Posts categorized “Software Development”.

CaseDetective Development On Hold

The festive holidays are a dangerous time of year, spending time with family and friends and generally having a good time away from your computer can be disastrous for an ongoing project.

This year, it’s been doubly disastrous for CaseDetective, not only has development time been non-existent and support reduced as usual, but I’ve had time to reflect on CaseDetective’s future, and more importantly on it’s place in my life.

I’ve come to the (long overdue) decision that development on CaseDetective is to be put on hold, I’m not going to work on CaseDetective or any other significant development project in my spare time for the foreseeable future.

For a long time I’ve struggled to balance time with my family and friends, personal interests and health, (money making) consulting work and CaseDetective, something has to give.

My family is everything to me, I love my wife and daughter and the last two weeks have enforced my long standing regret at having to spend a considerable amount of my (and my family’s) free time supporting and developing CaseDetective. There’s also a knock-on effect to the rest of my family and friends, who don’t get anywhere near the attention they deserve, neglecting them makes me sad.

I’ve also completely neglected my health in the last few months too. The year started well as I lost a good bit of weight and improved my fitness through running and watching my diet, but running has gone out the window as time got squeezed out by more CaseDetective support and development of version 2.0. I’m feeling very unfit, and am at my heaviest in ten years. I need to make time for running and biking again. I used to love mountain biking in my early twenties, getting up early on a Sunday morning and going for a 25-50 mile ride up and down hills coming home covered in mud was bliss. I want to have the health and time to enjoy physical activities again.

Reading and sleeping, I want to do more!!!

I think CaseDetective has also impinged on my mind so much that on occasions it may have had an impact on my consulting work. Sometimes I’m so wrapped up in something I’m doing with CaseDetective that I feel I’m not giving my real job it’s deserved attention. That is unacceptable, and with my current contract being a pretty intense project with an aggressive time scale, I can’t afford to slip up because my mind is elsewhere.

Many people would have put a stop to development of CaseDetective a long time ago just because of the terrible return on investment. CaseDetective has been in development since September 2004, with a few hiatuses along the way, let’s say that’s 156 weeks (3 years) worth. With a conservative estimate of 8 hours development/support time per week (it was actually full time for about 6 months), that is 1,248 hours. Let’s take a reduced consulting fee of £25 per hour for a grand total of £31,200 worth of my time spent on developing CaseDetective. Seeing as CaseDetective has had a net revenue (according to eSellerate) of approx. £1,885 ($3,771.47), it really doesn’t stack up well, and that’s not even taking into consideration expenditure on tools and hosting etc.

One of the major problems I have with CaseDetective though, is that I no longer have any need for it myself. Most of the functionality I need for bug, feature and inquiry tracking is in FogBugz, and I rarely want to report on the data held in FogBugz any longer. So you can imagine that my enthusiasm for developing and improving CaseDetective is somewhat diminished. I still believe CaseDetective could be a great product, and one that I would use if I added some of the features I have planned, but to get it where I want it would take considerable development time. At the moment, I’m simply not willing to commit so much of my free time to make it happen.

So development of CaseDetective is on hold. Support for existing customers will continue for the time being (at least six months), but I’m going to take down the majority of the CaseDetective website and stop taking any further sales.

There is a slim chance that development could resume if I find myself at a loose end without full time employment so I’m not thinking about selling or otherwise releasing the CaseDetective source code.

If there is anyone out there with a product that could help CaseDetective customers continue to extract CSV files and/or PDF reports from FogBugz without having to know any SQL, please drop me a line and I’ll pass your details onto my customer base. If there is a free license or “competitive upgrade” license available, all the better.

Thank you to all the great people in the MicroISV/BoS community that have supported me with kind words of encouragement and advise throughout my time developing CaseDetective, you helped me immensely.

A big thank you must go out to everyone at Fog Creek, especially Michael H. Pryor, without your help I couldn’t have got as far as I did.

Also, thanks to all my customers, thank you for showing your support for CaseDetective in the best possible way, by buying a license! And thank you for being such nice people if we had any communication.

