Simple Graphical Updates

While we have been developing briefcase one of the goals is for it to look good. Recently I finished what I believe to be a good first version of how briefcase will look. Maybe even in the future we will have people creating their own version of the layout.

– Asher Glick


Beginning the summer

The summer is coming along nicely so far. We have accomplished many things with the server back end including a standard way of passing messages between the server and the client, renaming files, deleting files, and making the user profile and login screen look nicer. There are still a few outstanding bugs (some of which are quite important) that need to be fixed before it becomes completely usable. We also improved the documentation on setting up the Django backend so that developers can set up the Briefcase environment in minutes without having to crawl through pages of documentation on the Django or python sites. A menu system with the ability to handle shortcut keys (as well as a stand alone shortcut key library) is my next goal for the project and will hopefully be done this weekend.

Multiple Cell Selection

After a while we now have a functional multi-cell selection working! Though at the moment of writing the functionality for manipulating those cells is not yet implemented I do hope that they will be soon. Once the ability to manipulate multiple cell groups is complete I will begin again at tackling the problem of the code editor and how to make it faster.
Multiple Cell Selection Screeshot
Beth is currently working on getting the back-end to handle the live view for multiple users. There are also some problems with database migration that cause the database to be deleted every so often. Once that bug is fixed we will have a public server that people can access in order to test out our software. I also hope to roll out a few new application ideas before too long for interested parties to begin work on if they want to help contribute.

– Asher Glick

New keyboard shortcuts for the spreadsheet

The spreadsheet application can now handle the tab key being used to progress to the next cell to the right. the enter key will select the next cell below the one you were at before you started tabbing. Finally the arrow keys can be used to manipulate the selected cell. There is still one bug with this new feature set, theĀ Keyboard bindings allow for cells to be edited off screen. Hopefully that will be fixed soon, I do not believe it to be a large bug but it is late and I will fix it Tomorrow.

– Asher

Finishing up the year, beginning the summer

Overall this year went pretty well, we became overloaded with work in the past few months but that is all over now. Going into the summer I hope to make applications that are fully featured. I am personally proud of the accomplishments that Beth and I have achieved, and like I say, It’s only going to get better. Looking to the future we will be finishing up the functionality of the spreadsheet and code editor. Live editing will continue to be the top priority and we will be working on making sure the system is solid, secure, and cheap, we would not want processors to be overflowed with benign update calls to the server when the window is not in focus. Also I would like to mention a few other colleague’s programs. BlueMesh: a bluetooth mesh networking library, written by up and coming masters of parallel magic who helped out with some algorithm development for Briefcase. Colin Kubler’s Koala / LDT which provides the base for the syntax hi-lighting in the code editor.

– Asher

Bad code and little documentation

In the past few weeks I have begun writing two new applications for Briefcase: Code editor, and Presentation Editor. The code editor is based off of the LDT syntax highlighter and the presentation editor is meant for use with the BIG presentation system. As I have been rapidly coding there is little to no documentation for these applications and the code base for them is quite horrendous. But that is ok. Why is it ok to have horrendous code? For research, just messing with code to figure out how it works. However, looking back on it I see that it is quite bad. I also tried to see how the LDT would work with a content editable DIV tag. It works, but there are many problems with it. So I am now going to begin working with ranges within text areas in order to implement adding and removing selected text within a text area. If I am able to do that then the entire code editor will be created using a slight derivation of the LDT. The documentation for Briefcase need to be improved quite a bit before I can consider the program even remotely ready for a release.