Saturday, July 22, 2006

Crunchy news

It's now been a month since my last blog post and a lot has happened in the meantime. We (Johannes and I) have just released a new version of Crunchy Frog. We were planning to do a release (version 0.5) a bit earlier but we kept "fixing this", "adding that little bit", "changing this", etc., until I felt it was well beyond what had been planned for the next release. So, after discussing briefly about it (at Johannes's request), we set up a roadmap for Crunchy Frog as a whole (as oppposed to just for Johannes' project) with a date set for the 1.0 release that would coincide with the end of this Summer of Code project for Johannes.

The new public release (0.6) looks very different from the previous public one (0.4). Crunchy now has its own site. Previously, Johannes had set up an svn repository which has come extremely handy. This summer of code project is supposed to be a learning experience from the student (Johannes) under the direction of a more experienced mentor (that would be me). However, I can say that it has been a huge learning experience for me. So far, I had only worked on my own project, and only very recently had learned to use an svn repository on my own computer. Working as part of a team (supposedly as the team leader [I have the final say, if need be]; in reality, it's pretty much a team of equals, each of us having different strengths) has been an experience in itself.

While we have settled on a roadmap, I can already see some additional features, not mentioned so far, that I would like to implement before the end of the summer. For those interesed in Crunchy Frog: stay tuned, there could be some very nice new stuff added soon.

The 0.6 release got some attention outside of "regular channels" and I just found out that there exists another Python project named CrunchyFrog (no space between the two words). This, I think, is most unfortunate and I am in a bit of a quandry as to what to do about the name. Note that the developper behind CrunchyFrog, who brought its existence to my attention, not only has not complained about me choosing this name, but has actually set up a link to Crunchy Frog on his own website. [This is something we'll definitely have to reciprocate; Johannes is responsible for the website and is taking a well deserved break after the last minute rush to get everything organised for the 0.6 release.] Nonetheless, the possibility of changing the name of the project has to be considered ... even though Johannes has designed a nice graphical interface based on a Frog theme.

With all this attention devoted to Crunchy Frog, Rur-ple's development has been suspended. However, just a few days ago, Michel Weinachter sent me
  • a "patch" so that the user-chosen language can be remembered from one session to the next;
  • an exe version, produced by py2exe, so that Windows users don't need to install Python nor wxPython to use Rur-ple;
  • some simple code to make use of a clipboard within rur-ple; I have not had time to see how to make this work though;
  • just today, a link to a Firefox extension useful to users of Crunchy Frog. This extension enables the "normal" use of a tab key within an html <textarea>, which comes in handy when typing Python code.
Merci Michel!

So, all in all, a busy month with lots of long nights of coding after work. I have a great job, which does not and never will require me to do any programming [sometimes, much to my chagrin.] However, as a hobby, programming in Python has really been a fantastic one. It is my hope that the programs I create will be found useful by others.