Thursday, October 30, 2008

Installer and Optimizer

I've been working on the installer for a sample stand alone quiz application. Like everything else it ends up getting stalled with more small problems. The latest was a tough one that took me a few days to find. When I built the application as a "Release" application which removes debug information and optimizes the machine code of the application. At that point it started having really strange problems and the only way to debug is by printing information to a log file. After a lot of digging I found a simple boolean variable that was not being initialized. All that work for a simple variable that wasn't set. Now I'm back to working on the installer and general application cleaning. Good progress.

As usual if you are going to wait on your purchase, I offer free upgrades for everyone who purchases within 6 months prior to an upgrade so it won't cost you any extra if you purchase today. Plus, upgrades are going to be $10 (maybe $15) so it's not like it'll be unaffordable.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cleaning and Polishing

I'm at the state in the development process where I am cleaning and polishing the Standalone Quizzer. I do this by working towards creating a final product (in this case Spanish Flashcards) and using the program myself. Each time I find a problem I add it to a growing and shrinking list and work towards removing everything from the list. In general this has been going smoothly and a lot quicker than I expected. It is frustrating at times to get stalled with a problem or a bug at every corner since the changes I've made are in every piece of code, but with persistence I'm making great strides.

Part of the problem is that I also have to fix problems in the Memorize-It version that it not as far along. A new quiz card style of Scrambled Multiple Choice took up a lot of time recently as I had failed to add the new card type to a couple of sections of the code. Specifically to do with testing and copy and past of cards. I also had to go back and add some more information to the test list to show the last, best and average percentage on tests taken on a specific topic. Here is a screen shot of that section I just added.

As I was using the program I didn't think the testing was going to work with just the average percentage which is something I would not have known if I wasn't eating my own cooking as we like to say.

I find myself wanting to create an alpha version and send it out to the people who have been waiting patiently for the standalone quizzer. I keep having to force myself to take a step back and keep fixing problems as I know that sending something out that has a bunch of bugs is a sure way to loose any sort of interest in later releases that are more stable. I'm going to keep cleaning and polishing until I have something that works for me (without crashing every two seconds) and then I'll send it out for review and comment. Patience.

As usual, don't let this knowledge of a new program keep you from purchasing the existing Memorize-It. I offer free upgrades for anyone who purchased in the previous six months of the release and upgrades are typically only $10.0, but I may increase that to $15 as the price of gas has increased a little since 1994 when I set that as the upgrade price...