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Main => Suggestions => Topic started by: CypherDragon on September 19, 2009, 01:39:36 PM

Title: Update on current plans?
Post by: CypherDragon on September 19, 2009, 01:39:36 PM
Hey Corey,

First, I love the has added a completely new dimension to the casual poker tournament that I run, and the amount of customization is absolutely phenomenal.  Could you possibly update us on your current high-priority items on your To Do list?  I know there's a post down the line, but I believe that's quite a bit outdated now.

Also, if you want, I've set up and administered a couple different Bugzilla ( implementations for software projects like yours...could make keeping track of bugs and features quite a bit easier. :)  I'm sure that this isn't a full-time project for you...but if you some help with setting up something similar let me know!
Title: Re: Update on current plans?
Post by: Corey Cooper on September 21, 2009, 11:04:59 AM
I'm glad you asked, CypherDragon.  I've been meaning to give another update, so your post is just the excuse I needed to stop and write.

First, as most of you know I also have a full-time job in addition to the TD, and I work very hard to squeeze in as much time as I possibly can to do development of the Tournament Director.  As a matter of fact, after day-to-day support of the software, development is my top priority.  I've actually turned down quite a few opportunities to do other things with the software because they would take away some of that development time.  And with the birth of my first child last year, time is in even shorter supply.

Early last year I tried to move away from the "release every 6 months or so with lots of new stuff" model, to the "release often with just a few new features" model.  I like the "release often" model much better, and I think users do, too.  However, once again I undertook a major overhaul of the TD codebase.  In the end, I think it will be worth it.

So here's the technical part.  Skip it if you have no interest.  The base object model was revamped, and changed to a more object-oriented, inheritance-based model.  Base objects were changed to have named arguments.  This took some work, but has some excellent payoffs.  Namely, less code has to be written for new objects, and all objects now share the same copy and serialization code.  This is excellent in and of itself.  The other payoff is that changes to these objects in the future will be MUCH easier.  I've pledged (to myself) that the code will always be backwards-compatible.  Even today, you can load a tournament or a layout or any other template file saved from version 1.0 (or any other version) of the product.  This is not easy to achieve, and there's a lot of code that "upgrades" objects when they are created.  Changing to named arguments makes this much, much easier going forward.

With an inheritance-based object model, I was also able to create new UI "controls" that standardize and improve UI interaction.  These will filter through the software over time.  But basically I wanted to apply some changes to the layout that have been in the pipeline for a very long time.  Namely:

  - consolidating Property Groups and Property Sets into a single entity that can be chosen based on a formula (like events).  This simplifies the layout somewhat, and at the same time allows it to be even more flexible.  I know not everyone likes "formulas", so for the layout you have the choice to use the old Conditions dialog ("Basic", allowing you to pick and choose your conditions), or using the new "Advanced" dialog (allowing you to apply a formula)

  - allow screen sets to be chosen based on a formula (same, basic or advanced)

  - add an option to "not stretch" the screen.  This gives more control of sizing cells, for those that want it

  - add a "design mode".  This makes the Game window display the screen currently selected on the Layout tab, and allows you to set current tournament conditions to see how the layout will look.  This is like running a mock tournament to check out your layout, except you don't have to run a mock tournament

  - Separate layouts from tournaments

The layout changes are essentially complete.  Currently I am revamping the Stats tab.  I think creating Stats is too complicated, so I'm trying to make it a little bit easier.  And of course there are numerous bug fixes and more minor features added.  Once the Stats tab overhaul is finished, I'll run through and tie up all the loose ends, and open it up for beta testing.

Thank you for the offer on bug tracking.  Over the years, I've basically developed my own method that works for me.  I'm quite (too?) familiar with Bugzilla, and like most other solutions, it's great for larger organizations, but it's essentially too much for my project.

Here are a couple of the updated dialogs:

Title: Re: Update on current plans?
Post by: mikiewendy on September 22, 2009, 04:56:58 PM
Thanks for the update Corey.  Looking forward to beta testing the next version!