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Different Canvas Colors September 16, 2006

Posted by Dan Ackerson in upgrade.
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It was high-time to get back to the colorSpace drawing applet and give it some lovin’. I’ve now added the ability to ‘fill’ the background with any color you want – finally, you can choose the color of your canvas!

Look for some performance improvements there in the near future (as a first step in getting ready for applet->applet colorSharing. :o)

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September 9, 2006

Posted by Dan Ackerson in upgrade.
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I just put the finishing touches on the web application – now you can rename your Spaces in the list view (as well as get a confirmation on a delete action). Go check it out and tell me what you think!

Usability September 3, 2006

Posted by Dan Ackerson in upgrade.
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At the end of the day, if your web application isn’t usable it ain’t gonna be used. I’ve taken some time again today to try and make a few things more accessible to the average user (and a few bugfixes to boot).

In addition to adding some basic validation for registration & space names, I’ve reworked the “Show a friend!” link to allow you to E-Mail a friend containing the URL necessary to view your online coloring. This is much easier than trying to explain to people “No, just Right-click, copy shortcut & then paste this in an email or IM session”. Don’t worry – for those of you who’ve already figured this out I’ve kept a “(direct link)” available!

The new feature – email yourself a snapshot of the current colorSpace (it was half-done in the code, and I figured why not throw the user a bone and give ’em something they might like to have).

Forthcoming: delete space confirmation, and editing space names – stay tuned!

Rainy Sunday August 27, 2006

Posted by Dan Ackerson in Uncategorized.
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And what do I do on a rainy day like today? Work on colorSpace of course! Today, I rearranged the homepage to make a clearer separation between trying out the product and signing in for existing users. I replaced all instances of “Pages” with “Spaces” (after all, we are coloring Spaces aren’t we?) and reworked the list page to make the E-Mail option hopefully more clear (with better hover text on mouseovers as well).

“What about the new features ?”, you ask. No release would be complete without a new feature and today I’ve added a nice popup in the list view page to give you a better idea exactly what the drawing contains. Just move the mouse over the thumbnail view to see what I’m talking about!

What if August 23, 2006

Posted by Dan Ackerson in Uncategorized.
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What if I replaced the current (AJAX driven) image mechanism that is used in the “Share with a friend” page with another “drawing” applet? As I’m already requiring folks to have Java installed if they want to color anything, how much more of a stretch is it to assume that the people they share with do not have (or cannot get) the Java Plug-in installed on their browsers? Besides an incredible performance boosts for all parties (drawing client, my poor server and the watching client) it provides the first solid capability to allow real user interactions (“Hey, that tree would look a lot better if it were purple!”). What do you think?

Ironing some bugs out August 10, 2006

Posted by Dan Ackerson in upgrade.
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My Mom had some problems logging in and using colorSpace yesterday after my 1.0 announcement. After taking a closer look at the site, I realized it really wasn’t her fault (when is it _ever_ the user’s fault??) but just some bad usability :( .

So, I’ve reworked some things and hopefully its a bit clearer now. Please, let me know if something is confusing or doesn’t seem to work right – I appreciate the feedback and am always ready to improve everyone’s experience with the product.

colorSpace 1.0 August 7, 2006

Posted by Dan Ackerson in site info, upgrade.
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I’ve introduced some custom icons for the colorPicker and fillBucket actions. More importantly, the Undo button actually works now!

That’s it for this Summer – depending on your feedback, I will start refactoring the backend web application architecture in a few months (and hope to be done by Christmas).

If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do so here!

Almost ready for 1.0 August 5, 2006

Posted by Dan Ackerson in upgrade.
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I’ve added an “Auto-Save” feature to colorSpace which saves your current picture whenever you navigate away from the drawing applet. Also, its easier now for demo users to both save their drawing and create an account at the same time! The last feature for the 1.0 release is “Undo” – look for it sometime next weekend…

Vacation! July 29, 2006

Posted by Dan Ackerson in site info.
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The site will be down a few days while I go relax…so get outside and enjoy the sun (and surf if available)!

Going forward July 17, 2006

Posted by Dan Ackerson in upgrade.
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The 1.0 is almost ready – I want to allow folks just passing by (and probably just using the demo drawing applet) to also Save their work (which will auto-create an account for them). This “Auto-Save” feature will also kick-in whenever you navigate away from the drawing applet (which today throws your drawing completely away :( ).

The current web application was built using Grails (0.1). This was a great framework for getting up and running out-of-the-box. I hardly needed to pay any attention at all to the persistence layers and the control architecture was also very easy to follow. However, I have started to run into some customization problems with this brand new framework. For colorSpace 2.0, I will shift the framework over to AppFuse (1.9.3) and I anticipate about 3 weeks effort to do so.