Category Archives: News

Improved SmallTime task editor

Few weeks ago I goose-stepped into improving the design of SmallTime’s task editor because of preparation work for SmallTime’s internationalisation. This was rather unexpected for me, but it will make downloading the upcoming vSmallTime’s internationalisation. This was rather unexpected for me, but it will make downloading the upcoming version of SmallTime worth your while, mainly if you like to use SmallTime for writing huge piles of text, which is now uncomfortable, to say the least.

You will also be able to test the first fruits of the internationalization process. Internationalization features will be disabled by default, and there is no user interface (yet) to enable them, but if you REALLY want to get a sneak peek at what is about to come, you will be able to enable them manually if you are an experienced PC user.

If everything goes well, SmallTime 1.8.7 will be released on the 3rd AIf everything goes well, SmallTime 1.8.7 will be released on April 3rd, 2024.

Final steps to SmallTime 2.0

Since the core systems of SmallTime are in place and stabilized, I am finally free to start bringing you the long-awaited upgrade to your user experience. In this blog post, you will learn more about the roadmap for the SmallTime 1.9 series. Note that one version does not necessarily equal the whole four-month development cycle, and some features may be subject to change.

Another important thing to note is that I am not sure if it will be possible to bring in all the features mentioned below due to my resource constraints. You can help me with this issue by spreading the word about SmallTime and donating some money to help me bring you those features. I will make this much easier for you in the future, but that is not the topic for today.

SmallTime 1.9.0

The first step in the 1.9 series will be upgrading the development toolchain to make development easier. You will also be able to export and backup your SmallTime data in case of an emergency directly from the SmallTime user interface.

SmallTime 1.9.1

This one will probably be the most anticipated by people who like to tinker with the color palette of their applications to make their user experience as aesthetic as possible. You will be able to fully customize the color scheme of SmallTime. I look forward to seeing the new designs that will come out of this.

SmallTime 1.9.2

Sound alert improvements will be the main point of this release. Sound notification volume, muting the active sound alarms, and more sound notification types will be on their way to you.

SmallTime 1.9.3

In this release, the graphical customization options will go even further with the introduction of graphical mods. Graphical mods will be configuration files allowing you to customize the button icons, shape of the buttons, and probably more.

SmallTime 1.9.4

With a large number of tasks, it may be hard to find those that have the highest priority. This is why this release will give you the ability to drag and drop tasks into different positions so you can reorder them to your liking and needs.

SmallTime 1.9.5

Since setting up a new task can be cumbersome when creating lots of tasks in a row, you will be able to enable the quick access panel, where you can create certain types of tasks with a click of a button.

SmallTime 1.9.6

With an even larger number of tasks, you may want to filter tasks with high priority. Task filtering will be the flagship feature for this release.

SmallTime 1.9.7

The final step for window customization will be the dynamic size and placement in the task editor, settings window, and task description window. This is not a critical feature, but it is nice to have.

SmallTime 1.9.8

Full user interface multithreading will allow you to have multiple task editors or task descriptions opened simultaneously. This will be a useful feature for people who work with large amounts of data.

SmallTime 1.9.9

The last step in handling a large amount of tasks will be having each task displayed in a separate window. This, combined with the features mentioned above, will enable you to use part of the screen or the whole screen as an information panel.

Roadmap for SmallTime 1.8 series

The last few releases of SmallTime brought only minor features. Before implementing customization features in SmallTime 1.9, I want to have a rock-solid foundation on which I can build. This will be finished in December of next year if everything proceeds as planned. That does not mean you will not see any improvements; quite the contrary, you will get a more versatile experience. Here is a teaser of what is about to come:

SmallTime 1.8.7

This will be the last stabilization release, mainly consisting of bugfixes and making app functionality more safe. This means not only fixing potential undesired behavior or crashes, but also preventing them, making sure that if certain kinds of bugs will be introduced, they will be less likely to cause application failure. I also made the task editor look a bit better.

SmallTime 1.8.8

People of many nationalities are using Smalltime, so I will bring in support for translations. I plan to implement a first phase of internationalization system. Official translations will be bundled and available by default, and users will also be able to make their own translations, which will be installed via SmallTime’s interface or manually, by copying them into the SmallTime’s translation directory. I will reveal the plans for the second phase later. Also, translations may not be fully available and may be incomplete, depending on how well things go.

SmallTime 1.8.9

This version will have a fully customizable main window size. This is because of one potentially interesting use case, being using the whole monitor as a display for one or for a small number of tasks. If I will have enough time, I will also review other windows. The task editor would greatly benefit from better responsiveness of the UI to the window’s size.

1.9 and beyond

In the next blog post, I will reveal the roadmap for the 1.9 series. This will provide you with tools for customizing the look and feel of the app, and it will also provide you with tools for managing a large number of tasks.

SmallTime 1.8.6. release

Smalltime 1.8.6 brings a proper fix for saving and viewing your tasks 100% reliably, even if you move around the world. This is because the biggest design flaw, originating in 2014 was finally properly addressed. This may not affect you while everything works, but since the latest influx of SmallTime’s popularity, it has become very important to ensure a stable experience for everyone, no matter the lifestyle or the system configuration.

