Dev Update 7/20/18
Progress is swift since I switched to the Meteor framework. (Yes, that’s right, I started Chronicler from scratch again haha). But fear not, since the decision to change the entire design of the flowchart view meant changing the entire data structure as well, this essentially needed to be done anyway.
I spent some serious time deliberating the usage of Meteor over plain old React/Redux and came to the conclusion that it was the superior environment. I’m still using React for the frontend UI design, but I’m doing all the backend data storage in Meteor.
Meteor takes care of user accounts and authentication including Google/Facebook login if one so desired.
On top of that, it uses a local database which automatically syncs up with the server, so if you lose internet connection temporarily you can continue working.
Note that if you close the browser/tab while offline, all changes made during that time will be lost. There is a workaround for this, but it takes quite a bit of time to implement and I’d rather spend my time on more important features.
Furthermore, this solves the issue of collaboration as any changes that are pushed to the server are immediately reflected in all related clients. I’m not totally convinced that collaboration is a particularly necessary feature though. It seems like most authors work alone and there’s nothing to stop multiple people from logging in with the same account so if you want to collaborate on a project simply create a new account and share the login info with each other.
Regarding further changes to the design. I’ve decided that I can abstract away a lot of Choicescript specific stuff such as requiring a scene named “startup”. A novice user shouldn’t have to know that, instead I allow creation of scenes of any name where the first one created will be linked to from the automatically generated “startup” scene.
I’ll also work on an intuitive stats screen editor separate from scenes.
I created Chronicler with the intent of saving user’s time, but the current version seems to actually make things more difficult and time consuming. The redesign of the flowchart mentioned in my last post solves this problem quite handily! It also solves a lot of the programming design challenges such as how to handle disconnected nodes and connection loops. Since it is now impossible to have disconnected nodes, and loops are handled by special links.
For the future, I don’t plan on releasing the new version until I’m satisfied with it’s aesthetic quality and I have it thoroughly bug tested. The initial release of Chronicler desktop was plagued with bugs and lacked many important features which drove a lot of potential users away. I don’t want that to happen again. I’d rather release a finished product like they did back in the good ol’ days of CD-ROM technology
That said, I may offer a limited beta-test for the aforementioned bug testing when I’ve implemented all necessary features.
I’ve said it before, but please remain patient while I make Chronicler Online the best product possible.