And finally, thank you to my wife Mandy, for putting up with my countless hours working on CaseDetective and supporting me all the way. I love you so much.

CaseDetective 1.3.4 released

I’ll let the release notes tell the story…

Changes In CaseDetective 1.3.4

Released 2007-12-13

  • Bug Fix: Error while creating indexs on the Attachment, Cases or CaseEvents table.
  • In some rare cases CaseDetective could not create indexes on it’s cache database due to non-unique data in a primary key, this has now been fixed.
  • Bug Fix: The previous change (1.3.3) for the above bug fix introduced some database incompatibilities.
    • In order to fix the problem across all supported database types, CaseDetective now requires MySQL 5.0+ as opposed to MySQL 4.0+. MS Access and SQL Server 2000+ are still supported as usual.
  • Bug Fix: Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) compatibility.
    • Updated tools and some third party libraries for better Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) compatibility.
  • Bug Fix: Support FogBugz 6.0 for non-administrators.
    • CaseDetective now supports changes made to the FogBugz 6.0 database schema for permissions, non-administrators can now see their cases!
  • Bug Fix: Improved permissions adherence.
    • Some changes were made to better support permissions, summary filters now correctly miss projects etc that a user does not have permission to see in FogBugz (4, 5 & 6).

    PLEASE NOTE: This does not mean CaseDetective fully supports FogBugz 6.0, it just means you may be able to use the “classic” filters in FogBugz 6.0 with CaseDetective 1.3.x, you will not be able to use the new search based filters introduced with FogBugz 6.0. Full support for FogBugz 6.0 and it’s new search based filters will arrive in CaseDetective 2.0 and CaseDetective On Demand by early 2008.

    As always, CaseDetective 1.3.4 for FogBugz is available from the download page.

    Oops, CaseDetective 1.3.3 pulled, working on CaseDetective 1.3.4.

    Oops, turns out CaseDetective 1.3.3 wasn’t so good for all database types and versions, so I’ve pulled it.

    I’m working on CaseDetective 1.3.4, but it’s a little trickier than I thought due to what SQL syntax is and isn’t supported across different versions of Access, SQL Server and MySQL.

    It may take a couple of days to fully test an alternative way of fixing the bug that was supposed to have been taken care of by CaseDetective 1.3.3.

    Thank goodness I upload the website for each version to a brand new directory and switch a symbolic link from old to new. So to revert to 1.3.2 simply consisted of logging onto my web server and switching the symbolic link from new to old.

    Weight off my mind.

    Phew, last night I killed a bug in CaseDetective 2.0 in less than 30 minutes of development that had been bugging me (pun intended) for well over 4 weeks!

    And what’s more, 30 minutes later after re-activating another feature that I’d disabled because I had a bug in that code that had also been bugging me for well over 4 weeks was also fixed, without me making any further changes!

    I hate (love) it when that happens! :-)

    The annoying thing is, my code for the first feature is virtually the same as before last night’s edits, I’d almost got the bug fixed before in that I’d whittled it down to a very specific block of code that I could hard-code around to get the results I wanted, but couldn’t get the proper solution to work, even though it looked absolutely right. I worked and worked on the area, making sure I fully understood the all the properties and events of the classes involved, but alas the solution failed to reveal itself.

    Out of frustration I switched one parameter to a function that should have absolutely no effect from “true” to “false”, fully expecting that the problem still existed. It fixed the problem. Fantastic! But also very very annoying. I can only assume it’s either a very subtle bug in the framework, or more likely me not quite fully understanding the event interactions of a couple of classes.

    I tell you, it feels great to have fixed these two problems, they were two great weights stopping me from progressing in important areas of CaseDetective, and stopped me from being able to efficiently concentrate on my work.

    A great weight has been lifted off my shoulders, full steam ahead!

