Weekly Progress: 24 September 2018

Greetings!

It’s been a few weeks, huh? Sorry about that. But I’m back, and I have progress to share! But first, some indirectly positive news.

New Computer!

So yup! I’m typing this update using my new computer. I built this machine myself two weeks ago, and after some time getting the final parts and setting everything to just my liking, everything’s ready to go!

They say a Solid State Drive (SSD) really helps make things faster, but I didn’t believe it until now. This computer starts up so fast! It’s great! And it plays video games really well, and parts of the case glow blue…

… Ahem, anyway… onto the important stuff…

Sidebar

Last night, I decided to start making the sidebar. And then I made it.

There’s a bar! On the side! It’s like… a side-bar or something…

The sidebar allows you quick access to your calendars, for showing or hiding them, or editing or removing them. In the future, there’ll be other stuff that appear over there too, but for now, that’s what we got.

The design is not final, either. So don’t expect it to stay looking like that.

Maximizing Space

This section is part about changes I’ve made, and part about changes I might make. In general, I’m trying to voice my thoughts here.

For the longest time, a big concern with mine is how usable Shine’s month view is while in a non-maximized window. If you look at the image above, that’s the default size that Shine is when you open it. If you have a day with multiple events (and if you’re an avid calendar user, you probably do), you wouldn’t be able to see them all in this window right now.

I took some steps to reduce the amount of open space between elements, and it’s definitely helped. I’ve also slightly decreased the font size of the numbers in the day boxes. With the window at this size, you’re now able to show 2 events per day.

Two still isn’t very much though.

I can work to shave off a bit more extra space in the top of the window and such, but frankly, I don’t want Shine to end up looking cramped – the program then comes off as complex and uninviting.

To be honest, the biggest issue is the date bar at the bottom of the window. The date bar is a feature that makes Shine unique, but when Shine isn’t maximized, it takes up valuable space for not that valuable a reason. Without it, Shine’s UI actually takes up less space than Outlook – something I’m pretty proud of (albeit, at the cost of being a bit less touch-friendly).

Users have the option of hiding the date bar, either through the View menu, or under Options > More options > Interface (I may add a toolbar button later on), but I want to refrain from hiding it by default because it’s a defining feature of Shine (and frankly, when the window is maximized, space is much less in demand).

Either way, this is something I’m thinking about, and I may try to find other ways to maximize space in the future.

Other Things

Time for the list of other things of importance, but not important enough to get their own section!

  • It’s now recommended to have a screen resolution of 1200 x 900 or larger to use Shine. Requirement is still 800 x 600.
  • Made more improvements/adjustments to the Customize Toolbar window. It’s all good to go now!
  • More work with keyboard shortcuts. We’re very close to being able to customize those too.
  • Small adjustments made to Shine’s extension API. I hope to have Shine all set for extensions early next year.

We’re still on track for an October release for 0.6 Beta.

Until next time,

Jayke

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