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The Year Ahead – 2007

2006 was a busy year. I completed the re-write of Script Debugger 4 in Cocoa, ported it from CodeWarrior to Xcode, and transitioned to Intel Macs. Along the way, there have been 5 maintenance Script Debugger 4 releases. I had hoped to also release FaceSpan 5 in 2006, but that did not work out.

As we begin another year I think its time to layout my plan for the coming year.

Script Debugger 4.0

In 2007 I’ll continue releasing maintenance updates for Script Debugger 4. I have Script Debugger 4.0.6 waiting in the wings which will ship in the next month or so, and when Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) ships I’m sure I’ll have to tweak the software some more.

FaceSpan 5.0

As some of you may recall, last year I acquired FaceSpan (an AppleScript-based User Interface builder) from Digital Technologies International. I went on to release FaceSpan 4.3 which addressed the most pressing bugs in the product.

In the time since the release of FaceSpan 4.3 I have been working on FaceSpan 5. There have been some setbacks along the way and its taking more time than I planned. However, FaceSpan 5 is progressing and I think the results are going to be worth all the effort.

FaceSpan 5, Script Debugger 5 and Affrus 2 all share the same script editing code. This means that editor improvements in one product (e.g. Regular Expression search and replace) are now quickly shared with the others. Also, FaceSpan 5 and Script Debugger 5 share the same dictionary viewing and AppleScript debugger code. I believe that this will make all the products progress much more quickly in the future. Since I work largely alone, this kind of code sharing is critical to making it possible to maintain so much software.

Here’s a teaser showing the new FaceSpan 5.0 project window and some of its inspectors:

Picture 3-2

The script editing areas you see have all of Script Debugger 4’s editing capabilities (snippets, paste tell, etc.), and when you run a project, you have all of Script Debugger’s debugging capabilities integrated directly into the FaceSpan IDE.

Affrus 2.0

Affrus 2.0 is a re-write of Affrus 1.0 (a Perl editor and Debugger) using Apple’s Cocoa Frameworks. This is similar to the work I undertook to re-write Script Debugger as a Cocoa application.

Picture 2-2

Here’s a little teaser. This screen shot shows just two Affrus 2 features: projects and tabbed editing. Other key features for Affrus 2 are Ruby and Python debugging.

Script Debugger 4.5

Once FaceSpan 5.0 and Affrus 2.0 have shipped (and all the code has been debugged), I will release Script Debugger 4.5. This update for Script Debugger 4.0 owners will deliver on my promise to provide scripting support and split-pane editing.

Script Debugger 5.0 will have to wait for 2008, but I have big plans. Oh, and JavaScript OSA will get some TLC along the way as well.

So thats the plan for 2007. It should be a great year with lots of new toys for everyone to play with.


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