Saturday, 24 January 2015


Saturday has been about my exhaustion. I'm just knackered. A long week has finally caught up with me.

I've also given up attempting to say when I'm going to launch my software. I want to say 'next week, definitely' but I fear putting a jinx on it. The past week has been a hectic one but I'm now at the point where I could launch it right now. Everything is done. Everything seems to work. However, showing it to a couple of people has resulted in my adding a few new tweakable options. I'm trying to make more features available to registered users, albeit they're largely cosmetic features such as custom colour schemes and (late last night) an option to have your own skinned background.

It's probably/definitely gilding the lily, if what I have here is in any sense a lily. It does what it does and people will either want it or reject based on how well it fulfills that. The rest is simply my indulgence.

One unexpected result of this tweaking has been my discovering a weakness of using Windows Forms, which I now realise take an age to update. A little research has explained why and now I discover that whilst Forms are relatively easy to program, the future of Windows development is something called 'WPF' or 'Windows Presentation Foundation'. Luckily, the 8 in 1 book on C# I bought for £1 yesterday has an entire book devoted to WPF, which I tried to read this afternoon but my brain shut down and I fell asleep.

But this is vague rambling. I still need to find one cartoonist who'd be willing to try this software for me and to see if they find it useful. A little input would boost my confidence and might actually make me commit to this little bugger.


  1. Once upon a time, many years ago, I had an idea for a bit of software for the Commodore Amiga (I did say many years ago) involving the manipulation of Bobs. In those days, Best Beloved, amateur software of this sort was not looked upon as a means of Getting Rich Quick(ly) but should one send it off to one of the many magazines that were interested in This Sort of Thing could gain one a measure of kudos within the Geeks Who Write Amos Basic Programs Community.
    So, Best Beloved, did I write the code to manipulate the Bobs and send it to the Magazine for lots of bonus points of kudos? Well, Yes and no. I wrote the software but, before I could save it to a floppy disc, put it in an addressed Jiffy bag and post it with a handwritten descriptiion (couldn't afford a printer and libraries weren't as well equipped and generous as they are now), [where has this sentence got to? Right I now refer back to the but], I could see a little tweak that would improve it immensely. And while writing that tweak I thought of a whole new use for th software if i just did this...
    You have no doubt assumed, Best Beloved, that the software was never finished and never sent to the computer magazine that would have published it and given me so much much needed kudos. Well Yes and No. It was finished many times. In modern parlance it would probably be known as Rotabob (for that was it's rather corny title) 14.4 or thereabouts ( the convention being as I understand it that changes to the unit are for major revisions while changes to the decimal part are for minor revisions and odd for a beta test, even for a stable release). But did the floppy ever enter the open Jiffy Bag? I'm afraid that this relationship remained unconsummated.
    So my advice to you is don't try to perfect your software coz it ain't gonna happen. Cast your bread upon the waters, and let the seagulls who follow your trawler rip it to shreds. Then go and do it better. Seems to work for Bill Gates.
    And if your software is supposed to inspire creativity why liimit the testinng to cartoonists. Other creatives, writers, musicians, photographers (hint) etc. need iinspiration too

  2. Very wise words, Nathan. When I was taught nothing about computers back when I did my computer degree but taught endless nonsense about 'business' (it was back when computer degrees hasn't properly been established), I was taught one valuable lesson about 'mission creep'. That's what I'm very aware of now. I will launch it in the coming days but having to rip out the SQL database delayed me. Plus, your last point is very pertinent, I'm just tweaking the website so it doesn't just appeal to cartoonists. Thing is: it might not appeal to anybody. All I know is that I use it myself and find it very useful. Just wish I could run it by some (non-family) testers before launch. That's my one and only real concern now.