Why a Graphical Roamer?
Several months ago we encountered a patch of roughness in the access to our 90+ ports, demos and utilities. As you may recall, CVSDude upgraded their systems to a later version of Trac which has a different templating engine. This broke much of the functionality of the PureMVC Manifold sites.
And though the templates were eventually fixed by CVSDude themselves (thanks, Dudes!), we still suffer from a bug in the browsing of source code via the Trac sites. Attempting to open the folders in the page with the disclosure widgets breaks the templates.
All of this upheaval with Manifold wiki made me realize that a wiki (particularly one you don’t fully control) is a pretty terrible place to store crucial information about your site’s resources. In addition to description, release notes, and installation instructions, each project’s Trac site has a variety of information about the status, the locations of the download archive, the current version and release tag, links to live demos, api docs, pretty-printed source if avalable, the project’s owner, etc.
When the sites first broke, I sat in a funk thinking about how hard it would be to get the site up and running again in any form without that information. Then I recalled a project I started a couple of years ago, which was meant to let you roam around the Manifold as nodes in a graph, guided by progressively consumed XML nodes. I’d even had dreams that one day that data could be used to generate the wiki, so that the XML was the master data source. The affected parts of the wiki would be re-rendered whenever the master is changed.
Well, needless to say, my mission to reclaim the valuable assets tucked precariously away in Trac was back in full force. I have spent every spare minute for several months now, polishing off the old code, working out some behavioral quirks, giving it a facelift and then going through a grueling data collection effort, literally scraping the information out of the wiki pages and creating the XML by hand in a text editor.
Finally, I am happy to announce that the Darkstar PureMVC Manifold Roamer V1 is released (requires Flash). And it has much more than just the code. Click for click, it’s the best way to roam the growing community and assets of the PureMVC project.
While the application is still in place and is a lovely way to tour the the ecosystem, the links are to the old SVN repos and Trac wikis. We’ve since moved to GitHub.