Whew! The book-writing software I’ve been working on — iWriterPro — is finally finished! OK, at least the first release is finished. In Software-Land, nothing is ever “finished” — there’s always “one more bug…” (or one more feature).
It’s been a work-in-progress for the last year or so, in the midst of writing/editing two books, side-jobs, and of course, working. Much of the time (at least at first) was learning WPF, Microsoft’s latest client-development framework. iWriterPro was the project I chose to force myself to learn it, and now I’m fully sold on the technology. The data-binding and templates alone were worth the learning curve, not to mention Linq!
I’m a firm believer in “eating your own dogfood” while doing software development, and used iWriterPro with the next book I’m working on, which also slowed down the release — I kept finding new features to add (like Status Coloring, Email Backups, and Book Object popups)! Needless to say, I’m about 75,000 words into the book, and the software has held up great; even the searches are extremely fast over large amounts of text.
In addition to being a 100% WPF application, iWriterPro also uses .NET’s ClickOnce technology, which automatically installs the software on a user’s machine. No more writing goofy InstallShield/DemoShield installers that need who-knows-what dependencies on each user’s system! Nor are the installs 10’s or 100’s of MB in size, either — iWriterPro is less than 5 MB, and ClickOnce downloads the required components from Microsoft automatically.
The ClickOnce technology also periodically checks a user’s system automatically and pulls down updated components and files as they become available on the website. This feature helps keep all the remote clients at roughly the same version.
The last week or so, I’ve been reading up on the Facebook development platform, and added a tab to iWriterPro that displays it’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/iWriterPro/34221219777. It’s a basic start, and I can see more web-apps/client-apps soon utilizing the social-networking platforms to draw in more customers and increase the user-base.
If you’re interested in taking iWriterPro for a test drive, just go to the website (iWriterPro.com) and click the Download link. It has a 30-day free trial that’s also fully functional.
And now, onto something else for a while!