Roomie gets some CSS schooling

This week I have been furiously re-writing a few key elements of the Roomie website.  Specifically, I scrapped the old device button controls, which you can see here. They were ok, but they were very rigid in use, offering only two different pictures to back the buttons.  Zooming on mobile devices didn’t work so great either, since the images were PNGs, raster graphics.  Now I have created a button framework entirely in CSS, HTML, and ASP.NET controls.  Because of this, I can easily create new kinds of controls completely in code, and they even zoom cleanly as well.  My original vision for this was to enable the user to create “virtual device controls”, which would display next to the regular device controls.

Roomie home automation main site on an iPad

Continue reading

Hey! Roomie isn’t dead either!

After completely rewriting FRI from scratch (and renaming it Arcadia), I have decided to rewrite my other big project, Roomie.  This absolutely needed to be done.  Roomie had some good functionality, but I had hit the limit for its extensibility.  Roomie’s engine was a monolithic blob of ugly code, with very little room to make it into a full scripting language with features like custom functions and if statements.  My redesign of Roomie, which I call RoomieRemake for now, is completely expandable, is properly multithreaded, and has all of the potential to be a robust, featurefull scripting language.  Just like Arcadia, I am proud to declare that RoomieRemake shares absolutely no code with its predecessor.  Not even a single copy/pasted line of code!  More on that in a bit, but first an end scenario:
Roomie Text Message

Continue reading

FRI is dead, but its spirit lives on

It’s been almost a year since I’ve updated FRI, my ROM library program. FRI is now officially dead, but not completely gone. Since I started working on FRI I have gained a lot more programming experience. I started writing the thing when I was still a C# novice. Between then and now I have written an elaborate intranet site in ASP.NET, debugged and written C++ applications, and have learned the true value of a regular expression.  I look at FRI’s code now and am a little grossed out.   I decided that if I was going to make any more improvements to FRI, I’d have to start over and rearchitect the whole thing. The name of this new project: Arcadia.

With Arcadia I have committed to research everything that I suspect will make for a better design. Because of this, Archaida’s backend is shaping up to be elegant and efficient. I researched how to do inheritance in C#, and have used that to save myself from writing a lot of code. This has drastically decreased development and testing time. I learned how to use basic regular expressions over the summer, and have used them in some areas (more on that later). For the frontend I decided to switch from WinForms to WPF. All I can say is that databinding is epic, and I still have a lot more to learn about it.

Here’s a shot of Arcadia in its current form:

Arcadia prealpha

Continue reading