Most of the effort with Version 2.9.7 was around backend changes to make iFamily easier to support moving forwards.
Structural Changes (changes to my workflow)
- Migrated the code repository from an older SVN style repo to a more modern GIT repo since Xcode no longer supports SVN.
- I have rehosted the codebase on Atlassians BitBucket rather than Keiths old 2008 iMac, this will allow me to collaborate/employ with other developers and ensure that the code is secure in the event of a failure.
- Creation of a backend API on AWS which builds on lessons learnt from the mobile application community. (Nearly) All instances where iFamily used to ask a user to email us, (and would start the local email client Mail), have been replaced with API calls and stored in an online database (heavily encrypted and firewalled of course.). This means my inbox will no longer be flooded with procedural events.
- Error reporting is now also conducted via reporting to an API endpoint, (currently requires registration for an active email address, this will be simplified in a future version.).
- Reverted/repaired the 3 broken dialogs and forms from the previous version. These were: EditPersonalNotesDialog, AddEditSourcesDialog, FilteredPeopleReport.
- Updated the registration panel to include an email address. This will be used when emailing errors. If a copy is not registered the errors will not report as the contact email address will be missing.
- Replaced the display of the Places combo boxes as they were not drawing the background colour in the following placed: AddChildDialog, AddParentDialog, FamilyGroupSheetDialog, MainWindowFamilyPane, PersonalPane, EventsEditor,
- Repaired a bug in the context diagram which would cause a crash when changing the focal view to an associated person. (Change was caused by the new Mojave compiler, perhaps.).
- Changed the layering of the main tab bar on the main window as Mojave compiler changes had made this disappear.
- Refreshed and simplified the Update Dialog
- Replaced the old FTP server from where the updates came with a new API endpoint by offloading the logic and sending the current iFamily version and the current macOS version in a request to the new backend API.
- This now (finally) allows me to gracefully unsupport older operating systems such as Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion by replying to the upgrade request with a OSX/macOS specific response.
- I investigated the new Dark Mode on macOS Mojave. After playing around with the colours a bit I realised this was a huge job as the interface is so highly customised and there are already options to customise the colour scheme on every part of the interface in iFamily. Since the default colours of all components on all 72 dialogs would need to be updated to accommodate this feature I have disabled Dark Mode in this release, (but may return to it in a future version.).
- Duplicated a behaviour from FamilyTreeMaker imports to ancestry.com Gedcoms to correctly ingest non biological parent-child relationships.
- The Demo database has been removed from the installer package, halving the size of the package from 9MB to 4.5MB. (Saving our website noticeable bandwidth on updates). If a demo database is not detected in the IFamilyData folder a dialog will open asking if the user wants to download a fresh copy from the new API endpoint. (I also started to build a database upload facility for error reports and online backups, but this would need a more concerted approach and an ongoing funding source.).
Update payment (voluntary)
- I have introduced a voluntary update payment for this version of iFamily since costs have increased with the backend changes. (A modest $15 fee was arrived at.). This follows iFamilies first price increase since it was launched in 2006. It is now a $49 program for new users rather than a $29.95 program.
- I have done this reluctantly, in the understanding that my father Keith was against the practice in the software industry of continued payments for an application. (It still says on the front page of the website you need pay only once). Being comfortably retired Keith had the leisure to support this path, and in all honesty he would not have envisaged my families support of iFamily lasting for over a decade. (I am happy to put words in his mouth here and say we are both mighty proud of our achievement.).
- The extra funds will allow KSWA firstly to repay the loans I have provided in recent years for new hardware and website hosting. (I got the gold plated version of a web site on AWS which allows the abovementioned backend services. Theres still a few bugs to iron out but we'll be there soon.). It will also allow for a replacement wage to be paid in the run up to the next macOS version so I can afford to take the time off work to provide the next update. If it is wildly successful, it will allow me to engage a contractor to assist me writing the iOS version of iFamily for iPhone and iPad.
Things still requiring our attention
- There is still a bug in the search bar when a user is in full screen mode, please avoid using it in full screen mode as this may lead to a crash.
- The pictures are still displaying at quarter size on retina screens in some reports. Although this sounds like an easy fix it is a little more involved as the images require a more through rework throughout the application.
- We note that the interface to "iPhoto" is still in there when we should be associating with "Photos" now. This will be remediated soon when support is dropped for OSX.
- There is a problem with the merge sources functionality which is resulting in references to sources which no longer exist. This has in turn led to a crash when exporting a Gedcom in some cases as noted elsewhere on the forums.
Catalogue of Changes and Features in iFamily For Leopard
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