The Wine Cellar Book

The Wine Cellar Book => Enhancements - for the Wine Cellar Book => Topic started by: Giancarlo on September 30, 2009, 12:20:45 AM

Title: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: Giancarlo on September 30, 2009, 12:20:45 AM
Hello Werner

After having screened TWCB a little bit, I put togehter (in addition to the mail I wrote you yesterday) the following list with possible product enhancements:
- Include an additional field in tasting notes for the wine temperature
- Include "cancel" button in insert/modify mode (enhanced usability)
- Include customizable views (hiding/unhiding of list columns)
- Save custom screen/windows settings (views) at the exit of the program
- Include an additional field for entering a recieved purchase price discount
  (reason: price history should not be corrupted from individual rabatted pruchases)
- Allow consistently the sorting of lists by clicking on a column list header
  (eg. this does not work in the dialog "Zutatengruppen verwalten")
- If the diagrams of the type purchase / consumtion are used for a period longer than 1-2 years they get unclear.
  Instead of fixing the diagrams x-scale to 1 year and showing n*2 lines (n=number of years) I would prefer a diagram with
  an x-scale n years wide and just 2 lines representing purchase and consumption.
- Data export of a *.csv file (for all the situations where the VinoXML is not yet being supported)

That's it! A big complement to this very powerful application!

Regards,
Giancarlo
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: werner on September 30, 2009, 10:24:53 AM
Giancarlo,

First of all thanks for all the suggestions, will insert my responses below and mark them with ">> in bold".

After having screened TWCB a little bit, I put together (in addition to the mail I wrote you yesterday) the following list with possible product enhancements:
- Include an additional field in tasting notes for the wine temperature
>> Noted - might slip this into 3.1
- Include "cancel" button in insert/modify mode (enhanced usability)
>> Noted - for 3.2 or 4.0
- Include customizable views (hiding/unhiding of list columns)
>> this exists for the listctrl for drinks and recipes - check Master data - Drinks/Configuring listctrl.  In version 3.1 this will also be supported for consumptions, purchases, ratings, and tastings.  It would be nice if this could be directly on the listctrl's - maybe in a future version.
- Save custom screen/windows settings (views) at the exit of the program
>> version 3.1 will allow screen layout customization for the cellar book and the recipe book with saving and optional automatic restore on next load.
- Include an additional field for entering a received purchase price discount
  (reason: price history should not be corrupted from individual rebated purchases)
>> Price history (which by the way will be enhanced by a pricechange table in version 3.1) is based on lastpurchaseprice and currentvalue.  If a discount is not reducing the lastpurchaseprice then the value on hand will be incorrect.  I would see a field in which on enters a percentage or a value and the system will store the net price in lastpurchaseprice and the gross price would be stored as a memo type field in the similar way as the system now deals with foreign currency values.
- Allow consistently the sorting of lists by clicking on a column list header
  (eg. this does not work in the dialog "Zutatengruppen verwalten")
>> the currently used listctrl in all the dialogs does not support sorting of columns which are based on a joined table.  It is planned to change that listctrl with the one used on e.g. the cellar book (as of version 3) which will allow sorting by any column, does grouping and is generally a nicer looking and much better control/widget.
- If the diagrams of the type purchase / consumption are used for a period longer than 1-2 years they get unclear.
  Instead of fixing the diagrams x-scale to 1 year and showing n*2 lines (n=number of years) I would prefer a diagram with
  an x-scale n years wide and just 2 lines representing purchase and consumption.
>> I will look into this.
- Data export of a *.csv file (for all the situations where the VinoXML is not yet being supported)
>> From version 1 of the system there has been an ODBC access to the database, I know of a few users who use it to get at the data using tools like MS Access, MS Excel or OpenOffice - it is very easy to export the data from these tools into .csv file format.  I therefore don't plan to provide a direct .csv export at this time.

That's it! A big complement to this very powerful application!
>> Thank you very much for having taken the time to explain what you would like to see.

Best regards
Werner
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: Giancarlo on October 10, 2009, 11:08:03 AM
Hello Werner

First, thanks for your answers. Did you understand what I was referring to with re. to the point with the diagram? Best is maybe, if you use an intervall from 2000 - 2009 than it getting pretty obvious, what I mean.

