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C-Ch-Ch-Changes (time to face strange)!
I've had a handful of requests to translate my tools into other languages... so, in light that the web tools have grown organically and there's a *lot*
of spaghetti code (the source code is available to laugh at at GitHub), as of last night I'm rewriting the entire UI in Angular/Foundation 6.
I've got a proof-of-concept already running on my development server. Normally I run this straight off my local drive, but Chrome requires an http connection for calling HTML includes (Cross-Site scripting security, completely understandable).There are key advantages to this:
There are several disadvantages to this switch as well...
- There is a very nice translation module for Angular, if I can get translators, it'll be easy to have the translations for not only all the UI elements, but the data as well (I'm still wrapping my head around how to handle the backend on the massive amounts of text that will be required for the datafiles).
- Once the app is loaded it'll respond faster from page to page.
- jQuery is nice, but Angular definitely seems to be quite a bit faster
- Angular is MVC programming, this makes adding new features, while still keeping everything mostly integrated, a breeze
I have a possible few FAQs about this subject here:"Ok, Gordon, are you taking down your already useful tools while you're rewriting?"
- Older browsers won't be supported. It's time to upgrade from IE8 (really, is this a problem?).
- Do to the dynamic loading of html offline use of the app may not be possible (I'm still researching this)
Nope, this is all going to be internal until release - I'll post a beta link to the new tools when they're better than the skeleton"How long is this going to take?"
It took me the better part of 2 (very part-time, see first post) years to get the tools to the point they are now. I seriously doubt it'll take that long as the Object Logic is mostly or completely compatible with the new version. Angular handles display variables in a way that I'm not used to (compared to jQuery), but as soon as I get my head wrapped around it I'm sure that each tool won't take more than a week. I'm not making any promises, but maybe by the end of summer (North hemisphere). "Will we ever get an honest-to-goodness computer application?"
Not in the foreseeable future, but there are many "wrappers" which I could make this web app an all-in-one application in the future. Updates for such creatures are not nearly as easy as a centralized web page/manifest app."How about Printing and PDF export?"
on iPad and Android have been hit-and-miss (mainly, miss, but Chrome on a desktop works wonderfully). I, personally, use my iPad for 80% of my non-writing and non-programming causal communication and web browsing, so this is extremely important to me."How many languages are you planning on supporting? How can I help?"
I'm planning on having translations for ANY language that I can get a good volunteer or volunteers to edit some files. I plan on making it so that it shouldn't require a programmer to edit the translation files (just be careful with escaping double quotes, but I can help you with that). If you're wanting to help translate, I'm completely open to any help at all. You'll get your name on the credits page, but understand that there is a *massive* amount of names and data that will be needed to be translated."Are you going to finish work on the current tools?"
Probably not - it's pretty feature complete, with the exception of adding sourcebooks. I'll address bugfixes as I have(until I End of Life version 1), but new functionality will not be added to the current SWWT file unless I have to abort this version in development (which is possible)."Is there any way I can help with the development?"
I'm completely open to help. I'm an experienced, professional programmer, but Angular is a new API for me, so I'm bound to make newbie mistakes on the platform. I won't be releasing the source code until I get most of the Core utilities duplicated/improved on the Version 2 preview site (which I will release at a later date, unless I abort this version)."Ok you keep mentioning 'abort this version.' Should I be worried?"
Not in the slightest! Programmers are constantly working with new platforms and APIs and sometimes those experiments just don't work out that well in the end for various reasons. I only mention that so that the layperson can have a heads up just in case this doesn't pan out. The current version will always be there, and if all else fails I'll try to shoe-horn in translations into that - or rewrite it all in a less-haphazard style."Are you going to charge for this version?"
Absolutely NOT! These tool will remain free for as long as hosting is free! (Thank you, GitHub for being so dang awesome). Although I've spent many, many hours and days trolling on the code for this, it's a labor of love not profit."What does it look like right now?"
Like poop as of Feb 10, 2016:
*For the record those are Google Translations for the few German Phrases that are there.
We'll see how it looks in 2 weeks.
Thanks for reading and your interest!