Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lull, pt. II

Unfortunately, I must make yet another update explaining why development of NCPrime applications appears to have ceased.

This is mostly due to the fact that active development has indeed come to a standstill. I regret to inform you that I have in fact done nothing at all to GJS 2.5.0 since around the time of my last post here (26 December 2012). I have also not made a single post yet this year, and indeed was on track to post nothing at all for the entire month of January!

My real-world life has gotten quite difficult lately, as I am no longer in school and consequently unemployed. Whilst this is temporary, I have six months ahead of me in which I appear to have nothing to do whatsoever. Seeking employment is proving more troublesome than I had ever expected, since despite my thorough knowledge of computers from a technical, diagnostic, and software (programming) standpoint, I currently lack the certifications necessary to work at most major (and minor) computer repair centers.

For example, Best Buy and Micro Center (to both of which I have applied) require at least A+ certification in order to work in their service and/or repair divisions, even (in some cases) providing only basic customer service. Best Buy does not mandate it for junior Geek Squad agents, but it is preferred.

Now, I could easily get such certifications, based on my research and conversations with people who happen to have them themselves. I will do so as soon as I feel adequately prepared, and that will certainly help me!

It's a foot in the door, at least.

Additionally, I have not been feeling very well lately, dealing with a great deal of personal issues, most of which are admittedly directly related to my current state of unemployment in a semester-long medical leave of absence from college.

All of this has contributed to my recent lack of programming - indeed, I have not even opened VS2012 in quite some time and just before writing this post was wracking my brain in attempts to remember exactly where I'd left off with GJS 2.5.0 and what my plans were to rectify the few minor issues that had cropped up after the first successful, yet altogether basic implementation of the "Quick Run" sieve testing style.

I sincerely hope to regain the motivation to continue development of GJS and, of course, other NCPrime applications in the very near future.

I will admit, however, that I have for quite some time been at a loss as to how I can further improve programs such as MuPuPriNT and IsItPrime. For example, MuPuPriNT's last update was on 5 December 2012, very nearly two months ago; IsItPrime had updates not much more recently. The last major updates to those applications was in fact nothing to do with overall functionality but more with making them entirely cross-platform capable (which was a success). The functionality of those two particular applications has remained pretty much the same since the middle of November (or earlier, in the case of certain features).

This is not necessarily a problem, but the best applications are the ones constantly being updated for the sake of providing upgrades to functionality, efficiency, and interface as well as fixes for minor bugs and addressing the occasional stability concern.

Perhaps it's just that I currently lack any ideas as to how I can enact some sort of immediate change in either of those particular applications and provide a substantial update of any sort. I'm really not all that concerned about MuPu and IIP, though. I would sooner resume active and focused development of GJSieve 2.5.0 than waste time tinkering with ideas I've more or less forced myself to think up for applications that already work as intended!

This obviously means that no, GJS 2.5.0 does not work as intended. In fact, it doesn't work at all. It will take me a little time to get back into the swing of things, but once I do (re-familiarize myself with writing code and using Visual Studio and so on and so forth) I am confident that I will be able to provide a highly functional and well-programmed version of GJSieve in the not-so-distant future.

Bear in mind, of course, that this version of GJSieve is not really going to look, feel, or work much like the GJS you're used to (provided you have used the latest version of GJSieve, which is currently listed as 2.2.3b). It's going to be much, much closer to functioning like a true prime number sieve, and it'll look a bit different as well (which is for the best). It will also implement a very similar command hierarchy and global variable delegation system to those already present in MuPuPriNT and, to a lesser extent, IsItPrime.

GJSieve has not officially been updated at all since 24 November 2012! From the first of November right up to now, exactly two months past the last update, there have only been 55 downloads of GJSieve (mostly in Spain, interestingly enough). In that same time period of 1 November 2012 to 24 January 2013, there have been only 67 downloads from MuPuPriNT in total, over half of which were the build-it-yourself source archive.

I feel rather bad about not only letting my project(s) stagnate, but also for not keeping everyone informed as well as I should have. Rest assured, though, NCPrime is still alive and well - or at least, making great progress towards a full recovery!

- Jaska Börner 24 January 2013