Vacation

April 2nd, 2010

Here’s some quick notes. I took few week long vacation. Nothing special, just chilling. Feeling much better now. I’ve done little bit of work with CE. It looks like the version manager was holding back the progress, so I set it aside for a while and focus on polishing CE. I’ve been rewriting the Stack panel. Also I’m working on a new element called StackBar. It’s similar to Stack panel but it’s a toolbar where you can drag and drop files/folders.

Anyway, new snapshot coming next Friday.

Notes (week 9-10) – Planning and resting

March 17th, 2010

So, I’ve been taking it easy for the last few weeks. About 7 years ago I suffered from burnout. My tolerance for pressure dropped to zero and has stayed there ever since. If the stress gets too high, my body/mind can’t handle it. That’s the reason for these breaks. Usually they happen in fall and winter. I am however working to solve this problem. I’ve tried many different work methods and keep developing new ones so these breaks wouldn’t happen so often. Also I’m in a rehabilitation program so I’m still optimistic in solving this issue.

While I’m resting I usually do music and/or videos as making them helps release stress. Here’s one example:

Sleepless night ridehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ2461n4SOQ

 

CubicExplorer 2.0 and CubicCore

For the past 2 months I’ve been doing some heavy thinking about CE’s future. More specifically I’ve been collecting ideas for CE 2.0. The picture is getting more clearer everyday. At the moment CE is just a bunch of compromises and far from what I envisioned it to be. To make CE work as it should, it’s necessary to start from a blank page and rewrite everything. Of course that’s not literally true because there’s over 80000 lines of code in CE, so I can reuse many things.

CE 2.0 will have completely different way of functioning. Actually, CE will be just a bunch of scripts and templates. All the hard work is done in a separate platform I named CubicCore. Everything will be dynamically created and based on scripts and plug-ins, so there will be unlimited number of ways you can customize CE. Also the UI should be way more stable and hang free because all the real work is done in background.

CubicExplorer 0.90-1.0+ and coming weeks

The development of CE 2.0 will happen side by side with CE 1.0. Also, CE 1.0 will act as a testing ground for modules that will be used in CE 2.0. By modules I mean features like QuickView, FileSearch, TextEditor…etc. So there should be steady stream of snapshots coming even when I’m working with CE 2.0. However, the development of CE 2.0 won’t start until I have released CE 0.90 final. At the moment only piece missing from it is the Version Manager. After that I’ll polish every feature.

Anyway, things are moving slowly but surely. At the moment my main goal is to get back on the horse and start writing some code. I’ve already spent few days in the office so things are looking good. To ease up the stress, I’ve decided to work only 4 days per week. Hopefully that will eliminate these longer breaks.

Notes (week 8) – Finally done and burned

March 3rd, 2010

Here’s last week’s notes. I’ve been rebuilding my work/home environment for the past 3 weeks. It turned out to be quite a can of worms. If I would have known the work amount in advance, I probably would have never started the job. Anyway, I started last week by working with CE but soon decided to finish the install job. There were just too many loose ends to let me focus on CE.

Currently everything is done so I can finally focus on CE. However, there is a problem I need to handle before I can do that. Over the weekend, I suffered a “small” melt down, so I’ll need to recover from that. Since I’ve been working non-stop for few months now, it was inevitable.

Anyway, I’m not sure there will be any progress in CE this week either. So far I’ve been just resting but will try some light work tomorrow.

Notes (week 7) – Building network

February 19th, 2010

There’s been no progress in CE this week. I’ve been rebuilding my work environment which turned out to be quite a big job. Mainly it’s because my central server is now powered by Windows 7 and not Linux which I’m more familiar with. To get all things working together without a problem isn’t that simple it turns out.

Anyway, by trial and error, things are starting to be functional at last. So hopefully I can get back on working with CE next week. As there wasn’t any progress, this weeks snapshot isn’t anything major. There’s only one bug fixed, a bug which I already fixed few weeks ago. The new server should help in preventing mistakes like this from happening in future.

Change Log

  • Fixed sort columns bug in list view mode (again).
  • Updated Turkish translation

CubicExplorer 0.91.0.1253 (SVN Snapshot)
Installer (2.3MB)
Zip (2.6MB)

Notes (week 6) – Symbolic links

February 12th, 2010

This week I’ve mostly been building a new server. One of it’s uses will be to function as a backend to the Version Manager. It will be used to create CE builds and publish releases. I’m using Windows 7 as the operating system. Because my hardware is fairly old, I’ve had to fight hard to make everything work.

Remote connection to server

Since I’ve been using Windows 7 on my laptop for some time now, I’m getting more used to it. I’ve also done some reading on how the UAC works. That information will be useful in making CE fully compatible with Vista and Win7. In this weeks snapshot I’ve added a “Create Symbolic Link” action (read more about Symbolic links). This action uses UAC elevation technique that will be used in the Version Manager if there aren’t any major issues. Let me know if you have any problems with it.

symlink_backmenu symlink_dlg

Change Log

  • Added “Create Symbolic Link” action
  • Updated Spanish translation

CubicExplorer 0.91.0.1251 (SVN Snapshot)
Installer (2.3MB)
Zip (2.6MB)

Notes (week 5) – Only few changes

February 6th, 2010

I had a bit of a relapse this week, seems like I was pushing too hard. This meant I had to take it easy with the work. I did make progress with the Version Manager but wasn’t able to finish it for this weeks snapshot. I did however made InfoBar auto refresh when renaming etc. Also by default, folders are now included in search results. You can control this from Attributes tab:

folder-attribute

Change Log

  • Updated Hebrew translation.
  • Removed border around Drop Stack.
  • InfoBar now refreshes on rename etc.
  • File Search now includes folders to results by default.