    In development: CaseDetective On Demand

    I bet you didn’t see that coming! :)

    I think it’s sometimes a good idea to conduct a thorough hard-hitting interview with yourself about a subject to fully explore said subject. There now follows an interview between you (U*) and me (I), where I pose and answer the questions I think you might ask of me, and I’m not going to hold anything back…

    U: So, FogBugz On Demand is public, is there any likely-hood of a CaseDetective On Demand then?
    I: Yep. CaseDetective On Demand is being developed as we speak, well not at this very moment as IMiJ Software’s sole developer is all tied up answering your inane questions … but it is being developed when I’ve got any time available.

    U: Cool! Tell me more, what’s it developed in, I guess it’s not a REALbasic application then?
    I: Your guess is right on the money, how clever of you! CaseDetective On Demand is being developed in Adobe Flex for that Rich Internet Application (RIA) experience. In fact, it’s not just CaseDetective On Demand that’s being developed in Adobe Flex, CaseDetective 2.0 is too.

    U: Eh, CaseDetective 2.0 for FogBugz is being developed in Adobe Flex, how’s that going to work, I thought Flex ran in Flash?
    I: Adobe Interactive Runtime, AIR for short. I can use pretty much the same code base for both CaseDetective 2.0 and CaseDetective On Demand.

    U: Now that really is cool! If CaseDetective On Demand and CaseDetective 2.0 are being developed in the same technology, from pretty much the same code base, are they going to offer the same features?
    I: Almost, but not quite. As it stands, I’m thinking of making CaseDetective On Demand a free taster of what’s in the installable CaseDetective 2.0.

    U: So what’s going to be different then?
    I: Nothing’s set in stone just yet, it’s very early days so things are very very likely to change as development progresses, but this is how I see things panning out…

    CaseDetective On Demand will look almost identical, but obviously will be running in your web browser rather than on your desktop.

    CaseDetective On Demand won’t be caching data like CaseDetective 2.0 probably will, it’ll grab “live” data from FogBugz when ever a selection changes. If it’s being run online, then you’ve got to have an internet connection anyway, right?

    CaseDetective On Demand is unlikely to have all the report outputs of CaseDetective 2.0, these will be reserved for CaseDetective 2.0 as an incentive to download, but you will probably be able to get a good idea of what would be printed or extracted from CaseDetective 2.0, you just won’t be able to actually save it out.

    U: Will CaseDetective 2.0 work with both an installed version of FogBugz and FogBugz On Demand?
    I: Yep. In fact, if the installed version of FogBugz has it’s API URL available to be called from the internet, then CaseDetective On Demand will work with that too.

    U: What if people find CaseDetective On Demand to their liking, and want it to become a fully featured application that they can access from any modern web browser?
    I: If there is enough interest, then we’ll just have to see about making it so.

    Plan A was to make CaseDetective On Demand a fully working online application, with a small subscription charge per month per FogBugz user id used (with the first one being free). But by plan X things had settled down to CaseDetective On Demand being a great way to get a taster of the full CaseDetective 2.0. Who’s to say that in the future plan Z doesn’t loop right back to something similar to plan A?

    U: I’m sure you can call web services such as the FogBugz API from within a REALbasic developed application, why are you jumping from REALbasic to Adobe Flex/AIR for CaseDetective 2.0, surely development time would be less if you stuck with REALbasic?
    I: You’re probably right, if I stuck with REALbasic as my development platform for CaseDetective 2.0 I’ll probably be finished a bit quicker than I expect to be with a complete re-write to Adobe Flex/AIR.

    The thing is, if I stick with REALbasic I’ll probably not be able to offer CaseDetective On Demand, I simply don’t have the time to be able to develop a brand new application of this scale for the web, and make the extensive updates necessary to CaseDetective for FogBugz 6.0. By developing in Flex/AIR I’m killing two birds with one stone, as the rather ugly saying goes.

    U: Ugh, yes that really is an ugly saying, thanks for that! I’m still not completely sold though, why not forget about CaseDetective On Demand and just update CaseDetective for the FogBugz 6.0 changes?
    I: OK, you want the real reason? The huge improvements to FogBugz 6.0 scare the life out of me!

    One of the most sort after updates to FogBugz for quite some time has been the beefing up of the filters, making them much more flexible, with many more options. The rumour is that FB6 will have some seriously improved filtering and searching capabilities, just the thought of having to develop the changes needed to duplicate this functionality with direct queries to the database scares me rotten. And there’s a lot more coming in FB6 than just filter and search improvements.

