I finally found a workable solution to build msi files programmatically, which was the last hurdle in building the re-design on all desktop products that I’ve been putting off for a while. On top of that, WP Stealth Links was the first of my applications to be built around Windows Presentation Foundation. WPF was another major shift I’ve been putting off because of the learning curve, the plugin generator gave me the opportunity to perfect basic design skills in XAML.
I’ve been reluctant to release any web-based products that weren’t hosted on my own server as it would generally require me to work in php as well as WordPress. After partnering up with a friend of mine who is a php/ WordPress programming ‘guru’ (ibot.tv) I’ve decided to enter this market with full force. Letting him handle most of the php work allows me to focus on .net development.
So what does all this mean?
Well here are some of the enhancements currently being developed for the desktop product line that will be implemented in the next 2 releases, as well as all past products:
- WYSIWYG Interface Editor – The ability to edit the registration interface with a a simple editor and keeping it built into the tool rather than hosted (still optional).
- Custom Built Installer – Rather than editing a ‘settings’ file and keeping the application the same, the new brander will build an installer database from scratch as well as compiling the interface as a loose XAML file. This makes each version of a branded application completely unique, and customizable including the name and install path.
- Animated Interface – Switching to Windows Presentation Foundation opens the doors to a much more robust user interface including animated controls giving all the interfaces an ‘organic feel’ that can be customized giving the end user a unique experience. This also opens the doors for more advanced graphics since WPF works directly with Direct X including 3-d rendering.
- Skinnable Interface – Interfaces will be customizable including different skins, logos, icons and even custom graphics.
- Live Example – A live working example of the application will be running alongside the brander so you can see your branding efforts as you do it.
- Edit Registry Keys – With a custom installer this opens the door to changing registry keys including default search engines and home pages in the users browser.
This overhaul will be a major game changer, culminating in a non-techie friendly ‘build your own software’ application (thanks Ken).
The reason I’m posting these plans now is I am HOPING to get the first application out by this coming Friday. Now this goal is completely impossible, but then again so are all my plans for the coming year
For some reason though, the goals you come out with publicly seem to get accomplished more often than the ones you keep to yourself. At least in Reilly’s case.
Any feedback is appreciated as always.