Saturday, 22 December 2012

Internationalisation! ( -zation?)

Like almost all of my software, I wrote Organise to fill my own needs and still use it heavily myself.

Occasionally someone has contacted me about problems with calculations if their system preferences are set to format numbers differently from here in the UK (for example, if they're in a country using a comma as a decimal separator and dot '.' as a thousand separator).

But I've never gone through the app and made sure that Organise works perfectly regardless of user number formats. The same thing applies to the sales tax rate (for example, Canada apparently has three different taxes, which Organise hasn't been able to handle).

I had a wake-up call when Organise was put on offer on a popular download site recently. Why people buy software without taking advantage of a free trial I don't know, but they apparently do, and it's very awkward when they find that it doesn't work for them.

It has been a tough task. The code behind Organise is vast now and there are many places where it makes calculations and needs to take account of the user's choice of number format. But I'm just about there.

And to complete a truly international version (version 6!), I've also tried to add the flexibility that's needed for folks to calculate their sales tax wherever they are. Defaults are in line with the UK rules, but as you can see here it's now as customisable as I think it needs to be.
I hope to have a release candidate ready for download in the new year.

Monday, 3 December 2012

disappointment with iTunes 11

I'd like to give some link love to Joe of eMac Consulting.

His procedure for 'upgrading' iTunes 11 back to 10 worked perfectly for me

I've been open about the fact that I enjoy using Snow Leopard for my day-to-day work. I do think it is the height of Apple's powers and I don't like the general direction since Lion.

After reading about iTunes 11 I couldn't resist getting hold of the shiny new interface.

I think the lack of coverflow was the last straw, but before I realised that I'd started to feel disappointed with the interface.

I'm prepared to accept that this may be a reluctance to adopt change, but for the record here are a few things that baffled me:
  • Your music list is data - why not be able to change the way you view that data (list, album list, grid or coverflow) easily with buttons at the top of the window, consistent with Finder?
  • The box at the top was a good analogy for an LCD display. OK, it no longer has the LCD look (what is it meant to look like now?) but it just doesn't seem right to have controls in there (eg the shuffle button)
  • The play, next and previous buttons no longer look like physical buttons - there's nothing to tell you that they're 'pressable'. I can't see any reason for this change other than 'for the sake of it' but whatever the reason, why still have the volume slider looking 3D physical thing?
I've fallen back in love with iT10 and that's a lesson learned about trying these new things out on my Mountain Lion machine (or rather partition) before making 'difficult-to-reverse' changes here on my lovely Snow Leopard.