By admin, posted on Jun 4th 2009
Gah, I don’t know how long this has been broken (I guess a while) but I’ve just fixed it. So you can now download projectGenie again. Remember this is the Anderson version, Brookmeyer (the next version I’m developing) has come to a bit of a standstill while I work on a few other things.
By admin, posted on Mar 6th 2009
OK, so I haven’t done the post uploader with progress bar, or the ability for administrators to move notes to other tasks, but I have got one cool thing working:
You can now click on the “Show/hide attachments” link to see all attachments added to the current task. So no more browsing through multiple pages looking for that spreadsheet or image.
At the moment it doesn’t show any image thumbnails, but that won’t be hard to do. Of course, all this stuff will be available in the next version of projectGenie: Brookmeyer.
By admin, posted on Feb 7th 2009
Over the Christmas period I had the chance to work on Brookmeyer – the new version of projectGenie – quite a lot, so the bulk of the system framework is now working. I’ve just started to write the first template files (Brookmeyer will support themes/templates in the same way WordPress does). I’m then going to tie the front and back-ends together using the template tag API. So far, so WordPress. I’m still trying to work out how to make plugins work, so no news on that yet.
However things haven’t stood still for Anderson, the currently available version of projectGenie. I’m in the process of adding a few new features which will soon be available in the demo and in the downloadable system. In a nutshell:
- Small screen/mobile-phone friendly theme called MobileGreenie
- Ability to select the theme you want to use for a session when logging in (useful when on a mobile device, of course)
- When changing the theme for yourself, the theme is applied immediately (yes, this one bugged me)
- When uploading an MP3 file a Flash player (using fantastic technology from Jeroen Wijering) now appears so you can play the file online (a band I play in now use this feature to share cool tracks, recordings and ideas for songs we could cover)
- More configuration options to hide or show milestones, bugs and memos on the homepage
However there are still a couple of things I want to do with Anderson yet. Most importantly is get an upload progress indicator when attaching files to notes. This will use SWFUpload, I just need to iron a few problems out. I also want to add the ability for administrators to easily move notes to other tasks of they are in the wrong place.
Once I’ve got those two things sorted I’ll do some testing and get the new version of Anderson uploaded. I’ll also have a list of the modified files so those of you with existing installs don’t have to overwrite everything – just the stuff that’s changed.
By admin, posted on Dec 18th 2008
Yes, too long etc. Anyway, things have actually Started (and I use a capital “S” because they really have started). I now have the beginnings of a framework for projectGenie that will allow people to develop their own themes, and even write plugins.
I’m being heavily influenced by the WordPress way of doing things, as learning from people that have trodden a road before is a wise thing to do. You’ll see the similarities if you’re familiar with the workings of WordPress (for example the projectGenie configuration file is called “pg-config.php”) and regarding themes you can of course copy the default one and amend it to your hearts desire.
As mentioned in my last post I’m going to make projectGenie an Open Source project, meaning anyone can download the full source code and amend it. Any changes must be released with the same license back to the community, then we all get to share the good times.
However that’s not going to happen just yet. Once I’ve got the basic system working with a simple plugin and theme architecture I’ll create a repository and put the details here. Until then I’ll try – I really will! – to keep this blog updated more often.
By admin, posted on Apr 14th 2008
OK, cards on the table time. I have very little time with which to work on projectGenie, although I have many ideas I’d like to see happen. While I’ve made some progress with the next version of ‘Genie (“Brookmeyer”) it’s not happening fast enough. I think there’s a market, if that’s the right word, for a system like projectGenie so I’m going to be making it an open source project.
However even that isn’t a two-minute job. I haven’t decided on which project hosting system to use (any recommendations between SourceForge and Google?) although Jon has been extremely helpful. And before it’s opened I’d like to get a framework ready so that developers can build easily on top.
In a nutshell here’s what I want for ‘Genie:
- Clean HTML
- Multiple themes, selectable from thumbnails (like WordPress)
- Mobile phone version (just task lists, comments and ability to reply)
- Simple time management, with tape-recorder “record, pause, stop” buttons
- Better document management, including page of thumbnails for all images attached to a task/project
- Simple financial management, including ability to set a price for a task/project and record multiple payments against that price
- Plugin system (a bit like WordPress) so developers can add items to menus to run plugin pages (for reports etc)
- Better configuration and user settings management, storing everything in the database
Plus a lot of cleaning up of the interface so projectGenie is even easier to use. It’s a lot to ask, but I hope by opening the source to the good citizens of the web we’ll be able to make something really good and useful for us all.