    With that in mind, and the fact that the FogBugz has an API that can be called as a web service which includes such things as a list of filters, and retrieving case details for those filters, there is nothing for it but to switch to using the API. And if I want to support FogBugz On Demand, it is absolutely necessary as there is no access to the database.

    U: But you’ve pretty much said all that already, surely that’s not the real reason?
    I: Switching to the FogBugz API is a big job, and although REALbasic has good web service features, other technologies do it better, Adobe Flex being one of them. When I first heard about AIR (called Apollo at the time) my interest in Flex was piqued even more.

    When I took a long hard look at Adobe Flex 2, I saw lots of stuff I really liked. It’s got a very nice IDE (Flex Builder, based on Eclipse), MXML is very flexible and quick to work with, ActionScript 3.0 is familiar without even having seen any before (it’s very ECMAScript compliant), and the optional chart components are fabulous.

    It’s those chart components that finally tipped the balance. The charts functionality introduced in CaseDetective 1.1 has been a big success, but they are very basic, and frankly not as good looking or feature full as I would like. It would take me a humongous amount of work to improve the current charts, in fact they would most likely have to be re-written from scratch as at present they are a third party component that hasn’t seen much improvement of late. Flex’s charts are really good looking, easy to work with, and have many options for extension.

    And besides, I’m still looking for a development platform that I can take forward and start consulting with when Informix 4GL finally dries up. Flex is much much more exciting to work with than Informix 4GL, and has a much bigger job market than REALbasic even at such an early stage in it’s own development, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to get some serious experience in Adobe Flex with this project and a couple of other projects I have in mind to show off to prospective clients or employers.

    U: Ah-ha! Now the truth be told! You’re developing CaseDetective 2.0 and CaseDetective On Demand in the technology you’re looking to use for making a real living at for the next few years!
    I: That is the truth m’lord. As much as I’d like to think CaseDetective could pay the the mortgage, it’s a long way off from it at the moment, I mean light years away at present.

    U: What about backwards compatibility, will CaseDetective 2.0 work with FogBugz 4 and 5 as CaseDetective 1.3 does now.
    I: Unlikely.

    U: That sucks.
    I: Yeah, I know. FB5 will be partially supported as there is a version of the FogBugz API available that can be downloaded and installed already, in fact the skeleton of CaseDetective On Demand has been developed so far using that existing FB5 API. But it’s very light weight, hardly any data is available.

    From what I can tell, most FogBugz users upgrade within a few months of a major upgrade being available, so I can’t imagine there’ll be a lot of new customers wanting to use CaseDetective with FogBugz 4 or 5 in the not too distant future anyway.

    I expect FogBugz 6.0 will be available quite a bit before I’ll be able to get CaseDetective 2.0 developed and out anyway, so I don’t think backwards compatibility is going to be a major issue, it might be the case that CaseDetective users upgrade their FogBugz install to v6 and then start contacting me about when CaseDetective will support it! I’m more worried about that.

    U: Hmmm, that is tricky, how long of a delay are we looking at before you’ll get CaseDetective 2.0 out the door with support for FogBugz 6.0?
    I: I really can’t say at the moment. Life is pretty darn busy, I’m in a full time contract for a few more weeks, with an extension being offered for a few more months, and I want to spend some time with my wife and baby daughter now and then, so development time is pretty scarce.

    With some feature prioritisation, missing out the least used features for now, concentrating on the core of CaseDetective’s being, I might be able to get something out by the end of the year, but it’s more likely to be early next year.

    U: Wow, that’s quite some time away until release, sorry to hear that.
    I: Me too.

    U: Is there any good news for existing customers?
    I: Well yeah, of course!

    I’m confident CaseDetective 2.0 will be a much nicer experience for the user, Flex/Flash/AIR has some usability features that can make an application much more enjoyable to use.

    Those new charts should look great, and those much requested pie charts will finally be available.

