There's a semblance of irony to the fact that my last post acknowledges that I do not write these updates as much as I should, and then the following update occurs about 2 years later. Oof.
According to my analytics I have - perhaps - a total of about 10 consistent visitors currently and given my update frequency, this is - honestly - understandable. I apologize to the handful of people that pop by, that this page isn't more frequently kept up to date. I'd advise any avid reader to join the PlanMixPlay Discord as that area is a tiny bit more lively than this page, at least for now.
But I digress. I'm here to present the roadmap for the future work that I envision for PlanMixPlay in the coming year(s). Three key points summarize it well:+
- New Graphical-User Interface (GUI). PlanMixPlay's (PMP) existing GUI was built from the ground-up in C++ with some assistance by some incredibly talented external individuals. PMP's GUI so perfectly encapsulate a dilemma every developer will face many times in their lives. Re-invent the wheel and make quick progess now, or stand on the shoulder of giants and make slower but more sustainable progress. While there are exceptions to this rule, it tends to hold in many cases. When I first started building PMP all these years ago, I had no idea which direction the GUI would go in, nor exactly what it would end up looking like. As time passed, PMP's GUI had gone from a small pebble around its neck to a giant boulder wearing it down. Rather than polish or improve the GUI, it's so much more reasonable to upgrade to a flexible but much more powerful GUI library. Arguably, PMP should possibly have made this switch a long time ago, but the best time to do this isn't always clear, even in hindsight. There are several consequences of making the move to a new GUI library:
- Development will be initially slow for a quite a while as I adapt to using a brand new library with its own way of doing things, and slowly port all of PlanMixPlay's functionality to this new GUI. Given the licensing terms of the GUI library I anticipate to move forward with, I likely won't release any new versions of PlanMixPlay for a while until a signficant portion of the functionality has been ported, so anticipate a slower release schedule for a while.
- Better separation between GUI and code. The library is a lot better about expressing the front-end using a non-coding language which carries significant advantages with it. One being the ability for me to tap an external designer to help polish PlanMixPlay's front-end, without giving up access to the source code.
- Significant performance increase. Performance was never a focus of PMP's custom GUI as its display was always very, very simple. But even with its simple GUI, there were instances of sub-par performance that have always been a tiny thorn in my side. These will naturally disappear completely on their own with a transition to this new GUI.
- New website. PlanMixPlay.com is getting a bit long in the tooth. Launched about 6-7 years ago web standards have changed significantly and I simply don't have the inclination to keep up with all the deeper details to properly running a non-managed website. Thus, in the coming future I will be transitioning to a much more managed portal to service my website needs. This isn't a high priority given the exceedingly limited audience size the website has, but a necessary step regardless.
- More promotion/exposure. The second prototype party completed in Melbourne, Australia back in August was a great experience and confirmation that PlanMixPlay is ready for more widespread adoption. While it still has lots of rough edges what it really needs now is an increased audience size to help gather more feedback about its use and most rough areas. So a focus in the future will be to promote and expose the software to a greater audience size.
I'm excited to see how PlanMixPlay grows in the coming year!
Thank you for reading!