This blog was created as a platform for my Android apps, namely NTW Text Editor and Pendulum Chaos so far. But I admit I neglect it and often digress, a lot :'(

Nevertheless, if you are interested in this sort of things, you can glean some conceptual insights into how NTW was conceived in my earliest posts

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Brainstorming ideas for NTW

Been thinking what directions NTW should take next.
It seems most of the really useful (IMHO) power functions are there, like true searching with wildcards, text to speech, shelf system, and encodings and stuff.
And NTW must maintain its user interface standards too, minimize the amount of button pressing, maintain an intuitive enough way of doing things and so on.

Anyway, the following are some of my ideas.

Custom interface
Provide icon packs, although that would seem a bit of an overkill for an app with just a few thousand downloads.
Alternately, just allow user to specify their own icons, color scheme, size and position of icons, etc.
But the issue would then be how to implement it in a user friendly manner. Asking users to write their own custom xml layout files is probably out of the question. And contrary to what the layman might believe, creating a interface for the user to drag and place icons around on the screen is not straightforward, especially when I know the layman will also expect NTW to automatically refine the alignment of the icons with each other instead of having a few pixels of gap in between or just 1 few pixels higher or lower than each other due to the user's inaccuracy when placing them icons.

WYSIWYG editing of HTML or RTF files
Too tough, no existing libraries means I will have to program everything from scratch... eeek!

Superuser access to edit anything:
Jota Editor recently managed to implement this, congrats to him!
I actually did create an alpha version a while back which made use of the command line to gain super user access to edit any file, but it was sadly unstable, because the system response from the commandline can vary quite a bit, so I would sometimes get items missing and other irritating issues, not to mention it was like a witchhunt, going through all my code to find all the places that needed superuser access.

Convenient playlist mode
I've been thinking whether I should add a playlist mode to the NTW's Filebrowser, i.e. a convenient way of creating playlists by tapping files and long tapping folders to automatically add them into a specified playlist file. Because it seems many music players limit the creation or editing of playlists to its database where you can only select by albums or singers or entire folders. Whereas I sometimes want to play only a custom selection of songs from various singers located in many different folders. There is an app called Just Playlists that support creation of playlists through its filebrowser though, so maybe this feature is not really very useful on NTW.

Support for Dropbox and other cloud storage
Nice, but seems rather risky, and not actually neccessary, as NTW+Dropsync does the job perfectly well.

Better chunking system
A more seamless loading of the next and previous chunk during navigation. Such that all the loading of the next and previous chunks are done automatically in the background and its all buffered, so it feels as though the user is opening the whole file at one go with no memory limitations.
But.... Chunking is already pretty complicated as it is, I dread to think what complications and obstacles I might face, especially the compability with the various devices and Android OS versions.