I’ve been spending an awful lot of time getting very acquainted with the Xinorbis source code over the last few months.
One of the big surprises has been how old some of the code and resources are. When I was updating the Preferences window I noticed that the images representing each report type were 7 years old!! I’d seen them hundreds of times before, but never realised 1) how old they were, and b) how awful they were. If you’ve looked at the 8.0.13 update you’ll see they’re much prettier now.
I’ve rewritten thousands of lines of code so far this year; redesigned much of the applications architecture, and fixed many bugs along the way. I’ve improved features which have always worked, but have somehow managed to survive almost untouched for years.
And so we get to the title of this post. The Report Editors are getting a massive overhaul. Each Report type will get their own improved editing window, featuring real-time preview and improved usability.
I started on Saturday with the HTML report editor, and will move through the others in turn.
Reports are one aspect of Xinorbis which will receive a lot of well-deserved attention over the coming weeks.
Look out for these big changes coming to 8.0.14 sometime in June!
It’s not Monday, I know, but the help has taken much more work than expected. I’ve had to modify well over 100 pages, and it’s not fun or quick!
To see the new (work-in-progress) help, go here: http://xinorbis.com/help/index.htm
Today’s update includes changes to the help system. Accessing Help will now open the default web browser, and point it to a help file within xinorbis.com/help.
I’ll be making constant changes to the Help files over the coming weeks. There is still a lot to do, but it’s mostly tweaking the text and replacing some very old images.
There’s also a new Folder History display mode: Time Line. For the selected folder, it shows all of the scan dates (and important stats) along a draggable, zoom-able, time line.
will be the next feature to receive a major overhaul 🙂
The new help system will be completely online (though a local version will be available for those without online access). I’ll be working on a complete rewrite and redesign of the help system over the next few days. Having the default help information online will make the process of updating much easier; I won’t have to release a new installer/zip every time I make a change to the help text.
I’ll post a link to the new help index tomorrow or Monday…
Xinorbis 8.0.12 is now available. I made a slight error which meant the Pro versions didn’t get uploaded properly until this morning… but all versions are now available, sorry about that.
X.Database 1.0 beta is also online for Pro users. If you’re interested in seeing the raw Folder History database data then this is the tool for you.
I’m working on 8.0.13; I’ve already added a cool new display (more coming soon), and now aiming my coding gaze at the Preferences window. It’s not as usable as I’d like so this is going to be my focus for the next few days.
Report generation will likely be my focus after that, with a view to having it ready for 8.0.14/15. I’m thinking of native Excel output, is there anyone reading who’d like that?!
What do you do with Xinorbis reports?
Don’t forget, if you have a suggestion or bug report then let me know 🙂
X.Database is the name of the new Xinorbis tool I’m working on. I’m hoping to release it at the end of the week (maybe earlier).
X.Database allows anyone to get a better view of the raw Folder History data that Xinorbis stores after each scan. The first release is going to let you run SQL queries on the data, export to XML and CSV, and have a general look around what’s been gathered.
It’s not going to be useful for everyone, but I think it’s going to be useful for some. I’m using it for debug, so that’s at least one person that thinks it’s useful…
As some of you know, Xinorbis has been a Delphi-developed application since the first version in the early 2000’s. X.Database is going to be C#, and signals the beginning of a migration of all Xinorbis apps from Delphi to C#. I’ll be posting more on this later today.
Xcom has a new name: X.Robot. This new name encompasses the tool’s use as an automated gathering tool, and its future as a key component of the Xinorbis ecosystem!
Version 2.0.0 is now live, and includes all the relevant code changes and improvements from it’s big brother, Xinorbis.
Xinorbis and X.Robot will now both get regular updates; this will include new features, bug fixes and optimisations. X.Robot has a great future, and is destined to be a key part of the Xinorbis Enterprise future.
If you used Xcom, or are now using X.Robot, then please get in touch with any suggestions or feature requests.
I’m working on another tool for power users, more details soon.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the major plan for this week is to update the xcom code to bring it inline with xinorbis. Xcom hasn’t had an update for a couple of years, so now seems like a good opportunity to update it. Once the rewrite is complete, xcom will see the same regular updates as xinorbis (though targeted at power and enterprise users).
I think it’ll be done in a week or so. I started yesterday and have made good progress. The update will see full language support (matching that of xinorbis) and the usual array of updates, fixes and tweaks.
There will also be a new name, though I haven’t thought of it yet!! (I have a couple of ideas)