    CaseDetective 1.x will still be around, supporting FB4 and FB5 for a while. Although all development efforts are aimed at CaseDetective 2.0 just now, any show stopper bugs in CaseDetective 1.3 will be squished where necessary.

    And CaseDetective 2.0 will be a free upgrade to existing users of CaseDetective 1.x.

    U: CaseDetective 2.0 a free upgrade to existing users, that’s a nice gesture.
    I: It’s the least I can do, considering the delay and what not.

    U: Well, thanks for such a candid warts ‘n’ all interview, your time is very much appreciated.
    I: You’re welcome, thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk to you, I enjoyed it.

    Were my questions and answers simply not good enough, do you have some proper questions for me? Then please post your questions in the comments for this post.

    * I was going to use Y, but I simply couldn’t cope with Y-I, “pet” kept popping into my mind.
    Caching of data on the desktop may not make it into CaseDetective 2.0, it may have to come a little later. I want to make CaseDetective a lot lighter than it has been, this may take considerable work.
    In fact, I enjoyed it so much I might just be doing this kind of thing at lot more often!

    FogBugz On Demand

    So, the cat is finally out of the bag, Joel Spolsky has announced FogBugz On Demand, a professionally hosted version of FogBugz.

    In my opinion FogBugz On Demand is a wonderful idea, it vastly reduces the barriers to getting up and running with FogBugz, if you have an internet connection and a few dollars at hand ($21 per user per month), you’re all set. No install, no server needed, no backups or upgrades to worry about, sign-up and go.

    Some of us have been privy to the existence of FogBugz On Demand for a few months now, as frequenters of the Business of Software discussion group were let in early to beta test it. The deal was very good for being a beta tester, two users for free, perfect for the MicroISVs and such like that make up the Business of Software group.

    Although FogBugz On Demand is a great deal at $21 per user per month, considering you’re not needing to pay up front for licenses, don’t have to worry about maintaining a server, backing up the database, or upgrading software, I do think Fog Creek have missed a trick.

    I think Fog Creek would do well to extend the free license deal to any new account beyond the existing 45 day free trial, maybe just a single license for free, but preferably two per account.

    Consider the hapless developer who finds himself in a new project with no feature, bug or inquiry tracking facilities. Imaging that poor sole being able to create a FogBugz On Demand account in just a few seconds, and start entering features and bugs to be implemented or fixed, passing the URL to their customer(s), fellow developer(s) or tester(s). Happy days! Suddenly the developer can have a central repository of all the work they have to do, can keep track of discussions related to the cases and project design and development (via the in built discussion groups functionality), and know when they have completed the work for each release. Even if the client hasn’t got a system of their own to track the project effectively.

    And who knows, after the developer has given the spare free login to their manager, development partner, prime customer representative or favourite tester, how many others on the team are going to want to get in on the act rather than just use the public interface functionality? Now the customer has given the authorisation for 5 users of FogBugz On Demand for the remainder of the project. Next project they add another 5 users, now those two free logins have turned into $210 per month, every month, for this one client of the developer alone.

    And once they have got comfortable with the great features of FogBugz (and the fabulous additions coming in FB6), maybe they’ll decide to buy the self-hosted version for all departments in the company.

    Just how many contractors are there floating around from poorly setup client to poorly setup client? I suspect metric butt-loads!

    As I said, FogBugz On Demand is a fantastic idea, it just needs to get one foot in the door as a couple of free licenses (not just a 45 day trial), and I think it’ll do very well indeed.


    UPDATE 2007-07-11 15:40: Both Joel and Eric have contacted me to let me know that there is a “Student and Startup Edition” of FogBugz On Demand, that gives you the exact same two users for free functionality that I was whinging about being missing. It’s an option within the “Your Account” page for everyone. It has not been advertised just yet for fear of overloading the servers at a time when lots of people will be testing out the new service.

    So, all my millions of readers, don’t go sign up for your free two person FogBugz On Demand Student and Startup Edition account at the same time, or else you’ll get me into trouble!


    How does FogBugz On Demand impact CaseDetective?