By admin, posted on Mar 12th 2008
It’s been so long since I posted anything here I’m embarrassed. However work on the next version of projectGenie (Brookmeyer) continues – albeit at glacial pace. I’ve been speaking with a couple of people recently about making it properly open-source, so that anyone can contribute to the project. I’m currently investigating options for that and will hopefully have some time to do something about it.
In the meantime the world still needs project management, so here’s a long list of both web and desktop software that may help you to organise your projects and tasks: http://tutorialblog.org/freelancers-manage-your-projects/
By admin, posted on Aug 16th 2007
One of the main reasons for rewriting projectGenie (you knew I was doing that, right?) is to clean up a lot of the little things. After all, an application is just a collection of tiny details so it makes sense to get those details right.
So here’s a quick preview of part of the old interface:
And it’s new counterpart:
Much better, I think.
By admin, posted on Jul 18th 2007
You know that lack of time I was talking about? It’s now even more lacking. However despite that I have had chance to spend some time on the upcoming Brookmeyer release, and have finally nailed three important parts.
- Page template and ‘engine’: this is the set of classes that power the entire site – templating, database connection, security etc
- AJAX components using Prototype and Performer
- Page architecture – what goes where, and what links to where
So from that you can tell I’ve made quite a bit of progress. There’s a long way to go, I still have almost every page to shuffle round so it looks better and is easier to use, but progress has been made.
In the meantime I have a bit of technical know-how that might help you out. A couple of projectGenie users have complained that they get SQL errors after installing the current version. If that’s you then don’t panic, it’s a problem to do with the configuration file (fixed in the new version to come). Going to ‘Configuration’ and clicking the update button (you don’t need to change anything, just click the button) will re-jig your installation and sort it right out.
By admin, posted on Jun 11th 2007
Hmm. Things didn’t go according to plan this weekend. There was such a lot of client work to do I didn’t get time to do anything on Brookmeyer, the new version of projectGenie Which means I’m badly behind schedule, which means I won’t meet the (self-imposed) deadline on Thursday.
It’s a shame, but then I did set myself an almost impossible task. The good news is I’ve made loads of progress by giving myself a really short amount of time to Get Something Done, and I’m fired up to get even more done very soon. So, hopefully, it won’t be long before I’m cutting the digital ribbon on a whole new version.
Until then, if you’re one of the people looking forward to trying out Brookmeyer, then sorry. You’ll have to wait a little bit longer.
By admin, posted on Jun 8th 2007
There is less than a week to go to the release of version Brookmeyer of projectGenie. In quite what state I’ll drag myself across the line I’m not sure, but I’m fairly pleased with progress. The install, database, templating, security and application modules are done, so I’m now just faced with modifying the actual display screens to be easier to use.
Speaking of user interfaces, those clever blokes over at 37signals have updated the dashboard of Basecamp again. Basecamp is their insanely popular project management system (over 1 million people have signed up!) and is a huge inspiration to me. Basecamp is projectGenie‘s main competitor, but seeing as I’m giving my software away for free, and they host theirs and take care of all the technical headaches, we’re not quite in the same market.
Their dashboard is now better than ever. Here’s a quick list of some of the goodies are;
- It’s not weighed down by loads of icons (I have a tendency to throw an icon at anything that moves)
- It has colour-coding, but not so much that it overwhelms the eye
- It has a calendar that shows you what you need to see, but then gets out of the way
- It has easy-to-read lists instead of clunky grids
- It shows the *required* information, not frippery (do I really need to know what time a message was posted at three weeks ago? No, I just need the date)
- It groups tasks logically, by project
As I mentioned, projectGenie and Basecamp are targeted at two different markets (OK, projectGenie isn’t really targeted at any market) so while there’s a lot to learn from the masters of lean, mean web applications, I won’t be copying it wholesale. That would be bad-mannered. Instead I’m going to try to be a little more selective in the graphical elements and layouts I choose (less icons, more simple lists, group things logically).
And, who knows, I may even get it done by the deadline.