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Development Plan
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Current plan of things to come (as of Summer 2002)

(Autumn 2002) Shadow Plan 2.6 is going out tomorrow, October 28th. We've improved the desktop and conduit immensely and kicked off the Mac OSX alpha series. Its time to get OSX to beta, and Unix to alpha, and kick off the Mac OSX conduit project. *Then* we can get back to feature growth (handheld and all desktop versions simultaneously) and general handheld fixes. So lots to do but we're finally getting to that sweet spot I've been wanting to get to.. where all platforms are treated equally with simulatenous updates across the board.

(Mid-summer 2002) Now that Shadow Plan 2.5.0 is out the door, its time to get some work in on Shadow Desktop (and the conduit). Theres a few minor fixes for Shadow 2.5, but the focus is on the rest of the system for awhile. Do some toolkit upgrades, test for OS 5 compatability, worry about Handera and Sony virtual grafitti... it never ends :)

(From summer 2002) Shadow Plan 2.5.0 is very nearly ready! Documentation needs to be written and the website needs some updates, but the software is in the very last stagesof testing. Customizable and savable views, filters, and tags are all in, as is a new titlebar option to make the display prettier and provide fast sorting. Lots of new stuff in the handheld, and nothing new in the desktop (which will get its share once 2.5 goes live). Handera and Sony NR70 extensions will be done a bit later (Sony already has 320x320 highres mode though). Importing from ToDo is much cooler now.

(From Spring 2002) Shadow Plan 2.2 has just been completed (mid-March) and supports Sony's Palm OS extensions (oh how I'm sick of each vendor extending in their own proprietary way!). Handera extensions yet need to be done, user definable filters, item tagging/sorting/etc, getting the mac and unix desktops out to alpha, conduit improvements and desktop features all need to be done. For the sake of argument, I thought I'd list off the order to be worked on more or less..

Immediate view

  1. [DONE] HH: We're OS5 "compliant", but not yet taking advantage of OS5 features. Must build OS5 highres into the system.
  2. [DONE] HH: Handera? Highres for Handera?
  3. DT: Get Mac OSX desktop to beta (it is in early alpha as of Autumn)
  4. DT: Get Unix desktop to alpha (it is currently just before alpha)
  5. CO: Investigate carrdwight issues
  6. CO: Make sure it survives hard reset Palm oddities
  7. DT: Kick off Mac OSX conduit project
  8. HH: Worry about international handheld versions? French ("jacob"), German, etc..
  9. HH: Virtual grafitti for Sony and Handera
  10. DT: Feature growth across all desktop platforms
  11. DT: Direction? Printing? Import/export? Fancy grid view? Prefs? International date formatting?
  12. HH: Misc field, item weightings, and other handheld features and fixes (and list option to ignore checked items in weight summation)
  13. Define what is Shadow Plan 3.0
  14. DT: Conduit; checking "Set as default" should delete pending temp
  15. DT: When quit desktop (not "X", but "File"->"Quit") after closing an opened datafile, can get a crash warning.


  1. HH: Drag threshold
  2. Add another OR group?
  3. DT: Deletion confirmation and other popups bring base window to top
  4. HH: mail:"jacob" MemHandle issue
  5. DT: wxWin233; meta-charset handled okay in HtmlPrint?
  6. CO: Hard reset; sync new conduit; sometimes lack of "Hotsync ID" (nil during sync! impossible!) wedges first sync. See mail:"aschel"
  7. HH: Imported marked todo; set as dirty so they'll sync out.
  8. DT: Print international chars
  9. HH: Printboy or palmprint support?
  10. DT: Palm Desktop launcher button?
  11. HH: Icons?
  12. HH: Optional start/finish columns?
  13. HH: Paste tags?

Misc issue "medlist"

