Weekly Progress, 24 August 2018

It’s been a short while since one of these, huh?

In my previous update, I talked about my loss of my main work computer. I’m still without a computer that is fully able to do everything I want/need, but for now, I have one which can provide the essentials for me until I get to that point.

With this computer, I’ve been able to return to doing some actual coding on Shine, beyond some asset work and drawings on paper.

I’ve not yet continued with the Nova system nor the attachments feature. Those, I will be returning to at a more opportune time next month. The next beta release won’t be out until after I get the Nova system in place, but that shouldn’t be anything beyond October, I’d predict.

Instead, for this past few days, a lot of my work has been focused on visual improvements:

Shine Monitor

Shine Monitor, as I had discussed in an old post a looong time ago, is the helper program alongside Shine, that provides additional features such as catching when Shine crashes, and providing notifications even when Shine isn’t running. Shine Monitor is also the program behind the Shine tray icon, in the bottom-right corner.

Until now, the right-click menu on the tray icon had more of a Microsoft Office look (at least, a look you’d expect from Office 2003). This is the look that comes standard out of the box for the platform Shine Monitor runs on – called WinForms. However, it does allow some customizability. And so, I customized it.

2018-08-24

The right-click menu for Shine Monitor will now have the same color scheme as Shine itself. I’m still working on getting the menu to update colors when you change colors in Shine itself, but it’s at least mostly there. It’s a small, inessential feature, I know, but it helps to make the entire Shine experience feel more consistent.

Toolbar Customizability

We’re inching ever closer to having an in-app way to customize the toolbar.

When the Customize Toolbar dialog is complete, you’ll be able to put any menu command onto the toolbar and give it any name you want. You may be able to customize the icon too, I haven’t gotten that far.

Right now, you are able to customize the toolbar, but it’s certainly not user-friendly. You need to find the XML file and know the exact right names for the menu items you want. The new dialog will aim to make the process really easy. (By the way, if you’ve customized the file in 0.5.3, your customizations will be lost when 0.6 comes out. I need to overwrite the file due to format changes, but I shouldn’t need to overwrite it again after that.)

Options Window

The Options Window will be getting some major improvements for 0.6. I’ve been working on adding and rearranging options, and there’s still more to come.

I’ve previously shared that I’ll be adding more minute options for modifying the interface through a More Interface Options window, but that’s only the start. Accessibility options (such as High Contrast Mode) have also been moved to its own separate tab, and a button has been added to access Install Assist from Shine itself. I have even more plans, but I’ll hold off on sharing them until after they’ve been implemented.

My overall goal is to help make the Options window easy to use. It should be a quick and painless process to locate the option you want to change, and change it. As of right now, I’d say the Options window is still pretty easy to understand, but it’s never bad to make it even better.

Other Minor Changes

Here’s a list of other things I’ve done in the past week-ish:

  • Created a new Notifications icon
  • Improved the screen that appears if you have no calendars connected to Shine
  • Made some small tweaks to improve Shine’s look on high-DPI screens
  • Fixed a miscellaneous bug or two

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