    Those who know anything about CaseDetective for FogBugz will know that it currently talks directly to the FogBugz database. With FogBugz On Demand being hosted by Fog Creek, there isn’t going to be any way to get to those SQL Server databases, it’s just not going to happen, they’re locked away tight. In fact, Eric Nehrlich from Fog Creek was kind enough to email me as soon as the beta was announced to tell me that there fact, and offer to help me in any way he could in getting any requirements championed for improvements to the FogBugz API for FogBugz 6.0.

    As such, I’ve been emailing back and forth with Eric and Michael Pryor for a few months as Michael made progress with the spec and then development of the upgraded FogBugz 6.0 API.

    With any luck the new API for FogBugz 6.0 is going to have enough information for me to reproduce all the basic functionality in CaseDetective that my customers rely on, not only so that I can support the huge changes in FogBugz 6.0, but also FogBugz On Demand.


    So, the fun begins.

    Just how am I going to cope with such fundamental changes to the data retrieval method for CaseDetective?

    Will the next version of CaseDetective for FogBugz use the same code base, or start from scratch?

    Will the next version of CaseDetective for FogBugz still be developed using REALbasic even?

    Will the next version of CaseDetective for FogBugz have any other improvements?

    There’s only one way to find out … stay tuned for the next post!

    RBScoutSubmit 1.0 Released

    A couple of weeks ago there was a discussion on the REALbasic NUG regarding what bug tracking systems everyone uses, and of course I chimed in with FogBugz! But I also mentioned that I could make my code for submitting crashes to FogBugz available.

    I had a few responses looking for the code, so I cleaned it up a little to remove some project specific stuff that was in the modules, created a simple little example program, and then sent the classes on there merry little way to those who responded.

    Even though these classes are pretty very rough, I decided to stick them up on this interweb thingy, you can find them in the Free Stuff section of my company website rbscoutsubmit Google Code project, along with the UNIX Crypt module I put up there some time ago.

    Here’s a quick run down of how it looks when you run the example application…

    When you click the “Go BANG!!!” button in the example app an OutOfBounds exception will be raised (I’m referencing an element of an array that isn’t initialised).

    An “Application Error” window will be shown that says very sorry for going bang, and asks that the user submit the error report with details of what they were doing at the time.

    If the user wants to see what the error report contains before sending it, they can. This is always a good idea, gives the user a little more confidence that you haven’t just scanned their hard disk and are about to send out all their passwords!
    This report format can be changed by you (the REALbasic developer) to whatever format you like, and can include extra info if you like (e.g. in the Windows version I add info as to whether the user is an admin, and memory available, as these tend to be important).

    When the user hits the Send button, RBScoutSubmit uses your FogBugz installations’ scoutSubmit functionality to submit details of the crash. If you’ve set some pithy response on a case that already matches the Title, Project and Area submitted, the user will get that back (usually, “we’ve already fixed this, please update your version”), or some default “Thanks for submitting the report” message you supply in the application.

    In FogBugz a case will be created with the Project, Area and Title you baked into your application, and if the user added some comments and/or their email address, they’ll be available too.

    You can see in this last screen shot that my example message made it intact.

    If you want to give the classes a try, please do, the license is a standard MIT open source license, so you can do pretty much what you like with them except claim the code is yours (not that you’d want to)!

    Any suggestions on how to improve the classes, or if you want to submit code changes back, please drop me an email, there’s contact details in the README.txt.

    I met Joel Spolsky last night, and have the t-shirt to prove it!

    FogBugz_t-shirt.jpgLast night was the Edinburgh meet up with Joel Spolsky, it was great to meet a few fellow software developers (and the occasional electronics/hardware/embedded software developer) who also think Joel’s articles are a great read. Although I seemed to talk to more Australian and New Zealand folk than I did Scottish, which is funny as I have often been accused of being from that area, and nearly moved there a few years ago, and it turns out Joel’s dad is from New Zealand.

    So after the meet last night Joel and I we went for a nice dinner at Le Sept, just round the corner from the meet venue, whence my grilling of Joel commenced!

