We are busy working towards our self impossed July target release date, and things are really coming together nicely. The image below shows the final layout of the main elements of the UI. You should be able to see that we’ve really simplified the UI, removing as much as possible and minimising the “big and colourful” icons in the toolbar, and the “sexy but in a slightly weird place” sub-toolbar that sat above an entry. It was very liberating having the space that a desktop application affords, but we ended up feeling we hadn’t given that space the respect it deserved. Much better to minimise the chrome and give priority to the task at hand… getting content onto your site.
We’ve also been on a code clean out, finding methods that have fallen by the way-side as development proceeded and deleting them (sacrificing a goat to the gods of version control just to be sure).
So the obligatory screen-shot? Here it is…
iExpression Mac… like it was… but less in your face
It’s all coming together now with the UI taking “final” shape. The to-do list is getting shorter and shorter with the current list really being just
- Add support for remaining standard field types
- Add “over-views” when no specific channel or location is present (these are designed, but just shells at the moment)
- Bug-fix, bug-fix, bug-fix
We are very happy with how it’s working now and it’s feeling like just a matter of time before shipping (two or three weeks ago it felt like we still didn’t really know exactly where we wanted the UI to be but that has really settled in now and each change we knocked off our list is making it “just work”).
I guess it’s time for the obligatory screen shot?
We’ve trimmed a lot of fat out of the UI and moved the entry list into a wide-screen format as it just had so much wasted space when sitting above the entry. Font sizes have been tweaked along with minor details like shadows and steamlined date & time formating. The layout changes have also allowed much more vertical space when editing an entry, and that has proved to be a very welcome change when working. It all feels less cramped.
That is all.
Apple announced lots of exciting things yesterday, but for us the most intriguing was the release date for Mountain Lion. July. As we’ve said before, the basic plan for iExpression this year was
- Release OS X iExpression (Mac) with iCloud support and an updated module
- Release iOS iExpression as an update (although it will take an iExpression 2 monica we aren’t going to make you buy a new app or pay for an “in app upgrade” even though this is a ground up re-write) which would also have iCloud support
We were expecting that Mountain Lion would be a “late” summer release… July feels like “early” summer to us or at the very least it’s early than we were expecting. Which we think is good. We had thought of holding back on the Mac release until Mountain Lion, but it felt that a late August ship date was more time than we needed. So we are going to target “With Mountain Lion”. There’s no concrete date yet and there’s plenty of work ahead of us, but we are pretty confident we can be in beta by the beginning of July (hell, we’ve been using it for the last month!).
So it’s heads down now as we head for that next “beta” milestone. Wish us luck. For now, here’s a picture of us editing this post
Rich Text Editing for iExpression Mac
Work continues on all versions of iExpression, with changes across the board. At this point we are mainly just “living” with the tool and using it on our various projects. Identifying issues and going back and fixing them. We don’t have support for all of the standard field types in place yet, as we are mainly focusing on the rich-text experience which is coming along very nicely. A little bit of fun getting the clipboard working as we wanted… but nothing to write home about.
We are currently managing a to-do list of changes we want to make in a lump that are bigger than the little tweaks to usability that are currently being made, that should be ready to process next week as we seem to be closing down on the iterations for the rich-text editing.