Code Complete


So, yesterday I (tentatively) declared code complete on DiagramBuilder v1.0, and I’m pretty pleased with its current state. I shall be releasing it ASAP.

Overall, this will be the most professional bit of software I have written so far, and I hope this whole experience can form a building block for much greater things. For now though, I’ll just enjoy the moment.

I’ve still got a small list of remaining tasks, or “barriers to release”, and I will be working through these as best I can in the next few weeks:

  • Obfuscation – got to protect my investment, if possible
  • Help – need to do the help section
  • Demo Vids – need to plan and record
  • Installers – mostly complete on this, but a few niggling problems
  • Server – need to do general tidy up, get it ready for the release
  • Website – need LOTS of work on this, not even designed it yet
  • Marketing – need a plan really
  • Support Plan – need to be ready for any/all help requests

That probably covers it. Fingers crossed I’ll have v1.0 out the door very soon!




The Mac Daddy


This video is absolutely superb, I have to give thanks to Sri Harsha Chilakapati for such a clear and informative video (plus links to resources).

I followed the steps, and within 15 mins I had a working Mac application. Absolutely made up.

Good times.



A Look At Launch4j

I had previously been dead set on using IzPack to create my installers, but things have kinda stalled, so I’m exploring some other possibilities – namely Launch4j.

The fairly simple demonstration video below shows how you turn an executable jar into an .exe, which is where I will begin (before looking into Mac/Linux stuff in more detail).


I will probably end up going back to IzPack to create the final packaged installer(s) anyway, unless Launch4j has got that covered too.

Watch this space…



Tangled In The Web


I’ve been bogged down for weeks now, implementing the full licensing/admin system that I’ll be using for DiagramBuilder when it’s released (hopefully) soon.

I’m now aware of a whole host of hacks, attacks and vulnerabilities that I had little understanding of before I embarked on this, and I’ve been putting in measures to prevent a ton of badness. It’s kinda taken all the fun out of it, to be honest.

I’ve built a decent admin system, allowing me to monitor and control what’s going on – with email notifications when anything particularly noteworthy/worrying has happened – and I’ll be continuing to develop this into something cool.

So, it seems I’m only a few steps away from signing off on the licensing system, after which I will focus on:

  • Producing proper installers
  • Code obfuscation
  • Producing demo vids/help
  • Bringing ZM website up to scratch

Sounds like I’m really close to releasing this – why does it feel so far away?



Posted in Web.

Fun With Installers


I’ve been playing around with IzPack today, trying to get a decent installer produced for DiagramBuilder, and I’ve made decent progress.

Seems okay in terms of cross-platform performance, but it’s a bit basic at the moment. I need to get my own custom icon put in there, for instance.

I basically took my pre-produced runnable jar file, and turned this into an installer with IzPack – at first with the unpack option set to “true”, which was disastrous – and this now places the runnable jar into the location specified by the installer.

Like I said, I need to get a custom icon put in there, but I also need to look into producing proper native installers – since, for example, I tried to run a runnable jar on a Windows 8 machine recently and it borked.

Aside from that, I will be running a full battery of tests on the licensing system very soon, and I’m looking to sign this off as code complete for v1.0 ASAP.

Naturally, I found another bug that needs fixing (dragging from bottom right to top left does not render circle preview), but that is very minor. I will have the code boxed off extremely soon.