Sunday, April 25, 2010

Standing Back

I’ve taken a step back from the coding of StrokePlay this week to concentrate on looking at things I’ll need when I get towards the end of development.

First up is a website.  I’ve decided to put up a small informational / pre-release website which will initially trailer StrokePlay to allow the site to start indexing on the search engines.  I have a rough outline of what I want to do but I’m weighing up two options:

  1. Bring in a pre-developed template from one of the sites I’d normally use for sourcing such things (like Boxed Art).  It would be quick but I’d need to spend time looking through the numerous templates.
  2. Put together a brief for the site and put it up on Freelancer to get the site going.

I don’t need to make the decision just yet though.  I’m using Freelancer just now for a logo design that I need so I’ll watch and see how that process goes.

Next up was a little future version planning.  I’ve always had smart phones in the list of future versions or add-ons for StrokePlay. To plan for this in the database I’ve started to add some placeholder columns that will be used by the mobile devices.  Top of the list here is the GPS waypoint data.  StrokePlay already captures GPS data from the course information allow the course location to be plotted but I want to expand that further.

Back to coding this week, I need to get a handle on the final scorecard data capture windows.  The application currently captures all of the data you’d see on a normal paper scorecard but I’m working on the additional data used to embellish a round (where did the drive go, were you in the sand, how many putts etc.).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Increased Notification

I’ve made a couple of enhancements to my information notification object detailed in the last post.

Essentially I’ve extended it’s scope somewhat to allow more categories of information to be easily tracked by interested objects and I’ve allowed for notification to pass on some details, in specific instances, of exactly what information has changed.

A basic example comes when a new scorecard is entered, the notification object can now pass around details of the scorecard handle which can then be retrieved from the object warehouse by any interested object.  This tweak means fewer hits on the database to gather modified information which in turn will benefit overall performance.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What, when and by who?

StrokePlay has quite a number of visual elements which keep track of data as it is entered rather than just when something is selected. 

Early in the development of these elements I decided that I didn’t want to have any user requirement to issue refresh requests (F5 key etc.) and so I’ve put in place a basic, but functional, notification object.

It’s nothing fancy, it simply accepts requests from objects in the application to be told when something happens to one or more classes of data.  When something does happen it sends (or posts) a notification via the window message queue and the objects all self-update.

To stop too many updates going on at once I’ve just added some simple logic to the components – if you’re not being displayed on the active window right now then mark your data as dirty and refresh when active.

Simple, basic and stops the user refresh request.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

iPhone calling Exchange, hello, hello, anyone there?

One of the rush jobs I had on this week for a client was to get his Blackberry replacing iPhone connected to the company Exchange server for push e-mail before he went on the family Easter holiday.

Yesterday was a day filled with frustration as I worked through the published instructions, and many suggested instructions, with no sign of e-mail on the iPhone.

Everything looked perfect, SBS2003 setup – check, Exchange setup – check, Router setup – check, iPhone setup – check.  E-Mail arriving – Nope!

I couldn’t see why it wasn’t working.  I could even log on to the Outlook Mobile Access page via a web browser and see the mailbox.

It wasn’t until this morning, after watching a fantastic qualifying session for the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, that I adjusted my Google searches and came across this entry on the 5 Limes blog.

The step that seemed to be missing from every other set of instructions I’d seen was Step 5. Configure IIS

After following this step the test iPhone (i.e. mine!) started receiving pushed e-mails.  The setup instructions for the iPhone have been tested and SMS’d to the client who is currently en-route to the airport.



There’s been no progress on StrokePlay for over a week due to me starting a 6 month period of work with a new client.  This has taken up all of my time and will continue to do so for the 6 month period.

As if that wasn’t keeping me busy enough, I seem to have had a rush of work from other clients and one potential new one.

But, there are always evenings and weekends!

I seem to have liberated my old laptop from my wife’s scrapbooking room too – so I’ll be able to work on StrokePlay without having to lock myself away in the study.

So, a brief intermission whilst I adjust my working hours but progress on StrokePlay will tee off again this weekend.