Monday, October 22, 2007

Finally updated xGestures

It's been... over ten months since I released a new version of xGestures?  I want to make it clear that I haven't abadonned the project at all.  In fact, I still use it every day, all the time.  However, I've come to realize that actually programming professionally for 8 hours a day, having a fairly active social life, and being lazy really makes it difficult for me to work on programming projects in my free time.  But I'm trying to get better about it.

So I've finally released a relatively minor update to xGestures that fixes a bunch of bugs that people have been complaining about for a while.  Unfortunately, there are still several bugs that I haven't had the opportunity to fix, and several features people have been requesting forever now that I still haven't had the time to add.  But in case you're wondering, here's stuff I really, honestly, plan to do at some point in the future:
  • Adding a feature for exporting and importing preferences. I plan to make this work so that you can import individual application preferences, as well as duplicate gestures and entire applications. So if you have 5 zillion gestures set up for your favorite web browser, and then you start using a slightly different web browser, you can copy over the gestures rather than having to do them all over again.
  • I want to fix the Wacom tablet problem.  LOTS of people have complained that xGestures doesn't work with Wacom tablets.  The problem, though, is that I don't own a Wacom tablet and don't have easy access to one right now.  As soon as I can get my hands on one, though, I'm going to see if I can fix things.
Now I should probably give some lip service to features that people have requested that are pretty low priority right now.  Which is to say, there are a bunch of other things I want or need to do in  my spare time before I'll have a chance to work on this stuff.  So the big one is diagonal gestures, or other kinds of complex gestures.  I really want to add that to xGestures, but it'll take a lot of work and I just don't have the right now.  Another big one is complex or advanced gesture actions, that can do neat things like do various different things depending on context, or start performing several actions in order until one of them succeeds.  That'd be a great feature to have, but once again it'll take oodles of work.  There's also adding a feature like being able to gesture with more than one mouse button.  So something like right-click gesturing in a direction will do action A, and middle-click gesturing in the same direction will do action B.  Or more rocker gestures, like holding the right button and clicking the middle button or something like that.   However, I want to be careful with these new features, because one of the things I'm trying to be careful about is not making xGestures really complex and annoying to use.  So if I implement any of these features, I'm going to try my hardest to make them simple and intuitive, but still powerful.

I'm also working on a new software project right now that's already getting pretty close to being finished. I'd say it's something like 70% of the way there. I'm almost certainly going to release it as freeware or donationware, because it's simple enough that I don't think it warrants people having to go through the effort of paying money to use it. But it's a cool idea, though, and it might actually be pretty popular. I'm not going to say what it is though just so I can be stupidly secretive with the four people who read this blog!!