Minimalism with a nod to Generation-M

I’m a minimalist in design and especially in user-interface design.However, a lot of my market will hopefully include not the Gen-X or Gen-Y but the current Gen-M (M for MyXXX). The denizens of MySpace, FaceBook et al are possibly the first group of conforming non-confirmists who can truly say we are all individuals. So, assuming some of them share my own sensible taste for minimalism, how is an application design supposed to satisfy the rest?

Or, to put it much more aggressively, how can a modern application justify not providing umpteen ways to customise the look and feel and a healthy aftermarket in plugins, templates, art and trivia? The easy answer is the FaceBook answer – provide things as an online application and let the users hack at it with web technologies.How close to that customisability can a modern desktop app go?

Intro to A Little Management

ALM is a “Getting Things Done” application which is cross-platform, highly-extensible and allows you to change philosophies. If you fall out of love with the strict GTD approach there are other ways to manage things.

The core idea for ALM came from my frustration in trying to use the Thinking Rock product to apply the GTD philosophy but having to fill in separate timesheet apps, project management apps and issue trackers. Enough manual synchronisation – I want a way for smart people to be able to hook my tools together!

The main ALM development is in REALbasic to yield a cross-platform GUI, including Linux, and make it easily extensible. The entire ALM source and supporting business application frameworks will also be licensable.

Intro to AppMakerX

Full rights to AppMaker were acquired some years ago from Spec Bowers but due to failure of Apple to document some things and the source code being in an older version of CodeWarrior, it didn’t really make it to OS/X.

The new version separates out the code generation side in the Python language, replacing the proprietary OO language which Spec had created and working on an intermediate format closely related to XAML. The initial cross-platform GUI editor is being written in REALbasic and will invoke the Python-based code generator.

A Windows-specific .Net editor is also being developed. Source code for both will be available for licensing.

Deciding a Documentation Tool

Why and How to Write

I’m trying to decide between the various tools I own in which to write the user guides for my various products. As well as thrashing out design ideas here on the blog I think actually writing stuff down is a good way to end analysis paralysis aka designer dithering.In the course of writing this evaluation (I really do think with my fingers) it became clear that one of the simplest deciding factors between publication tools is their internal and external referencing facility and how well it scales.

The other unsurprising dimension to my evaluations is that I’m deciding between document production and WYSIWYG editing tools. Productivity in writing is often increased by less control over layout, during the actual writing phase 🙂

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G’day world!

This blog will cover various aspects of designing applications, tools used in development and other random thoughts. I’m using WordPress as a blog solution offered on GoDaddy to experiment with what was a very highly-rated blogging tool when I asked the question on several small business forums.

I’m also experimenting with several blogs run directly on blogger.com which shall remain anonymous partly because I want to see how they go with generating advertising income and so don’t want to skew that with references from here.

The WordPress online composition seems similar to Blogger and if anything a little more robust especially with the facility to include heading markup. WordPress allowing both casual Tags and more formal Categories is interesting and fits some of my other prejudices – light on structure, heavy on tags.