Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Weekend Coding Marathon!

Spent most of the past weekend coding! This is one thing i had stopped doing at home for more than 6 months now... Did lot of long pending refactoring for my pet project JAnimationShop

Did some amount of refactoring, and also Added some improvements to existing features and tried to improve the usability as a whole.

Some of the existing stuff that were hacked for better looks :

  • Total re-layout of all the components(too bad the locations were hard coded earlier) to move on to a dynamically resizing, self healing fluid layout.
  • All toolbars are now detachable and re-dockable.
  • The color palette can also float and dock!
  • Decided to use Substance L&F as the default for this project due to its smooth eye-candy finish and crisp looks, the substance color chooser was a major attraction though.

Some of the new features i added are :
  • Added a new concept called workarea, which is nothing but another workpane within the same window and can be used to edit a different set of animations if needed. (These are similar to virtual desktops on Linux). To facilitate this, a new Tabbed Pane appears below the menubar and toolbars(if any), and users can switch workareas by switching the tabs.

  • Revamped the whole design of the core part of the editor, the desktop pane which was in the middle and evolved it into a more usable component called Animation Work Area, which is mentioned above.
  • Each workarea shows tabs at the bottom to indicate the animations and previews being edited in that particular workarea, and is isolated from other workareas.
  • Any number of such workareas can be added or removed dynamically!
  • Added numbering to the workarea tabs to make it more visually appealing.

  • Substance L&F also provides a small preview of Internal frames which makes it more lucrative to use in an image editor.

  • Added a generic wizard which could be customized to create different wizards and currently working on the "New Animation Wizard".
  • If customized, Substance L & F can be used to provide more eye-candy stuff than these, but i am not planning to do it since it would close out the option for the users to use other look and feel classes they may like(Substance is just the default L & F i would be bundling, or rather testing on!).
Still to come... since i am continuing the marathon throughout this week... this post, i have been writing by taking breaks in coding ;)... more updates to follow...