It’s been a busy few months for me. In January, I left Australia to come to Denmark to take up a job at the University of Southern Denmark. I’m living in a place called Sønderborg in the south of Denmark, near the German border. It’s a remarkably beautiful area, with sea close by, a lovely forest, and fields of wheat. The job is exciting and stimulating and I get to work with wonderful colleagues.
At about the time that I left Australia, Rails 1.2.1 was released. While not quite as significant for me as moving to another continent, this new version of Rails did have some nice features. In particular, support for REST-style web services is built right in to the framework. Although this was great, nice and wonderful all at once, it also meant a lot of work for me, because I’d previously been using a plug-in to provide this support and that plug-in wasn’t really compatible with the new way of doing things. I ended up having to rewrite entire parts of the application in order to upgrade.
It took a long time, but this week, I finally was able to put my changes up and upgrade to the newest version of rails. My aim with this update was simply to replicate the code that was already there, so there weren’t many new features in it. However, there were a couple of small things that I think are worth mentioning.
- Contextual help: When you click on the help link from any stikis page, you get taken to a help topic for that page. Also, in general the help pages are much more up to date than they were.
- Marquee select for OSX: On a Macintosh, the CTL+click combination triggers a contextual menu in Firefox. Unfortunately, I was using this same combination to start a marquee select in stikis so things got pretty messed up. I added code to respond to the Apple key instead.
From now on, I hope to keep much shorter development cycles. I plan to make an update at least once a week (see the ‘Iceberg model’ article from a couple of days ago). In fact, I’ve already been able to push another update which allows you to rename your pages. In the coming week, I plan to work on the Edit Pane and make it so you can add some simple formatting to stiki text. Being able to make text in stikis bold is one of the most requested features and I’ve been itching to get stuck into it for a long time, so it should be fun.
Update: I already got something working in Firefox. Shorter development cycles here we come!