Sunday, November 12, 2006

12 Nov 2006

The last two weeks have been a disaster as far as productivity goes. I've had some distractions (of the good kind) and I guess have been feeling somewhat burned out. But forward progress has not completely ground to a halt, and so here is what I've been up to lately.

I haven't made much progress on a McCLIM backend work since those first few days after I announced the start of that project. This is not due to lack of interest! I think I was pushing a little too hard in my efforts to simultaneously understand the CLIM spec, and the existing codebase, and write backend code at the same time. This resulted in signficant burnout, so I decided to put this aside for a bit.

I was embarrassed to discover basic problems with loading the Graphic-Forms system, which I briefly mentioned in my previous blog entry. Who knows how many folks downloaded recent releases and gave up because of this. Well, at least there are fixes available (posted to the mailing list and checked in). Serves me right for not actually using the documented procedure myself. That too has been fixed.

My research into broader layout management functionality has continued. I have spent significant time investigating MiG Layout, which is a monster all-encompassing layout engine in Java. I don't intend to clone that thing, I'll just use it as a rich source of ideas to go along with the many other layout managers that are out there (in different languages). In a related vein, I've always recognized the importance of constraint-based layouts, so I've been on the lookout for constraint engines. A new project called computed-class has caught my eye. The project page advertises simplicity relative to some of the competition.

As for actual coding, I've been working on something called border-layout, which organizes a container window into 5 regions, each of which may be assigned a child component. I anticipate finishing coding and testing of this new layout class within the next several days.

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