Here another suggestion: Let's say, one is considering to buy some more wine. Then I would like to check easily what vintages are a recommended buy and maybe search for some tasting notes on the web. Or before a tasting I would like to open a locally stored document (e.g. aroma wheel) and print it. Having all this at hand within one application (my vision is in TWCB) would be ideal in terms of usability (instead of having links stored here and there and being required to navigate cumbersome around).

Have you already thought about adding a menu item (or extend todays "WWW Suche") where one can individually add web and document links and open them simply by a click? This would be really handy, as one can access "everything" of importance with respect to beverages and food from only one application, from TWCB. Ideally beverages and food would be distinguished with the result, that the link list shown in the "Weinkellerbuch" and the one shown in the "Rezeptbuch" are different - maybe with some common entries.

Regards,
Giancarlo
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: Giancarlo on October 11, 2009, 09:01:35 PM
>> From version 1 of the system there has been an ODBC access to the database, I know of a few users who use it to get at the data using tools like MS Access, MS Excel or OpenOffice - it is very easy to export the data from these tools into .csv file format.  I therefore don't plan to provide a direct .csv export at this time.

Hi Werner

The ability to import the date into MS Excel or MS Access is exactly what I was looking for! (and as in most other applications I have checked so far export of *.csv files is supported for this purpose I asked you for this instead of saying what i was really looking for.)

Any hints (or sources) on how to setup and access the TWCB data - let's say from MS Excel - via ODBC?

Thanks
Giancarlo
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: werner on October 12, 2009, 09:10:47 AM
Giancarlo,

While the documentation is still not as good as it should be there are two sections on the ODBC stuff.

The following link to the on-line doc, but this is included in the F1/Help file on your system too.

http://www.thewinecellarbook.com/doc/en/howto090.html
http://www.thewinecellarbook.com/doc/en/howto100.html

Werner
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: werner on October 12, 2009, 09:11:57 AM
Hello Werner

First, thanks for your answers. Did you understand what I was referring to with re. to the point with the diagram? Best is maybe, if you use an intervall from 2000 - 2009 than it getting pretty obvious, what I mean.

Here another suggestion: Let's say, one is considering to buy some more wine. Then I would like to check easily what vintages are a recommended buy and maybe search for some tasting notes on the web. Or before a tasting I would like to open a locally stored document (e.g. aroma wheel) and print it. Having all this at hand within one application (my vision is in TWCB) would be ideal in terms of usability (instead of having links stored here and there and being required to navigate cumbersome around).

Have you already thought about adding a menu item (or extend todays "WWW Suche") where one can individually add web and document links and open them simply by a click? This would be really handy, as one can access "everything" of importance with respect to beverages and food from only one application, from TWCB. Ideally beverages and food would be distinguished with the result, that the link list shown in the "Weinkellerbuch" and the one shown in the "Rezeptbuch" are different - maybe with some common entries.

Regards,
Giancarlo

I will add these things to my TODO list and see what I can do about it after release 3.1 is out the door and has settled down.

Werner
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: Giancarlo on October 12, 2009, 11:50:06 AM
Werner,
many thanks for your help and for taking the suggestions onto your to-do-list!

Looking forward to Rel. 3.1 which today is pretty much looking as it would become my first productive baseline.

Regards,
Giancarlo
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: werner on October 12, 2009, 12:47:38 PM
Werner,
many thanks for your help and for taking the suggestions onto your to-do-list!

Looking forward to Rel. 3.1 which today is pretty much looking as it would become my first productive baseline.

Regards,
Giancarlo
You are welcome.

Have given 3.1 a try?  You know you can the beta version from the download section.

It will be a few more weeks before a final version comes out, all assuming that the testing goes well and no major problems are found.

BTW, all the data you enter in 3.0 will obviously not be lost whenever you install/upgrade to 3.1.

Werner
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: Giancarlo on October 12, 2009, 01:42:05 PM
Werner, thanks for your suggestion. I prefer to await 3.1 in order to take (initial) advantage of your corrections (typos) you said to incorporate in the standing data delivered with the package (we discussed that in a separate thread). So I have a proper basis to start with. There is no hurry from my side.