    I thoroughly enjoyed the meal, we talked about all kinds of things related to software development, management, Fog Creek, FogBugz and other stuff. Joel’s a really nice guy, easy to talk to and very keen to share his knowledge, and also to help me out with CaseDetective where possible.

    I hope Joel enjoyed the evening as much as I did.

    CaseDetective for FogBugz 1.3.1 released.

    Just a quickie to announce that CaseDetective 1.3.1 has been released; it includes a couple of bug fixes.

    If you’ve had any problems in creating an extract or PDF file from certain filters because the “Save As” window doesn’t appear after the options window, you’ll want this release.
    The issue was down to the default file name (filter name) being passed to the “Save As” window, if that filter name happened to have a “/” or other character in it that isn’t allowed in a file name, then the window simply failed to appear. The default file names for extract and PDF report files are now sanitised to only include alpha-numerics (a-z, A-Z, 0-9) and the space character, anything else is replaced with a hyphen. You can of course still change the file name once in the Save As window.
    Thanks to Rosemarie for helping me find the cause of this problem with her wonderful debug log file, your patience and persistence is very much appreciated.

    If you’ve had any problems with CaseDetective causing locking conflicts in your MS Access database, then you’ll also want CaseDetective 1.3.1.
    I’ve only ever had one report of this problem, and it turns out it wasn’t actually CaseDetective causing the problem anyway, but CaseDetective has been updated to explicitly connect in read-only mode to any ODBC, MS Access and MS SQL Server database. It’s probably belts and braces and CaseDetective only does read-only operations on the FogBugz database anyway, but it can’t hurt as CaseDetective never updates the database.

    That’s all folks.

    What's going on with the Joneses then?

    So, what’s going on with the Joneses then?

    Abi With Two HandsWell, as of today Abi is 1 month and 1 day old, and boy has she grown already. She’s gone from 7 pounds 3 and a half ounces at birth to 9 pounds and 2 and a half ounces, and out-grown a number of clothes already. Apparently this is very good growth, especially as she weighed even less when she left hospital, Mummy is obviously eating the right kind of stuff (which is a real surprise, believe me)!

    We’re not getting a lot of sleep at the moment, which impacts the rest of the day. Mummy often gets a nap for an hour or two during the day or late afternoon (when Daddy gets home) that she desperately needs, but Daddy catches up by having a night in the spare room every now and then. Although Abi has started to go about 5 hours through the night in the last couple of days, which makes a big difference.

    I’m starting to get into the swing of going to work a lot earlier than I have been until now. Before, I used to leave home between 09:15 and 09:30 to get into work for 10:00, but am now leaving just before 07:00 to get in for around 08:00 (traffic is much worse at this time of day). This means I get to leave work approx 2 hours earlier now, leaving at 16:30 rather than 18:30, which of course means I get a bit more time in the evening with the family. The idea being that because Abi is generally waking up for a feed between 05:00 and 06:00, I might as well get up and into work and therefore have more time in the evening for Abi, Mandy and then some work. I’m getting the Abi and Mandy bit in mostly, but work hasn’t really clicked back in yet, I’m way too tired most evenings.

    On the subject of work, development of CaseDetective hasn’t moved forward for some time, as you might imagine, but there are a couple of bug fixes I now know how to implement thanks to some great feedback from customers. It sure does help when you get a good debug log and a customer who’s keen to find a fix to their problem. I hope to get a bug fix version of CaseDetective out soon.

    There are developments afoot in the world of FogBugz, there’s rumours of a new “service” that some “MicroISVs” might know about, I can say no more, and if you look in the right places you can see snippets of information that alludes to some of the new features in FogBugz 6.0 and it’s pending public beta release. Again, I can say no more, mainly because I have no more info, I have no more info than has leaked, I’m not privileged to any data that isn’t publicly available. But anyway, it’s exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s coming out of Fog Creek.

    Oh, and it seems like I might actually get to meet Joel Spolsky (co-founder of Fog Creek) next month in Edinburgh. I don’t suppose I’ll have much time with him as there’s 50+ people already signed up to the meet up, but still, should be nice to meet Joel.