Coming up: Unicode support

Posted on June 8th, 2007 in Catalyst, Tool, unicode by siddharta || 1 Comment

If all goes to plan, this weekend should see a new release of Silver Catalyst with Unicode support. Right now Silver Catalyst has a nasty bug where it dies if you try to enter non-ascii characters. The fix is almost done, so soon you will be able to input data in any script.

Here is a preview image of what it looks like (click to enlarge):
Silver Catalyst with Unicode

Deploying a Django app on the desktop

Posted on May 31st, 2007 in Catalyst, django, Product design, python, Tool by siddharta || 39 Comments

One of the cool things about Silver Catalyst (which is a Django app) is that you can start using it right out of the box. I didn’t want the team working their way around Apache and MSSQL configurations, Python version incompatibilities, database access issues and deployment hassles. The final solution was a simple executable, which when run would start everything required to get going.

In this post, I’ll explain how that was achieved.

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Silver Catalyst 1.0 Released!

Posted on May 13th, 2007 in Catalyst by siddharta || No Comment

Silver Catalyst 1.0 has been released!

Some links to get started

Another thing: This release of Silver Catalyst is beta license compatible. So if you helped out during the beta test and got a license at the end of it, you can use the same license with this release and it will work. Thats US$1,568 in value. Just to say thanks for beta testing the tool.

Tying up loose ends

Posted on May 4th, 2007 in Catalyst by siddharta || No Comment

As Silver Catalyst nears the version 1.0 release, there have been a number of different things that I’ve been working on. Here is some of the stuff thats happening

  • The documentation is being re-written. From a content point of view, the new documentation will be much more complehensive. The Quick Tour and Agile Guide documents will be parts of the new document, which will also contain a reference for each screen and a special section on RSS and PDF output.
  • The documentation is also being re-designed. The original version used letter size pages. While that was good if you wanted to print out the documentation, it was difficult to read on-screen. The new one will be in potrait format, 10″ by 8″, for better on-screen viewing.
  • Setting up the online ordering process.
  • Getting an end user license agreement prepared. It will be similar to the standard EULA document but modified to comply with Indian Law.

The scheduled release date for version 1.0 is 14th May, ten days from now. If you would like to be notified of the release, you can either subscribe to this blog or join the community forum on Yahoo Groups.

Usage patterns, or why you need to support alternate modes of interaction

Posted on April 28th, 2007 in Catalyst, Product design by siddharta || 4 Comments

One of the dangers of developing an application is assuming that all your users are just like you.

Case in point: The Silver Catalyst tool that I am currently developing.

Imagine for a second that your team is using Silver Catalyst. They have entered all the data into the tool and are using it regularly. At the end of the week, an executive asks for the status. Because Silver Catalyst is a web app, the PM figures that the executive can just login to the tool anytime they want the status, and therefore creates a login for him. A couple of days pass and the executive asks for the report again.

Guess what? The executive never logged into the system! The PM is now back to taking data from the tool and preparing a report.

Continue reading ‘Usage patterns, or why you need to support alternate modes of interaction’ »

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