Entries for April 2009
I've done a bit more work on the server dashboard. I'm concentrating on what I think I can release relatively soon, so I removed a few things that were not ready for 1.1.
Here is the dashboard when it can't find a Windows service for svnserve.exe:
This will be tweaked a bit more to indicate when a version of Subversion is too old to have native support for Windows services.
Here is the initial look when the dashboard finds that there is a running instance of the svnserver.exe Windows service:
Here is the same view, but with the panel expanded:
PainlessSVN will now be able to start or stop the Windows service, if it has enough security rights to interact with it. There are some instances where PainlessSVN won't be able to acquire a reference to the service, if the target machine is different from the one PainlessSVN is running on.
Here is a screenshot with the dashboard detecting that the service is installed, but not running:
Ok, the last UI was bad even it being just a test. The colors were just clashing badly, and it was mostly an eyesore. I promise I won't inflict that on the world at large.
I did a lot of tweaks and tests, and came up with what I think is a winner. I still want to put more information on the screen, but I believe this will be the general layout from now on. Here are screenshots:
I'm following Vista UI as my guide. Less is definitely more in this case.
I been looking for how to present the information about the server in the server view. I kept going back to the UI for the Security Center in Windows XP. I couldn't find any controls out there that would mimic the controls in the Security Center. Again, I turned to my friend, Brandon Dobbie, and he created an expandable panel with functionality very similar to the ones in the Security Center.
This control has not been released yet. I'm doing private testing for him right now. He created this control in less than a day. It's still not ready for public consumption, but I'm very happy with the results so far.
Here's a screenshot with a Subversion server that has svnserve installed as a Windows Service:
Here's a screenshot with a Subversion server that does not have svnserve installed as a Windows Service:
This version of the server info view is a lot closer to the vision that I have for it. This is not the final form, but it is very close to it.
Brandon is building a couple more custom controls for me. These controls are mostly Vista and Windows 7 specific, but they should work with Windows XP.
I asked my good friend, Brandon Dobbie, if he could come up with something for a non-MMC PainlessSVN client. He did an excellent job, as always. He's a UI wizard, and if you need to fix your UI, he's the guy to talk to. Here's what he came up with:
I thought that I could use some of this for the server node view. After some pounding on the keyboard, I came up with something not quite as good as his, but good enough for the current MMC version of PainlessSVN. Here's a screenshot of a Subversion server that is installed as a windows service:
I'm still having some issue with images on Windows XP. The next screenshot is on Vista Ultimate 64-bit and Subversion server is not installed as a service:
I'm a very visual guy, and I really enjoy posting screenshots. This is one way to help me keep track of my progress. I know a lot of developers like to work in secrecy, but I'm not one of them. At least I don't think I work in total secrecy. Hope you are enjoying my journey through improving PainlessSVN as much as I am.
I got the basic step-by-step configuration wizard done tonight. It still needs the validation and save code, but it's a nice start.
Here's the wizard's home page:
The second page:
The Finish page:
I'm using the TSWizard framework found in CodeProject. The only thing that I had to change was mostly cosmetic. I had to go into the framework's base controls and change the buttons and panels to use the controls from the free Krypton Suite. This only took me a couple hours to get to this point. I was very impressed with the functionality. I did have to upgrade the framework's project to VS2008, but it compiled fine. I'm pretty happy as this turned out to be a smaller job than I feared.
This will be part of the 1.1.0 release. This will be a free upgrade for all previous customers. I still don't have a release date, as programming this part-time does not give me much stability to predict release dates. And as most of you know, software release dates are seldom correct. ;) I'm very exicted to get this almost done. I honestly wish I could be doing this full time, but it PainlessSVN does not cover my bills (yet). In the meantime, I'll keep improving PainlessSVN.
Microsoft announced Windows Server 2008 Foundation. It seems that Microsoft is feeling the pressure from Linux and other free operating systems, and decided to go with a lower priced server offering.
Personally, I think this is an excellent idea. This will help mISV, like me, to get Windows Server. There are a lot of entry-level servers under $500. Why should we pay the same amount or more for the OS? That's why Linux has been trumping Windows in the server room.
Official Press Release
Windows Server 2008 Foundation Home Page