How To Be A Couple Of Micro-ISV People On Opposite Sides of the World

maybe the ui could do with some review...

This is a follow up to the previous article about the new version of TimeSnapper... this is more the inside Micro-ISV story...

My co-TimeSnapper-er, Atli Björgvin Oddsson, has put in many long hours getting this one to the place we were aiming for. We're now fulfilling a good number of the aims we wanted with the TimeSnapper product. There's still a lot of room to move but this one is taking us a long way further down our path.

The inside story behind 'Atli re-wrote the main form' -- okay okay, the main form was a bit too reminiscent of this famous and well regarded cartoon about UI. So, I rewrote the main form. And boy did it suck. Much worse than the original. But, i think history will show that it was a good form of suckiness, as it was so bad that Atli immediately had to delete it and come up with something much better. There's a lesson there, yes? Something like this:

Inspire action amongst your comrades by being a model to avoid

But on to other things...

One of the grooviest changes is that Atli moved us onto the dazzling nullsoft installer, instead of the woeful microsoft installer.

It's bewildering that nullsoft provide a free installer so far in front of the microsoft installer. I haven't personally grappled with how the nullsoft installer works: i just know that it was originally built as an installer for WinAmp, and grew from there. The Microsoft Installer (if you're using the standard off-the-shelf visual studio installer project) is woefully inadequate. As a show-stopping example of a sad installer product, you can't configure it to run the product immediately after install. WTF!? I know that, as a user, when I download some new tool off the internet I must run it straight away. If i don't run it straight away, i'll forget to run it ever

...anyway.

The philosophy behind this release, as a Micro-ISV, was that we'd add "Just One New Feature", a simple feature, and get the release out quickly. You know: we wanna be agile, we wanna be slick, we wanna be Web 2.0 and all that. The feature was going to be the 'Activity Grid' -- so that you could view (and export) a breakdown of how your day was spent.

The 'Just One New Feature' philosophy is a clever one... okay the reason I like it is because I invented it... but it didn't turn out to be so simple. The philosophy immediately expanded into 'Just One New Feature! Plus any bug fixes that arise' which seemed like a necessary improvement. But in no time the true philosophy became 'Just One New Feature! Plus any bug fixes that arise, and can't i just slip in one other feature, pretty please because it's way cool and i think it's going to improve things no end and anyway I'm on holidays at the moment and I am too, and both Atli and Leon have babies on the way due early next year, how cool is that, and actually, we ought to obfuscate the code too, cause some hacker dude wrote to us and told us we were idiots.' So that's our official, final philosophy. Just to repeat it, in big letters:

Just One New Feature*

* plus any bug fixes that arise, and can't i just slip in one other feature, pretty please because it's way cool and i think it's going to improve things no end and anyway I'm on holidays at the moment and I am too, and both Atli and Leon have babies on the way due early next year, how cool is that, and actually, we ought to obfuscate the code too, cause some hacker dude wrote to us and told us we were idiots.

So the Just One New Feature plan blew out a little bit... and I confess there was a little bit of 'oops, Leon made a mistake in the source code repository...' that I can only attribute to a bad week, but you get that anytime you make the fool hardy mistake of letting me near a source code respository... so we recovered. But the 2.1 product itself is quite nice, so i hope it pleases. Go on, buy the sucker, or at least download it.

Anyway, I plan to do more writing about the whole 'Micro-ISV' topic, since it's a big part of my life now -- unless you object. Maybe a 3-minute guide to being a micro isv, eh?

Well, thank you, good people. Good night.

Leon and Atli.

 

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