Waking Sleep

Sometimes, right now being this case, I’m never quite sure what will spew forth into the blog. My mind can lead itself down some pretty twisty turns.

My "foundational" work on Archer is taking longer than expected, naturally, BUT .. is yielding some fantastic results.

I’ve been spending the last couple of days doing a number of things.

1. Tightening up the base code, my skeleton apps, and the Tools dll. Although I don’t have a _lot_ of functionality at the moment, I want to do it right from the beginning. If ever the niggling voice jumps in and says that would be better in Tools, I take some time listening, weighing up, and if the voice is speaking truth, then Stop. Change. Update Tools. Update Apps. Begin again.

It means I’m slower, especially at this stage. But it also means (and this weighs far heavier than the former fact) that the code is cleaner, there are no shortcuts (well, not many), and that my development is tight. Clean. Clarity of purpose.

2. In my User Skeleton App (which is more a combination of a simple desktop app + nettalk web server) I’ve added the Advanced User functionality (User Groups, Security Profiles). This has meant that not only was I able to add the functionality on a "dummy" system (thus not having to worry about breaking complicated functionality), but I got to make sure future projects have this plugged in from the start.

I’m finding that the idea of this particular skeleton app is changing. Not the idea. The reality. It’s still a skeleton, but more and more it’s becoming something special. I guess this is happening as my base functionality (and understanding) grow.

3. Developing a Task management system (simple, of course) to .. manage .. my tasks. I’m getting swamped trying to keep up with everything I write down in my notebook. I’m sure there’s a lot of good ideas that go to waste, because I write twenty pages a day and don’t read back over seventeen of them.

Yes, Projman was a Task management app. But Projman was more of a test. It wasn’t built on a solid foundation. I was then even more newbish than now. My methodologies were lame (although back then I thought they were okay). Which makes me think .. in a year, will I think my current ones are lame? Probably. This makes me want to strive harder to get better quicker in this stuff.

This Task management system will be simple, streamlined, and powerful. That’s pretty much what any company will say about their product. You’ll just have to wait and see I guess. I do plan to release it as an app, but not for a while. It will stay plain (not prettied up) while I use it day in and out, making sure the processes are .. clean, lean and fast. Simple. Powerful.

For now, Rasp is my main concern. No. Immediate. After the next build (my current plan), I’ll begin charging for Rasp. I’m going to do something similar with SecretKeep and DeleteThem as well. As small as they are, functionality-wise, there’s still no good reason why I can’t start selling them. Professional products. If people don’t buy them, then so be it. I will learn why, and return more powerful than ever before! Wait .. :).

So Rasp. Yeah. So the User functionality will slot right in. And i’ve been nutting out the folder/files/users/security thing. The more the ideas coalesce in my mind, the more convinced I am that this product will rock. Seriously.

4. The website. Arggg. That reminds me .. stupid IE<7 not liking transparent pngs. I’m just going to have to do everything in bmps or something.

Ahem. Some might have noticed on the Archer site there are a couple of new images. I’m wanting to take some of the good from what I see on a lot of awesome looking blogs and web 2.0 development sites. They have clean but spek looking images for processes. Most especially downloading.

So the site is going to visually start looking better, hopefully. Not cluttered. Better.

Also, I want to get a blurb on the frontpage. Something that says "You really should look at our software, our products, we are awesome, but humble, and funnny, and if you are George R R Martin please personally email me and we can be best friends".

5. Well, there’s probably more, but this black duck has to go to bed.


I was talking to Bruce this evening, and realised, by the time of the Aussie Clarion Devcon (I never know which order to put the words .. is it the Aussie Clarion .. or the Clarion Aussie??) we will have our mits on Clarion 7. This got me quite excited. More. Clarion 7 has kind of been this hazy fog in the future, a dream seen through a grey stained glass window seen through my rugby jersey after a game in the mud. Now, the very idea of the reality of holding it in my muddy hands fills this heart with joy.

Not "heading up to home" joy (heh), but .. "Diablo 3 has been announced!!!" joy. You know what I’m talkin bout.

Actually, that’s not _too_ far from the truth. More than ever lately Development has eclipsed Gaming in my excitement tank. Sure, I spend at least 40 minutes a night playing tennis and boxing on Wii Sports, sweating it up (it WILL get me fit .. ha ha), but that’s for .. well .. fitness. And a little fun.

Anyway, I’ve a feeling this post is gonna quadruple the size of the Dev Dawn frontpage. So without further ad …

Projman Is Getting Beta and Beta

Projman has a new version!

The two big things to come out of it are:

  • The User can now tell the Web Server what Port Number to listen on
  • HelpDesk has been created to cater for Projman’s (and my other Systems) Help and Documentation needs!

What’s doing??? Go and find the bugs already :).

The Documentation isn’t complete yet, but I plan to add more each build.

The next big addition will be reports.

Cheers till next we meet,

Projman .. The Next Generation

Wow. Jack Bauer can really whup some assne.


As I sit here, in the cold, early in the morning, I’m excited.


Because, thanks to the latest updates of NetTalk 4, Projman has reached beta. It’s a loose beta, but there nonetheless.

Projman is a Project Management System, that allows you to access your Todo’s from anywhere you can access the web.


Instructions aren’t really in existance at the moment, so take it as you will.