Bugfixes

  • proper fix for saving a task time and date when moving trough timezones
  • fix for saving window size when too large on an array of 16K monitors

Features

  • improved texts in task progress bars
  • more consistent formatting of time in the task info window

SmallTime 1.8.6 is also a maintenance release implementing compatibility with future customization updates. A roadmap for Smalltime’s internationalization and customization will be published troughout next few months. For now, enjoy a new version of the tool that is here for you to keep your eye on your life goals and important events.

SmallTime 1.8.6
Size: 5.60 MB
Version: 1.8.6
Published: December 2, 2023

Scrapping SmallTime 1.8.5

There was a breaking bug found in Smalltime 1.8.5. This version is now withdrawn and a new, properly working version will be released as soon as possible. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

the bug was identified and proper measures will be taken prevent this incident in the future

SmallTime 1.8.5 release

NOTICE: this version was withdrawn due to a breaking bug. New release will be published as soon as possible. Sorry for the inconvenience

As promised earlier, SmallTime 1.8.5 brings the promised quality of life improvements. Making existing features stable and comfortable to use is my main priority before adding new features. This release was a bit delayed because of the unexpected bug which was causing the app to crash after changing DPI scaling. This was due to major backend design flow and it took some time to resolve properly. Now you will get proper user experience even on dislays which make using DPI scaling necessary.

New features and improvements

  • Highier resolution of application icons
  • Separator line between tasks
  • Width of the app window is now saved after every change.
  • App window is now resizable in docked mode

Bugfixes

  • Fixed sound alarm that still played multiple times after being disabled in some cases
  • Fixed crash when changing the system DPI

Quality of life updates for SmallTime 1.8.5

Polishing the existing features

With all the basic features in place for some time, there was enough room to continue polishing the existing features and keep the main focus on improving stability as much as possible.

The most noticable improvements for the upcoming SmallTime 1.8.5 are graphical task separators to keep the list of tasks more readable. AThe most noticeable improvements for the upcoming SmallTime 1.8.5 are graphical task separators to keep the list of tasks more readable. Another quality-of-life improvement is the ability to resize the app window in both docked and classical mode. The window size will persist even if you turn the app off and on again.

TThe changes deeper under the hood include more optimisation for Smalltime file handling and error messages for very obscure multithreading issues, which would probably mean that you wouldn’t even get to starting SmallTime before encountering this error everywhere else in your operating system.

Bugs found in SmallTime 1.8.4

While stabilizing areas where potential undefined behavior could occur, a bug causing the application to crash when DPI scaling is turned on in your system was found. This issue will be documented very soon with a workaround to prevent it. This issue will be fixed in SmallTime 1.8.5. I was planning to release the next update at the end of August as the last update for the 1.8 series, but I will publish this update as soon as possible and finish the rest of the optimizations in the 1.8.6 release.

The sThe second bug is missing support for 32K (and highier??) screen resolutions. This is due to how app width is stored, and undesired behavior may occur when resizing the window above 16K screen size. I will be investigating the latest technologies currently available on the market to see how far I should go to take care of this issue once and for a very, very long time.

SmallTime 1.8.4 release

SmallSkill Studio release schedule is officialy back on track and that means a new release for you!

SmallTime 1.8.4
SmallTime 1.8.4
Size: 5,72 MB
Version: 1.8.4
Published: April 29, 2023

New features:

  • system error messages: when there is a fatal error in your system configuration or bug in SmallTime, you will be greeted with a comprehensive error message that will try to help you solve your issue, or report a bug if there is a problem with SmallTime itself. Not everything is covered yet, but more errors will be covered in the next releases of SmallTime. These error messages are now implemented:
    • can’t create a data folder for SmallTime
    • wrong version of .stf file (this should not be happening)
    • missing environment variable (this may happen if your system is damaged or you try to launch SmallTime on some exotic operating system via an emulator)
    • can’t save your SmallTime data

Miscellaneous

  • optimisation of creating a file for your data in SmallTime
  • optimisation of saving/loading your data in SmallTime

Note on experimental features

When doing final test runs of SmallTime 1.8.4 before release, I noticed that the window had a different width when I started SmallTime with no data file. I have a plan to have SmallTime remember your last window width and always start with the window size set by you. However, there is no user interface to do so in docked window mode, and the size of the window is not yet saved when you change it in classic window mode. You can directly edit the width of the SmallTime window in the data.stf file, but I strongly advise against doing so. Unless you make a backup of your data. If you send your file to me, I will be able to fix it, depending on the amount of damage you have done, but first ask yourself if you really want some random dude on the internet to view your private personal data 🙂

Error messages in SmallTime

Both hardware and software are not perfect, and there are nasty failures happening from time to time. I do everything to make SmallTime as easy to use as possible, and I focus on preventing the application from crashing in situations where the user does something that is not standard. However, some failures are not preventable, and the most I can do is guide anyone unfortunate enough to encounter an unrecoverable error to possible solutions that may make SmallTime operational on their machine.

This is now a work in progress and after covering the most frequent causes of non-preventable application crashes, I will focus on problems that may not appear so often. I may not be able to get a 100% error coverage, but I thing I can cover things that are most urgent before I start the next stage of customisation features.