Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The road to Project Nelson

In this post, I’m going to shed some light on the state of Project Nelson going forward, as well as some insight on its past.


In the past, Project Nelson advanced a build when it was “done” – when I felt it had enough about it to warrant a new build. This method worked for my methods, if it was a bit haphazard. Every build had a few bug fixes and new features, and so on and so forth.

The first real break in the cycle was Build 017. Build 017 was a “features” build – that is, it focused on features, as opposed to bug fixes. It finally introduced Category pages, something that had been planned since the first few .NET-based builds. It also added hidden Run boxes in the Applications page, and Application “views” (Categories/Classic Start/Recent). The First Run Wizard was heavily rewritten, and Nemo’s favourite folders feature was implemented. Build 017 also featured the first build of MediaPN.

Build 018 was the first build that intentionally focused on features, as Build 017 being one was kinda just a fluke. With Build 18 came application task pages, a semi-functioning Games page, a stopwatch, “Windows” vs. “Project Nelson” icons, a seek bar and metadata about the currently playing song in MediaPN, New File in Nemo, command-line arguments, SchedulePN, Nemo settings, and starting your default media player at startup. The First Run Wizard lay the backbone for the new way of handling applications in each group.


Right now, I’m working on Project Nelson 1.0 Build 019. Build 019 is a “bug fixing” or “fit and finish” build – it’s not going to be a big bang release, although there are some new features. Rather, it’s focusing on polishing the user experience, and fixing annoying bugs.

I hope to release Build 019 sometime in the next two months.


Going forward, I plan to adhere to a kind of back-and-forth schedule, with even-numbered builds being feature or “unstable” releases, and odd-numbered builds being bug-fixing or “stable” builds. (That’s not to say that they don’t have bugs in them, btw, it’s just that I’m devoting the build to fixing them.) I have quite a few ideas for the future of Project Nelson, such as the new file copying system, as well as building on the program modal implemented in Build 018, and a new taskbar system.

The next few years are waiting, and I hope they’ll be just as exciting as the previous ones.