Everything can be administered (data) from the Webserver Application.


Once you have started the server, the local address (still no option to set the Port Number yourself) is


p.s. I’m not sure how good those jaggy edges are .. one of the many exciting features of SnagIt .. but sometimes it’s probably a little too overboard :).

Time Keeps On Slipping

Thought I’d just give a brief rundown on what I’ve been doing the last week or so, apart from scribing down news of Clarion 7.

Projman has a new version on the way, soooon. There’s been a couple of cosmetic changes, at least one important functionality change, and the Documentation has begun! It’s a cool little bit of funcitonality in and of itself. Not finished yet, lots of ideas for improvements, but my goal is to get the User Guide scratched together and put the version up for use.

The other major project I’ve been working on is my Freight System (don’t mind the site, it’s also undergoing a lot of upgrading). I’m creating an upgrade system that will be transferable across all my projects, and it’s really quite exciting. Most of the work is done by NetTalk, what a wonderful tool!

In essence, it’s nothing new, developers have been doing this for long time long. The TAFRES Server connects to the FTP Server, and runs some logic to determine what new version installations are on the FTP Server for both the TAFRES Server and the TAFRES Client. These are then downloaded. If there is a TAFRES Server upgrade, all Clients are informed, and closed down, and then the Server is shutdown and a silent installation is run. If there is a Client upgrade (if a Server too, the Server runs first), the Clients are told to shutdown and restart (not sure if this will be automatic or manual). On restarting, the silent installation is run.

The last part of this is still not finished. I’m in the middle of it.

It’s an exciting time. Especially the update/upgrade (not sure which term to use yet) functionality. Once that’s down, then sending out updates will be so much easier than trying to explain to a client where to go to download, and then what to do with running an installation, on each client!

‘Nuff said for now,

Projman .. My first WebBaby

Welcome to the intial release (in a pre pre pre alpha form, ha ha) of Projman .. a Project Management System that allows you to access your Todo’s from anywhere you can access the web.

As it is an initial product, the extent of it’s functionality is small. Basic. But the potential is there I believe.

One exciting aspect of this "project" is that it showcases the wonderful NetTalk 4 (WebServices).

I have had some trouble with child browses, but Bruce (i believe i read this somewhere) is on the ball, adding support for this very shortly (if not already). Once I can get them working, the functionality will expand (think Sub-Tasks, very important).

Edit: After checking the latest version of NetTalk 4 .. these are indeed implemented. So the next version of Projman should include them. Nice.

Visit the Projman page, or just download it.



As of 0.1.0 you must point your web browser to .. a future version will allow the user to change this.


There may be an issue with the Install. It could be that I’ve missed a dll that is inherent to clarion. It’s harder to test for, because no "errors" come up telling you what dll is missing.


ForewordProjman is a Project Management System, that allows you to access your Todo’s from anywhere you can access the web.


Projman 0.3.0 Install

PurposeProjman began as a simple test of the NetTalk Web Services, newly released in early 2006.

We had been talking about the need for a simple system to collate Todo’s. Now, I’ve got a Todo System written out of neccessity, but it’s just desktop. The beauty of this baby is that it’s built like a steak house, but she handles like a bistro. … Ahem. I mean, Projman (he/she) is designed to be run off the web. You can run the system purely on the desktop, but to experience it’s full capabilities, you’re gonna want to host it, on the network, or on the wild & wooly web.

So basically, you create Projects. Each Project has Todo’s. These Todo’s have a percentage complete, which in turn updates the percentage complete of the Project. You can then check on what Todo’s are left for a Project, what percentage a Project is complete, or even how many Todo’s have been started but not finished, and the dates in between.



Monday, 31st July 2006

  • HelpDesk System added (Documentation still incomplete)
  • UI Enhancments
  • Data Folder now created on startup, if it doesn’t exist already
  • Uninstaller shortcut should now show in the Program Group
  • Release Version turned on in Project Settings (Clarion)
  • Options window added
  • Server Port Number added to Options, User can now choose which Port Number the Web Server will listen on (Defaults to 80)
  • ProjectUsers relationships adjusted to allow for deletion of records


Thursday, 27th July 2006

  • Installation File enhancements
  • Installed and Ran Projman on a pc without a Clarion6 directory, no DLL issues


Wednesday, 26th July 2006

  • Data Directory is now created on installation


Monday, 24th July 2006

  • Reached Beta stage, after the latest release of NetTalk4.
  • Tasks can now be added, changed, and deleted from their parent Projects from within the web browser.
  • Changing the Complete Percentage field in a Task will recalculate the Project’s Total Percentage Complete.
  • Other minor code updates.

Unfinished Obvious Todos

  • Allow for the Sub-Tasks to appear in the Browser interface
  • Grant User control over Port Number (set to 88 at the moment)
  • Documentation for the System
  • Weighting for the Tasks


Friday, 8th April 2006

Very basic functionality.

Via the web interface you can only add one layer of Tasks (and assign them to an already exsiting Project). You can modify their percentage complete.

The desktop interface has more functionality. Here you add Users, Projects, and Tasks. Sub-Tasks apparently do not work (I haven’t confirmed this yet, heh).

There may be an issue with the Install. It could be that I’ve missed a dll that is inherent to clarion. It’s harder to test for, because no "errors" come up telling you what dll is missing.