This week is a big one, so let’s not dilly-daddle and get right into it! 😀
Attachment Support (Part 1)
Shine will now show you attachments in your Google Calendar events!
Google Calendar only accepts attachments to files stored on Google Drive. As of right now, Shine has no way to add an attachment to a Google Calendar event, because Shine doesn’t have a way to access Google Drive. But I will be working on that!
Also, another fun part about that: if your Google Calendar event has a Google Hangouts meeting associated with it, that’ll show up as an attachment in Shine as well! Clicking on it will open up Google Hangouts in your browser and bring you straight to the meeting call.
Attachments are not supported yet for local calendars or Outlook.com/Office 365. That will be coming super soon! All of the ground work is there, and this was the easiest way to test it out.
Shine + Shine Monitor = Best Friends Forever
A few updates ago, I mentioned that we were on our way to getting Shine and Shine Monitor to work together again. Well, that time has come!
After some fixes to how Shine Monitor tries to find and stay connected to Shine, all of its functionality has been restored! This generally means a smoother experience overall with the tray icon, but it also means that the two programs can reliably send data back and forth again.
If you’ve minimized Shine, you can now right-click the tray icon, select “Open Shine”, and it’ll pop up right in front. You can also open the Notifications Window straight from the tray icon as well (in fact, that’s the default action if you double-click the tray icon).
As well, Shine now has a jump list! The jump list was actually there for a while, but it works now because it can communicate well with Shine Monitor now.
There is more that will be able to come from these two apps communicating again. Look forward to it in future weeks!
Connecting to Online Calendars
I’ve made a few improvements to the Connect to Account windows, for connecting to Google Calendar and Office 365/Outlook.com. A search bar was added so you find the specific calendars you’re looking for, as well as buttons to quickly select or deselect the calendars you want. I also tried to tackle the lagging issue.
These kinds of small improvements will just help make Shine an overall smoother experience.
There’s still more to work on, but it’s a notable improvement over before.
More UI Controls!
This is a continuation of something I mentioned in an update way long ago.
I talked a bit there about how I’m working on more UI controls and want to put them all in one place.
At this point, I’ve made a lot of good progress in this front. Over the past few months, I’ve added more controls that either 1) replace Windows standard controls with a Shine-stylized version or 2) perform a function that isn’t directly present in a Window standard control.
When 0.6 Beta comes out, you’ll start to see the fruits of this labor. Some of the recent images already even show this, such as the “Attach” button in the image above, or the list of toolbar items in the “Customize Toolbar” window. Ironically enough, the NumericUpDown controls I mentioned in that older update haven’t received any major work since that point. This will probably change soon, though.
All in all, the ultimate goal is a consistent visual style, and Shine is well on its way to that point.
(Also, I should mention, this is all based upon open-source code, so of course, my improvements are open-source as well. I’ve not yet shared this code online, but I will be as we approach the 1.0 release! This library is called “UiCore”.)
Other Improvements, and Future Plans
I’ve made some other small adjustments:
- Improvements to the process for selecting your own advanced color scheme
- Removed the “Create new account” option the Create Calendar window, since it didn’t do anything
- In the future, I want to completely redo this window
- Improved how Shine connects with Google Calendar
For the future, the big things now are finishing attachment support, and making the Nova System. I’ll admit that creating the Nova System has felt like a big, daunting task for me, and I’ve been pretty intimidated by the idea of starting it. However, it is something that needs to get done. I’ll be trying to break it into smaller steps and take it one bit at a time.
Once that’s done, Shine is pretty much all set to go. I will need to make some improvements to the setup/install and uninstall processes, but then we’ll be good.
I’m still looking at a late-October release date for 0.6 Beta.
Until next time,