Posts Tagged ‘Main Window’

Better Windows Integration

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

While I’m working currently on another big feature – multiple tank and gas support, more about that in my next blog post – I want to show you today a minor, but also useful improvement, which is already finished and will be available in the next update: better Windows integration. Windows 7 users will notice that Diving Log makes now use of the new taskbar features like jumplists and progress indicator in the taskbar icon.


Taskbar Progress Indicator

And finally, logbook files get a file icon and can be opened by double clicking them in the Explorer:

If Microsoft Access is installed on your computer, Diving Log will not overwrite the file association and integrates instead into the “Open With” context menu, so you can open logbook files either with Access or Diving Log.

Access and Diving Log

Diving Log 5.0 Release Candidate 1

Monday, December 14th, 2009

It’s now about two month since the first beta of Diving Log 5.0 was published back in October and during this time I’ve released several updates and bug fixes. Now it’s time to make it available to a wider audience, so I’ve created a first release candidate (RC 1) with installer and put it on the download website of Diving Log. You can also download the latest version as zip file from the beta portal.

If you are new to Diving Log 5.0 I recommend you read the old blog posts where I describe with many screenshots all the new features of version 5.0. In this forum post I’ve linked most of the important posts. You can use your 4.0 registration data to unlock the release candidate of version 5.0 and use the same logbook file.

What’s new in the release candidate from the last 5.0 beta version? The most important difference is, that the release candidate will run until end of February 2010 (the final version will be available before that date). All previous beta versions will stop working on January 1st 2010! The RC 1 has also some significant improvements for non standard DPI settings (> 92 DPI) of Windows. So if you are using high resolution screens, you should not see any major display bugs anymore. The last new feature is the ability to configure the background of the main window with several options:

Office 2007 Background

Office 2007 Background

Background Image

Background Image

Here is a short list of features that are currently missing and will be included in the final release:

  • Import of Diving Log logbook files
  • Profile edit function (not yet sure if this will be included in the initial 5.0 release)
  • Template function
  • Backup function
  • Update Check
  • Full localization

So, what’s the roadmap for the next weeks? I’ll release at least one more release candidate in January, in the meantime I’ll update the zip files on the beta portal regularly. The final version should be available somewhere end of January or early February.

Diving Log 5.0 – Window Management

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Yes – it is done! The importers and downloaders are integrated into the main project and for the first time the project is complete. It’s like putting the last piece into a jigsaw puzzle and you see for the first time the complete picture. I’ll do for the rest of this week some smaller refinements and testing and I’m going to release next week a first alpha version for all Diving Log 4.0 users who are interested (no public beta yet).

In this post I want to explain the window management and interaction between the several windows in version 5.0, which is a little bit different from 4.0. Diving Log 4.0 (and also 5.0) is a MDI style application, which is a little bit unusual, because you don’t edit different documents at the same time. In version 4.0 all windows open inside the main window, even non resizable windows, which cause a weird behavior. When a resizable window is maximized and you open a non resizable window in version 4.0, the maximized window will switch from maximized to normal view.

In .NET it would be even weirder, so I decided to display non resizable windows always outside of the main window (they are still owned by the main window, so they will not move behind the main window). For resizable windows I’ve made it configurable, so you can decide for every resizable window if it should be displayed inside the main window (like in version 4.0) or outside.

Advantages of the “outside” method (default):

  • The content has more room, because the window can overlap the main window controls, which is especially useful on small Netbooks
  • On Vista and Windows 7 the window border get the glass look, which is nicer than the Aero basic look of MDI childs
  • The drawing of the UI seems to be faster on Vista and Win 7
  • The sizable windows can be above non sizable windows, so the content is not overlapped

Advantages of the “inside” method (version 4.0 style)

  • You can maximize the window without hiding the main window and controls
  • No “wasted” empty space of the main window background
  • Familiar behavior like in version 4.0

I have thought about the advantages and disadvantages for a long time and came to no real solution. So I decided to make it configurable for each window. Here a few screenshots which show you how it will look like:

Table inside, Logbook outside

Table inside, Logbook outside

On the screenshot above, the logbook table is configured to be displayed inside the main window, the logbook is outside and on top you can see the settings dialog.

Maximized table and logbook on top

Maximized table and logbook on top

In this screenshot you see the maximized logbook table inside the main window and the logbook window on top of it displaying the same dive. You just have to double click a dive in the table to view it in the logbook window.

Tree browser and logbook

Tree browser and logbook

Here you can see the logbook window inside the main window and the tree browser outside. You can use the tree browser to navigate through your logbook – when you select a dive in the tree browser it will automatically show up in the logbook window.

OK, the countdown runs… 🙂

Diving Log 5.0 – latest news

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

In the last 2 weeks I’ve integrated the logbook window and the iPhone / Windows Mobile sync function into the main project. Now only the importers and downloaders have to be integrated in order to complete the project, which should be straightforward. I’ve written already a lot about the logbook window back in March, but some features were not fully completed at that time. Now most of the things for the first alpha release are done and functional.

Main and logbook window

Main- and logbook window

The integrated instant search function is now working and offers the same great functionality you can see already in the Diving Log Viewer application. Now you can filter your dives in many ways, for example to see only dives deeper than 60 meters, like in the screenshot below:

Dives deeper than 60m

Dives deeper than 60m

Due to the ribbon, there is one possible “issue”. You may have to click 2 times, where it took only one click in Diving Log 4.0, because you would have to click the content tab, and then the ribbon tab to get the controls if you want to edit this data. To avoid this two-click issue, I’ll automatically switch the content tab if you click the ribbon tab. For example, if you want to edit the dive profile, you only have to activate the “Profile” ribbon tab and the dive profile is automatically displayed. If you click the profile content tab, the ribbon will not switch the tab, because you probably only want to view the data.

For those of you, who don’t like the Office 2007 styles, do not fear, there are also 2 basic styles for the main window:

Window 2000 style

Windows 2000 style

To link a dive to detailed entries like countries, cities, dive sites and buddies, you can select now both types of entries in the drop down. So in order to link to an existing entry you only have to select the entry with the chain icon and don’t need to go into the detailed dialog. The entries with the pencil are normal items without additional information. This replaces the blue and black color display in Diving Log 4.0.

Easier linking

Easier linking

So, there’s a good chance that I can release a first alpha version mid of October. 🙂

Diving Log 5.0 – Main Window

Friday, September 18th, 2009

As I’ve wrote in my last post, I was working on the main program window in the last time and I want to show you 3 screenshots. Please be aware that these are early screenshots and icons and other UI may change until the final release.

Main Window - Blue Style

Main Window - Blue Style

The most noticable change is the new sidebar which is similar to the one you find in Outlook 2007. The statistic region from version 4.0 has been renamed to “Home” and contains beside the statistic links and the logbook info box also the downloaders, importers and exporters you use regulary. If you want to access the other downloaders, importers and exporters you can click the tabs at the bottom.

In the (not yet completed) preferences window in the screenshot above, you can see that the language can be changed dynamically. This means that there is only one executable in future which can use all available languages, which means that updates in future will be available immediatly for all languages. This makes deploying of new versions for me also a lot easier and faster.

The sidebar can be resized and collapsed like in Outlook to give more room on small Netbook displays. The non resizable dialogs can be moved additionally over the main window GUI, which makes it possible to display them above maximized windows (e.g. table editor) and is usefull on small displays.

Main Window - Silver Style

Main Window - Silver Style

Main Window - Black Style

Main Window - Black Style

Well, there are still a few things to do until I can release an alpha version, but it’s coming along!