Friday, June 19, 2009

ID3A is born

Well, after several weeks of hitting my head against the wall of my imposed deadline, I am releasing ID3A (ID3 Analyser) to beta testers tonight.

There are a lot of lessons learned in this first rush to beta and I'm going to jot them down now so I don't forget:
  • Ruby rules in just about every way. The ease of the programming language provided me the flexibility to bounce the code around and find out where things went wrong faster than any other language I've used before.
  • While I was kvetching about the lack of an IDE last time, I have to point out that FXRuby is so straightforward that one only needs to use google and the API to put pieces together. Case in point, I needed a file dialog form and initially I was afraid that I would have to cobble one together but, the FXFileDialog widget was already created and packed more functionality than I really needed.
  • requires matter - as in where to put the 'require' statement. This should be top level and make sure that the "require 'fox 16' " is the top line. Otherwise you'll have a nice mess in the stdout as FXRuby reloads your requirements a second time
  • Ocra is a funny beast. It's a handy replacement for rubyscript2exe now that the latter is broken due to some changes in the Ruby internals however, it has some of it's own "gotchas" such as: location matters when compiling the Ruby application. Since I was coding on a virtual Windows XP system, I found that if I compiled on the desktop, I could only run it that desktop. Finally, I compiled in the root folder (C:\) and found that it would work in my Vista system's desktop.
I'm releasing a beta first as I want to take another whack at the code and "pretty it up" before releasing the actual source. Since I'm using three OSS apps (ai4r, fxruby, ocra) it feels correct to release ID3A's source code at some point.

I'm grateful that one of my beta testers is none other than Sergio Fierens (author of ai4r) and I found him to be a great resource for a functionality that I wanted to add to my app which wasn't explicitly built into ai4r.

Right now the majority of the beta testers are stock market traders so I expect that there is a strong probability that there may be changes to the application skewed towards that contingent.

While this might seem a far afield from 'rails' it's not - I am beginning to expect that it would be a very simple thing to 'port' RoR onto the desktop.

I hereby dub that project "Drails" (Desktop Rails).

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