Brief apology and status update

Subscribe to Brief apology and status update 3 post(s), 2 voice(s)

Avatar Morgan Schweers Administrator 1,204 post(s)

I’ve been involved in a number of things lately that have sucked my time away from JBidwatcher.

Mainly the transitioning out of my current place of employment, preparing for being immobile for a month and a half following some upcoming surgery (fixing the portion that never healed from the LAST time I had a major surgery a year ago), interviewing and landing a job for when I’m recuperated, and preparing to move to where the new job is. Most of that has been done, the surgery is roughly 2.5 weeks away. With luck, I’ll be off the painkillers within a week, and able to do some JBidwatcher programming while I’m laid up.

I’ve been keeping tabs on the bugs and such, although I haven’t responded to most messages. The fixed price/buy-it-now only bug (showing ‘null’ in the current price column) is fixed in CVS, ready to go whenever I launch a new release.

The primary problem with doing a new release is that I made a lot of changes to the UI table-layout code before things got crazy for me, and the column management code still has mild behavioral issues (not sorting quite right in some places, for instance).

I need ‘calm time’ to fix all this, and make it all work better.

I also REALLY wanted to find a good fix for the time-slip problem, before releasing. That one is still extremely frustrating, as I haven’t figured out WHY it happens yet. I can replicate it, but none of my attempts at fixing it have cleaned it up all the way.

‘Best’ is enemy of ‘good’, so if I can’t fix the time slip, I’m trending towards potentially still releasing a new version, but I need calm-time to focus on the code and fix it up in any case.

Outside of proxy issues (I recognize them, some I can fix, others I can’t), JBidwatcher is functioning well for the vast majority of my users.

I’ll try to help as much as I can, getting things together. I’m hoping to answer all my post-Jan 1 email this weekend, but it’s going to take a lot of focus from me to do that.

That’s my current status, and the status of the project. Please feel free to contact me, and ask any questions, and I’ll try to answer to the best of my ability. I’m cross-posting this on my blog and the two JBidwatcher discussion groups.

— Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

Avatar (SF) bharèk... 5 post(s)

Thanks for the update, i can’t believe no one replyed to this yet. I wish you good luck with the upcoming surgery, it’s next week i understand?

As for the new realease, will it be possible to bind searches to tabs? Furthermore I personally think it’s a good idea to seperate the ‘current’, ‘complete’ and ‘selling’ tab from other tabs because they serve different functions. It will then for example be possible to have an item listed under the ‘current’ tab as well as under a custom tab. When it expires it will be listed under the ‘complete’ tab and still under the custom tab (with a different color).

Again, first of all, good luck with the surgery!

Avatar Morgan Schweers Administrator 1,204 post(s)

Searches can ‘create’ tabs, by renaming the search in the search manager. If it’s named something other than ‘New Search #’ (where # is a number), then it will create a tab with whatever name it was given, when it finds anything.

That said, I agree 100%, items should be able to be in multiple tabs at once. Architecturally, this is hard right now, but I’m working on making it easier as I go along.

One big thing I try to avoid is having the program be too complex for easy use. Right now, for example, a lot of people don’t even realize you can right-click on tabs, and perform actions on them. I need to figure out a way to ‘expose’ that behavior. Similarly, I want to build a way to ‘filter’ between tabs, but that almost requires a mini-language to support it.

These are all problems of determining how much of the power of the program to expose, and how to make it easy for anyone to figure it out.

At the same time, there are other problems like figuring out how to allow for auto-updating the ‘strings’ file that JBidwatcher uses, so that problems like the recent ‘Price’ vs. ‘price’ on fixed-price eBay items can be fixed without requiring a rev of the software.

Then there’s customizable columns, allowing arbitrary sets of columns, so that everyone can customize their item displays.

It’s all stuff I want to work on, but I’ve been swamped with ‘life interruptions’, like having teeth removed, surgery, leaving job, finding a new one, and the frustration of having one BIG bug that I couldn’t get past. (Which I believe I’ve gotten past now, more details in another post.)

Anyhow, hopefully as I go forward I’ll be able to address more of this, and maybe get a few really great releases out this year.

This last release has been incredible, running four-plus months without a new version being necessary. The major problem has been the time-slippage, and now eBay’s rewrite of the fixed-price items, but all told it’s been remarkably stable.

The next release won’t be VERY different, but I plan for it to have the seed for making larger changes in the future.

— Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!