Winslew

Soon: Nymphicus 1.2, Winslew 1.7.1 and Huntur

First of all I just wanna say I am back from our awesome vacation to Norway which has been the main reason I didn't post any update here in the blogs for quite some time. I just can say you should visit (northern) Norway if you did not already.

So being back now some days (or even weeks already) I want to give you a brief update on what we are currently working and what you can expect soon (more or less).

First of all Nymphicus 1.2: The Mac version is already in final testing stage and is mainly about the three points performance, stability and design which are the three most noted points user have been telling us we should improve. The performance is quite boosted in the new version as Michael did an own implementation of the Mac OS X listview control which is quite great in variability but can be some pain when it comes to scrolling with many and complex entries.

The Windows version 1.2 will take some more time but I am currently working (and have already made great progress) on its main new feature: different account types. By that I mean that you can then also mix your Facebook account(s) with your Twitter accounts which is one more point where the Views concept comes greatly into play. Having said Facebook I say it's the first non-Twitter account type - but the planings do include stuff like Google+ and maybe something like quote.fm - the now already implemented data structure in Nymphicus for Windows is quite open so I can add new account types by "only" creating there specific API calls and methods (e. g. Facebook means I need a like button, a comment section and so on). Also 1.2 will of course bring some new features of the Twitter part - the main thing wished by the greatest Nymphicus fan out there Winking is a conversation view.
I also think (since quite some time) to integrate Tweetmarker which means you can sync your current read state between different clients and computers (or smartphones). In fact I even think about making Tweetmarker an own intermediate release and postpone the Facebook part for the next release. Let me know what you prefer by contacting me on Twitter.

Winslew also will get a smaller update quite soon out of a user request: You can disable the caching and only fetch the more and less versions directly online. That said the plans for Winslew 2.0 are already in my mind but it will take some time as I need to go to the office every day Winking

Finally the work on Huntur has started. Huntur is a new tool (in fact two: online and desktop) for quite a small group of people: those who do dog agility (like I do) and want to host a tournament and/or take part at one (register online, get confirmation and so on). To let the possible buyers group become even smaller I currently only plan to do it in German and so the dedicated Huntur webpage is German only and will possibly stay German. Anyway a short description here in English: Online system to advertise tournaments for clubs, administer the registrations of starters and some more now secret features plus a desktop application (Windows only for now) to administer the tournament itself (entering time & errors, creating lists, calculating winner and so on). Personally this is my learning project for Ruby on Rails which is (I can already say that now) an amazing language for online systems (did PHP only before).

So stay tuned - I know I do want to do to much at the same time but I'll try (and even have already a deadline for Huntur Winking).

Winslew 1.7 has been released / lI' Ghun next

After all the work on Nymphicus 1.0 und 1.1 it was time again to finally bring out a new version of Winslew which covers most of the current user wishes and fixes a bug I found during work on Nymphicus. So what's new this time?

First and most important change is a full browser control available for the content window. This means an address bar, stop, reload, previous and next buttons. So if you want Winslew 1.7 is now a more or less complete WebKit based browser. Also small but nice change: There is now a small progress bar on the bottom while page is loaded so you see that Winslew is working.

When I changed to WebKit I saw many new possibilities (like the full browser) and one of them is the option to easily integrate a print button. Those of you having used some older Winslew version know there has had been one in the past part in real world it was far to unstable so I removed it. It's back now and this time it is stable Happy

Next to some minor bugfixes there has been a quite huge one I never saw as my own Windows setups don't cover that case: When you installed Winslew on a Windows Vista / 7 and your current user did not have administration privileges the setting where not stored correctly on first start and even worse the start menu entries have not been created. This is fixed in 1.7 - sorry for the inconvenience.

Finally some word to the future of Winslew. Oh, I think starting a paragraph like this might create some fear but no, the future is bright. I think about going to something like a 2.0 with a quite improved interface (I have learned so much with Nymphicus...) and I also think about adding Instapaper as second option - what would you think...?

