Code 52 - a new coding project every week

Working Bee

With all the work that the Code52 team and its band of merry contributors have achieved over the previous weeks, we're now at the point where we'd like to slow down a bit and take stock of what we've achieved so far.

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While @tobin and @aeoth were working to get the Enhance project started, there has been a supreme effort behind the scenes during the week to address some outstanding work:

  • Pretzel added support for using Razor templates alongside Liquid templates, and has a Chocolately package available for people to install on their local machines.

  • Ideastrike has been updated to use Nancy v0.10 - with that transition completed we are looking to enhance and expand on what we initially released to the world.

  • ASP.NET Internationalization packages were shipped on NuGet.

What about this week?

We're aware of the initial premise we made about "a new coding project every week" and how a pause goes against it, but we don't want to march onwards to the detriment of the previous good work we've acheived.

We plan on taking a break from the insanity that is a new project each week to polish previous projects. We would much rather 40 maintained and complete projects than 52 incomplete projects that never reach their full potential.

As such, we are calling a working bee - there's many things to do, and we want to get as much of it done now before we continue on with new stuff. We'll still be in and out of the JabbR during this time if you want to hang out - and yes, contributions are always welcome.

@shiftkey will be over in Auckland for Codemania next week (grab him if you want to talk about Code52), and we will kick off a new project once he returns on April 2nd.

Working Bee


Many of our applications require installers to make the experience super-easy for users. We've researched numerous tools but could not settle on a particular choice which would cover everything we needed from an install solution - so we're cherry-picking from various sources and building something here which we hope will be a best-of-breed solution for deploying and updating applications.

In the meantime, the awesome team at wyDay have provided a license for Code52 to use their wyBuild tool as an update mechanism for our .NET apps.

Markpad will be the first application from Code52 to use wyBuild, but we will have more to discuss on this in the coming days.

Another "fun with installers" case we need to address is how Office requires a signed installer for addins from the web. We are looking to address this over the current week so we can get an official build of GitHub for Office out for users to test.


Each of the Code52 projects has a gh-pages branch - to introduce users to the application or library - and a wiki - to capture documentation and details to help with understanding of the project.

The project page template (from the work done on MarkPad and ASP.NET i18n) has been spun off into a separate repository for people to contribtute to - ideas we have thrown around include different stylesheets and templates, but this has not evolved due to the initial goal of having consistent project pages for each Code52 project.

Some of our library projects - Pretzel and ASP.NET i18n in particular - require refreshing existing documentation or new documentation to help users get familiar with certain features of each application. We want to ensure that details like documentation, which may be overlooked when a project starts, are not left behind as things grow.

Miscellaneous awesomeness

A quick list off the top of our heads of the other things we are looking to knock off:

  • Even after reworking the UI for Markpad, new ideas and suggestions for features are still coming in, including split-view/multi-monitor support, Github-flavoured Markdown, exporting to different formats and even document recovery.

  • Did I mention an extension API for MarkPad? No? Well I guess I just did.

  • MyFinances has gone back to the drawing board with some radical ideas to make the user experience stand out. Once this has been from @shiftkey's brain to working HTML the more advanced features like imports, reporting and achievements will be revisited.

  • Carnac has been gathering some user feedback from a couple of presentations - including a couple of interesting graphics-related issues we didn't uncover during our previous testing.

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