Sunday, July 5, 2009

Beginning Eclipse

Vim has been my editor of choice for quite some time; however, I recently started investigating Eclipse for my development. Eclipse appealed to me because of it's support for GWT and AppEngine but is still difficult to use at times.

I installed Eclipse 3.4.2 (Ganymede) and found myself rather disappointed for file types other than Java. HTML and CSS are poorly handled by the default text editor. I immediately started searching for a plugin and stumbled upon Project Amateras. Amateras provides a nice environment but I have had numerous problems with soft tabs and indentation.

I spent a bit of time fighting with formatting because of these problems; however, I was able to write nearly all of the CSS and base HTML for MealTicket. The first bit of code has been checked into my SVN repository and will hopefully improve each day.

Peter Manis pointed me to Aptana which I hope to try tomorrow. The product looks a bit more polished so I'm hopeful that it will excel past Amateras.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New project: MealTicket

Preview of MealTicket
I started working on a new personal project today called MealTicket. The goal of the project is to help arrange group meals (at restaurants) by providing a simple voting structure similar to Google Moderator. I am using this as my first real attempt to work with Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and plan on documenting the process.

Today I created an initial design of the user interface in photoshop. I only worked on it for a couple of hours since it's a holiday and I wanted to enjoy some time outside. There are numerous features that I have to create which may, or may not be, evident from the mock up:
  • Support single day and re-occuring events
  • Event invite since events will be private (maybe add public events eventually)
  • Ability to mark a restaurant as visited with the option to not re-appear for X days, months, or ever
  • Integration with Google Calendar
  • Possible Yelp integration
  • Resturant suggestions based on your history (and maybe based on other users)
I am comptemplating a rating system where each member could rate, and potentially comment, on the visit. If a particular user does not rate the restaurant well then it will not show up in suggestions. This could also improve the suggestion for other users but may be a conflict with the Yelp integration.