One more thing: Those of you following me for quite some time (also on my open source projects) know having finished a software means I want to start the next one. So here are my next three things I want to do (in order of when I plan to start them):

  • An online dog agility tournament administration system with an offline application for administration of the tournament when it is running (both fully out of the pain I do have myself as being the guy responsible for such things in my club).
  • A full featured Google Reader client (my open source one Desktop Google Reader is "only" for unread items
  • A text editor based on Git meaning unlimited going back in old versions with a text centered interface.

Winslew 1.6 out now

As having promised last week I just finished the final works on Winslew 1.6 and you can get it from my download page. Your auto update notifier shall give you this news on next Winslew restart too.
WebkitAcid3
Winslew 1.6 is about two major enhancements. The first is more or less invisible under the hut but for me personally it was one the biggest wished since I started with Winslew (which turns one year in two days as I just saw). With Winslew 1.6 the rendering of the webpages and caches is no more done by the Windows included renderer (which is Internet Explorer in fact) but instead I ship it with a builtin WebKit based browser. This gives us a much faster browser (still can't believe the difference) which is more standards compliant and those not bug you always with some script errors or similar. You won't see it directly but you'll gonna feel it.

The second one is a feature request I got on UserVoice (it's #1336245) which asked for some keyboard shortcuts for faster and easier use. When starting this feature I thought "how hard can it be" but while I implemented it I found places to optimize again and again and again so in the end it took a little bit longer but I think you can now do most of not all by keyboard in Winslew. This starts with every button in Winslew 1.6 main window having a keyboard shortcut now but also means that most of the dialogs (tag editing, title changes and so on) now react on the Escape-key to close immediately as well as triggering the Save/OK button on pressing Enter (if all required data is entered already). Also the input cursor is now placed in the best fitting textbox on opening a new dialog.
AutoTitleRetrieval
But I didn't stop here and thought of enhancements in every Window and the best example of small but cool additions is the "Add new page"-window. In Winslew 1.5 the only nice feature was that a URL in the clipboard automatically has been inserted into the textbox. With 1.6 this is still the case but Winslew 1.6 also tries to discover the title of the linked webpage now and places it into the title textbox.

As last small enhancement I wanna mention that you can now change the colors of the list view to be more lighter for better readability. This has been wish #133649 on UserVoice - so if you have wishes for one of the next releases you see there is the right place to store them. I try to put as many of them in my next releases every time Happy
ListViewLightBackground

Winslew 1.5.1 out now / Nymphicus first teaser

Just a few days ago I released a small update version of Winslew which now reached version 1.5.1. This small update is mainly about some bugfixes and includes a much better renderer for the full page cache generator which now captures much more images than it did before.

Winslew 1.6 is in the works and is planned for early 2011 and will finally get rid of the current webpage renderer which is Internet Explorer based with all it's negative aspects like slow and bad rendering and all popping up dialogs about content being blocked and so on. Winslew 1.6 will use Webkit and my firsts tests it is not only nicer but also very much faster.

Also I added today a very small first teaser of the second application I will develop under the trademark "lI' Ghun". Nymphicus will be an all new Twitter client both for Mac and Windows (and both of them developed natively!) with an all new approach for power users of Twitter. More teasers as I make more progress - concept is done, first small proof of concept test apps are running but don't expect it to early in 2011.

Happy Holidays and a Happy new year 2011 to all of you.

Winslew 1.5 with Pastebin integration out now

It's done - since a few minutes Winslew 1.5 has been added to the download page and the auto updater of Winslew will now inform every users of an older version about this new release.

