Another Beta Round

Version 1.3.5 is ready for beta testing, and it includes a major change to the Summary View. I’d really like to get this release bullet-proof before I release it to the general public, so if you’re interested in playing with it, send me an email.

Fixes and Hints

Version 1.3.3 was released yesterday, to fix a couple of regression bugs that crept in. The first bug was really ugly; repeats looked like they had broken. If you moved to another month and then moved back, the repeated cells would appear in the right places. Anyway, this is now fixed.

The second bug had to do with editing a cell that contained a relative reference, like ‘yesterday’ or ‘last week’. Clicking on the cell wouldn’t show the right contents in the edit field. This bug has been there for a while, so I’m surprised no one has noticed it before now.

Finally, I’ve set up a mailing list for Horizon Hints. This will be a weekly email describing some feature or trick, and you can subscribe by filling in the form here. The first hint will go out next week, and I’ll set up an archive for them shortly.

Updates, updates

Version 1.3.2 was released yesterday. There are two major new features in 1.3.2. The first is an option in ‘Preferences’ to let you choose which day of the week you want the calendar to start on. In North America and the UK(I think) the calendar starts with Sunday, but in a lot of countries in Europe, the calendar starts with Monday. Now you have the option.

Trust me, Apple didn’t make this easy to implement. Even with all the locale settings, the list of localized day names is hard-wired to start with the local equivalent of ‘Sunday’, so I had to build a way of ‘spinning’ the list so that it could start at any day of the week.

The second feature is tied to the first. The calendar now determines how many rows are needed to display the whole month, and draws five or six rows as needed. Of course, changing the start day can affect the number of rows, so the two features are intertwined. I hope they both make Horizon easier to use, and more compatible with the way you work.

Also, I’ve added an RSS feed to the front page of the site. You can subscribe to this feed with your favorite newsreader, and get the news on the latest updates.

Horizon Version 1.3.1

Version 1.3.1 is available now, through the usual channels. This is a bug fix release, and incorporates a new version of the esellerate engine. The esellerate engine is used for purchase and licensing, so this is the thing that gives some users problems when trying to purchase or activate their license. I hope this new version will fix those problems, but I can’t make any promises.

Version 1.3 is Out, What’s in Store for 1.4?

Version 1.3 of Horizon went live this past week, with 3 major new features and a bunch of bug fixes.

Of all the features, I think my favourite is the cell comments. Cell Comments solve a number of problems and satisfied one of the major user requests I’ve received for the program. Thanks to Matt Gemmell’s great MAAttachedWindow code, implementing the comment pop-up was pretty simple. I really like the look of the floating comments, I hope you do, too.

Right now, I’m working on bug fixes to 1.3, so you can expect a 1.3.1 in the next week or two. The big question is, what should version 1.4 contain? Here are some features that I’ve been considering, or are in the works:

  • Charts – I’ve been working on the OpenGL charts for a while, but I still need to learn more about OpenGL before I’m happy releasing the code.
  • Applescript Support – This shouldn’t be too hard to implement, and would let people automate their Horizon documents.
  • .Mac Integration – I could incorporate .Mac support for backup and syncronization of documents. I’d be starting at ground zero with this, but it looks like Apple has a pretty decent toolkit.

So my question is: what priority should I assign to these features? Which features would be most useful for you? Which features do you think other people would find the most useful?

Please let me know your thoughts on this. Please reply in the comments, or send me an email. Thanks.

Version 1.3 is out!

This morning sees the release of Horizon 1.3. If you’re already running Horizon, you should be notified by the Software Update feature, or you can use the ‘Check Now’ button in the Updates Panel of the Preferences window.

Horizon 1.3 contains 3 major new features. The first is a Week view. You can access this from the View Menu, or the keyboard shortcut Cmd + 2. The week view lets you see a lot more cells if you have a lot of categories.

The second feature gives you an alternative to multiple categories. You can now add comments to individual cells. So, you can do something like set up an ‘Entertainment’ category, and then tag cells with comments like ‘Dinner’ or ‘Video Rental’. The comments appear in a little translucent window when you hover over the cell, so they’re easy to find.

The third feature adds the same kind of comments to categories. You can add and read the comments using the ‘Get Info’ Window on the categories.

I’d love to hear your feedback on these new features. Please let me know what works for you and what doesn’t, and how you’d like to see things improved. These last three features are a direct result of user feedback, so please keep it coming.

Also, I’m looking for ways to actively promote Horizon. If you’re a blogger or a software reviewer, please contact me, and I’ll be happy to provide an NFR code.

Me Neither

Sanjay Samani has a great blog post here. Luckily, I can no longer remember my 1.0 version (was May really that long ago?) but I shared the same dreams. And I still think Horizon has a long and prosperous future ahead of it. I just have to convince the rest of the world.

On Leopard, and Horizon 1.3

I’ve been downloading and installing my developer version of Leopard since last night, and Horizon is behaving normally on the final build of Mac OS X 10.5. If anyone has any issues in Horizon that they believe are related to Leopard, please let me know as soon as possible.

The next version of Horizon is feature complete, but these are big features and they need serious testing. So, I’m looking for beta testers again. Please email me if you’re interested in testing Horizon 1.3. You can use the contact link at the bottom of the home page for this. Please let me know if you’re running 10.4 or 10.5, and if you’ve got a PowerPC or Intel-based Mac. I’d like to get as broad a mix as possible, so I won’t be turning anyone away. Thanks in advance if you’ll help with the testing.

So, the iPhone SDK

Yeah, I can’t wait. Ever since the iPhone was first announced, and before Horizon 1.0 was launched, I thought that Horizon would be a killer app for the iPhone platform. It’s going to be about a year later than I’d hoped, but it will happen.

I’ve got all kinds of ideas for the touch UI, but I’ll have to wait to see the SDK before I know which ones are possible and which make the most sense. Expect some zooming, sliding, and pinching, and I hope some form of data entry ‘HUD’ overlaid on the calendar.

Wow, I don’t even know what I’m going to call it. Horizon Touch? Horizon-To-Go? Hopefully something better than either of those.

This is where I really need user input. I’m hoping for all kinds of ideas and suggestions from users for how I can make the iPhone/iPod Touch version of Horizon the best app on the platform. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know. I’ve had some terrific suggestions from users for features for Horizon on the Mac, so I’m hoping for more of the same.

The Simplest Things

The current version of Horizon has some unexpected behaviour; if you have the welcome screen set to appear in your preferences, it will always appear. You really don’t want to see it when you double-click on a Horizon document, or you drag a document or number of documents onto the Horizon icon.

This turns out to be a bit tricky to fix, but the fix is amazingly simple. As the program loads it calls the delegate methods applicationWillFinishLoading, application: openFile, and applicationDidFinishLoading in that order. Since the Welcome Screen is displayed in the applicationDidFinishLoading method, all I had to do was set a flag in application: openFile. Or so I thought. See, that method is actually supposed to load the file, and I thought calling the super method would be good enough. Wrong.

I actually have to load the file with the documentController method openDocumentWithContentsOfURL:display:error:. Now it works. And it works with a file dragged onto the icon, and multiple files dragged onto the icon. Nice.