Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Hmm… with Windows Vista

After successful installation, vista invited me with a fresh new UI. The start menu with inbuilt search, windows sidebar, re-designed windows explorer, high-resolution icons, Aero 3D screen flips, 3D games, Neat new interface for all sort of network related setups, parental control, Bit locker to protect our data, secure, stable, new sleep mode for better power management, index based search…cool bunch of features. I was happy, but my hmm… Started when few things are missing from their native place and few new things are not good at improving user experience.
- Disk defragmenter is less informative this time. No more color bars to check defragmentation status.
- I connected to internet and wanted to check the network speed. It was not easy, I have to first go to “Network and Sharing” screen and then interrogate for required information. Earlier this information used to come in a pop-up when you hover mouse pointer on network icon sitting in system tray.
- Windows media player 11 always starts with “Library” screen and every time I change it to “Now Playing” (so that, I can quickly drag and drop selected audio files and do a relevant equalizer adjustments). I don’t see any option to change the start up screen to “Now Playing”.
- Most user friendly and customizable tool bar is missing from windows explorer!
- In folder options, when you check “show hidden files”, it is so prompt that, it makes hidden desktop.ini files visible on your desktop!
- In windows explorer, the new status bar is not at all helpful when compared to the old one. Still I can enable old status bar from View menu but I didn’t see any option to disable the new one.
- I felt copy progress window unnecessarily eating up little time to calculate time to paste. Well, it really makes sense to inform user about expected time required before starting the actual process. In parallel, any advance user will also look for an option to disable it.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

In This World - 1

“If someone is always busy in pointing out mistakes, there is only one way to stop him. Make him a part of mistake.”

(“In this world” - a lesson which I honestly learnt on posted date/day. words or meaning of statement may match with some one’s view in this world, that’s why these statements are not copy protected and kindly note I am not a philosopher. These are just my true experience note.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007

Srushti.Framework

As soon as I started feeling comfortable with dot net technology my next move was to coming up with range of small utilities that should help and accelerate our daily activities. I just started working towards coming up with generic framework which should be an abstraction to the technical challenges like connecting to multiple database, logging and caching. I built one code generator tool too, which will generate all basic workable classes adhering to the standards laid out in my framework. Soon after finishing the ground work, I put these into production and Flexo came out of it.

Though I was aware of Microsoft Enterprise Library (EL), I dared to workout on my own framework. Reasons were, I wanted to put theory learnt into code and evaluate myself that how good I am in creating generic, scalable and reliable components. After finishing part of Framework, I downloaded Enterprise Library and did a comparision. There were many differences (naturally) and mine required little more maturity (as expected :).

During the construction cycle of framework, I realized many concepts, discovered many possibilities and it helped me to visualize objects and there collaboration rather simply the dot net code. I was able to clearly see design patterns coming to life and sitting in real time scenarios. I admit, I am in very initial stage and have long way to go.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

SrushtiSoft - Web Site Updated

SrushtiSoft has got new look-feel and product information sections. Visit us and send your comments.
www.srushtisoft.com

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Popfly

An online web page creation, mashup, silverlight support and tight integration with Visual Studio.Net IDE - Microsoft's new online free tool "Popfly".
http://www.popfly.ms/


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Skin Design

Flexo is a personal accounting package. Since it is in very initial stage, it tracks only your expenses and generates variety of reports on it. (Recently I included income tracking module which is in alpha stage) In coming years Flexo will extend and mechanize most of money management activities under few button clicks. In parallel to cool features, creating a good and ease of user interface is also a head scratching work. It’s an art too. I don’t want to set more expectation saying that Flexo has very good interface but I feel it has got what it was expected to have.

When you download and check all screens in Flexo, one thing you will sure notice, Consistency. Just open any UI guidelines book, this will be a first statement and there is no way to skip this rule in my software too.

If we think traditionally, the design approach for consistent UI for all forms could be like these,

Create header-footer ActiveX/Custom/User control and place it on all forms or create a static class which has a drawing method to decorate runtime loading forms and thinking further to this, maintain one XML configuration file which will hold all coloring, fonts and size details from which our drawing method gets inspired and brushes it on all forms.

In dot net, we have one cool feature - Visual Inheritance, which allows us to create a master form and inherit this to all child forms. Whatever UI changes you make on a master form will affect all its children. Re-using the idea of above mentioned XML configuration file, use dot net App.config and define all fancy information in it. Associate values from app.config file to master form’s properties popularly known as setting dynamic properties and we are done! Whenever I want to change any color of my Flexo forms I will just update flexo.exe.config file and I don’t have to compile my application to reflect new changes.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It all starts from here

I own a website www.srushtisoft.com, which is an ad-board for my offline works. Right now the site talks over my 3 products (Quick Quest, Flexo and CD Indexer). It tries to give you an impression of big team behind it and commercial availability which may not be completely real but can not be neglected.

SrushtiSoft showcases all my works, gives a shape of ‘product’ by identifying its respective domain. These may not be full fledged solutions but surely addresses basic needs.

It all starts from here. The basic intention of restarting my blog is to share, collate wonderful experiences, worth full-worthless thoughts and many useful-useless actions during my offline work. Most of the time you will find tech talks here and no wonder if you start looking at me as a tech-alien.