This release is focused on two major ideas:
1. Getting all wishes in UserVoice done and
2. give it a nicer style at all

So let's see what's new:

Pastebin integration
First of all I added an integration with the text upload service Pastebin to Winslew. So you now can upload any text (either an existing text file, something you have per copy&paste or just write it yourself) to this service and it'll be added to your Read It Later list automatically. Here is what it looks like:
Pastebin
UserVoice 828593

Minimize to tray icon
You now can choose in the preferences that Winslew shall vanish to the tray icon area instead of the task bar. So you save space on your screen and using its context menu have access to the most wanted features like adding items or refreshing the list.
TrayIcon
UserVoice 1091051

Auto refresh
You now can choose in the Preferences an interval which is used by Winslew to automatically refresh the list with your Read It Later account.
Preferences
UserVoice 568661

Online license retrieval
I have created a database here on this webpage which stores all your license codes. If you didn't enter a license code but you have already purchased Winslew the license code will be retrieved by Winslew automatically on next start of the application. Just to be complete: Of course I do not send you username or any other personal data over the net for this retrieval.
UserVoice 828601

Add currently shown webpage to Read It Later
If you use the built in browser not only to view content but also to browse through the web you now have a new button on top of every page which is not already in your list to directly add it to your RiL list.
add
UserVoice 828587

OK, that's all about the great new features. Next as I said already I decided to give Winslew a complete redesign (or to be honest: I decided to change one small thing - than a second, a third and in the end changed everything). You already may have noticed it on the screenshots above. I use now a different icon set for all the buttons, have created a new Winslew application icon (which fits more to lI' ghun) and changed the color scheme at all. I hope you like it Happy
MainWindow

And one more thing:
lI' ghun now has not only an own Twitter account (@liGhun) but also a Facebook profile where you can get the latest news as well as can contact me directly (and you can of course like it if you want).

I want to thank all customers for using Winslew and all beta testers for their great feedback.

WInslew 1.4 has been released

The news here is quite later than the actual release - but as Winslew includes an auto update mechanism you might already have been noticed of the newest update to Winslew.

Winslew 1.4 is mostly about administration of many items more easily. So we now have with most of the buttons the option to start their action at more than one item if you select two or more. For example mark three items in the list and press the delete button - all three will be gone. Also the tag editing has been greatly improved. Now additionally to the single item tag editing you can now add or remove tags to/from as many items as you want at once.

The second new big feature is an image upload. If you have a local image file on your harddisk and want to save it to Read It Later you are now able to do so. Just hit the upload button and it is submitted to the image hoster Imgur and added to your Read It Later account.

I want to thank Henry for his great ideas and feedback (I am quite sure he is the one with the most items in Winslew at all). Both the requests for the multiple item functions as well as the image upload are based on his ideas. Thank you Henry!

Sadly one feature from the previous release is gone - the printing function caused more trouble than it should so I had to remove it. The most sad part is that because of Microsofts "interesting" combination of Windows and Office I am even not able to add it for myself in the moment - I think I need to find another around the MS ways to do so...

Winslew 1.5 now really will focus on the automatic license retrieval - can't be that due to spam filters you users sometimes have difficulties to get your paid Winslew licenses. Hopefully we see it in end September.

Roadmap Winslew 1.4 and license sending

Now that Winslew 1.3 has hit the road and seems like to be quite stable (at least I didn't get any negative feedback until now and used it myself very much on a long train trip this week) it's time to think about what the next version shall feature. First of all I have one last user request open on UserVoice in the moment: auto refresh the items list and (optional) hiding to tray icon - see UserVoice 568661.

Next I want to tune a little bit the design of the interface - e. g. the two search fields do work as they should but look a little bit ugly I think.

Third and in the moment most important to me is some changes in license key handling. While license key handling itself works without any problems I do have a major problem on how I get the license keys out to you when you have purchased Winslew. I already have had several buyers who had trouble getting the license key using email - spam filters tend to be very aggressive these days Sad Even worth I had several buyers whose given email address in the Paypal payment have been invalid and the sent license keys came back not able to be delivered. Here I want to enhance my license key generator (yes, it's an own program with a modern user interface Happy) to not only send the email but also store the license key in a database here on li-ghun.de. Winslew itself than shall check on startup if it already knows a license key - and if not ask this database to automatically download the license key and store it.

