Archive for February, 2008

Castalia 2008.1.1 Now available

Posted on February 29th, 2008 in Castalia, Delphi | No Comments »

Castalia 2008.1.1 is a critical bugfix release for Castalia 2008.1

The following issues are fixed:

  • Castalia incorrectly steals the Ctrl+1 shortcut key
  • Castalia may crash Delphi 5-7 when changing projects
  • Castalia may crash Delphi 5-7 when exiting

This release is available to all current subscribers at http://subscribe.twodesk.com.

Castalia 2008.1 Critical Problems

Posted on February 29th, 2008 in Castalia, Delphi | No Comments »

In the last couple of days, three critical problems with the Castalia 2008.1 release have come up:

  • Castalia steals the Ctrl+1 shortcut key
  • In Delphi versions 5-7, Castalia can cause Delphi to crash when switching projects
  • In Delphi versions 5-7, if it doesn’t crash when switching projects, it may crash when you close Delphi

I’ve got bugfixes for all of these in the works (they’re actually all related), and hope to have them out the door in a few hours.  I offer my profuse apologies to anyone who has been affected by this, and ask for your patience while I get this worked out.

I’ll have a 2008.1.1 update out today (Central USA time), I promise.

A Castalia 2008.1 bug and workaround

Posted on February 28th, 2008 in Castalia, Delphi, TwoDesk | No Comments »

Castalia 2008.1 improperly steals the Ctrl+1 keyboard shortcut for the new Quickbar.  Ctrl+1 is used by the Delphi editor for shortcut navigation.  Here’s a workaround to get Ctrl+1 back where it belongs until I can get a fix out the door:

 Delphi 2005-2007:

Tools | Options (this is the DELPHI options, not the Castalia options)
Find the “Key Mappings” pane
Uncheck “Castalia Quickbar Keyboard Bindings” in the list on the right.
Click “OK”

Delphi 5-7

Tools | Editor Options
Click the “Key Mappings” tab
Uncheck “Castalia Quickbar Keyboard Bindings” in the list on the right.
Click “OK”

Castalia 2008.1 Released

Posted on February 27th, 2008 in Business, Castalia, Delphi, TwoDesk | 3 Comments »

I’m excited to announce Castalia 2008.1, the first of Castalia update of 2008.

Here’s what’s new:

New features

* QuickBar – Fast access to tools that help you maintain your code.
* Syntax error correction – Castalia can correct common syntax errors with a single button click
* Bookmark stack swap – swap the current cursor position with the next bookmark in the bookmark stack

Enhanced Features

* Templates now expand class and method names in whitespace.
* Better handling of read-only files in refactoring
* New default code template: begine
* Text search toolbar now has option to integrate into code editor, instead of being a floating window.

Fixed Bugs

* Using arrow keys with selected text sometimes causes selection to be lost
* Keyword ‘in’ not properly formatted when refactoring
* ‘Extract Method’ refactoring unavailable when the selection begins with a comment
* Extract Method (and others) – an extra space is inserted between ) and then, i.e. “if (1 = 1) then” becomes “if (1 = 1) then”

Other

* Improved “plumbing” for better interaction with OpenToolsAPI

Customers with current subscriptions can download Castalia 2008.1 from the subscriber website at http://subscribe.twodesk.com. If your subscription has expired, you can still renew it at http://subscribe.twodesk.com.

If you haven’t tried Castalia lately, now is a great time to try it. Download a free trial at http://www.twodesk.com/castalia.

Delphi style guide

Posted on February 26th, 2008 in Castalia, CodeGear, Delphi | No Comments »

Just because it hasn’t been mentioned in a while, and I had a discussion with one of the Castalia beta testers this morning about it, here’s a link the Object Pascal Style Guide. It’s by Charlie Calvert, and documents the code formatting used in the Delphi source code and the VCL. Most Delphi programmers consider it to be authoritative, and it’s an easy read.

The product is the product

Posted on February 13th, 2008 in Business, Castalia, TwoDesk | No Comments »

A newsgroup post in borland.public.delphi.non-technical pointed to an interesting computerworld article: The 8 secrets that make Apple No. 1. I’ve long thought that Apple offers something to learn for every technology business out there, from the biggest corporate monster to a part-time one-man operation.

My favorite “secret” was number 4: The product is the product

“The bigger companies get, the less energy they seem to spend on creating great products. Instead, whenever the CEOs of most computer and consumer electronics companies speak in public, they blather on about alliances, services, improvements in the sales channel and other things buyers don’t care about. Apple CEO Steve Jobs talks about the actual products above all.

“One of the weird things about buying a cell phone is carriers are clearly more interested in selling you plans, options and reliability. The physical handsets seem to be an afterthought. But consumers are crying out for better handsets, and the carriers don’t seem to notice. Apple does notice.”

This perfectly described my cell phone carrier. The service has been great. The coverage is good, the plans are good. But the handset selection is abysmal. Is it that hard for a cellular provider to offer me the handset I want (which their competitors are offering) on their network that they’re convinced is the most reliable in the world?

Anyway…

It’s interesting to contemplate what this means for TwoDesk – are we focusing on creating great products? Are we focusing on creating a great experience for those who use our products? I think we’re doing alright, especially with the new subscription business model that forces us to emphasize continual improvement. I don’t think we’ve perfected it though, and we could do better.

Secret number 3 was The experience is the product

When Castalia 5 came out a year ago, this was the major emphasis… what did it feel like to use Castalia? One thing that didn’t feel good was the flickering in the editor. So I spent months – literally – figuring out what was going on deep under the hood in Delphi, and then completely rewrote the entire Castalia graphics engine. It was the biggest rewrite since Castalia 2. The result was amazing, and Castalia 5 has been our best seller ever. I think that’s partially because of the great new features we added, but I think it’s mostly because those barriers of “it just feels bad” were finally removed.

That said, I still think there’s room for improvement, and I’m excited about what we’ve got in the pipe for the future to make the experience – and the product -better.

Hello world!

Posted on February 6th, 2008 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

New server… switching blog software.  Will add back some of the more interesting posts.