The Reunion and the future of VisualBug

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March 20, 2016

The Reunion and the future of VisualBug

Well it’s been quite a while since I last wrote anything on here. First off, as always, I’d like to apologize for that – but it’s summer and I have do pass my exams, so I hadn’t had that much time to spend on projects of my own. Nonetheless there was quite some progress (though not as much as I’d have liked to make).

Meanwhile my plans have changed a little. Before I talk about VisualBug, I’d like to tell what I am currently working on. It’s related to all projects I have running and it’s very important to do. It is called TwistUI and it’s a WPF UI library which unites all controls I’ve made so far. The problem was that with new projects I copied and modified various controls from other/older projects and thus things got messy. It started with my ProgressRing from TKMap – which does look very cool but always had major issues with bindings, multi-threading and stuff. Indeed I didn’t implement it properly – only so far it worked for TKMap. Well, since it looks really cool, I copied it to VisualBug when I started working on it – and look there, it didn’t work at all.

I had to modify a lot to get it working. Now from VisualBug another (not yet to be mentioned) project split off and I used it there as well. And again, it didn’t work properly. Moreover I created the LiftMenu in VisualBug which was fairly decent. I wanted to use that as well – but with templates and stuff all spread around places it was difficult to re-use in another project.

And here comes TwistUI – the UI framework for all my projects. It will be a hell lot of pain implementing this framework in existing projects since I have to remove duplicates and adapt the projects to all made changes. Especially the LiftMenu has been majorly revamped. A lot of design and template changes and a lot of additions of new features. I will show it off once it’s finished, but for now I have to struggle a lot with smooth transitions and animations.

IntelliSolve will be the next thing after LiftMenu which has to be tested and re-implemented into the framework – as well as improved (there’s still a few features missing I have planned). The great advantage of this is that I can now re-use all my controls in an easy way and maintain them all at once while maintaining correct implementation in all projects. The little downside of this all is that the framework is based on ActiproSoftware’s WPF Suite and thus cannot be published and used by others unless they got a license for that. So for now this whole framework will remain as internal framework. Not saying this couldn’t be published at some point for public usage. It wouldn’t be that difficult to decouple those two, but for now all designs rely on the WPF Suite – so things would look badly if I removed it. I simply don’t have the time for designer work – I got other priorities and one of it is VisualBug. Fancy addition: Theming is also supported, so all controls could be restyled.

VisualBug’s future

Well I said the release was near and yet half a year passed by without releasing it. As always in life, things don’t go according to plans. I assume that I will be a lot more productive during winter again – summer just isn’t a programmers time (if not paid at least). So what is going on?

VisualBug is quite ready. The system is refined and most things are working properly. I wanted to add one component and kinda got lost in complexity (as I always tend to – I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my own software – either it’s great software or it doesn’t exist). So I outsourced this component and will delay things again. Once TwistUI is ready, I’ll implement it into VisualBug, introduce the new features and go into Q/A-phase. Once this is done, I’ll release it for a closed test you will be able to sign up for soon.

During the development of TwistUI I realized again how much potential VisualBug has. I got a lot of inspiring ideas for future features of VisualBug which all help to make great software. I actually wished I would have implemented those already since they would save me insane amounts of time debugging broken animations and stuff. There’s a lot and I mean really a lot of features coming up for VisualBug.

And since VisualBug is right now the most developed and important project, I’ll focus on it until I got that version 1.0 which I can be proud of. So stay tuned! It will come eventually.

 

I’ll leave you with these two animation examples of the ProgressRing (now with value indicator and value interpolation):

ProgressRing with value indicator The Reunion and the future of VisualBug | VisualBug

ProgressRing (Value)

ProgressRing without value (indeterminate) The Reunion and the future of VisualBug | VisualBug

ProgressRing (Indeterminate)

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