Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

General discussion on BeerTools Pro Software.

Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby jeff » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:32 pm

Hey All,

It's been a while since I've updated you on the progress of the next major release of BeerTools® Pro. The main changes you can expect with this version include an improved and more informative interface, connectivity with a new online recipe storage server allowing remote access to personal recipes and shared recipe access with other members, and an array of other feature enhancements and additions.

So far, the new BeerTools® Pro has a new main window design. It is also connecting to and managing recipes on the BeerTools® Connect server. This includes creating and managing personal recipes folders, as well as creating, updating, downloading and deleting recipes on the server.

Throughout the project major portions of the programming code have been refactored and rewritten with the intention of making the application more stable and ultimately more scalable as updates are made in the future. With all this code rewriting there are bound to be undetected bugs. Thus, your help is needed when testing begins.

I will try to keep you updated here as significant progress is made. Feel free to post your comments and thoughts here, too.

Best regards
Jeff
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby ColoradoBrewer » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:42 am

Thanks for the update, Jeff. I'm sure a lot of us have been wondering how the new version is coming along and are looking forward to its release. When you get further along will there be a call for beta testers?
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby jawbox » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:26 am

Can't wait to get my hands on the new version.
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby a_daley » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:47 pm

Something we are all looking forward to playing with... :D
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby jeff » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:41 am

ColoradoBrewer wrote:Thanks for the update, Jeff. I'm sure a lot of us have been wondering how the new version is coming along and are looking forward to its release. When you get further along will there be a call for beta testers?

Yes, there will be a small(ish) test group. I will send email invitations as we get close.

Thanks!
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby matte75 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:34 am

Great Jeff, looking forward to see the new release! An update on the already best brewing program must be awsome! This request forum is a great place to get info and helping out to get BeerTools even better and more user friendly!

Great Work!
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby kieran » Tue May 07, 2013 6:50 am

Looking forward to seeing the new design. There are certainly rather annoying limitations to the current design/layout which makes editing/recipe development more difficult than it should be. It's more of a factor of BTP being built for a 4:3 screen aspect world, and everything has so quickly moved to 16:9 (somewhat unfortunately). We have tons of wide real estate now with these screens nearly ubiquitous now, and as a result BTP doesn't use it effectively.
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby kieran » Tue May 07, 2013 7:26 am

Hi again,

Just saw the screenshot in the "Re: Android Version" thread where Jeff posted a screenshot leak of the work-in-progress here:http://www.beertools.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6242&p=25449#p25449.

When I saw it, I was a little disappointed that the workspace was still cramped. I might do it wrong, but for me, the whole ingredients/equipment/schedule/etc zone just needs more room IMO.

So, I took Jeff's leaked screenshot, and turned the layout into a version that I'd rather see. :)
I am always going to that list and tweaking it, adjusting it, checking it on my brew day. However, I always find myself scrolling up and down in that list (perhaps I have lots of ingredients in my brews!) to find and edit, and shuffle stuff around. It is quite annoying when only half a dozen lines (or less if I have my ingredient db panel open as well!!) are visible (only 3 are visible in the original screenshot from Jeff -- case in point!!).

I think the core beer info box could be anywhere, I just put it in the bottom left because it was easiest when chopping the picture up. Bottom left may or may not be a good spot for that info.. but it should be pulled away from above the Ingredient/etc listed info. This could also make way for a slightly expanded Style/Analysis/Schedule/etc panel.

Of course, this could all be a moot point if Jeff has snap-able windows now anyway.. in which case I'll look like a complete goose.

cheers,
Kieran
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby jeff » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:00 pm

Hi All,

Yes, progress is being made. Over the last week or so I got hung up creating all the graphics for retina display support. While very few of you are using Macs with retina displays, this is still an important aspect going forward. More and more devices are making use of high resolution graphics displays and the graphics created for the upcoming version of BeerTools Pro will prove useful as higher resolution becomes the standard.

The BeerTools® Connect server functionality is working very well. I added both upstream and downstream compression to make uploading and downloading recipes nice and quick. The average recipe becomes between 3 and 5K when compressed for transfer over networks. Also, caching is implemented which means that recipes are only downloaded when the cached version is out of date. The bottom line is that the user experience feels very much like the remotely stored recipes are stored on the local hard drive.

On the user interface side of things, all of the style tab graphs and the ingredient list graphs are new graphics. They now have a new modern look with rounded ends and sharp looking gradient fills.

The next item on the list is the recipe sharing feature. I feel that this will prove to be one of the most useful features of the new version. Sharing a recipe with a buddy or lots of them is as easy as changing a recipe’s sharing setting from "none" to "network". This also opens the way for easily accessing all your recipes from other devices without having to "sync".

I am as eager as all of you to see this thing go live. Thanks for hanging in there!
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby a_daley » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:00 am

Great to see Jeff, certainly there are a few of us looking on with anticipation....
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby jawbox » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:42 pm

sounds like you've made a ton or progress.
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby slothrob » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:22 pm

I look forward to seeing it!
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby jeff » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:29 pm

Just an FYI for Mac users: the new BTP is built on Cocoa and will run on Intel Macs only. I am not certain yet, but it is reasonable to expect that Mac OS X 10.6 and higher will be required. Hopefully this doesn't impact any of you. :?
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby jawbox » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:15 pm

I should be good. Running 10.6 on my old macbook and imac.
PowerMac G4 933 Mhz, 1GB Ram, 17" Studio Display, Mac OSX 10.3.9
MacBook 2.16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB Ram, Mac OSX 10.6.2
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Re: Progress on the new BeerTools Pro

Postby slothrob » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:56 pm

jeff wrote:Just an FYI for Mac users: the new BTP is built on Cocoa and will run on Intel Macs only. I am not certain yet, but it is reasonable to expect that Mac OS X 10.6 and higher will be required. Hopefully this doesn't impact any of you. :?

I should be ready by the time you are. Just waiting to see what comes out of Apple next week. I almost got 9 years out of my iBook before I dropped (and finally killed) it.

I've been contemplating trying to run BTP using a remote desktop application like VNC. Mostly so I could keep my laptop out of the brewery, but still have access to my recipe and schedule and make any last-minute calculations that I might need. Have you tried this? Do you know if this is unrealistic?
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