My small refactoring effort on SMTP Diagnostics turned into a much bigger effort but the end result is a much better code base. The exercise led to re-architecting most of the application. The GUI remains untouched but everything else behind the scenes has changed. After an 11 hour marathon session, I finally got a clean compile. I still need to re-wire parts of the GUI to the new object model before I can begin testing. But I did write unit tests (using DUnit) for all of the non-GUI code as part of the refactoring exercise. All of this re-work is definitely going to make it easier to add new features in the future.
Incorporating another New Feature
Speaking of new features, a fellow developer recommended I incorporate RSS feeds as a way to inform users of new releases within the program. I instantly fell in love with this idea mainly because it allows me to share more information with customer beyond just “a new release is available”. By using an RSS feed, I will be able to let users know about new releases, show the list of enhancements and bug fixes, send out tips, and possibly a newsletter some day.
Of course the user will have the option to turn off the feed feature, or to display the feed on demand. But I think this is a great use for RSS that I plan to incorporate in all of our products going forward.
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