A couple of weeks ago I was considering to participate in the beta test. At that time I withdrawed from this idea as I wanted to explore the application and compare it with competitors and for this purpose I had to use a mature basis. Hence I went for rel. 3.0.

Now in deed I could consider to give 3.1 beta a chance. Is it possible to install rel. 3.1 beta in addition and fully independently from rel. 3.0 onto one PC (without setting up a second OS-partition or virtualize my environment)? And how would you consider the risk so far of undesired side effects onto the OS and other applications installed? (my OS is Vista Home Premium with the latest updates and service pack)

Regards,
Giancarlo
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: werner on October 12, 2009, 02:34:37 PM
Werner, thanks for your suggestion. I prefer to await 3.1 in order to take (initial) advantage of your corrections (typos) you said to incorporate in the standing data delivered with the package (we discussed that in a separate thread). So I have a proper basis to start with. There is no hurry from my side.

A couple of weeks ago I was considering to participate in the beta test. At that time I withdrawed from this idea as I wanted to explore the application and compare it with competitors and for this purpose I had to use a mature basis. Hence I went for rel. 3.0.

Now in deed I could consider to give 3.1 beta a chance. Is it possible to install rel. 3.1 beta in addition and fully independently from rel. 3.0 onto one PC (without setting up a second OS-partition or virtualize my environment)? And how would you consider the risk so far of undesired side effects onto the OS and other applications installed? (my OS is Vista Home Premium with the latest updates and service pack)

Regards,
Giancarlo
Sorry, side by side installation of v3 and v3.1 is not possible at this point, there are some data stored in the registry which would conflict.

Trying the beta out has no more risk then the stable version with regards to the OS and/or other applications - i.e. just about zero, only applications I have seen being affected in the past are ones which use the same database engine (Firebird SQL), however this has been corrected.  I am using the version on my own cellar for about a month now (and have updated about 3 month worse of cellar movements), but would not like others to do so as there might be more database changes (which I can relatively easily synchronize/correct on my own machine, but could not do for others).

Unless something new is coming up I will probably issue a release candidate, which means no more database changes, in a week or so.

Werner
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: Giancarlo on October 12, 2009, 08:07:29 PM
Werner,

then i will wait for that time and I will give the 3.1 beta candidate a go after that.

Giancarlo
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: Giancarlo on October 13, 2009, 02:11:18 PM
Werner,
by the way, I checked out the ODBC-Access to the twcb database. It worked fine.

At this occasion I had an other closer look into the online documentation.
Is it available as a document (e.g. PDF) which is better suited for printing?

Thanks,
Giancarlo
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: werner on October 13, 2009, 02:37:50 PM
Werner,
by the way, I checked out the ODBC-Access to the twcb database. It worked fine.

At this occasion I had an other closer look into the online documentation.
Is it available as a document (e.g. PDF) which is better suited for printing?

Thanks,
Giancarlo
Sorry not yet.  The tool I am using has a PDF builder but up to now it needs a lot of dependencies (i.e. other tools), but I believe they are working on an alternative.

So, in other words, there will be one but can't say when yet.

Werner
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: Giancarlo on October 21, 2009, 01:15:47 AM
Hello Werner

Something I am wondering is that there seems to be no direct link between a cellar and shelfs. Is this right or did I miss something?

Background of my question is the following idea: What would be nice is, if one could assign shelfs to a cellar and then having a dialog "show cellar" (similar to "show shelf"). This dialog would show all the shelfs belonging to a cellar (instead of being limited to check them one by one) and maybe offer also the possibility to arrange the shelfs individually and store that arrangement.  

As you see, I am not running out of ideas! :-)
Regards,
Giancarlo
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: werner on October 21, 2009, 08:56:58 AM
Hello Werner

Something I am wondering is that there seems to be no direct link between a cellar and shelfs. Is this right or did I miss something?

Background of my question is the following idea: What would be nice is, if one could assign shelfs to a cellar and then having a dialog "show cellar" (similar to "show shelf"). This dialog would show all the shelfs belonging to a cellar (instead of being limited to check them one by one) and maybe offer also the possibility to arrange the shelfs individually and store that arrangement.  

