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Working and usable are two different things

April 15, 2012

While the version I tested with-in the museum worked, it was by no mean user-friendly. It would take up to 30 seconds to save a new image, starting up the app could take up to a minute once it had a large number of image points in their. When developing I always work on the premise of just getting it working for the first version, what ever library’s or what ever takes me the least amount of time to code to see if the concept works.

For example on the phone I was saving every point from the picture which could be in the thousands of points but further testing showed I am getting away with using 150 points and that only takes a few seconds to save which is in the background while the user is typing in the name. On saving points to the phones isolated storage I was just using the built-in .net serialization, while it worked it is not fast enough for the amount of data. In the end I decided to give a .net port of google’s Proto buffers which is giving an acceptable level of performance around 1 point per millisecond so it is loading in under a second generally which the user wont even notice.

There are still a lot more optimizations I can do but the sample app is now changing from something that is working to becoming a usable product.

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