  1. HH: JP: Starting a new item implicitly, with multibyte chars, may not work
  2. Merge filter and hilight subsystems.. custom hilights.. mmm.
  3. HH: Link MGr, tagging. Need sticky tags, and category picker.
  4. DT: Creation date not set? Or not transferred to hh..
  5. HH: "Delete tag" operation
  6. HH: Bring tag category to top?
  7. HH: Link Memo Add; can show blank memo title, crash when picked? (karjar)
  8. DT: Is manual having printing issues? Clean up the HTML.
  9. HH: Check load progress bar sometimes has wrong item count?
  10. HH: [easy] [V] -> Toggle wordwrap
  11. HH: Find/ShadowLinkHack goto.. sometimes screen scrolled not right? Maybe goto-scroll depends on title wordwrap? misc-calc?. Pre-calc? tbar?
  12. HH: "No numbering" too long in Details window
  13. HH: [med] Handera; file selection screen doesn't get cleared where empty
  14. HH: [med] German test-build (later to do a production build)
  15. HH: [med] Investigate New From missing items (ToDo and Datebook) (ie: Shadow should help you; since repeating items do not physically repeat until the time approaches, Shadow should find for you events that would repeat on the target week, even though in fact you're finding the item which physically exists in a prior timeslot)
  16. HH: [easy] Improve New From? "List all todos *since* date" instead of "show week"? Try and omit ones that have append-origin detail on them?
  17. Password protection? (and what to do with XML for pass prot'd lists?)
  18. DT: Request a todo/datebook link checkbox, so that during sync or after sync a link gets created on the handheld, from new DT items
  19. [med] Various HH requests:
    • Bold parent (categories) in full todo import (not other imports)
    • Link arrow <-, ->, <-> update
    • Pref to sort undated to bottom always
    • Some way to toggle tbar between columns and view/filter name?
    • Reverse whole filter checkbox?
    • On load, ensure scroll is within list (auto-view may decrease list disp length during loading)
    • File sel screen; hardkey up/down scroll more?
    • Asterisk; trunc to show, in wide tags; don't show in thin tags.
    • Exp links to tag column
    • [med] Category support on VFS?

Check out these new websites..

  • pdatopsoft
  • pdagreen
  • pdapointer

Ideas by location, in no meaningfull order!

Handheld Misc - Where to slot these in?

