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Fri 25 Apr 2014

Liya 3.0.2 Available Now on the Mac App Store

Category : Technology

Liya 3.0.2 has finally passed the Mac App Store review process. This version adds iCloud support and I finally found the time to fix some user interface oddities, so it’ll now work exactly the way I had wanted it.

Liya3dot0dot2.png

Notice that there is a new error log. This had been an oft-requested feature, and with this I’m now moving towards making Liya work better as a database design tool. I’d love to be able to set up compound keys and views using Liya.

If I can design an interface to allow the user to specify custom views of the database data—by dragging in tables and connecting keys between the tables, dropping columns that are not needed in the views, then I’m just one step away from making Liya work even better as a data mining tool. I’d love to be able to analyze the data across any number of dimensions, e.g., sales by product type by quarter or financial year, just by dragging visual representations of keys around the user interface, so the user can pivot the data around any focal point.

That’s the dream.

Liya’s interface had been quite “quirky” because it really was very difficult to get the programming and user interface done right. Once I decided that I really must have this three-panel interface—with the tables, table columns, and table contents made visually accessible to the user all the time and all available to be edited at will—I created a mountain of a challenge for myself. 

That’s because I have to decide where and when to impose “pockets of modality”, so that reasonable things that the user wants done—like changing the data itself, removing a database column, and renaming yet another column—can all be effected at once when the user hits “Save”, thus preserving the smoothness of action and thought, the “in-the-flow state-of-mind" you want to be in when you’re doing deeply-thought-out database design. I know that’s how I want to design a database—like I’m working with play-doh or similarly plasticine material. And yet I want the system to catch the obvious errors and throw me into modal dialogs so I can’t do anything other than to fix the errors right now.

So the user interface design (and programming) for Liya was very hard. I’ve had to put aside the other things I want to do until I can get this concept done right.

But now that this version is done, it’ll provide the harness from which all the other good stuff can come into play, and I’m going to move on ahead. All I need is time :)

Another aside. Liya is also on the iPad. You can find Liya for the iPad on the App Store and you can share SQLite files moved to iCloud by Liya for the Mac. Enjoy...

Posted at 9:04AM SGT | permalink


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