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WoW-GPS Dev Blog

New Series - Application Development

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It may come as no surprise to most of you, but one of my favourite blogs on the site here is @Sapu94's "//No Comment" development blog. It chronicles both TSM development features as well as general programming concepts, and is well worth the read, even if you have no idea what he's talking about

In the same spirit I wanted to try something here. I find myself at the outset of a new personal project that I'm sure many of you can appreciate, and I thought it might be interesting to write about the development process. For those of you who aren't developers/programmers, I'm hoping it might serve as an "interest-peaking" experience (I can't guarantee you'll learn anything, since it won't be a tutorial, per se). For those who are developers of some sort, I'm hoping it might spark some sort of inspiration into whatever projects you're working on yourselves.

The project I'm going to be working on is a Linux-based version of the TSM desktop app. In case you're not aware (I did drop a few posts/tweets about it at the time), I made the full-time jump from Windows to Linux (Ubuntu) roughly 2 months ago. I was previously running a dual-boot setup, but after some botched driver updates under windows left me looking at a reinstall, I opted to part ways for good (personally, anyway) and repartition my HD completely into Linux.

While I'm 100% satisfied with the decision, and would do it again in a heartbeat, it HAS left a few gaps in my overall setup/experience. The TSM desktop app is unfortunately one of those gaps. While the application "technically" runs under WINE (the linux windows emulator), most of the features are non-functional and those that are don't perform consistently. Instead of troubleshooting an unfamiliar application that was designed to support another OS, I decided to simply make due without out. Fortunately for me, I'm quite familiar with the essential pricing for most of my markets, so I've only ended up running a handful of emergency "manual" scans and in most cases, I've simply shelved markets that would require extra effort.

That said, I think it's time to tackle this project and develop a native Linux TSM app. So, here goes.

I'll try and explain the process as best as I can along the way, but I don't generally work with other developers on most of my projects, so I've not had much practical experience in sharing/explaining my process, so if I lose you along the way, just ask for clarification and I'll try to do a better job of explaining myself.

The next post will outline the initial stages of the project, and I'm hoping to post roughly 1 - 2 times each week until it's finished, so see you soon.
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  1. Kathroman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by phlyghts
    What a wonderful idea!

    I will follow these posts with avid interest,
    Kathroman


    I am extremely interested in the way a community can support individual endeavor.

    Phlyghts.

    http://stevemckenna1.blogspot.co.uk/
    For some reason, this comment isn't showing up in the count on the recent blogs sidebar, and I didn't receive an email about it.

    The irony of this is that I stumbled upon while coming back here to copy the title for a second post, which WAS about to be about shutting down the project

    Perhaps I'll need to reconsider, but here's where I'm at:
    1) I figured out how to hook up/map Diablo 3 to my USB controller under Wine.
    2) Based on #1, I'm playing a lot less WoW and as such, am not really looking at expanding into any additional markets right now, so I don't have any personal NEED for this app.
    3) I know that linux-based WoW players are a relatively small cohort, so I'm not convinced I'd be pulling the rub out from too many goblins' feet by yanking this project.
    4) I've opted to tackle the native Ubuntu development tools for this project, which I'm not even familiar with yet, and at first glance seem to have some fundamental differences from what I'm used to.
    5) The other option would be to use PHP or Ruby or something I'm already comfortable with, but based on how things went down with CTGS, I'm not too keen on troubleshooting platform-specific issues, especially installations. I'm sure that far more linux users will already have PHP and Ruby up and running, or have a higher understanding of how to self-troubleshoot, or both, but I'm still weighing whether it's worth the effort. (I was actually thinking the process of making this decision might be in-depth enough to warrant it's own post, TBH)

    So, now that I have someone expressing some tangible interest in this project, I guess we've reached a decision point, haven't we @phlyghts?

    Out of curiosity, what's the nature of your interest here? Are you someone who might actually end up using the end-product (linux-user), or are you more interested in the development journey?
  2. phlyghts's Avatar
    Out of curiosity, what's the nature of your interest here? Are you someone who might actually end up using the end-product (Linux-user), or are you more interested in the development journey?
    Firstly thank you for your latest blog entry, I agree the market for such a linux based product may be limited, although if there are 7million + warcraft accounts, there may in fact be many Linux users, with a windows emulator.

    Personally, I am seriously considering adding another SSD and installing UBUNTU to enable dual booting. My knowledge of Linux is minimal, and my knowledge of software development is nil.. However I have a depth of knowledge of collaborative projects, my professional career(s) started in the Scientific Civil Service more than 40 years ago.

    However my main interest in the project is to gain insight into the process of project development from the perspective of community, where the community is a massive online community. You just have to browse 'source-forge' to gain a sense of scale. Obviously not forgetting the great work of the team and community in the development of TSM. TSM is, I believe, one of the most innovative applications that I have ever had the pleasure to use.
  3. Kathroman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by phlyghts
    Firstly thank you for your latest blog entry, I agree the market for such a linux based product may be limited, although if there are 7million + warcraft accounts, there may in fact be many Linux users, with a windows emulator.

    Personally, I am seriously considering adding another SSD and installing UBUNTU to enable dual booting. My knowledge of Linux is minimal, and my knowledge of software development is nil.. However I have a depth of knowledge of collaborative projects, my professional career(s) started in the Scientific Civil Service more than 40 years ago.

    However my main interest in the project is to gain insight into the process of project development from the perspective of community, where the community is a massive online community. You just have to browse 'source-forge' to gain a sense of scale. Obviously not forgetting the great work of the team and community in the development of TSM. TSM is, I believe, one of the most innovative applications that I have ever had the pleasure to use.
    Well, I'm almost assuredly putting this project on hold, but your mention of "community project" has reminded me of a little idea I had started thinking up awhile back. I think it might be a better fit for something like this anyway.

    More details to follow...