While this will solve the problems in the future I still have some license keys open whose sending has been failed. As I don't have any other way to reach those buyers I decided to just write them down here - nobody else can do something with those keys so why not show it public...
  • Robert Smith 1831: Please send me your Read It Later user account name
  • Sophie: e545876b4b
  • Scott: f4237c5ef4
If you also are waiting for a license key and already checked your spam filter - drop me an email and I will add your code here too.
Finally: Please submit wishes at UserVoice - I wanna extend Winslew to fulfill all your requirements Happy

Winslew 1.3 out now

After more than a month of coding, testing and documentation I am happy to finally release Winslew 1.3 today. So here what's new:

1. New cache view "Full"
Next to Online, Less and More I have added a fourth view called "Full". This view trys to fetch as much as possible from the page for offline view. This includes stylesheets and images.
ViewSelector ViewFull

2. Styles for "More" and "Less" view
Until now those two views where always black on white. With Winslew 1.3 I added the option to choose between different styles including a reverse view white on black. You also can define own styles which are simple Cascading Stylesheet files. See the new extra manual for creation of new styles.
StyleBlackOnWhiteStyleKhakiStyleWhiteOnBlack

StyleSelector

Important: Styles are only available on newly created or updated caches.

3. Print page
print You now can send the current view to the printer

4. Change title
changeTitle You now can change the title of an item

5. Better list view
The list view has been slightly enhanced
newListView

6. Cache creation is background process now
Cache creation already took quite some time but this became even worse with the new Full view. Because of this cache creation is now an own background process which will take place while you already can browse your items and there cache (if already created at that moment of course).
UpdatingCache

7. Better documentation
Or should I say documentation at all? Anyway - the documentation page has been reworked completely and now really features all functions of Winslew.

Winslew 1.3 to be released on May, 9th

In my last post about what will be new I wrote I hope to release Winslew 1.3 in the end of April. Today it is May, 1st so I won't reach that goal as you might have already guessed. While the main features are all done and working fine all the work on performance improvements let me to some new ideas to handle cache downloads at all and I am currently reworking also the download of the "old" caches "less" and "more".

If I am lucky I will also add one or two additional features into this release which have been recently asked for and are viewable at UserVoice here and here.

Current progress always live at my Twitter account Happy

Winslew 1.3 preview

Winslew 1.2.1 is out now already for some days and I wanna give you a short preview on what you can expect to get when Winslew 1.3 will be finished. There is one big new feature in the works: A third offline view type. As with Winslew 1.2.1 we have two of them: "Less" and "More". With 1.3 the third one will be called "Full".

Full will download the webpage including as much media data as possible meaning it will fetch the used Images as well as the CSS informations of the page and make them available offline. The good news is that this new fetching algorithm is already completed and doing a great job. The bad news is that it takes quite some time per page to download and parse all the stuff. So I will spend some more time on the updating mechanism which shall be run in the background in the future so you can access the articles already when cache is being build. See an example here.

The original online version:

Winslew_13_onlineView

And the downloaded cache version available offline:

Winslew_13_fullView

See how close the offline version comes to the one you read online? Cool, isn't it?

As a small addition there will be a print function for the currently view item.
Winslew 1.3 is planned somewhere in the second half of April for now.

License codes need Read It Later account

Let me first thank all my customers for having payed for an individual license code of Winslew. I am very happy that you think my work is worth this amount of money and I am now even more motivated in creating new and better features (and please don't stop making suggestions of what you wish for the future).

Recently I got some payments via Paypal with the field for the Read It Later username being blank. I need this information to create the license code so asked those customers to please send me the user account separately. To make it clearer that I need this username I added a short note on the download page and added a new entry into the FAQ section.

