Archive for 2005

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. I have however been laid low for the last couple of days with flu. So I have no real progress to report at the moment.

Still I did yet a reply from the editor of the Visual Systems Journal magazine saying that he would enter a little piece about the release of the Krypton Toolkit in the News section.

I have had a few bug reports and a feedback emails which have been extremely useful in showing were improvements need to be made. The next release needs improved documentation, more extensive example applications as well as the full source for the examples as well.

Well, I am off back to bed. Hopefully this year of back luck (chicken pox, food poisoning and now flu) will end when I get to Australia and sunny climbs!

.NET Bloggers can get a free copy of the DotNetMagic user interface library by putting up a blog entry about the recent release of the Krypton Toolkit. There are no catches and it will say your $399 from the usual retail price.

You can read the details of the offer at…

http://www.componentfactory.com/blogoffer.php

Good news, we have reached our first milestone. The first release of the Krypton Toolkit has now been made and 57 people have downloaded it in the first 24 hours.

So far I have only broadcast it’s availability by creating a message on two different developer forums, Channel9 and a Microsoft Developer Forum. It seems that the majority of the downloads are being generated by the Channel9 message at the moment.

I will be spending the next couple of evenings trying to find ways of letting developers know about the Toolkit in order to try and gain some momentum and start to establish a base of developers that are aware of the library.

There are two objectives for the components that I am writing. The first is to ensure that they look really good so that developers can quickly create professional looking applications. The second is to provide exceptional functionality around the area of managing the application workspace.

The Krypton Toolkit is going to be a free set of components and so can only offer a limited set of functionality. After all, we cannot give away the crown jewels for nothing! But it does need to deliver on the presentation side.

If the developer can use the controls to build a great looking application in only a couple of minutes then you have already impressed them. First impressions count because if you disappoint them in the first couple of minutes they will uninstall and look at another product.

Raising the users opinion of your product is very difficult, if not impossible over the short to medium term. It is much easier to start with a good impression and then work hard to maintaining that so it does not drop in the future.

Our default look and feel for all the controls is going to be called Professional Office 2003. Not a very catchy title but it indicates straight away that it is intended to give a professional look and feel that is consistent with the found in Microsoft Office 2003.

Here is a picture of an application that took about 60 seconds to create.

The distinctive blue color scheme will be familiar to all windows users that are running Windows XP with the default theme. If you switch to an alternative theme such as Silver then it will update to give the following appearance.

Of course, not all users are going to be running Windows XP and so it also mimics the Office 2003 look when used under the traditional windows classic scheme.

This will be our default look and feel because the majority of developers will want to mimic the appearance of Office 2003. Everyone uses the Office suite of applications and so end users will be instantly familair and at home with the appearance.

The second palette I have added to the toolkit is called Professional System and is very similar. Instead of using the current desktop theme to determine the blue/green/silver colorset it always uses the current system colors to calculate the appearance. This look and feel is therefore the same as for Visual Studio 2005 itself.

The next step is to create an easy to use component that the user can customize to create their own palette that is applied to all the toolkit controls and even the menu and toolbar area. That will allow the full flexibility of the controls appearance to be exposed.

You know what great General’s used to do with their armies in the old days. Land at the destination and then burn the ships. That way the troops know that the only way home is to win the battle on the way back.

A great motivator but I doubt it would go down very well today. Well I have been working for myself in my spare time for a few years on different projects and always saying to myself that I would quit the day job when the time was right.

Recently I came to the conclusion that there is never an ideal time to go it alone. There is always some excuse you can throw up to delay it just a little bit longer. In fact the longer you delay it the more of a habit it becomes to wait just a little bit more.

Well enough is enough. I have handed in my notice at work and will be officially freed from the shackles of employment on the 1st of Feb 2006.

But one change in your life is never enough and so I am also moving to Australia (from the UK) at the same time. Not for the rest of my life but to spend a few years enjoying the nice weather, sandy beaches and kangaroo burgers. Surely they have room for one more over there? As luck would have it I married an Ozzie sheila so I can sneak in without being a plumber (apparently they are in desperate need of plumbers over there).

Leaving my job and moving are not exactly the same risk as burning the only ship home but it is certainly a big step. I think it should be pretty easy to motivate myself during the long evenings now I have a date to target.

Now I need to start practicing the local lingo. See ya later cobber.