Saturday, July 19, 2008

Project Nelson, meet world

imageAfter all the time, effort and procrastination, Project Nelson v1.0 Build 018 is finally now available for download from my website!

A note: this build is kinda buggy, so you should only install it if you know what you’re doing. Reading the readme (release notes) might help as well, as it contains information about known bugs and how to get around them. (The readme is the main reason it took me three months from freezing development to actual release… but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

So, anyway, here it is, so enjoy!

Project Nelson home page
Project Nelson download page

Updated 26/09/2012 and 14/07/2013 to fix broken links.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Software, freeze!

In "We're geeks bearing gifts...", I posted that I was just putting the finishing touches on Project Nelson 1.0 Build 18. But that was over a month ago. So you might be wondering, what gives?

Well, the truth is, it's already finished.

In fact, it's been finished for quite a while now. After a few last-minute bugs that postponed me finishing it for about two weeks (while I found them, fixed them, and found some more to fix, and so on), I finally froze[1] development on Project Nelson 1.0 Build 18 on the 16th of April 2008 at around 6:30pm. So, what's with the holdup?

Firstly, I've been working on the setup routine. In fact, all the installation stuff is finished, as of about Tuesday (the 29th of April). On Wednesday, I went through and reworded much of the text throughout the setup program. I also slightly revised the EULA[2] a bit. All done, right?

Well, almost. The good news is that all I really need to do is finish off my rewording/reorganisation of the changelog[3] and do the readme[4] and I'll be done. (In the case of the changelog, I've been hastily compiling the list of changes for Builds 16-18 these past few days, and the changes for previous builds earlier this year, and later the last. It's all rather disorganised, (but then again, that's me), so now I'm trying to make it a bit more digestible.)

Since it's almost finished, I hope to put the whole kaboodle on my website in the next few days. I'll see you all when it gets there.


Footnotes (for those less technically inclined):

[1] To freeze development is to stop making changes to code, and usually to compile a final build (turn it from code to a living, breathing program.)

[2] The EULA is the End User License Agreement, a contract between the software provider and the user that determines terms of use of the product. It's that thing you mindlessly click "I Agree" to when you install software. EULAs for websites are known as "Terms and Conditions of Use".

[3] A changelog is a document detailing the changes that have taken place between versions. Well, at least, mine are. ;) Properly, in the open-source world, a changelog details every minute revision with dates and names; non-open-source software uses versions instead of dates, and only mentions major changes or those that are noticeable to the user. The non-open-source changelog is roughly analogous to the "NEWS" file in open-source.

[4] Readmes contain last-minute details that couldn't go into the documentation in time, information that wouldn't really fit in the documentation, and sometimes just general notes. Yays.

Friday, March 21, 2008

We're geeks bearing gifts...

As I type, I'm just ironing out a few final things before I release Project Nelson 1.0 Build 18, as a public beta, on my website. Since I haven't really talked about it much on my blog, let me introduce it to you guys.


Project Nelson is a shell[1] for Windows and a suite of accessories. It's based on a task-based view, rather than applications-based. That is, programs are organised by type, rather than name. (The picture on the right is of the Applications page.) It also comes with several utilities, such as a file browser, address book, and scheduler.

I've been working on Project Nelson for near-on three years, so it feels quite satisfying to be so close to putting it out there. (That said, it's only a beta, y'know. There's a lot more stuff to be done.)

My focus on this build was fixing long-running bugs; however, some important new stuff was introduced as well. There are some things that don't do anything when you click on them, somewhat like a fake door - they're there for completeness, but the stuff behind it isn't implemented yet.

For the curious, the Project Nelson home page has a few more answers on the matter.

So, here's hoping for a few brave souls beta testers and better productivity for all. Woot!


[1] A "shell" is a way of interacting with your computer, a program with which you start other programs, so to speak. Historically speaking, Windows 3.1's Program Manager was a shell. The default shell for the current incarnation of Windows, consisting of the start menu, taskbar and desktop, is managed by Windows Explorer.

Updated 26/09/2012 and 14/07/2013 to fix broken links.