Sunday, August 14, 2011

Solitaire Till Dawn Update

I get mail—lots of mail—asking me about Solitaire Till Dawn and Lion. Some people seem to be worried that I don't know that the current release won't run under Lion.

Really, I know. Really. I know!! And I continue to work on a Lion version, when and as I can.

There are kind of two parts to getting it done. The first and hardest part is rewriting what I call the "solitaire engine" and updating the screen-drawing and animation code. This is rocket science, of a sort. The engine is complex (which is why Solitaire Till Dawn can present so many and such varied games), while animation is an exercise in concurrent programming. If you don't know what that is, never mind: just trust me that it's hard to get it right.

Today I hit a milestone: the engine and the animation are now working correctly. That's not to say that there isn't more work to do on them; but the really important fundamental stuff is done. (I will now pause, so that those of you who are so inclined may cheer.)

This means that I can now begin working on application stuff: buttons, controls, prefs window, saving and resuming games, and all the bells and whistles to be found in the menus and toolbar. This stuff is generally easier to do, but there's a lot of it to get through. I will be leaving some of the old features out of the first release, just so I can release a little sooner and get you something that will run under Lion and get you your solitaire fix. Any missing features will likely be added back in later, in updates.

There is still a lot to do, and I still don't know when it will be done. But take heart: I am working on it, I am making progress!

(And yes... I know the current version doesn't run under Lion!)