Another Microsoft UI Fail

...this time in Microsoft Outlook. Could the programmer who was too lazy to write their code properly please go back to school? There is no excuse for this:

You want me to take this string, split it on comma characters, and re-join it with semi-colons instead? Sure, I'll do that you you, with my meat-fingers, because I'm really good at that, and computers are known to be terrible and SIMPLE TEXT MANIPULATION.

Introducing: Sloecode

Bazaar is wonderful. It combines the right powerful features with a good dose of common-sense and a sprinkling of usability. Well okay, perhaps more than a sprinkling of usability. I use bazaar a lot in combination with launchpad. The client-side bzr-launchpad plug-in makes this a breeze: I don't have to remember user-names, passwords, project URLs, or anything else. However, occasionally I don't want my code to be visible by default. Sometimes I don't want my code leaving the building. I could easily host a simple bazaar repository locally, but creating teams of users quickly gets difficult. What I'd love is a system like launchpad, but with a few key differences:

  1. Optimised for the most common use-case. Launchpad does an awful lot of stuff that I have never used, and probably never will. All this functionality makes launchpad a very large beast indeed. I want a system that's compact and easy to use; I don't need translations, build recipes, mailing lists, bug tracking, etc. etc.

  2. Easily installed on my own server. It is technically possible to install launchpad wherever you want, but it's difficult.

Enter my current open source project: sloecode. Sloecode is a simple wrapper around bazaar and a few other key technologies that makes it easy to set up multiple users & teams of developers. We're trying to optimise sloecode for the most common problems. What do we have so far?
  • A simple web app (written in python & pylons) that allows one to create users, teams, and manage both.

  • A bzr+ssh smart server that understands the accounts and teams created in the web-app.

  • A client-side bzr plugin that allows users to use shortened repo URLs (similar to the lp:projectname scheme the launchpad plug-in provides).

Sloecode is still very much "work in progress" (we've got big plans), but it is usable right now. If you want more information, feel free to leave a comment below, or join the sloecode-dev mailing list on launchpad.