  • Auto-link next item to todo when one item is completed (in or out of Shadow).
  • Specific date filtering
  • Temp filters (ie: Filter wizard for tags and date ranges)
  • Delete linked todos on completion?
  • Neat; format painting. Two ways: 1) "Copy layout" and "Copy display"; then allow "paste attributes" or something. Let you copy the type and styles of an item and paste those onto another item, without ruinign its text. Or "PAste to all checked". 2) Format painter.. let you specify type and colours and layouts and such, then a paste-template to let you select "paste to alllevel" or "to all" or "to all checked' or "to all matchign filter'.. or is this just hilight sort of?
  • Check last modify time for todo/datebook items when importing changes; desktop chanegs for items with links are being clobbered by the todo/datebook item, regardless of which is more recent
  • New rule for c-filters; "parent tag"? No need for inheritance if filters can scan parents tags!
  • Linked todo/datebook items; mark dirty more carefully; set dirty item when imported changes, so conduit sync works better
  • Add shift indicator to Custom Filter Details window
  • Editting c-filter moves it to the top; list focus should also move :)
  • Auto-Unzoom can sometimes leave title incorrect?
  • Include built-in filters as a rule in c-filters? Or at least allow "next step only" type rule as that may be the only one missing that cannot be built?
  • Send all visible to clip? (since c-filters can then let you define what you see very carefully?)
  • Start, Finish date view options
  • new item inherits siblings tags
  • "this quarter" to custom date picker
  • origin info on "send to file" items
  • Have col-bg effect travel with item? (More specifically, it starts at 0; why not start at 0 or 1 based on item count? Can't use scroll value, since that is higher granularity than items..)
  • Trans to Spanish: azurdo@movistar.com
  • Keyboard shortcut for local find?
  • Prefs, default list view, allow saved views
  • Bigger drag threshhold?
  • Remove all tags operation?
  • Duplicate view operation?
  • Tag Wizard: Create instant filter for one tag?
  • Fix: Move selection up/down (keyboard) ignores filters
  • Edit for filter rule?
  • Manual ordering of c-filters and views and links?
  • Custom View options; sort, sort after changes, etc. Use C-Views as list prefs spot? autonumber option?
  • Repeat datebook items showing garbage in link text?
  • "Request for linkage" options, so that desktops via xml can request linking but not perform it
  • Pref to auto-import when opening Shadow?
  • [easy] Widen category picker on file selection screen; wide cat names don't fit
  • Pref; when set, todo date syncs to Finish date, when item checked.
  • Cmd-A to send Note button hit, in Details window
  • More "date picker" options: No Date*, Yesterday*, Today*, Tomorrow*, Day after Tomorrow, This Friday, Next Monday, One week later (from date listed, not from today)*, Today +1 week, Choose Date*
  • Smarter VFS support; A pref to include VFS files in Global Find (so you can opt them out or in as you so desire). Handle filename links.. if not found internally, check for VFS with an auto-implicit open?
  • File selection screen is slow to open or change categories, when the unit has many files (non-Shadow) on it. (Perhaps a smarter insertion is all that is needed?) (Due to the OS speed for scanning its internal directory, as it were). Caching the file listing could work but woud lead to trouble. As such.. we coudl do it, if it was a pref to enable this feature at all, and if there was a Refresh button on the FSS screen (and perhaps an auto-refresh after hotsync, withotu desktop).
  • Minor bug: In some custom layouts, you can clobber pri-bubble?
  • Snaz up file selection screen? At least fix the scroll arrows clobbering file ops arrows. Perhaps ditch filesize (unless pref?), and replace x/y with progress bars? button icons?
  • Merge files [medium]? (Send-to-file from Clip works now, so not needed?)
  • Shadow item to item (same file) linking
  • Shadow item to item (multiple file) linking
  • Redo "drag and drop" system (on handheld)
  • Address lookup?
  • BUG: When indent exp/collapse arrow on, and priority bubble on, sometimes pri-bubble can clobber the exp/coll arrow? (unverified, need to investigate)
  • When wordwrap is off (lines truncated), allow expanding single items?
  • When you want to make a datebook link in LM, and theres no target date set, you must return to details; have the error alert have a Set Date button, to make it easier
  • File selection screen; show the earliest unfinished items target date
  • BUG: Tiny one. When a todo link is updated on closing, it is not resorted. So if a todolist is sorted by priority, and you change the priority in Shadow, when Shadow updates the todo, it will now stay in the same location, despite that it should move in the database.
  • "n/a" %age and n/a hilight; when an item is 100%, it should become checked. Unchecking it shoudl then change the items to n/a, rather than revert to previous value. Maybe a sort or filter on n/a items?
  • Large note attachs; rather than 4k, allow 16k or 32k? How will that effect performance? Should "giant" notes be unexpandable, or always cached out? (and if so, then the peopel who need them, for writing books etc, would have crappy performance, since all notes could be giant? Thats not right..)
  • User definable colours; background1/2 (for ledger colours), default text colour (normally black), etc.
  • New selection bar; instead of simple reverse, for colour units allow a colour of selection bar to be set. (ie: Yellow bar). Perhaps have selection bar foregroudn text colour settable (since one could pick a dark colour as selection bar, so obviously need to have contrast)
  • "Prettification"; simplify the GUI (withotu sacrificing any power). Some thoughts include: Instead of New File showing the List Prefs screen, have it show a simple filename screen, and maybe let you pick existing files to inherit their layout. Or even just filename, and a "New From File" option in file selection screen. Then List Prefs can have the filename piece removed. When I add more customizable types, they dont' belong in list prefs anymore either, so the Customize button will have to move. The goal being to make it easier for newbies and more consistent for oldbies). Lots of analysis to do here.
  • Misc field? (with limited calculation options?) wide and thin versions
  • AN/DB4 icons?
  • "Import ToDo Since..." option on Import Todo screen or Transfer menu? Shows a list of ToDo's "since", and let you import them into files of your chosing. Hard to streamline filename selection. Perhaps tie into New From this same thing, with implicit chosen file of current file.
  • list or global pref; when active, hitting New asks you what Type; when using the mini-ed, perhaps instead of popping up a list of choices, have a list of choices in the mini ed; tiny little icons radio button style?
  • Mini-ed: Put back the [N] (under [D]) button to summon note editor
  • Speed up open and close times for lists, and file scanning for showing directory in file selection screen
  • New from: New items should pick up sibling type if option set
  • Add custom options; start and finish date columns
  • /X to toggle expanded status?
  • Weighted tasks
  • "lock" recent files (so new ones don't push off old ones)
  • BUG: New From doesn't sort, when sort-after-changes is set. New does (and new child, etc).
  • BUG: Mini editor fails to inherit bullet type from rest of sublevel
  • When tap on parent progress-bar, should perhaps pop up a one-height list showing current percentage? (tap is ignored currently)
  • File selection screen; rhs popmenu. "Category" option will show "All" when in "All" category; should it show the files actual category?
  • VFS and hires pref checks in 2.2 break OS2.0? mask them?
  • BUG: (clatham) New File, change category, go to Opt, return, category isn't shown properly
  • Increase full todo import split from 75 to XX on newr units?
  • Bug: When filtered on handheld, keyboard up/down movement may disappear into items filtered away (the cursor moves down, ignoring filter shown items and going to hidden items, and thus cursor is hidden)
  • On finish-date popup date picker, have an option for "target". If you wish to set the finish date to the target (especially at a later date, knowing you finished a project but not exactly when), this could be usefull.
  • "Mark" and "Apply"-menu; Mark would be another column (say) where you could tick/check an item. Then an "Apply" menu would let you do things like "Apply -> Delete" (delete all marked), and such. Handy, to let you multi-select and do operations on groups. Due to now redundant with "Delete all checked", we'd have to remove all those badboys, and replace with "Mark all checked" and "mark all children" and such, and people would remember to "Mark all children" and then "Delete all marked". Complicates users life, or keep redundant.