And Winslew 1.2 released

Due to the great response for my 1.1 release (which is only two days old...) and an overwhelming work by Ben who put together many ideas and wishes on UserVoice and having two free days Winslew 1.2 now is available already for download.

So what's new in this release?

  • Cache view selector (online, more, less) is now a dropdown box to get more space on title bar and have room for more options on future versions
  • Open in external browser added (UserVoice 568063)
  • Copy current item url to clipboard added (UserVoice 568063)
  • Added context menu to items to toggle read state, open in browser and so on (UserVoice 568143)
  • When opening the "Add item" window and the clipboard has an URL stored this url is pasted into the url-textbox automatically
  • Statusbar shown information about current API usage of user and Winslew (UserVoice 515029)
  • If API limits gets critical a Snarl notification is shown (UserVoice 515029)
  • Snarl notification on cache updated added
  • Snarl not running hint added to statusbar (UserVoice 568681)
  • Update cache window is now semitransparent
  • Delete button now really stays on screen all the time...

The next release will be about having a forth view next to online, more and less which shall provide an offline version of the webpage including as much as possible media (mainly stylesheets and images) which is covered by UserVoice 560313. Because of the complexity of this task this might take a little longer than the two days of the last update Happy

Winslew 1.1 has been released

I just uploaded the new Winslew version 1.1 to the download section. There are some quite amazing new features available - let's have a look:

Filter your list by the content of the title or tags
Winslew_filterTitle

Auto updater added
Winslew_autoUpdate

Rows can now be sorted by title, tags, added and updated
Winslew_sortColumns

Tooltip of columns gives you now all informations about the current item
Winslew_extendedTooltip

  • The width of the columns is memorized if changed by the user
  • Delete button now always available (not only in read view as before)
  • Version number display now trimmed (e.g. 1.1 instead of 1.1.0.0)
  • Link to documentation in Windows startmenu fixed

Have fun with this release and let me know your bugs and wishes on my feedback page

Feedback section added to homepage

After one week since release of Winslew 1.0 and first users having bought a license I wanna thank you all!

And as 1.0 is good but of course could have some more features or even have some bugs (no, I never create bugs of course...) I want to ask you for any feedback like feature requests and bug reports so I added a dedicated page here for that.

Finally for today I extended the FAQ to cover some more common questions.

Winslew 1.0 available now

We are happy to announce the immediate availability of Winslew 1.0. Compared to the last beta we now have favicons displayed next to the items (if a favicon is available for that site), some minor bugs fixed and finally the license code checker is included so if you buy a license you now have a place to put the license code in Happy

The trial version which can be downloaded has the exact same feature set as the licensed version but only displays 10 items at once (and will give you one single hint to buy a license).

Store open

  • I just updated the download page and added the option to easily buy an unlimited license of Winslew for only 2,99 EUR.
  • Softpadia and Softsea already included Winslew in there download directories and approve that the downloads are checked.
softpedia_clean_award_f

Winslew 1.0 Public Beta 3 available now

We are very happy to announce the immediate availability of the first public beta release of Winslew 1.0. Go and get it on our download page and let us know what you think about it. This beta release has a built in expiration date at March, 31st 2010.

Changes since the Beta 2 include:
  • Expiration of beta version set to March, 31st 2010
  • Main window position and size now remembered and restored on new start
  • When adding a new page the "updating cache window" is now shown to show what is happening
  • The cache of an item can now be updated manually
  • Added About window

Winslew 1.0 Beta 2 now available

During the first beta tests of the beta 1 some bugs have been found and killed. Those bugfixes mainly address issues if you started Winslew with no internet connection available. Now the collection is saved upon closing the upon and can be loaded again if Winslew encounters being offline on startup time.

And more important: Winslew now has a complete automated installer and uninstaller Happy

Beta 3 is planned being the first public beta and to be released very soon. If you want to try the current beta 2 in closed beta just send me an email and I’ll be happy to hand over you a download link for it.