Form Tools update. Or lack thereof.

Posted on May 13, 2015 in Form Tools, Open Source Projects | 3 comments

Feelin’ mighty discouraged, here.

A year ago this month I got back control of Form Tools and was extremely excited to return to work on it… and then something came up, and I had to put it off for a month or two. So then I returned to it, and something else came up. Wash and repeat.

Cut to one year later. What do we have to show for it? Well, the documentation has been ported out of a custom database and into github where (eventually) anyone can edit it – admittedly, that was a huge task – and I’m still working on the website re-write. But really that’s it. The old site is still just sitting there; I’m not helping out in the forums, and basically the whole script has gotten sadly out of date.

The problem is time, not motivation. In the two years that I took off from Form Tools I started numerous other projects include d3pie, grunt-search, country-region-selector, and I re-wrote my popular generatedata.com script. All of these, plus many others, take time to support. When bugs are found I have to fix them – and even finding time for that is difficult.

I absolutely don’t want to give up on the project, I’m just at a loss about how to proceed. July 1st my wife and I are moving to Bowen Island where we’ve bought a house. Initially that’s going to mean even less time while we get the house shipshape.

The goal with Form Tools was – and still is – to get it to a state where people are able to contribute so it can hum along on its own steam. But in order to do that, I need to do work myself – the website, considering the functionality it offers, has to be closed source.

Anyway, </vent>. Sorry the project seems to be stuck in limbo.

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Ace-diff

Posted on Mar 21, 2015 in Ace-diff, Open Source Projects | 2 comments

I just released a first version of a new open source script called Ace-diff. It’s an extension to Ace Editor to show a 2-panel allowing you to diff/merge two copies of a document. You can check it out here:
http://benkeen.github.io/ace-diff/

We needed the functionality for a project I’m working on at work, and decided that since it could well be useful for other people, I’d do it in my spare time and open source the result. Seemed a good idea at the time… now, a month on…

Quite honestly, it ended up being the project from hell. It was a far, far more difficult problem than I initially thought, with a lot of judgement calls about how to handle different scenarios and endless issues to work through. Also, there’s a key feature that’s missing from this first version: scroll locking. I poured sooooo much time into that feature but still haven’t been able to get it working well enough to my satisfaction. So for the moment, I’ve removed the relevant sections of the code.

I’m not that happy with this first version, so consider this a first salvo. I have a lot of other work to do (Form Tools, anyone?) and frankly it’s been stressing me out for weeks. Once I’m feeling a little less burned out I’ll return to this.

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generatedata 3.2.0

Posted on Jan 29, 2015 in generatedata.com, Open Source Projects | 3 comments

I just released generatedata.com 3.2.0, which includes a long-awaited feature: a REST API to allow programmatic generation of data sets. Yay! Great to see this sucker finally out the door.

Note: this new feature won’t be added to the public site – it’s intended for your own installations of the script only. The main generatedata.com offers a service where you can donate and get an account on the site. This is really just intended as a quick convenience and a way for people to contribute to the script. The downloadable version has all the functionality – and now more.

You can find the latest 3.2.0 tag on the github repo, and the new API functionality documented here. Enjoy! :)

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