Socializer 0.17 has been released

Yesterday I have released a new version of Socializer, the VK accessible client I am developing. In this post I want to talk about what happened in the development process of this project, what we did and what is planned for future. Even if you don't plan to use the project, this post is worth reading because some of the most interesting methods may be applied to other projects of mine. Here I will post the full changelog for the 0.17 version, and will deep into more details later.

changelog

  • Added support for Two factor authentication (2FA). (#13,)
  • Added update channels in socializer. You can subscribe to the "stable" or "alpha" channel from the preferences dialog and you will receive updates published for those:
    • The stable channel will have releases every month, approximately, and is the channel where the code will be most tested and with less bugs. All support and help will be provided for the stable versions only.
    • The alpha channel will have releases every time a change is added to socializer, it may even include several releases in the same day, but we will try to release only a new version every day. Support will not be provided for alpha versions, as they will be used to test the latest code in the application.
  • Now it is possible to send voice messages from socializer. Voice messages are available from the "add" button in any conversation buffer.
  • tokens generated by socializer will never expire. (#3,)
  • Audio albums are loaded correctly.
  • It is possible to play audios added by friends appearing in the news feed.
  • Adding and removing an audio file to your library works.
  • Unread messages will play a sound when focused.
  • Unread messages will be marked as read when user focuses them.
  • Socializer will handle restricted audio tracks. Restricted songs are not allowed to be played in the user's country. Before, playing a restricted track was generating an exception and playback could not resume. Now, playing an audio track will display an error notification.
  • Fixed an error when people were trying to open a post in an empty buffer, or accessing the menu when there are no posts in the buffer.
  • Now Socializer will not send a notification every 5 minutes.
  • the chat widget now is a multiline text control. It means it is possible to add a new line by pressing shift+Enter, and send the message by pressing enter.
  • Socializer should handle connection errors when loading items in buffers and retry in 2 minutes. Also, connection errors in the chat server are handled and chat should be able to reconnect by itself.
  • When trying to add an audio or video to an album, if the current user does not have any album, it will display an error instead of a traceback.
  • Added popular and suggested songs. This will not work when using alternative tokens.
  • Now it is possible to update the status message, located in your profile.
  • Now it is possible to upload an audio from your computer when adding attachments in a wall post. When adding attachments to a post or message in a conversation, you will have two options: upload from your computer and add a file from your VK profile.
  • Updated Russian translation: thanks to Дарья Ратникова.
  • Fixed some conditions, especially when rendering items in feeds, that were making the client to crash.
  • new versions will include documentation and changelog.
  • A new option for reporting issues directly from the help menu has been added. Issues will be publicly available in the Project Issues page

Details

I have learnt a thing or two during the last month working in this project. Thanks to the new things I have been discovering and applying, now the user experience should be much better in a few ways that I want to describe.

Update channels

One of the probably biggest improvements released in this version are update channels. Basically you download a version of the application, and this version will get updates based in the channel to which is subscribed. Users can switch from one channel to another from the settings dialog, which will allow them to get updates for any channel they wish whenever they want. The update channels for socializer are as follow:

  • Stable: this is the channel where all stable releases are published. A stable release is generated automatically, though human revision is performed during the build process. Stable versions are released when there are some important changes in the client, noticeable by users, and there are no stopping bugs. This is the version for you if you want to download and use, and see the less amount of bugs possible.
  • alpha: The alpha channel is where alpha versions are released. An alpha version is built dayly by taking the source code from the repository as it is. If there are no new changes in the repository, the dayly version will be skipped. Alpha versions are completely automatic and no human intervention is performed at all. This has the same results than running the application directly from the source code. Of course, there are chances of having more issues as new code is being added, and the channel is only recommended to people wanting to try the most up to date code, ready to report new issues and suggest improvements.

new people onboard

I wanted to use this section for saying thanks to a group of people who have been helping to keep this project ongoing. I only do the coding part, though there are a few people who have contributed with their time, willingness for helping and interesting suggestions. Here I list them.

  • Daria Ratnikova: She offered translating the program interface into russian, so it will be easier for many more people to use the project. Also she manages the VK group dedicated to the project (more on this later), test the application and is one of the persons whom I ask more when I have questions about VK.
  • Anibal Hernandez: He has been helping me to test new features added to the client, and mantaining the Manual up to date.
  • best Reader and Daniil Savenya: they have been helping by testing the application and actively finding and reporting bugs and improvements, and giving very valuable information related to VK itself. Thanks to their suggestions the program can be improved faster.

VK Group

Last but not least, I want to introduce the group we have created to talk and post information regarding Socializer. In the group we plan to post news and updates regarding the client, and we also created some topics where people can ask or suggest something to the project. So, Join us in the Socializer's group!

As stated above, The group has been managed by Daria, as she can communicate with the Russian speaking community much better than I can. So thanks to her again for the idea and work!

Download

If you want to download the latest version of socializer, you can visit the project's Downloads page and start using the application today. Now it is possible to report issues or give suggestions, in Russian, Spanish and English, from the help menu. You also can Say something in the group.