Creating new programs

With everything going smoothly we have begun looking to the future. We plan to begin implementing a basic version of a slide show program this week so that we can use it to present all of our future presentations with. This functionality will be very similar to the spreadsheet functionality allowing for simple saving and loading with the most recent user get to keep their change. The basic slideshow program will have the ability to display text and images to the user on different slides. More customization like animations will come later after the slide show creator and presenter work for text and images.

A development server and some cool updates!

We now have a live server that anyone is welcome to test out. You can find it at . It is currently being run on a free heroku server so not to much process power is dedicated to it. In order to register you will need the key: 62657468. Furthermore we also have a working version of the spreadsheet, with scroll bars and all! There are still a few non-critical bugs and a bundle of features that have not been created yet, however we will be moving focus off of the spreadsheet for a short while in order to get the presentation editor off the ground and to bring the code editor to a stable version. The backend has been recreated in order to provide ease of use to the developers, end users, and sysadmins. This was done by creating a “apps” folder inside of the briefcase directory. In order to add a new brifcase application into briefcase you merely drag the application folder into “apps” and restart django. And one last thing for this post is that we have reached 1000 commits for the entire project. I know that along the way I have learned a lot about programming and web development and so far it has been quite fun. I can only hope that it will continue to be fun for the foreseeable future.

– Asher

It has been a while, but we are back

It has been a long time since we last did work on briefcase, about three months. However we are all back and beginning to code once more. The recent lack of work spawned due to most of our members finishing college and going off to look for a job. When coming back we have a few new things to announce. First off one of our memebrs, Josh, is working on creating a packaged installer file. So that installing briefcase eventually may be as easy as typing “sudo apt-get install briefcase”. Secondly we are revamping or documentation pages. After the big overhaul with the back end and getting the first version of multi user editing done we now are pruning our wiki to contain only up to date information and remove the rest of it. We are also including new pages on how the features and implementations work. You can check this all out at

Spreadsheet multi user

Today Asher and I worked on multi-user editing again. Now the database is updated when a user sends in changes. I’m a little worried about performance issues – but we will deal with that in the future. Glad to have a working version for now.

Code Editor and a faster spreadsheet

This past week has been a busy one, but we have been able to squeeze in a few new features to briefcase in the meantime. The first feature is that Jerry is almost done with the core features of the syntax hilighter, tabbing, auto tabbing, and line numbers have almost come to fruition. The Spreadsheet is also getting a slight overhaul from a canvas element to a native table. The result of this will be that we will finally get to implement changing the cell sizes in a rational non-expensive manner. The scroll bars once again are going to be changing to (what I hope to be) their final state. Due to the re factoring nature of the changes in the spreadsheet they are currently located on a new branch.

New Repo Location

Now that our group has grown in size I have moved the repo to a more public location. The most up to date version can be found in the briefcase organization page. Along with the main repo you will also be able to find all of the utility repos, for example the documentation website, in that organization as well.

– Asher

New Interest in our Project

A few people have talked to me about joining our project, however we are still focusing on developing the API for building and using the briefcase interface. However there are some key tasks that need to be acomplished in order to get Briefcase fully off the ground. As a result I will be creating two groups to work on Briefcase. The first group is Briefcase – Core. We will be working on the core API and functionality of Briefcase including the menu system, Django server, the user input configurations, along with the spreadsheet and code editor applications. The second team will be the Briefcase – Dev team. They will be in charge of integrating Briefcase with Apache and other webservers, creating a front facing web site with helpful info about how to use and install Briefcase (the github wiki is just not cutting it anymore), and help run tests on Briefcase-Core. I hope to be able to get a few younger students to help out with this as a good way to introduce them to RCOS and a good way to get code written for the project.

– Asher

Lack of recent work and multi user editing

The amount of work that has been put into briefcase of late has been very minimal. And I would personally like to apologize to those who want this project to be further developed. However, Now that my current life’s issues have been worked out I will be putting in more hours of the day to this project. I will begin by laying out a schedule for what will happen in the future.

The two applications that I would like to have completed first are the spread sheed and the coding document. However before either of those will continue I will first finish the multi user editing. For the most part this will be a very simple task, merely sending organized data to each of the clients. However, for applications like the code document and other general text editors, you also have to do some error checking on the location of the inputed characters. This is what I believe will be the most challenging part of the project. I hope I know enough django to solve this problem.

Previous work on Briefcase

In the past few weeks there is not much that has happened to Briefcase. In addition to moving into a new home, I have been working on a few other projects that needed attention. Now they have reached a semi-stable state and I have new motivation to work on Briefcase. My current work will be on the Code Editor. Originally I had planned to use the LDT highlighter ( ) however while using it i realized that it does not have all of the features that I want to have in the code editor. As a result I have begun making more modifications to the LDT, hopefully we will see the core features implemented soon.

– Asher

Moving to a new home

Last week I moved into a new apartment, when I got there the place was a mess and I have been spending the last week and a half cleaning it up. Though it is not perfectly clean, I now have a bed to sleep on and a desk to do work at. Not to mention I just got a new computer as well. A nice practical computer with two monitors, a nice graphics cards, a good processor, a solid state drive for the operating system, and plenty of ram. Aside from the heat I believe I will be quite comfortable coding here for many days. I cant wait to get back to working on Briefcase.

– Asher