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FlexTime 1.0b6

July 24th, 2006

The feedback I’ve gotten on FlexTime since releasing the last beta almost two weeks ago has been simply amazing. I really appreciate all the thoughtful comments people have made. While there has been some scrutinizing the limited feature set of this initial version, most of the feedback has focused on eliminating annoying bugs and making minor tweaks to improve the usability of the product.

I’m really happy with how things are progressing.

FlexTime 1.0b6 contains a number of fixes directly motivated and inspired by beta testers. Please note before downloading that the document format has changed in this release. To ease the transition, I’m including a “Document Upgrader” droplet that should take care of any old documents you have created with previous beta releases. BUT you should update all of your documents and never look back at older FlexTime releases. Please, do it for the children.

Update: Andy Lee found a heinous UI problem in 1.0b6 that prevented repeating cues from being set on new activities. Ouch! I’ve made a quick fix and upped the download to 1.0b7.

Click Here to download FlexTime 1.0b7.
Reminder: Be sure to drag your old documents to the upgrader droplet!

So now that we have the big scary document change out of the way, what else is in store with this release? Here are my notes:

- Revised About Box 
- Custom document icon
- Add "Repeat when finished" checkbox to main document window
- Add a "Remember Layout" menu item to save info in document:
	- Window frame
	- Table column order and sizes
- Scriptability
	- Added support for a "reset" command
	- Added scriptable access to the "running" attribute
		of a routine document
			- Caveat: cannot stop/resume from within a cue
			handler script at this time.
	- Added a "Display Message" command to give script access
		 to the text message mechanism
	- Early support for a special handler in AppleScript cues.
		HandleFlexTimeCue(theDocument, theActivity) gets called
		if exists within the cue script
- Fix a bug that prevented scripts from being chosen for Run Script
- Fix crashing bugs with "Speak Text" cues
- Fix a crash that could occur when a script alias was stale
- New documents now start out with a single default activity
- Open documents are now preserved across launches

Executive summary? Lots of bug fixes, a slightly cleaned up UI, and a controversial “Remember Layout” feature. Let me say now that this item is probably going to disappear before 1.0 final, so don’t get too used to it. The idea is that some FlexTime routines are suited to a particular UI layout and that layout should be remembered by the application. The question is whether the remembering should be automatic or explicit. I think I’ve been convinced that it should be automatic, and be saved in the user’s preferences instead of the document itself. If you’ve got strong feelings about this, now is the time to make your case.

So what’s left before it goes final? Mostly just documentation and finishing up the AppleScript support. Keep your eyes peeled for a final release within the next few weeks.

11 Responses to “FlexTime 1.0b6”

  1. Sean Says:

    Haven’t tried 1.0b6, so maybe you added it, but it’s not in your release notes so I thought I’d ask. How about adding the time remaining on the current timer as an actual time display? There is the pie chart, but I’d rather have the option to see the actual minutes and seconds.

    Thanks! Keep up the good work.

  2. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi Sean- that is on my list but I have decided to put it off until after 1.0. I need to remain focused on getting 1.0 out there as a final, but I am planning to get something like this done in an update soon after 1.0.

  3. duus Says:

    hello. continues to be a great product.

    So: when I open a new routine, the “Intervals” menu has a activity drop down menu (as normal) and a text field, instead of another drop-down for, for example, the sound I want. My converted routines do not have this issue, however.

    Here is a jpg window grab of what i’m talking about.

  4. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    duus: you commented almost exactly at the same moment as I was uploading the new 1.0b7 to fix this :) Please try redownloading from the link above. Sorry for the inconvenience! This was just a stupid mistake that I didn’t catch before posting 1.0b6.

  5. duus Says:

    oh–i should have read the updatte first…my comment is no longer operative given 1.0b7…

  6. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    heh – and I think this is the first time I’ve played “comment tag” with anybody :)

  7. duus Says:

    humorously, i also posted my follow-up comment at the same time you wrote yours. Thanks!

  8. possum4all Says:

    Cant’ wait for 1.0 … outside of the countdown timer chagne mentioned in the first comment above … this thing is golden. Great work.

  9. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    possum4all: thanks! I think the “time remaining” thing is going to end up being pushed to a post-1.0 update. I’m thinking that a good start towards satisfying this will be to offer two new column types: “time remaining” and “time elapsed” and allow columns to be hidden or shown at the user’s discretion.

  10. Mitch Says:

    First, Daniel, thank you for writing this app. It’s precisely what I wanted in terms of timers.

    Perhaps it is a little late for a UI suggestion, but what would be really useful would be an option to shrink down or hide the routine portion of the window. This way you only get the controls and maybe a small counter. I setup my routines so that the sound corresponds with what I’m supposed to be doing, but instead of hiding or minimizing I’d like to have a little box ala iTunes in minimized mode to keep an eye on.

  11. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Great idea, Mitch. I am already considering a menu-bar item as a possible enhancement but your minimized window idea sounds good, too. I’m glad you’re enjoying the app.

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