CubicExplorer 0.91.0.1246 (SVN Snapshot)
Installer (2.3MB)
Zip (2.6MB)

Notes (week 4) – Bug Fixes

January 29th, 2010

I’ve spent most of the week coding the Version Manager. Unfortunately it’s not yet implemented in this weeks snapshot. Reason for that is Vista/Win7 support which is causing some problems. Past few days I’ve been doing some research on how to fix those problems and also learned how Vista/Win7 works in general (information I’ll need later when I’ll make CE fully compatible with Vista/Win7). Anyway, here’s how the Version Manager looks now:

version-manager

I’ve fixed bunch of bugs for this weeks snapshot. Also I added option in Advanced settings to make CE use jumbo size icons in InfoBar (Vista/Win7 only). Reason why it’s not enabled by default is because I haven’t yet figured out how to get around a bug in Windows itself. At the moment if selected file doesn’t support jumbo icons, a small icon is displayed instead.

On other notes, I’m still keeping little distance to the forum. Since I’m still not fully functional, I’ll have to keep the pressure at minimum. However, I do read all forum posts.

Change Log

  • Added Hebrew translation
  • Added Use_JumboIcons_in_InfoBar option in Advanced settings.
  • UI accessibility enhancements in Translator.
  • Fixed possible crash at CE startup.
  • Fixed crashes in Search.
  • Fixed crash in TextEditor.
  • Fixed crash in Translator sort column.
  • Fixed sort column size remembering bug.
  • Fixed InfoBar multi selection bug.

CubicExplorer 0.91.0.1239 (SVN Snapshot)
Installer (2.3MB)
Zip (2.6MB)

Notes (week 3) – Snapshot

January 22nd, 2010

I used this week mostly to fix my house and to build the work system. I did however manage to design the Version Manager (Online Updater). It’s called Version Manager because it will allow users to make backups/”portable packages” of CE installations. Also it will have an option to roll back to previous versions and snapshots. It’s fairly simple to code so we should have a working prototype in next weeks snapshot.

I also fixed some bugs:

Change Log

  • Fixed filter bug when changing tab.
  • Fix try for “list index out of bounds” error in search.
  • Fixed selection issue when using Info Bar.
  • InfoBar now gets information in background.

CubicExplorer 0.91.0.1228 (SVN Snapshot)
Installer (1.9MB)
Zip (2.2MB)

Notes (week 2) – Polished Info Bar and CE’s future

January 15th, 2010

I spent some time polishing the Info Bar this week. I’m pretty happy with the results. It now has some text formatting to make it more pleasant for eyes. Also the thumbnail image is resized smoothly now. The file information shown comes from Windows (same info as you see when hovering mouse over file in Explorer). That means I have little control over what information is shown. However, it does allow people to use 3rd party extensions to add more information. Plans are to make Info Bar customizable but at the moment it’s not top priority.

Polished Info BarSmall sized Info Bar

So what is top priority at the moment? Hmm, I’ve been thinking about CE’s future whole week. There are two important areas that need to be fixed:
 
1. The layout scheme (panels, toolbars, dual/multi-view etc.). It’s almost ready, only some finishing touches are needed.

2. The file system handler. This is a big one to do. At the moment I’m using Jim’s Delphi components to handle most interaction with Windows file system. However, while it’s a fine component package, it’s not quite optimized for CE’s use. So, I’ve been playing around with an idea of creating my own tools. This would make it possible to add some interesting features (virtual folders/files, ftp and other network protocol support, instant search/filtering, offline access etc.). The new handler would be database driven so it should be pretty fast.

However, the top priority goes to online update feature. That’s a feature i think everyone (including me) will enjoy. Also it allows me to release daily snapshots for testing purposes. I’ll start working with this feature next week. Once it’s done I’ll try to fix as many bugs as possible and release official 0.91 version.

Anyway, here’s the snapshot…

Change Log

  • Added “Clear Filters” button
  • Enter key now starts search
  • Fixed crash on Search end (fix try)
  • Updated Spanish translation
  • Updated Italian translation
  • Polished Info Bar

CubicExplorer 0.91.0.1223 (SVN Snapshot)
Installer (1.9MB)
Zip (2.2MB)

Notes (week 1) – Info Bar

January 8th, 2010

Getting back to work this week. Little slow start as always after longer break. However, I did make some nice progress. I fixed few bugs that have been bugging me since the last snapshot. The enhanced tooltip introduced in last snapshot turned out to be quite nasty when browsing network drives. So I removed it for now.

Biggest change in this snapshot is the Info Bar. I’ve been using Windows7 quite a lot lately and it has similar thing which I like a lot. CE’s implementation of the bar is little different and there’s still work to do until it’s done. The finished solution will be customizable and there will be some editable fields (file name for example). For some reason the thumbnail does not have proper aspect ratio in Windows7. I didn’t have time to fix it for this build but I’ll do it next week.

Info Barinfobar-menu-item

Change Log

  • Added Info Bar.
  • Added Romanian translation.
  • Updated Greek translation.
  • Updated Russian translation.
  • Enhanced file search.
  • Removed InfoQuery hints.

CubicExplorer 0.91.0.1214 (SVN Snapshot)
Installer (2.2MB)
Zip (2.5MB)