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Tanagram Roadmap: December 2022

This is my eleventh monthly public roadmap update for Tanagram development (see previous updates here). I’m publishing this update to document my progress and hold myself accountable, and also provide a place to share some thoughts about what I plan to work on next.

Tanagram remains a nights-and-weekends project. My progress pace over the past month has averaged about 1 workday per week — the Thanksgiving weekend, and my improved energy from taking some time off from work, helped me make some more time for Tanagram.

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Results: November 2022

I left my plans pretty open-ended in last month’s update, giving myself some flexibility to do what felt right. I talked to a couple more people to get their initial impressions, but I ran into the challenge of trying to describe a rather abstract idea and not having the right words to fully convey what I’m trying to build. I think I might be able to mitigate that by sharing demo videos and, eventually, live prototypes — so I turned my attention to doing so.

In mid-November, I started building the Visualize UI (based on the mocks from last month) in AppKit, but immediately ran into glitches that I had no idea how to resolve1. On a whim, I gave myself a few days to learn SwiftUI, and then try building a UI with it to see if it would be better. The Introducing SwiftUI tutorial was mind-blowingly cool — the Live Previews, and ability to edit the UI to see changes reflected back in the code, while finicky, were a compelling indicator of what’s possible with a truly integrated development environment.

A few days later, I’d learned enough SwiftUI to put together this UI:

Earlier in the month, I’d started playing around with language servers to see what was possible. I got a copy of Solargraph (I like Ruby and have a lot of experience with it) and ran it from source. Despite a lack of documentation, I figured out how to connect to the server, initialize it with a directory, and get a list of workspace/symbols — first in a Ruby script to get the details right, and later in Swift. The video above shows actual data coming from a Solargraph language server (indexing its own source code).

This past week, I improved my client implementation to notifications, server-initiated requests, responses arriving out-of-order, and multiple response bodies slurped up in one socket read.

Roadmap: December 2022

In December, I’ll work on UI for doing more with codebase items — specifically, letting users define custom item types (i.e. rows in the sidebar) and fields for item types (i.e. columns in the table). If I have time, I’ll also un-hardcode the source directory and LSP settings and allow users to open any (Ruby) code directory.

December will be a short work month for me. Between the holidays and my vacation plans, I’ll have about two work weeks’ worth of time available during the month. I’ll post demos on Twitter as they’re ready.

Thank you for reading, your interest, and your support this year; I genuinely appreciate it. See you next year!

  1. Specifically: I’d created an NSOutlineView (and later tried with NSTableView), but as soon as I started scrolling the list, the cells would go blank. This happened inconsistently — with an NSTableView, it would only happen after I resized the split view in which the table view was contained. I was also into challenges setting the widths I wanted for each side of the split view.