Novell hack week, day 4

Four days down. How time flies when you’re having fun. I must admit that Sterling is barely past the point where it creates a panel applet that does nothing – but on the other hand, I’ve absorbed a bit of how-to on C# and Mono tools. It’s rather pleasant so far.

Apart from the panel applet business, I’ve gotten the build framework for GConf schemas, gettext, icons and UI files out of the way, so I think it’s fair to say it’s getting ready to administer kicks to the proverbial hindside. I’ll have a public Git repo up sometime tomorrow.

Sterling panel applet
Hey, it’s a start.

Novell hack week, day 2

Day 2 is at an end, and I’ve spent it learning about C# and Mono tools, looking into how other projects do stuff. I now have a Git repository with a fledgling project structure, and a more solid foundation to work from knowledge-wise.

I feel a little bad for posting that Monodevelop screenshot yesterday. The intention wasn’t to make Monodevelop look bad, but rather to convey the occasional feeling of exasperation you can get when learning to use new tools, moving outside your comfort zone. I was using the older version that comes with openSUSE 10.3, assuming that would’ve been patched to fix most serious issues. I was wrong.

Fortunately, the eminent Mr. Hutchinson pointed me in the right direction – I got a newer version from one of his build service repos, and that works much better, although it still spews a little to the terminal. You can tell a lot of work went into it; this is the first time I’ve felt like I’m using a true IDE on Linux, i.e. the “integration” part actually works.

Mike arrived from Mexico City last night and will be spending the next couple of days here. His tiny new Lenovo X series Thinkpad looks totally sweet, but he spent a lot of time fighting poor wireless drivers. I guess most of us can empathize with that. Tomorrow, Tambet and Federico will hopefully join us, and we can all bask in teh hack week synergy.

Novell hack week, day 1

Novell’s hack week has started. For those of you who don’t know what a hack week is, it’s a work week where we, the programmers at Novell, get to goof around with more or less whatever project we find interesting.

I’ve chosen to start a new project called “Sterling”, the goal of which is to keep better track of my moneys. I’ve used GnuCash to do this for some time, but it’s clunky and overkill for my uses. I want to streamline the process of entering transactions and otherwise keep the complexity down, especially for people like me who know (and care) little about accounting. Indeed, I want the UI to resemble Tomboy‘s in many ways:

  • Always running, with a panel applet interface.
  • Desktop-global “new transaction” hotkey.
  • Per-user database, no open/save dialogs.
  • Implicit save on edit.
  • Type-ahead completion of transaction description.
  • Suggesting details of transaction based on similar past transactions.
  • Tagging of transactions for easy cross-sectioning.
  • Simple search-as-you-type view of transaction history.
  • Multiple currencies recognized by their ISO 4217 codes.

Star Trek future features:

  • Currency conversion (use Google?).
  • Multiple registers (similar to books in Tomboy).
  • Export to XML, merge from XML.
  • Remote synchronization (by Zeroconf discovery or specific URI) allowing for shared databases.
  • Desktop search integration.
  • Drop-dead attractive graphs.

In order to make things as difficult for myself as possible, I’ve decided to learn something new and do it in C#/Mono. Of course, I’m already running into trouble…

MonoDevelop got stuck

Strange but true. I miss C, Emacs, Automake already.