Sunday, November 26, 2006

What now?


After the release of Matrex version 1.0, it is time to make some plans for the future.

By now, I started to write the specification for the client/server architecture. This should start the process that takes to version 2.0 of Matrex.

After that:
  • some adapters must be updated: I'm thinking about the adapter to JRuby, which must at least be tested for the last version of JRuby and the adapter to Scilab that will soon reach version 4.1.
  • as usual I will try to test the adapter to Matlab, which has been ready for one year, but was never tested because I don't have Matlab. If someone wants to help, please contact me.
  • I will try to produce an adapter for the R statistical language.
  • start of the work to produce version 1.1.
Next versions

First of all, this is how I will number the next versions of Matrex:

  • A change in the first number means a major change: 2.0 will introduce the client server architecture.
  • A change in the second number means new important (visible) features: 1.1 will introduce the package to interact with Excel, the help framework and changes in the charts.
  • A change in the second number means bug fixing and minor feature changes: if a version 1.0.1 will be released, it will fix bugs in version 1.0.
I think these are the features to add in the next versions:
  • Package for the interaction with Excel: should contain import/export of Excel spreadsheet files, communication Excel->Matrex and Matrex->Excel via Java/COM.
  • Package for the interaction with communication>Matrex and Matrex-> (import/export can be done through .xls files).
  • Charts new features: scatter plot chart, possibility to have bars and lines in the same chart, chart attributes like line or bar type, vertical/horizontal bars.
  • Context help. Convert the "How To Use" document to a context help in the Matrex desktop application.
  • Add first phase in the expression parser where expressions of the type "a + b" (+,-,*,/,^) are converted to expressions of the type "plus(a,b)". This makes the expression parser simpler to understand.
  • Zip/unzip of projects, so that they can be easily sent to other users.
  • Custom dialogs to enter function parameters. They are needed for complex functions like query, csv and, in the future, link.
The idea is to publish these features in a set of 1.x versions (1.1, 1.2 ...) .
These versions should be released every 2/3 months to keep up the interest for the product.

The first major version will be Matrex 2.0, which will introduce the client/server Matrex.

Version 2.1 will (probably) introduce links between projects (also between projects running in different machines).

No more M1, M2 version will published; an RC1 version (or more if needed) will be released before the final version to have some feedback.

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