As you see, I am not running out of ideas! :-)
Regards,
Giancarlo
You are correct there is no link between a rack/shelf and a cellar.  Will add this to the 3.2 todo.

I also like the idea of somehow showing the rack layout in a cellar, but I don't have any idea of how I could implement this.

Already on my list for 3.2 or later is an even more flexible definition and "more" graphical display of the racks.  I am waiting for an enhancement to the graphical library I am using before starting to work on that.

Werner
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: Giancarlo on October 21, 2009, 04:02:03 PM
Ciao Werner

Here few thoughts (without knowing anything about the implementation technology and tools behind).

Precondition: All I say as follows is conceptually restricted to work for a (two dimensional) cellar which is composed from one or many standard racks. (Hence the outlined idea does not allow combining standard with custom racks nor does it intent to replace today's implemented custom rack concept.)

Conceptual idea:
1) a cellar is represented by a standard rack
2) today's standard rack is represented by one or more shelfs (Kasten)
3) today's shelf is represented by one or more sub-shelfs (Sub-Kasten) ... this should be possible as today sub-shelfs are disabled with standard racks (and that's the trick behind this idea)
4) graphically it might be required to distinct the border lines of a cellar (solid thick line), of a shelf (solid line) and of a sub-shelf (thin line)

That's it! Does this make sense to you? What do you think about technical feasibility?

Giancarlo
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: werner on October 21, 2009, 04:51:12 PM
Ciao Werner

Here few thoughts (without knowing anything about the implementation technology and tools behind).

Precondition: All I say as follows is conceptually restricted to work for a (two dimensional) cellar which is composed from one or many standard racks. (Hence the outlined idea does not allow combining standard with custom racks nor does it intent to replace today's implemented custom rack concept.)

Conceptual idea:
1) a cellar is represented by a standard rack
2) today's standard rack is represented by one or more shelfs (Kasten)
3) today's shelf is represented by one or more sub-shelfs (Sub-Kasten) ... this should be possible as today sub-shelfs are disabled with standard racks (and that's the trick behind this idea)
4) graphically it might be required to distinct the border lines of a cellar (solid thick line), of a shelf (solid line) and of a sub-shelf (thin line)

That's it! Does this make sense to you? What do you think about technical feasibility?

Giancarlo
I have more of a problem with finding the right widget (GUI control element).

The standard racks just use a grid/spreadsheet widget, where the custom rack uses a graphical drawing widget (GDW).

The GDW I currently use is not that flexible, there are others available but at the time I did implement this they had problems or were not yet finished or were too slow.

Ideally I would like to be able to do both type of racks using the same GDW, this would also allow more flexibility for standard racks, e.g. back/front bottle storage.

Whenever the GDW library I am considering using is done or gets to beta release I will have another look at all this.

Werner

Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: Giancarlo on October 21, 2009, 05:44:40 PM
Hi Werner

Implementing the outlined idea doesn't require any graphical drawing widget. The cellar is visualized by using the grid/spreadsheet widget. That's why it's relevant to distinct the different elements by thickness of lines or so. ... as written in the manual, pictures say more than words ... I will send you an email with an attachment that illustrates the idea.

Regards,
Giancarlo
Title: Re: Ideas for useful product enhancements
Post by: werner on October 21, 2009, 06:07:06 PM
Hi Werner

Implementing the outlined idea doesn't require any graphical drawing widget. The cellar is visualized by using the grid/spreadsheet widget. That's why it's relevant to distinct the different elements by thickness of lines or so. ... as written in the manual, pictures say more than words ... I will send you an email with an attachment that illustrates the idea.

Regards,
Giancarlo
I can't see how the same grid shows two or more standard racks, without making some assumptions (they always bite at some point) on how large a rack may be.

Today rack column 1, row 1 is position A/0 in the spreadsheet, if we do two racks in the same grid we would have to define that a rack can not have more then e.g. 200 x 200 columns/rows, so rack two column 1 and row 1 would be in A+200/200.

Frankly, don't like that too much.

Werner