Thursday, November 3, 2011

Normal Service Resumed

A temporary StrokePlay development hiatus has just finished. 

The end of a client contract required my full attention so the StrokePlay development experienced a pause.  But, with a new contract secured and a few days between contracts I can focus on finishing off the next release.

The core contents of the new release remain the same as before with one more addition.  In the Raw Stats the putt details now include 1 putt in addition to the 2 & 3 already shown.

Some additional refactoring of the code resulted in much more consistent handling of the statistical data which corrects some differences between the charts and the raw stats.  Similarly there was corresponding refactoring, and in some cases complete re-writing, of a few SQL statements which, as a side-effect, improved the performance of the raw stats SQL.

Finally, I’ve amended some of the charting code to take account of larger numbers of labels on pie charts in order to avoid the labels colliding in the display areas. 

As mentioned in the previous entry, the biggest change in this release is the reworked scorecard entry.

The current scorecard looks like this:


This version places all data entry, with the exception of round notes, on to a single grid.  Post-launch I decided this wasn’t going to work going forward and comments from new users showed that it could, initially, be intimidating to use.

With that in mind I’ve re-worked the scorecard and it now looks like this:


You can see that the common round details area is virtually unchanged and the overall look is very similar, retaining the tabbed notebook but just moving it into the window and splitting the data into areas which are consistent with the dashboard.

I also replaced the drop downs which were previously used to capture ball position after the tee shot with custom control which is much simpler to use and read.  Another small enhancement was in the capture of round notes.  There is now a visual indication when a hole or round note is recorded making it easy to see where data has been added.

What all of this is intended to do is make data entry for users who just want to record basic details much simpler whilst retaining the ability to enter all of the data previously captured for the more advanced users.  It also greatly enhances the ability to extend the scorecard to capture additional data, something that I’ll be doing in future point releases.

In my own day to day use of the new layout I’ve found it to be much simpler to use and much easier to go back to and add additional details.

I think it also uses colour more effectively (less is more in this case) to aid clarity.

The release is locked now, with final testing under way.  I’ll need to take a little extra time on this one to go through the updates to the help files to cater for the new scorecard layout.