I am publishing an update tonight which removes Visual Studio AppCenter. I have narrowed a persistent bug to the UWP AppCenter package, so now I must cut it out. This was done by turning off AppCenter when Ink Calendar initializes. Removing this package has an added benefit of Ink Calendar now launching faster, and hopefully crash free.
As always, feel free to reach out if you are having any type of issue, I would love to help.
I have been hard at work on the next feature version of Ink Calendar. This version is bringing Journals, a feature which many users have requested for a while now. Unlike the other calendar views Journals do not have dates and are not tied to dates in any way. There are a few different styles to choose from and offer the flexibility to make Ink Calendar work for you!
The app has been submitted to the Microsoft Store now all I do is wait! As always thank you for using Ink Calendar and it brings me so much joy knowing people use this app every day!
A couple of new features and bug fixes are rolling out in Ink Calendar 2.2.21. The features are focused on improving making Custom Views easier to find and jump to. Hopefully this makes them more useful for more people. For bug fixes this update focuses on syncing updates and making the multi-device experience more reliable.
Up next for Ink Calendar I will begin working on the most requested feature of Ink Calendar, more pages for writing.
For the last several versions of Ink Calendar I have been focusing on fixing bugs. I am trying to do everything in my power to fix every single instance of crashing and performance issues. Watching every crash in AppCenter and doing what I can to understand and fix the root cause.
Stability ebbs and flows due to me rearchitecting the app to be more robust overall. One major source of crashes in the past month were related to me using a different system for triggering timers. This new system was the modern way of having reoccurring checks for new ink in the cloud and loading and syncing. I have since been able to refine my implementation and have seen crashes reduce significantly.
Another major area of focus has always been memory usage and the speed for views to load. With the next update (2.2.17) I’ll be rolling out a new cache method when switching between views. In my testing this new method is robust and reduces possible memory leaks from switching back and forth between views.
With any new addition like this the risk of bugs being introduced is high. However, the opposite is also very possible. Ideally with fewer objects hanging around in memory doing strange things Ink Calendar should be more stable. I test Ink Calendar on three devices in a variety of different ways. In addition to manual testing I write unit tests to ensure methods are robust and fault tolerant.
Hopefully you’ve stuck around over the years while I’ve been working on Ink Calendar. I want to believe the app has become a great app and delivers way more value to users. As always, I’m open to any feedback or suggestions. Just email support at inkcalendar dot com.
An updated was submitted to the Microsoft Store yesterday which contained a few key fixes bringing efficiencies to Ink Calendar. A newly discovered issue with Ink Calendar happened to be the way the Appointment Store was being used. Now I am calling a single instance of the Appointment Store which improves loading speed, memory usage, and appointment reliability.
There is more work to be done in this area and there are still strange behaviors with the Appointment Store API surrounding change notifications. I am trying to figure out what might be causing duplicate notifications when an appointment is added to the calendar.
Work to be done
I discovered today that adding appointments to the Windows calendar does not work well without an internet connection. Ink Calendar in the future will not enable appointment adding if the internet is not available. This should improve the experience as a whole because today the API simply fails with no warning or error.
Extra writing space has been a requested feature for some time, and it is a feature I have experimented with. Also adding text and hyperlinks to the canvas will eventually make its way to Ink Calendar.
Work has been going well on Ink Calendar 2.1. The major new feature is selection time. This feature is simple; on week and month views, show text of when the selected ink is. There is a dot which will highlight the exact location being picked when trying to understand the date.
I personally find this feature useful when planning out an itinerary for trips. When I’m zoomed in tight on a week view it can be hard to tell which hour is which and which day is which. Now with selection time it is obvious.
In addition to selection time 2.1 should be faster to load views, more memory efficient, and hopefully fixes a few bugs.
For years I’ve been adding features to Ink Calendar making it more complex. At the same time I’ve been tracking and squashing bugs. This is the classic cycle of app development. With Ink Calendar 1.27 I’ve broken the UI elements into smaller chunks making it easier to reuse them and to find exactly where the bugs are happening.
Since Ink Calendar uses calendar data from Windows 10 that means many of the calendar views are drawn using async methods. Understanding failures in async methods via AppCenter can be tricky. By breaking down the rendering of each UI component into their own UserControl I’ve been able to narrow down exactly where errors are occuring.
Another way 1.27 is more reliable and robust will be in the settings page. The page loading sequence has been reordered to put the longest running tasks at the back and let data validation occur while those long running tasks are happening. Now working hours, agenda start/stop, and week start/stop times should all validate before saving bad data. This was an issue which can be hard to find on my development machine because usually the settings page loaded so fast, but personal usage on my Surface Go highlighted this problem.
The work done in 1.27 doesn’t bring any new major features to users, but should enable me to do some cool view blending in the future. Now that each of these controls are broken out on their own they can be inserted into different views in different ways. Look forward to a possible new blog post about how views could be changing.
As always, thank you for using Ink Calendar. If you encounter any issues please email support at inkcalendar dot com, and if you have any suggestions or ideas I’m always interested to hear!