Code 52 - a new coding project every week

Recap - MyFinances for Windows 8

I wish I had something more to show than our Github repo, but this was not our most productive week.

What happened?

While we've made some progress this week on the WinJS demo app, we hit a number of issues which slowed things down a lot:

Things outside of our control:

  • new relatives coming into the world
  • illness
  • overheating laptops

This we could have mitigated with better planning:

  • wrapping our heads around the changes to WinJS in the Consumer Preview
  • how to structure the UI to better reflect application flow and Metro principles
  • scaffolding the app better initially so that people could cherry-pick screens to work with.

A few things worked well:

  • Having a specific folder for mockups in source control helped share UI ideas around but keep them tracked (both PSD and PNG formats depending on the software available to the users).
  • Breaking tasks into prototypes helped people explore things in isolation without becoming part of the critical path.

What did we get done?

We've got a simple app running that allows the user to navigate between a number of tabs at the top of the page. The first page we implemented lists off the transactions associated with the current user and allows for new items to be added.

For those who are curious about building WinJS apps, in its current form the app demonstrates:

  • navigation between pages
  • customising the domain model
  • binding data to the screen
  • using some of the new controls including lists and flyouts
  • styling markup using CSS and the new -ms properties and values.

What's next?

This is still under active development - the only issue at the moment is lack of time - and there are a number of features which have been started but not integrated into master. We are looking for this to be a sample application that people can use and developers can explore and contribute to, so this is only the beginning.

Stay tuned for a demo of the progress made once we resurrect the machine with the video footage on it - there was some code changes which didn't make it out sadly.

We also had a few blog posts from Chris Sainty introducing Javascript concepts for those who are getting started wtih WinJS. Brendan will also (hopefully) get time this week to share some of the features he's found around CSS and WinJS controls that have been incorporated into the My Finances app.

And as always, we have the JabbR room for people to hang out and talk about Windows 8 or the other projects we are working on currently.

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