Desktop specifics:

  • "Recent files" in base window or under File menu
  • Autonumbering
  • HTML export; "%" becomes a big mess..
  • Print and exports; include creation date?
  • Rich textl; click on a URL to launch browser. (ie: Should magicly work when toolkit upgrade done?)
  • Plugins for import/export?
  • REPAIR operation; given a PDB (likely corrupted), extract all text from it, and build an XML file from that text. Easy and could be a lifesaver.
  • XHTML compliance; see doug@m-c
  • clipboard
  • Shadow access button from Palm Desktop
  • Autonumber class needs to be set
  • Filter; use it for scoping of print and display and export? checkbox.
  • Print options; consider funky ones like: hide notes, with or without date borders
  • Print option; include creation dates?
  • Write new tree view (all the Shadow widgets)
  • Find function (replace is low priority; find is handy)
  • shadow.exe should take a filename(s) and open them
  • Ask user if they wish to associate XML with Shadow? (ask only once, store answer in config XML). Shadow.exe takign a filename ought to take care of this working, too.
  • Category support? Sync cats, or always have handheld override? (ie: no cat mgmt on dt.. just copy cats from handheld?)
  • What to do with OLE pastes? Keep objects? Convert to text? What about linking to other things than the handheld supports? Do we allow that, and do these foreign links get sent to handheld (and thus pass to other desktops?)
  • Preference for "all lists to sync"?
  • Format date display in localized format
  • Open Word docs of various forms? (import) OR only outline type documents? Something like AbiWords importer filter..
  • Import simple flat text files, too, and maybe CSV (level number based)
  • HTML export; convert newlines to <p></p> pairs
  • International support in filenames
  • Files editted/reated on desktop and put out as PDBs need the desktop tag set, so handheld can warn on non-registration properly

Conduit specifics:

  • [fix] Files sent from desktop to handheld do not have category; this can confuse list preferences dialog. Files sent up include deleted items!
  • Handle filenames with international characters
  • Store ShadowPlan160 location in registry; desktop can then pick it up, even when its screwed up.
  • Before and after scripts? (ie: To do crazy things like sucking websites into Shadow)
  • Support multiple user specified paths to store XML files (network drive support as well)
  • Syncing against a remote repository; if this isn't covered above (user defined path support), perhaps support ftp or http-uploads to keep files in remote location, and allow multiple people to sync against one file (basic groupware)

Website specifics:

  • Add a simple everyman description of what Shadow Plan is. An "About" section
  • Successfull recipes for reusable template files, and examples?
  • Some better "user guide" type helpful documentation, as opposed to reference guide type information which we already have aplenty

And yes, theres lots of goals for after these and down the road. Hundreds of them.

Bugs and Feedback

If you find a bug, please email the author or join the discussion or development mailing lists in order to inform the author of the potentially unknown problem.

Before nailing down that your problem is in fact caused by a bug, be sure to try disabling all hacks and speed-improvements. Several hacks are known to be naughty and cause problems with Shadow. "PhlegmHack" is one such hack that for whatever reason conflicts with Shadow. There are some 3rd party tools to help fix naughty hacks. "TrapWeaver" can sometimes eliminate problems if you wish to continue using a problematic hack.

By contacting the author you may save the time of other people, and get the bug removed in future releases. The author likes to fix bugs, and likes to make quick releases for people to take advantage of. If you do not inform the author of the issues, they may not get found until later!

Send these details in your email:
  1. Palm OS revision (like 3,1, 3,3, 3,5,2, etc)
  2. Shadow Plan version
  3. Shadow Desktop version
  4. Hardware Platform; Visor, TRGPro, Palm Vx, etc
  5. Hardware Expansions; memory cards, CF cards, etc.
  6. Any hacks you have activate during time of the incident
  7. Clock speed; are you using Afterburner or similar?
  8. Can you reproduce the problem, or did it occur just once, or intermittently?
  9. Exact details of how you made the problem occur
Send email to Jeff Mitchell at support@codejedi.com