There’s not much progress to report.
While finishing Goldenseal Pro, TurtleSoft has paid staff and bills by selling rare/retired Swiss Army knives and Leatherman tools on eBay. We have piles of them, purchased from airport confiscations in the Aughties. Cleaning and sorting multi-tools is a soothing break from programming.
A few weeks ago eBay decided to eliminate shipping of knives outside the US. That was about half our sales. So we are finishing up the shopping cart on our SmartKnives website, a year earlier than planned.
Setup work was already close to completion, so it shouldn’t cause too long a delay. We ought to be back to full programming speed in a few weeks.
Our staff is making decent progress on member tables (the relatively small tables found in a few accounts, and many lists). Simple ones now work properly. Next were the ‘to/from’ tables used in Tax Tables and a few other places. They are more complicated, but most features work in those now, also.
We also made a breakthrough on the breakdown tables used in Estimates and many other transactions. The current Goldenseal uses two types of tables: category breakdowns let you type in a list of items, while item breakdowns have a list of Assemblies or Cost Items. The difference is not obvious, and it often confuses users. Their code also overlaps by quite a bit. Category breakdowns still need to show allowances and bids, while item breakdowns sometimes use type0ins.
Last year, we decided to combine them into just one type of table. Merging them was not too hard, but they still seemed a bit too complicated.
For example, in Estimates there are 37 possible types of line items. It makes for a very long list of choices in the pop-up menu. Overwhelming. It was also difficult to find short phrases to describe each option properly. The merged version is even worse.
The breakthrough was to add one more column to the breakdown tables. Each line item now starts with a Type column. It splits up the list, so the Cost Area options are shorter and more logical. That should make data entry easier for beginners (or tired experts).
A year ago, we estimated that tables would take 2 months of programming time. So far, our staff has spent about 5 months on them. There is probably another month or two left, before they are completely done and polished. It was a gross under-estimation, but that has been the trend for this project. Working with the Cocoa library is hard.